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Full text of "Fifteen years ago; or, The patriotism of Will County, designed to preserve the names and memory of Will County soldiers, both officers and privates - both living and dead: to tell something of what they did, and of what they suffered, in the great struggle to preserve our nationality"

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977. 3E5 










Great Struggle to Preserve Our Nationality. 



Patriots have toiled, and in their country's cause 
Bled nobly: and their deeds, a,a they deserve, 
Receive proud recompense. We give in charge 
Their names to the sweet lyre. The historic muse, 
Proud of the treasure, marches with it down 
To latest times; and sculpture, in her turn, 
Gives bond in stone and ever-during brass 
To guard them, and t' immortalize her trust. COWPXR. 












work is no attempt at a history of the late war. Its aim is to do 
some justice to the soldiers of WILL COUNTY, both officers and privates, 
both living and dead. It is simply the story of " our boys " and of our 
county during the rebellion period. It has been written for no political, or 
rather for no partizan purpose. In the largest and best sense of the word, 
the author does desire that it may have a political bearing ; that it may help 
to deepen the sense of the value of, and strengthen the attachment of our 
people to, THE UNION, and^the principles of freedom and equal rights which 
that Union represents and secures. He would be glad if it should help to 
" make treason odious " to the young m en who are so soon to wield the des- 
tinies of our republic. This aim, however, is only secondary. The work 
has been undertaken and prosecuted mainly as an act of justice to those who 
went out from our county to fight in the cause of the Union. 

In accomplishing this task, the author has availed himself of all infor- 
mation within his reach. Much has been gleaned from the files of our 
county papers. The matter has, however, been gathered mostly from orig- 
inal sources ; from the journals and letters of the actors, both living and 
dead, and from the personal recollections of those who survive. Very much 
of the narrative is given in the language in which it has been obtained. I 
cannot specify the sources from which it has been gathered, except in this 
general way. The manner of its compilation will account for the variation 
in its style, and the changes in tense and person. 

Especial pains has been taken to make the registry of soldiers full andl 
correct, and to embody the main facts of each one's military record. The- 
aim has been to record the name of every soldier from Will county, with- 
out regard to the place where he may have enlisted or been credited, and to- 
exclude the names of those who were not actual residents of Will county. 
To this I have admitted some exceptions. Where, as in the case of the 100th 
Regiment, nearly all of the members were Will county men, I have thought, 
that a full muster roll of the organization would be pleasing to the members. 
Some others have probably been admitted by mistake. It has been a work 
of great labor to collect these names, inaf much as in many instances they 
are credited, in the Adjutant General's Report, to the place where they en- 


listed, and in many other instances no residence is given. Some also enlist- 
ed in other states. It is probable therefore that the list is not absolutely 
perfect, and the thought that some names may have been omitted that should 
have gone upon the record, gives me pain. The fear too, that in making 
special mention as I have of many, I may seem to have ignored others who 
are as much entitled to such mention ; this fear makes me hesitate to throw 
the work upon the public. Imperfection however is inseparable from all 
such undertakings, and the limitations of time and space cannot be trans- 

One thing will be noticed, I have recorded nothing to any person's dis- 
credit, and perhaps the question will be asked were all the Will county men 
brave and patriotic? Were there no cowards no deserters? I do not sup- 
pose that every man was a hero, or that no inferior motives mingled with the 
love of country, which in the main, inspired our volunteers. Some deserted. 
I have made no such entry in the record of names, because I have found so 
many instances in which the Adjt. General's report is incorrect in this 
particular, that I have preferred to drop the entry altogether, lest I might per- 
petuate an injustice to some one. In more than one case I have found a man 
put down as having deserted, who was killed when bravely fighting the 
enemies of his country. I have preferred also to reverse the sentiment of 
Mark Anthony and let the good " men do live after them," and to inter the 
evil " with their bones." 

The author claims no literary merit for the work. His main desire has 
been to collect and preserve the facts of our war record. Much time and 
labor have bee a devoted to the undertaking, and he cannot but hope that the 
result will be found deeply interesting to many families in Will county, of 
general interest to all our citizens, and at the same time not entirely worth- 
less to the general reader. To some probably he will only seem to have 
furnished another illustration of the adage ne sutor ultra crepidam; which 
might be liberally construed the apothecary should stick to his pills ! 

JUI.Y 4TH, 1876. 


On page 72, I have left the impression that the amount there recorded 
was all that was raised in the county for war purposes. It should be said 
that other towns raised more or less, of which I have fovind no record. The 
town of Dupage, I have since learned, raised $12,667. 

Some few typographical errors have escaped correction, but they are 
generally such as will be readily detected, and are not important. 

It must not be inferred that all whose record is a blank in PART FOURTH 
were deserters. In respect to many of these, the record is simply unknown. 



Introduction 9 



The years 1861 and 1862 15 


From January 1863, to July 1865 53 



History of the Twentieth Regiment. From Joliet to Jackson, Tenn. 
June 1861, to June 1863 80 


History of the Twentieth Regiment. From Jackson, Tenn., to Joliet, 
June 1863, to muster out HO 


History of the Thirty-Ninth Regiment, or Yates Phalanx. From organ- 
ization to muster out 143, 


History of the Sixty-Fourth Regiment, or Yates Sharpshooters. From 
organization to muster out 180 


History of the One Hundredth, or Will County Regiment. From Joliet 
to Nashville. September 1862, to December 26th 224 



History of the One Hundredth Regiment. From Nashville to Chicka- 
mauga. December 18(52, to September 1863 247 


History of the One Hundredth Regiment. From Chickamauga to 
Athens, Tenn. September 1863, to March 1864 282 


History of the One Hundredth Regiment, concluded. Athens, Tenn., 
toJoliet. March 1864, to July 1865 319 


History of the Ninetieth Regiment, or Irish Legion. From Organiza- 
tion to muster out 361 


History of McAllister's Battery. Company D, 1st Artillery 397 


History of Barnett's Battery. Company I, 2d Artillery 423 


Brief mention of Cavalry Regiments, and other organizations 438 




Experiences in Libby, Audersonville, and other prisons, with a list of 
deaths in prison 457 


Our Death Record. Full list of those who died in the service 475 


Biographical Sketches 489 

Roster and Muster Roll of Will County Soldiers (517) 1 


One of the most interesting characters found in all the wonderful crea- 
tions of Sir Walter Scott, is the one he has delineated under the name of 
OLD MORTALITY. The character is really a historic one, known to his age 
and locality by the unromantic name of Patterson ; and he earned his sou- 
briquet by his devotion to the singular work to which he consecrated his later 
years, and in the prosecution of which death found him. I scarcely need 
tell what that work was, for who is not familiar with the writings of the 
great "Wizard of the North?" Filled with a most reverential admiration 
for the men, and in the heartiest sympath3 r with the religious faith and prin- 
ciples of those old Scotch Covenanters who had yielded up their lives in the 
defense of civil and religious freedom, during the reign of the two last 
Stuarts, OLD MORTALITY devoted himself with a strange and absorbing 
enthusiasm, to the work of wandering from county to county, and from 
parish to parish, and searching out in the lonely and neglected cemeteries 
the graves of such martyrs, and removing from the headstones the moss 
and rust which had rendered illegible the inscriptions which recorded their 
names and virtues, all unnoticed, 

"From early morn to dewey eye," 

lie busied himself, with patient industry, in cutting deeper and afresh each 
fading letter. 

In some such a spirit, animated, I think, by some such feelings and 
motives, I have sought to accomplish a work somewhat analagous to that of 
Old Mortality. I confess to a profound admiration for, and a deep gratitude 
toward those, who periled their lives to maintain the union of these states. 
and the blessings of freedom and equal laws which that union secures. I 
profess the most thorough sympathy with them in the work of maintaining 
the Supreme Federal Authority, and staying the tide of anarchy, oppres- 
sion and barbarism, which threatened the ruin of our fair land. And this 
feeling I have toward the poorest, humblest man who carried a musket, no 
less than the one who guided the movements of brigades and army corps ; 

\ ->: 


and I never see one, that my heart does not say this man stood between me- 
and rebel bullets! this man helped to stay the torch from my home! this mao 
helped to secure to me and my children the blessings of free government^ 
and the protection of equal and just laws ! And I have thought it a good- 
work, one which it behooved to be done, to rescue from oblivion the name 
of those who went out from our county the humblest of them and to place 
them upon that most imperishable of records the printed page. I espe- 
cially desire to carve deeper and afresh, in all our memories, the names of 
those who laid down their lives in our behalf. True, no lapse of centuries 
has obscured the few records that have been made in "monumental mar- 
ble," but scores and hundreds lie buried in unknown graves: falling amid, 
the carnage of the battle field, their bodies received a hasty and promiscu- 
ous burial at the hands of strangers perchance of enemies and 

" Their ashes flew 

No marble tells us whither" 

or, dying, perhaps of starvation in some rebel prison pen, or f wounds or 
disease in hospitals, their graves are distinguished from others in the long 
files of the dead, only by silent and unmeaning numerals ! In these days,, 
too, decades do the work of centuries, in effacing names and events from the 
memory, so great is the rush with which one event treads upon the heels 
of another. Already, too, there is a generation just coming upon the stage 
of active life who were but children when our boys went forth to battle for 
the right, and it is but just that they should be told the story of fifteen 
years ago. 

It has formed no part of my purpose to give a general history of the 
war, or to attempt a general resume of events which transpired upon the 
national or state arena, but simply to tell the story of our own county. I. 
have sought to record, if possible, the name and military history of every 
man who enlisted from our county, and to follow those regiments and bat- 
teries in which we were largely interested, through all their weary marches> 
skirmishes and battles, and to make in most instances of course very 
briefly special mention of those who sealed their devotion to the cause with 
the sacrifice of their lives. Our course will take us through many a weary 
march, over many a bloody battle-field; and we shall have to look in upon; 
the foul and crowded apartments of Libby, and to go down into the hell of 
Andersonville ! 

My aim has been to make the record one of personal interest to every 
family in Will county. The general history of the times, political or mili- 
tary, will therefore only be noticed so far as necessary to render intelligible 
that of our own county, and of the men she sent forth to the struggle. Few, 
I think, will question the propriety of such a record. We owe it to the men. 


who periled life and limb in our behalf. Especially do we owe it to the 
memory of those who perished in the struggle. Our county, as such, has 
erected no monument to their memory, has taken no steps for the preser- 
vation of their names. It seems but just, therefore, that their names and 
<leeds should be recorded upon the printed page, where their children and 
ours can read them, and recall the story of their sufferings and services. 

In a general history, of course, we hear and know nothing except of 
those who became conspicuous as the leaders of brigades, divisions, and 
army corps. I would do justice, as far as possible, to the humblest private. 
It was a characteristic of our armies generally, certainly it was of the men 
from Will county, that the ranks were largely composed of as good men 
as those who held commissions. From every rank and pursuit in life, from 
our schools, colleges and workshops, from our offices, farms, and places of 
.trade and commerce, our young men, in many instances sacrificing brilliant 
business prospects, rushed to the conflict. I believe that in no other war 
that was ever waged did men the majority of them enter the strife with 
so high a spirit of self sacrifice, of pure and holy patriotism. The ranks 
were composed largely of young men, in whose bosoms were still glowing 
all the enthusiasm and romance of youth, undimmed by the sordid motives, 
and unabated by the cautious selfishness, which settles down upon our 
a-iper years. 

There is another reason why the work I have attempted should be 
<done, viz. : the influence it will have upon those who shall come after us. For 
4he sake of the future, it behooves us to cherish the memory of those who 
stood in the "imminent deadly breach,'' in our behalf. The safety of 
the institutions we love, and desire to see perpetuated, demands that 
we place upon the roll of honor the names of those who were mar- 
tyrs in their defense. I know that it is the opinion of some that the 
war, and all its incidents, and especially the questions at issue, should now 
toe forgotten, and that we should treat alike both parties in the struggle, be- 
stowing the same honors and favors upon patriots and rebels. Great names 
have given their sanction to such a policy. Now, while I would not cherish 
a vindictive spirit, I must beg leave to differ from such a doctrine. I have 
110 sympathy with that false and dangerous liberalism, that ignores the 
eternal distinctions between right and wrong, between loyalty and treason. 
I do not believe that any government, human or divine, can safely do this. 
If there was no essential difference, a moral difference, wide as the poles 
asunder, between the part taken by the rebels against the best and mildest 
government the world has ever seen, in which, as in no other government 
.that ever existed, the rights of all were conserved, and that of those who 
took up arms in its defense, then the precious lives and the treasure spent 


by us were worse than wasted. Such a doctrine puts a premium upon 
rebellion, and invites a repetition of the scenes of fifteen years ago, and 
opens the way for the successful pushing of those outrageous claims which 
are only kept in abeyance until the time when such a false and dangerous 
liberalism shall have become the prevailing sentiment at the North. We 
must not, for the sake of the future, so stultify ourselves, and so slander the 
loyal dead, as for a moment to admit that there was little or no difference in 
the moral status of those who were so lately contending in the greatest civil 
war the world has ever known. Rather let us ever and always, insist upon 
the moral and political gravity of the questions in issue, and upon the fact 
that they have been definitely settled upon the side of freedom and the 
Union. Let us still insist, that the late rebellion was the most causeless in 
Avhich men ever engaged ; that it was not like that of the fathers of the 
revolution, made in the interests of freedom and humanity, but against both, 
and in the interests of slavery and barbarism ; and that its success would 
have turned back the hand on the dial of human progress, at least a cen- 
tury. Surely if the attempt to destroy our nationality, if the inauguration 
of a long and bloody war, with no justification except the failure to carry 
an election, and solely from the promptings of unholy ambition, coupled 
with the purpose of perpetuating and extending human bondage, if this 
was not a sin and a crime on the part of its leaders and wilful abettors, then 
let us blot the words from our creeds and from our statute books, aye, and 
from our dictionaries, for then there is no such thing as sin and crime ! The 
slaveholders' rebellion not a crime ! It was the crime of the nineteenth century f 
Let us not forget this, and let us tell it to our children, and let them tell it 
to their children, that the generations to come, all down the ages, may know 
and profit by the truth. 

All honor, then, to the men who went out from Will county, and served 
honorably and faithfully in the Grand Army of the Republic, and periled 
their lives in our behalf. All honor to the most humble private, as well as 
those who received honors, and rank, and public recognition. And hallow- 
ed, thrice hallowed, the memory of those of whatever rank, who fell upon 
the battle field, or on the lone outpost, or died of disease or exposure in 
camp or hospital. I claim for them the honors of martyrdom in the most 
holy of causes, next to that of Christianity itself. Let us deepen in our 
memories the story of their deeds and sufferings. Let us cut afresh their 
names on the enduring tablet of history. Not long ago, multitudes gathered 
from all parts of our land, at Springfield, to pay fitting honors to the mem- 
ory of our martyred president. And most richly has he deserved such an 
apotheosis. But not less, in their own measure, does the humblest private 
who gave his life for the cause. He did what he could, he gave his all his 
life the martyred LINCOLN could do no more ! 


Much of the information which is embodied in the regimental histories 
has been derived from the letters of men who died in the service. These 
letters were, of course, written without any expectation that any other eyes 
than those of the home circle would ever look upon them. But they have 
kindly been submitted to my perusal, and I cannot express the melancholy 
interest which I have taken in gleaning from them matter for this work. 

Those old, faded, worn and yellowed letters, cherished as the most pre- 
cious mementoes of the dear, dead boys, who wrote them, what volumes 
of pathetic interest are folded up in them ! And how many packages of such 
letters there are all over the land, carefully laid away in secret places, and 
preserved with religioxis care ! Letters, written in sickness and in health, 
in camp and in hospital, on the march and the bivouac. Some, written when 
the time hangs heavy, and the writer unburthens all his heart. Others, 
written in haste, when about to go into action, or in a lull of the storm of 
death, or, when all is over, and a line or two is hastily scrawled with pencil, 
and with no rest for the paper but the writer's knee, and almost illegible, 
except to the eye of love saying just enough to assure the anxious friends 
at home, that thank God!- -the writer has gone through the fiery tempest 

These old letters written, many of them, on those old sheets emblazoned 
with the dear old flag, or edged with the " red, white and blue," so famil- 
iar a dozen years ago how suggestive they are of those days of anxiety and 
doubt, yet of pronounced fidelity to the Union ! These letters of dead sol- 
dierswhat a world of pathos, I repeat, do they contain ! What breathings 
of love for the dear friends at home ! What longings to see the old familiar 
faces and places ! What tender regrets that they cannot be at home to lift 
the burden of care and labor from father and mother ! What regrets, too, 
that they were not more careful in their demeanor while under the old roof! 
What gentle exhortations to the brothers and sisters still at home, to do all 
they can to make the dear parents happy ! What hopeful anticipations, too, 
of what they will do "when this cruel war is over !" What thanks for the 
remembrances they have received from home, mingled with urgent appeals 
for letters, long and often ! What assurances that they will never grumble 
again at any home fare, however plain, and what longings expressed for the 
good things in mother's larder seeming so rich now, in contrast to a sol- 
dier's rations! And what cheerful exhortations to the dear father and 
mother not to worry for the absent boy, as he is well, and all right, and will 
soon be home. 

One poor boy, just before the advance which brought the '"Hundredth" 
to Stone River, sends his thanks for the box of good things which had come 
to hand the day before the advance, just in time for his Christmas dinner 
(alas ! though he little dreamed it, his last Christmas dinner) which were 


so good, so like home and which, while they gratified his soldier's appetite, 
were yet more highly prized as an assurance that, though absent, he was not 
forgotten; and then he assures the old father and mother that he is well and 
hearty, and hopes soon to be home and help them on the farm, and bids 
them not worry about him ! Alas ! alas ! at the very time these parents 
were reading poor George's letter, he lay stiff and cold on the field of Stone 
River! Oh, what anguish, think you, was there in such a conjuncture ! To 
be reading one moment these cheering words from the dear boy and the 
next, to know that he was dead and that they will never see him again in 
this world, that the stay and hope of their old age has been suddenly taken 
away, without one farewell, that they cannot even look upon his mangled 
form, that he has been hastily buried, without one prayer ; and that even 
the spot where he sleeps they can never see or know ! 

One spirit pervades all these letters, whether written by officers or pri- 
vateswhether by men of culture, or the sons of toil. They all breathe the 
spirit of patriotic devotion to the country. While the writers are evidently 
not in love with their calling, as such, while they take no pleasure in ex- 
posing their own lives, or seeking the destruction of their enemies, yet 
they all express the determination, cheerfully to endure every hardship, 
privation and peril, until victory crowns the cause of the Uni^n. 





Introductory First Public Meeting A Remarkable Sabbath First 
Meeting for Enlistment First Volunteer First Company Second Meeting 
Second Company Great Uprising Lockport and Plainfield Batteries 
The Army at Home Clergy Meeting of Supervisors Judge Douglas in 
Joliet Camp Goodell A Patriot Mother Recruits pour in One who was 
too Large 20th Regiment Enthusiasm Regimental Election Death of 
Douglas Funeral Observances in Joliet A Strong Contrast Wedding in 
Camp 20th Regiment Leaves Activity in other Towns Wilmington 
Yates Phalanx Homer Lockport Capt. Felter's Cavalry Company Some 
Citizens go to see the Elephant A Joliet Boy Keith's Battery Dr. Dan- 
forth changes his Weapons Recruiting in Eastern Towns Meeting of Su- 
pervisors Will County in N. Y. 7th Recruiting for Y. S. S. Sensation at 
Wilmington Company I, 46th Regiments-Companies K and F, 8th Cav. 
Other Enlistments Good News More Good News and Bad News Colonel 
Erwin's Funeral 22d February More News Shiloh More Funerals- 
Call for 300,000 more Effect in Will County Twelve Companies being En- 
listed War Meetings Supervisors Meet Bounties Patriotic Mothers 
100th Regiment Election at Camp Erwin 90th Regiment Other Enlist- 
mentsMysterious Disappearance War Poet 100th leaves Home Guards 
Supervisors Meet More News More Funerals Some Citizens interview 
Morgan An Officer of the 100th meets his fate How 1862 closed. 

1832, SOUTH CAROLINA undertook to nullify the execu- 
tion of the laws of the United States within her borders. 
Fortunately for the country, at that time, a man and a hero 
occupied the executive chair, and so prompt and energetic was his 
action, that SOUTH CAROLINA concluded to postpone the task she 
had undertaken to a more convenient season. 


In December 1860, SOUTH CAROLINA, by a solemn act of her 
convention, dissolved her connection with the United States, and 
declared herself an independent and sovereign state. From words 
she soon proceeded to acts of treason and defiance ot federal 
authority. Her opportunity had come, for now a weak and tim- 
orous old man sat in the executive chair, who never dared to lift 
a finger for the preservation of the Union, or the maintainance of 
the Federal rights, but sat in stupid imbecility, while members of 
his own cabinet, senators and representatives, were plotting trea- 
son and inaugurating measures which- should render helpless, not 
only himself, but his successor; and while one after another, traitors 
took possession of federal forts, arsenals, mints, custom houses, 
and munitions of war. 

Those were dark and gloomy days, when every patriot heart 
was sad. How well we remember them ! The country seemed 
for the time almost paralyzed by the blow of treason. But not 
for long. And yet, how little did we realize what was to follow 
through the long years of the rebellion ! 

All over the Northern States public meetings were held to con- 
sider the crisis, and to make an expression of public sentiment, so 
emphatic that it should reach the executive ear, and strengthen the 
executive spinal column, and induce action suited to the exigency. 

On January 30th, 1861, a public meeting, irrespective of party, 
was held at the court house in Joliet, at which H. N. Marsh, Esq., 
was chosen chairman. The meeting was addressed by W. C. 
Goodhue, W. T. Jones, T. Q. Hildebrant, Jesse O. Norton, J. E. 
Streeter, and others, and resolutions were passed in favor of the 
preservation of the Union, and the enforcement of the laws. But, 
although this was the "Banner City," and although many of those 
who took part in the meeting were the political friends of the 
executive, and had helped to place him in the presidential chair, 
the meeting did not seem to have the least effect upon the weak 
old man. All its eloquence and enthusiasm seemed to be wasted. 
Indeed I think it quite probable that he never heard of it let us 
charitably believe so certainly he did not enforce the laws any 
better, but let the ship of state drift, drift on, toward the fatal 
rocks of disunion, until the fourth of March, when he stepped 
down from the helm he had held with so feeble a grasp, and 


handed over to his successor the ship of state, with nearly half her 
crew in mutiny. 

What a sabbath was April 14th, 1861 ! when we received the 
startling news that Fort Sumter had surrendered to traitors, and 
that the hateful Palmetto flag the emblem of treason and oppres- 
sion had displaced the stars and stripes, and now floated over its 
ruins ! Never were the words of Webster : " there are no sabbaths 
in revolutionary times," so well illustrated. People on their way 
to church, hearing the news, forgot their errand and the day, and 
gathered at the street corners, and discussed the situation. Minis- 
ters preached to dull ears, and scantily filled pews, except such as 
had the tact to throw aside their preparations, and seize upon the 
theme of the hour. One of our citizens, a retired clergyman, on 
hearing the news, took down his rusty rifle, cleaned it up, mould- 
ed a lot of bullets, and then went down the river a mile or so, and 
refreshed his practice in gunnery by shooting at a mark. Having 
satisfied himself that he had not lost his skill, he inarched back in 
line of battle, with his gun loaded and capped, ready for the com- 
bat ! After which he retired upon his laurels ! 

The news reached the quiet village of Plainfield about noon. 
McAllister's old gun was at once taken to the common, and vigor- 
ously fired. The bells were rung, the Congregational Church was 
thrown open to the people, and the re-organization of the bat- 
tery on a war basis, was at once commenced, and, as we shall see 
by and by was soon on its way to Cairo. 

On Wednesday succeeding (April 17th), on receipt of the call 
of the President for 75,000 men to "suppress the combinations which 
had been made against the laws of the United States," a meeting 
was held at the court house, Mayor Bowen in the chair. The 
meeting was called for the purpose of expressing public opinion, 
and for taking preliminary steps toward forming a company to de- 
fend the stars and stripes. The court house was filled to over- 
flowing. A committee was appointed to draft resolutions, and the 
meeting was addressed in stirring speeches by Snapp, Bowen 
Streeter, Breckenridge, and others. But it was felt that the crisis 
called for something more than words. A paper pledging those 
who signed it to enlistment in defense of the government was drawn 
up, and an opportunity was given to any who were willing to do 


so, to sign. A young lawyer of the name of FREDERICK A. BAR- 
TLESON, sprang to his feet, and after a brief and eloquent speech, 
walked up to the table, with the remark that he would ask no one 
to do what he was not willing to do himself, signed his name as the 
first volunteer in our city and county. This act was received with 
cheers long and loud. We heard something more of this young 
lawyer during the next three or four years, and we shall have 
something more to say of him elsewhere. Others followed his 
example the same night to the number of twenty-seven. The 
meeting then adjourned until Friday of the same week. Meanwhile,, 
the ground having been taken by many citizens of the state, (the 
same ground taken by James Buchanan) that the general govern- 
ment had no power to coerce a state, an informal meeting had been 
called of the Supreme Court of Illinois, to give an advisory opinion 
on the question, and a committee had been appointed at a meeting 
of our democratic citizens to go to Springfield, and hear and report 
their opinion. This committee, of which T. Q. Hildebrant was a 
prominent member, returned from their mission on Friday night, 
and were met at the St. Louis Depot, and escorted to the court 
house. Hildebrant, having got to the rostrum by being passed 
over the heads of the crowd, reported the decision of the court to- 
be "that the government clearly had the right, inasmuch as such a 
right was essential to its own existence." The announcement was 
received with loud demonstrations of satisfaction, and was hailed by 
all parties as removing all doubts as to the duty of the hour. The 
usual amount of patriotic speeches were made, and patriotic songs 
were sung, and a committee of six, viz : Alex. Mclntosh, A. 
McNerney, T. Hatton, F. Mack, J. Kelly and Wm. Adara, was 
appointed to raise funds for the benefit of the families of the vol- 
unteers. Also a committee, consisting of R. E. Goodell, Judge 
McRoberts, and C. E. Munger, to procure uniforms and outfit. 

A resolution was also passed calling upon the county clerk to 
issue a call for a special meeting of the Board of Supervisors. At 
the close of this meeting the roll of the company which had been 
headed by Bartleson was filled. It took the name of "Union Greys," 
although from its leader and subsequent captain, it was familiarly 
known as Bartleson's Company. At this meeting, also, T. Q. Hilde- 
brant, Esq., a well-known lawyer, and politically a Douglas demo- 


crat, announced that he should open an enlistment roll the next 
morning at the court house, Wm. Erwin, who had served in the 
Mexican war, having also taken some steps for the enlistment of a 
company of volunteers the two, Erwin and Hildebrant, joined 
their efforts, and in three days the roll was nearly full. 

Public meetings were now held almost every evening, our 
city and county doing its full share in " the great uprising " which 
characterized the time. Nothing was talked of or thought of but 
war, although as yet the government had not waked up to a full 
appreciation of the crisis, and secretary Seward still talked of set- 
tling the matter "in sixty days." In pursuance of the recom- 
mendation of the meeting of the 19th, the clerk issued a call for a 
special meeting of the Board of Supervisors on the 30th of April. 
By April 27th sufficient names had been enrolled to form two 
companies; one had selected F. A. Bartleson as captain, and the 
other William Erwin. T. Q. Hildebrant cordially united in the 
choice of Erwin for captain, and was himself chosen 1st lieutenant. 
Soon afterwards, however, as will be seen, he became captain, and 
the company was known as Hildebrant's. These companies after- 
wards became B and F, of the 20th Regt. of Illinois Infantry. 

Meetings were meantime being held in all the towns and ham- 
lets of the county, and recruits forwarded to Joliet, and the city 
began to assume quite a warlike appearance. The spirit-stirring 
drum and fife were heard at all hours, and there was (with few 
exceptions) scarcely a man that was not willing that his neighbor 
should enlist. 

The state authorities were fully alive to the situation. On 
April 19th, Governor Yates ordered Brigadier General Swift to 
hold Cairo, and such was the importance of this point that trains 
loaded with impromptu soldiers and with subsistence were quickly 
on their way from Chicago, and by the 22d six organized compa- 
nies of infantry and four batteries of artillery arrived at that point, 
and its possession was secured.. 

Among the first to fly to the defense of Cairo were McAllister's 
Battery, of Plainfield, and Capt. Hawley's, of Lockport. These 
companies had been organized some years before as amateur com- 
panies, and were now quickly available in the emergency. 

Captain Hawley's company placed the first gun in position for 


the defense of Cairo. The Plainfield company was stationed for 
a few days at the bridge over the Big Muddy, and on arriving at 
Cairo was mustered into the three months' service as Co. K, and 
part of Co. I, of the 10th Regt. of 111. Infantry. The Lockport 
company was never mustered into service of the United States, 
and only acted as state militia, and although never engaged in 
actual warfare, it, with others, rendered important service at this 
critical juncture. 

Cairo was a point of vast importance, and no wiser or more 
important step was taken during the whole war than the timely 
occupancy of this point. It saved the southern part of our state 
from rebel invasion, if not from joining the rebellion. And it was 
not taken an hour too soon, The sympathies of many in that 
part of the state were strongly with the rebels. Indeed a regi- 
ment which was afterwards organized at Anna, the 109th, was 
disarmed and discharged (except Co. K,) by order of Gen. Grant, 
on account of it? sympathy with the rebellion. 

This occupancy of Cairo, however, gave great offense to the 
neutral state of Kentucky and its august Governor. The con- 
gressman also from the adjacent district in Kentucky took the 
matter in high dudgeon, and wrote President Lincoln a letter pro- 
testing against the step ! To this Lincoln dryly replied, that if he 
had known that Cairo was in the gentleman's district, he would 
not have done it ! 

On Tuesday, April 23d, the legislature of our state convened 
in extra session, and a bill was passed for the organization of ten 
regiments, one from each of the nine congressional districts, and 
one to be composed of volunteers already assembled at Springfield, 
and an appropriation of $300,000 was made for war purposes. 
The war department had, on the same day that the president issued 
his proclamation for 75,000 militia, called upon this state for six 
regiments of infantry, and these were speedily raised, and were 
known as the three months' men numbered 7 to 12 inclusive. 

Meanwhile our women were not idle. Foreseeing that there 
would be work for them to do, they early organized soldiers' aid 
societies, for the purpose of supplying sanitary and hospital stores 
and appliances, and for looking after the wants of those families 
whose husbands and brothers should enlist. And here let me say, 


that from the first, and all along through the dreary years of the 
war, our women, in common with those of all parts of the north, 
were unwearied in their labors and self-denying sacrifices to add to 
the health and comfort of the soldier on the field and in the hospi- 
tal. No roster preserves the names of those who, as officers or 
privates, formed " THE GRAND ARMY AT HOME," and who gave 
their time, money, labors and prayers to this holy cause. No his- 
toric page emblazons their names or tells the story of their suffer- 
ings and trials, of their labors and achievements in behalf of the 
country and its absent defenders. Some, indeed, enlisted as nurses, 
and braved all the toil and discomforts of the hospital ; and many 
a wounded and sick soldier has blessed the soft hand that wiped 
the death-damp from his brow, and gave him the cooling drink, 
or wrote for him the letter which told his friends at home of his 
situation. But more plied the needle and the sewing machine, or 
preserved the fruits and jellies, and other comforts for the sick and 
wounded, collected money and encouraged their sons and brothers 
to enlist. Some made good the places of their husbands and sons 
in the store or office, or on the farm. When husband or son hesi- 
tated to go because there would be no one to carry on the farm and 
provide for the family, many a woman has said 

" Go /take your gun and go, John, 

Yes, take your gun and go 
Ruth can drive the oxen, John, 
And I can wield the hoe !" 

Their influence in stimulating the stronger sex to enlistments 
and patriotic sacrifices cannot be overrated. Instinctively they 
saw the justice of our cause, and were troubled by no constitu- 
tional scruples as to the duty of the north to uphold the Union at 
any cost. And having sent forth their husbands and sons into 
the ranks they determined that they should not be left altogether 
to the tender mercies of army regulations and governmental 
resources, but were the first to suggest, and the most active in 
maintaining the sanitary and Christian commissions, and organizing 
and conducting fairs. These agencies, so valuable to the cause, 
soon had their recruiting offices in every town and hamlet of our 
county. In all the thousand ways in which they so well and so 
quickly learned how to serve the cause, did the women of Will 


county do their part, all unheralded and unknown. But they 
have left their record deep written in many a soldier's heart, and 
verily they shall not lose their reward. And how many of this 
" grand army at home/' in the course of the four years that followed, 
were doomed to receive wounds more cruel even than those which 
their sons, husbands and brothers received upon the field of battle 
wounds which even now, after the lapse of fifteen years, are not 
healed ; or, if healed, have left the most frightful scars ! 

The clergy of the city and county were not idle. So far as I 
know, without an exception, all our pulpits were outspoken for 
the Union and the suppression of the rebellion. Four, at least, 
from our county entered the service as chaplains during the course 
of the war, and in the army were untiring in their efforts for the 
temporal and spiritual welfare of the volunteers. 

The Board of Supervisors met on the call of the clerk April 
30th, and appropriated $5,000 for the families of volunteers, and 
to defray the expenses of enlistment. 

On the first day of May, Judge Douglas passed through this 
city on his way to Chicago, and from the rear platform of the train 
addressed the thousands which had assembled to greet him. He 
had, on invitation, addressed the assembled legislature of the state, 
on the 25th of April, upon the crisis, and in no doubtful language 
had given his views as to the duty of all patriots to uphold the 
government in the exigency, and to sink all political and party dif- 
ferences ; and now he repeated the same sentiments to the assembled 
crowd in Joliet. Fifteen days before, the telegraph had flashed 
from Washington these noble words : " Without having been 
consulted, or endorsing any particular measure, I am for my coun- 
try, and against all assailants." His speech in Joliet was thoroughly 
patriotic. He advised his party friends, supporters and admirers, 
of whom there were many in this city probably a majority to 
rally to the support of the administration, and to forget all minor, 
all party considerations, until the authority of the government 
and the laws were fully re-established. This was the last time 
the voice of Judge Douglas was heard in Joliet, for, after making 
one more speech in Chicago, of like significance, in the " old wig- 
wam," where his successful competitor for the presidency had been 


nominated, he betook himself sick and exhausted to his bed, from 
which he never rose again ! 

It would be impossible to overrate the influence and the import- 
ance of these last utterances of this gifted statesman of Illinois. 
Even in the minds of those who had been his bitter political 
enemies, they obliterated the memory of those acts and sayings for 
which, hitherto, they had not been stinted in their censure. 

A camp was established, under the direction of the state authori- 
ties, on the old fair grounds, on the well-known Stevens' place, 
a beautiful and appropriate location, having on it fine, shady oak 
openings, an abundant spring of pure water, and buildings already 
erected sufficient for headquarters and offices. To these, company 
barracks were quickly added, and the camp received the name of 
"Camp Goodell," after a well-known, active and patriotic citizen. 

To this camp the two companies which had been organized in 
Joliet, and the others which were by this time arriving from other 
counties in the district, were sent, and by Saturday evening of May 
llth, a full regiment of men, which afterward came to be known 
as the 20th regiment of Illinois Infantry, of which something 
more was heard afterwards, and of which more will be related in 
its proper place, was in camp ; and the spot which had heretofore 
been appropriated to the uses of agriculture, and the arts of peace, 
was now alive with the din and clash of warlike preparation. 
Men were now reversing the prophetic* scripture, and turning 
their scythes into swords and their pruning-hooks into bayonets. 

All the towns in the county were now alive with excitement 
and were engaged in encouraging enlistments and in raising funds 
for the aid societies. 

Especially in Joliet the excitement was intense. It was almost 
impossible to resist the impulse to enlist. One young man from 
the town of Reed, happening to be in the city, was so carried away 
with the enthusiasm that, without waiting to consult with his 
widowed mother, he enrolled his name among the defenders of 
the country. Instead of meeting the rebuke which he feared, he 
received from her the following God-speed : 

" MY DEAR SON : I have been informed that you have enlisted 
in defense of our country. It does seem as though I could not let 


you go without seeing you again. But I feel that you are in a 
good cause. Do honor to yourself and your country, and do not 
turn your back upon the bullets, and may God bless and keep 

A boy with such a mother, we may well believe, made a good 
soldier. And how many such mothers there were all over the 
land, who, all unknown, gave proof of heroism not inferior to that 
which their sons displayed upon the field of battle. For, when 
a mother sends forth her son to the hazards of war, she perils a 
life far dearer than her own. 

On the 6th of May thirteen recruits came in for Capt. Erwin's 
company, from the town of Frankfort. One more had agreed to 
come, but failed to do so ; not, however, because he became cow- 
ardly or faint-hearted, but purely for conscientious reasons, as his 
letter, written to Mrs. Holden, one of the active women of the 
time in that burgh, will abundantly show. I give it, not only in 
justice to the individual himself, but to show that we who stayed 
at home might be, and in many instances were, as conscientious 
and patriotic as those who enlisted. Here is the letter verbatim et 
literatim et punctuatim : 

" My dear friend I sined my name Down to gow with you to 
enlist but Mrs. Holden there is something like a hundred and they 
only wanted sixty-nine but there was danger of me becos I was a 
large man that stroke my mind and for me to gow and crowd out 
others I theught that was not rite sow I prayed to my God three 
times for him to give mee wisdom and for him to direct my mind 
what to do and god gave me wisdom that it was not for me to gow 
and crowd others so may god speed you I prayed in sincerity and 
god answer my prayer sow good-bye." 

Ah ! who can tell what struggles it may have cost the writer 
of this letter to give tip his dreams of glory, and his a*mbition to 
serve his country, "becos he was a large man and might crowd out 
others ! " But such abnegation was not rare in those days! Many 
of us were altogether too large to go into the ranks, and were only 
fit for colonels or generals, and therefore were compelled to stay at 
home. But we have no chronicler, and the world will never 
know what struggles it cost us. 


Companies having now arrived from eight other counties in 
the district, one each from Kendall, Livingston, McLean, Putnam, 
Kankakee, Iroquois, Champaign and Dewitt, a regiment was organ- 
ized of these, and the two companies from Will, and was, as I have 
already said, known as the 20th Regiment of 111. Infantry. A 
full roster of the officers and muster roll of the men, from this 
county, will be found elsewhere, and a condensed history of its 
campaigns and battles. As we shall see, it soon became known as 
the " fighting regiment," and the " glorious 20th," names richly 
earned on many a battle-field. I will state here, that during the 
course of its history, our county was represented in the 20th regi- 
ment by 24 commissioned officers and 314 enlisted men ; a num- 
ber which justifies us in giving the history of the regiment as part 
of the war record of Will county. 

The excitement continued after it was uuderstood that the 20th 
regiment was full. It was felt that other calls would follow, and 
that other sacrifices must be made, before we should be through 
with the war. Business was a secondary consideration, and to aid 
in furthering preparation for the conflict which had been forced 
upon the country, was the grand object in which (as a general 
rule) all men and women, of all parties and creeds, heartily united. 
A'large share of those who enlisted at this time, and subsequently, 
had been the political opponents of the administration. Captains 
Erwin and Hildebrant had been captains of companies of the 
" Ever Readys " in the then late presidential campaign ; but now 
they threw aside party badges for the stars and stripes, and enlisted 
to serve under that commander whose election they had so lately 
opposed. The democrats of Joliet took down the hickory pole 
which had stood through the political campaign on the public 
square, gay with streamers and flags emblazoned with party watch- 
words and devices, and erected it in Camp Goodell, and run up the 
stars and stripes. The school houses, hotels, printing offices, shops 
and private houses everywhere, with few exceptions, displayed the 
patriotic bunting. 

I am not sure that those who had been political opponents of 
the administration hitherto, and did not even now endorse all its 
measures, are not entitled to greater credit, in thus throwing aside 



their prejudices and joining heartily in sustaining the administra- 
tion, than those who had been all along its political supporters. 

On the 15th of May, the regimental election was held at Camp 
Goodell. In this election our city took a deep interest. It was 
the expectation of our companies, and of our citizens, that our own 
citizen and soldier, Erwin, would be chosen Colonel. He had 
served with honor in the Mexican war, and had assisted in organ- 
izing and drilling the men, and none had higher claims to the 
office. Will county, also, had furnished two full companies, and 
might fairly claim the honor. But there was considerable compe- 
tition for the office. Among others, it was said at the time, that 
our (then) representative in congress was willing to serve the dis- 
trict in war, as he had in peace. But the successful competitor 
was C. C. Marsh, who had assisted in the organization of the camp, 
and was appointed by Gov. Yates its commander, and who had 
some military education. I do not know exactly whence the influ- 
ence came which thus controlled the election, and made the men 
willing to accept of a man altogether outside of the organization, 
and of the district as well. This, however, I believe, was true, 
that as so many regiments were in process of formation all over 
the state, and as the general government had called for, and would 
(at the time) accept only of six regiments, the question began to be 
doubtful whether the 20th would be able to get into the service ; 
and it was urged that Col. Marsh, or his friends, had some myste- 
rious influence which would secure to the regiment an early muster 
into the service of " Uncle Samuel." Be that as it may, he was 
duly elected Colonel, and our candidate, Erwin, was made Lieut. 
Colonel. J. W. Goodwin, the 1st Lieutenant of Co. B, was made 
Major. He had seen some service in the regular army. 

On the 22d of May, the president, without waiting the assem- 
bling of congress, it having become apparent that more than 75,000 
men, and more than 60 days, would be required to subdue the 
" riot," had made another call for 42,032 men, to serve three years, 
unless sooner discharged. To this call the state of Illinois was 
asked to furnish six regiments. The people were still a long way 
in advance of the general-in-chief in their apprehension of the 
gravity of the situation. Only six regiments of infantry would be 
accepted from this state, and by this time there were volunteers 


enough, in all the various rendezvous, to make at least twenty. 
There was difficulty in making the selection, but it was done by 
the state authorities, and the 20th regiment was one of those that 
drew a prize. Before Bartleson's company was mustered in, one 
of the men, W. F. Brightman, had the misfortune to get a broken 
leg, and thus got his discharge very early. He afterwards entered 
the service in a Michigan regiment. 

A dragoon company had been partly organized here, but on 
receipt of the news that the government would accept no more, it 
disbanded. Many other recruits, disgusted with the peace depart- 
ment, as they called it in their vexation, returned to their homes. 
Some entered the service of other states, and helped to fill up their 
quotas. It took " Bull Run " to wake up the government and 
the war department to the exigencies of the situation. 

Meanwhile things moved along at Camp Goodell. The regi- 
ment had got fully organized, and the officers and men were edu- 
cating themselves for the business in hand, new to most of them. 
Our citizens took a deep interest in everything relating to the 
camp, and were frequent visitors. Our ladies furnished in part 
the uniforms for Capt. Hildebrant's company, and aided in supply- 
ing rations. R. E. Goodell, Esq., presented the regiment with a 
fine flag, Judge McRoberts making a presentation speech. 

Although the air was full of rumors, that the regiment would 
not be accepted, yet on Wednesday, May 14th, they were officially 
accepted by the war department. 

It will be borne in mind that, at the commencement of the 
organization, the enlistment was only for three months. The 
department had therefore asked Col. Marsh if the regiment would 
enlist " for three years or the war," and the question having been 
submitted to the men, they responded, with but few exceptions, 
with a hearty "aye," and, on June 13th, the men were " mustered 
in " by Captain Pitcher, of the U, S. A. 

Monday, June 3d, the city was draped in mourning for the 
death of Stephen A. Douglas, and on Tuesday, June 10th, funeral 
obsequies were observed. All business was suspended, and all 
classes joined in a sincere and heartfelt tribute to the memory of 
the gifted statesman. A large and imposing procession, composed 
of citizens, the various civic societies, and the 20th regiment, with 


a funeral car, &c., formed at the court house square, and marched 
to Camp Goodell, where an eloquent eulogy was pronounced by 
Judge Randall, and other appropriate services were had. 

And now was illustrated, in a marked manner, the fact that 
sadness and joy, gloom and pleasure, walk side by side, and jostle 
each other in the drama of life. For, as it was in the days of 
Noah, and at the siege of Jerusalem, and is now, and probably 
always will be in this world, so, even in this solemn day of our 
country's history, " they married and were given in marriage ;" 
and hence it came to pass, that the solemn scene of which we have 
just spoken, gave place on the next day to one of altogether 
another character. The black funeral train the solemn dirge 
the measured tread, and beat of drum, gives place to a gay caval- 
cade, flaunting colors, and the merry laugh of the light-hearted. 
Suddenly the music changes " from grave to gay," for now a wed- 
ding is on the tapis. This wedding is part of our military history 
and must be related. It was an agreeable episode in the graver 
life of the camp, varying its tedium and monotony, and relieving 
the mind of the oppressive sense of the transitory nature of human 
hopes and ambitions, which were awakened by the scenes of the 
day before. 

The parties to this wedding were the gallant major of the regi- 
ment, John W. Goodwin, and Miss Jennie Dalton, one of Joliet's 
most beautiful and lovely maidens. And most appropriate for 
such a ceremony was the time and place selected. It was an 
evening in the month of June the month of roses mid- June, when 
the moon nearly at its full illumined with its gentle radiance the 
campus, throwing a most bewitching glamour over the scene, and, 
as it shone through the scattered oaks, checkered the ground with 
a mosaic more beautiful than any ever designed by human hands. 
No carpeted saloon, however gorgeous in upholstery and brilliant 
with gaslight, could equal it in beauty. The ceremony took place 
in front of headquarters. The regiment was first drawn up in line, 
as on dress parade, and then formed in a hollow square, enclosing 
the gentlerfien and ladies from the city, who had come thither on 
foot, on horseback, and in carriages, to witness the ceremony, 
which, common as it is, is always interesting, and which was now 
a novel one in respect to time, and place, and surroundings. In 


due time the principals made their entree with Chaplain Button, 
and supported by Captain DeWolf and Miss Anna Stevens, and 
Captain Hildebrant and lady, all mounted. The beautiful bride 
was tastefully dressed in a riding habit of blue silk, with zouave 
cap and feather, while a sash of red, white and blue, passing across 
her snowy shoulders and lingering for a moment about her slender 
waist, fell upon her horse's side. The major was dressed in the 
full uniform of his rank, and was a fine specimen of manly beauty 
and of martial ease and grace. As they made their appearance, 
the square opened to receive them, the men gave the military 
salute, and then, amid silence unbroken save by the gentle rustle 
of the leaves in the evening breeze, the few words of the ceremony 
which linked two lives together were quickly spoken, and the 
parties pronounced man and wife. A brief prayer of blessing 
followed, and then the boys broke forth into three rousing cheers 
that made the welkin ring, and the band broke forth into jubilant 
music. The parties then rode around the square, and received the 
hearty congratulations of the crowd, and the hearty good wishes 
of all, and then took the lead in the march of the gay cavalcade 
back to the city. Altogether, it was a scene which seemed to bring 
back the days of chivalry. One could almost fancy it a chapter 
taken out of Ivanhoe. And here, like the novelist, we take our 
leave of the happy pair. In many cases, no doubt, this is the best 
place to take leave, while the glamour of romance is still over the 
scene, and everything is lovely ! 

On the 1 7th of June, another flag presentation occurred at the 
camp, when the ladies of Joliet presented Co. F, Capt. Hildebrant, 
with a beautiful flag. The speech on this occasion was made in 
behalf of the ladies by J. E. Streeter, Esq., and the reply was 
made by the gallant captain of the company. 

The day following (June 19th), the 20th regiment left Camp 
Goodell, bound for Alton. Before leaving, it was paid off by 
Alexander Mclntosh, Esq., acting as paymaster. It is perhaps 
worth mentioning that this payment was made in specie and was 
the last glimpse we had of the precious metals from that day even 
until now. At six o'clock p. m,, the boys bade adieu to Camp 
Goodell, which had been their home for something over a month, 
and took their march for the St. Louis depot. There they were 


met by the Joliet Cornet Band, and a large concourse of citizens, 
many of the friends and relatives of the boys, who were now going 
forth to test their endurance and courage on many a weary march, 
and in many a sanguinary conflict with the enemies of the Union. 
It was a scene of mingled joy and sorrow, huzzas and sighs. 
Mothers parted from their sons, wives from husbands, sisters from 
brothers, and sweethearts from lovers, and none, even the most 
indifferent, could look on unaffected. Handkerchiefs did double 
duty, now fluttering in the air, as fair hands waved their farewells, 
and now wiping from loved faces the gathering tears. As we 
shall follow the 20th elsewhere in its course, we shall find, alas ! 
that many of these partings were final. 

The camp at the fair grounds was now vacant for a while, and 
silence reigned where so lately all had been noise and bustle. 

Other towns were active. A company was organized at Wil- 
mington by Capt. (afterwards Major) Munn, and, at Wilmington 
and vicinity, another by Captain Hooker, known as the Florence 
Rifles. These became companies A and E of the 39th Regt. of 
Illinois Infantry, popularly known as the Yates Phalanx, the 
scene of whose exploits was in Virginia, Maryland, and South 
Carolina. In this regiment our county was represented by 19 
commissioned officers and 200 enlisted men, a fact which will 
demand some mention of its history in its proper place. 

The city of Wilmington was early active. Mr. M. N. M. 
Stewart, and others, commenced immediately on the first call to 
raise a cavalry company, and it was fast filling up, when, learning 
that there was no probability that it would be accepted, it was dis- 
banded, and the members went, many of them, into other organ- 
izations. Stewart joined the independent company which was 
raised in Chicago, known as " Barker's Dragoons," which served 
four months, six weeks at Cairo, and then in Western Virginia, 
as McClellan's escort. Stewart divides with Bartleson the honor 
of being the first recruit from Will county, having enlisted at 
Chicago the 16th day of April. And here let me anticipate a lit- 
tle, and say that the people of Wilmington were very active and 
enthusiastic throughout the war. The ladies very early organized 
an efficient soldiers' aid society, which held weekly meetings, or 
sociables, and contributed largely to the cause. And this organ- 


ization continued active and efficient so long as aid was needed. 
During this time Mrs. A. W. Bowen visited the hospitals at Mur- 
freesboro, and on her return made an appeal through the county 
papers, which awakened new zeal in the cause. 

Doctors Bowen and Willard, and R. N. Waterman, Esq., were 
appointed by the governor to visit Vicksburg, and look after the 
wants of Our soldiers. Dr. Willard also visited the bloody field 
of Shiloh in his professional capacity. 

Part of Company G, of the 39th, was also raised in Homer, 
by Hon. Amos Savage and Oscar F. Rudd, (who were lieutenants, 
and afterwards captains). Wm. B. Slaughter, formerly pastor of 
the Methodist church in this city, and stationed at Blue Island at 
the breaking out of the war, was the first captain of the company. 
He was a man who could preach the Gospel of Peace, and also 
fight the gospel of Avar, as his name might indicate. Having a 
Savage and a Slaughter in command of this company, it of course 
did some good fighting, as may be seen in its history elsewhere. 

And so passed the summer of 1861. The Lockport company 
of artillery came home in August, after a four months' service as 
militia, and also many of the Plainfield Battery, who did not en- 
list in the battery for three years. Many of both companies entered 
the service in other organizations. Captain McAllister reorgan- 
ized his battery at Cairo, and called for recruits from Will county. 

During this month, also, a cavalry company, which became 
Company D of the 4th Cavalry, Capt. Felter, of Lockport, was 
raised mostly in this county. The Secretary of War had, in the 
meantime, after Bull Run, authorized Gov. Yates to accept of all 
companies which should offer for the three years' service. 

Having by this time sent a good many men to the war, we all 
felt not only a general interest as citizens in every day's report 
from the various points occupied by our armies, but a special and 
personal interest. The daily papers were eagerly devoured morn- 
ing and evening. How impatient we got at the delay in army 
movements ! How we railed against the red tape ! How clearly 
we all saw just what ought to be done ! What accomplished 
military strategists we became all of a sudden ! especially if we 
happened to be editors or reporters ! How easily we could break 
the " back bone of the rebellion," if we only had the ordering of 


affairs, civil and military ! It seemed as easy as managing your 
neighbor's business, or bringing up his children ! 

During this month, (August) also, four of our distinguished 
civilians Judge Norton, C. E. Munger, B. F. Russell and J. C. 
Williams, paid a visit to the 20th regiment, then stationed at Cape 
Girardeau. They wanted to see how the boys got along, and also 
to get a glimpse -just a glimpse of the elephant. The boys, 
you may well believe, were glad to see them. They had their 
pockets full of currency, and were liberal in dispensing it for the 
comfort of the boys. While they were there they expressed the 
wish that Jeff. Thompson would make his appearance, so they 
could see a little fun. Well, one day scouts came in who reported 
that Jeff, was approaching the Cape in full force. Here was just 
what they had been longing for. Bat it not unfrequeutly h:ip;>ein 
that we are greatly disappointed when our prayers are answered. 
They took a sober second thought. A seige would be tediou--. 
They might get short of rations; and our distinguished civilians 
liked their rations full and regular, as any one may see by taking 
a look at some who still survive. And tlion, if Jeff, shoukl have 
artillery their stay might be disagreeable. Those shells and can- 
non balls had a disagreeable way with them, and might not respect 
the persons of civilians, however distinguished. And then they 
were some of them large men and might he in the way, and the 
military might feel embarrassed at their presence ! The more they 
thought about it, the plainer it appeared that however anxious 
they might be to see the elephant, it was their duty to sacrifice 
their curiosity, and to get to some place where they would not be 
in the way. So they suggested to Col. Marsh the propriety of 
chartering one of the boats which lay in the river, and setting them 
across beyond the jurisdiction of Jeff. Thompson. To this propo- 
sition Col. Marsh assented, and the distinguished civilians were 
accordingly landed upon the Illinois side of the river, and having 
put the broad Mississippi .between them and Jeff., they shook off 
the dust of their feet as a testimony that they held him and his 
rebel hordes in utter contempt, and then made their way to the 
nearest railroad station. As it turned out, however, Jeff, gave the 
Cape a wide berth. But a better joke happened to one of these 
distinguished civilians on the way home. They had stopped for 


dinner, and one of their number became so absorbed in his devo- 
tions to the duty of the hour, that he lingered at the table after the 
rest of the party had got aboard, and failed entirely to hear the 
warning whistle, and on walking leisurely out upon the plat- 
form, was astonished to find no train there, and, on raising his 
eyes toward the north, saw it rapidly diminishing in the distance. 
Here was a situation indeed ! He did not swear at least I don't 
think he did for he was a good Baptist deacon, but he thought 
very hard and very fast. He was decidedly disgusted with the 
situation. He examined his pocket book and found that he had 
paid out his last currency for his dinner and his cigar, and had 
absolutely nothing left for subsistence or transportation. He had 
been very generous with the boys at the Cape, and here he was, a 
hundred and fifty miles or more from Mrs. W. and the children, 
with empty pockets. He congratulated himself, however, that he 
was out of Jeff. Thompson's reach, and that he had just laid in 
rations that would last him twenty- four hours at least. And there 
I shall be obliged to leave him, for I never heard how he got 
out of the predicament. All accounts I have been able to gather 
of the adventure, leave him there with his hands in his pockets, 
gazing dumbfounded at the fast-vanishing train. But he did get 
home some way, and afterwards served the country nobly as an 
officer in the 100th regiment, and never run again, except at Chick- 
amauga, when his mustang was shot from under him, and he was 
almost surrounded by the rebs, when, though his legs are not so 
long as some of his neighbors', he made 2:40 through the woods to 
Chattanooga, and thus showed for the second time that 

" He who fights and runs away, 
May live to fight another day." 

The correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, at Cairo, in a letter 
to that paper some time in August, 1861, giving an account of the 
fight at Charleston, Missouri, thus speaks of a Joliet boy : 

"A young boy named Hartley Wixom, of Joliet, a body ser- 
vant of Col. Wallace, of the llth, made a hero of himself, and 
deserves the most honorable mention. The lad is but fifteen years 
old, active and intelligent. During the fight he noticed one of the 
rebel troopers retreating toward him ; quickly lifting his revolver 


(the young chap, by the way, was armed with a navy pistol given 
him by Col. Wallace,) he fired and brought the rebel to the ground. 
Running up, he stripped the fellow of his haversack and canteen, 
and, seizing the horse, led him off to a place of safety as a prize. 
The young soldier afterwards captured two more horses, and 
brought them safely off the field. He was very active in his atten- 
tions to the wounded, bandaging their cuts, and providing for their 
comfort in various ways. The boys of the 22d are proud of that 
lad, and he will not fail of making a great man for want of friends 
to assist him." 

War meetings are again the order of the day. Saturday, Aug. 
31st, a rousing one was held at the court house, Hon. S. W. Bowen 
in the chair, A. N. Waterman, secretary. Speeches were made by 
Bowen, Osgood, Randall, Elder Crews, Norton, Breckenridge, 
Snapp, &c. The meeting was harmonious, although criticism was 
freely indulged democrats and republicans cordially sympathizing 
with the government in its efforts to put down the rebellion, and 
strong resolutions in support of the government were passed. 

Chaplain Button, of the 20fch, was home early in September, 
and lectured in the court house, Sept. 17th, giving us the news 
from the regiment, and his experience in Missouri. He spoke 
nearly two hours to an interested auditory. Among other things, 
he said that it was generally conceded that the 20th was the best 
regiment in the service in Missouri. 

During this month, also, Capt. C. W. Keith was engaged in 
raising an artillery company in this county, having his headquar- 
ters at Joliet. This became Battery I of the 2d artillery, and was 
better known afterwards as Barnett's Battery, a history of which 
will be found elsewhere. 

About this time, also, Dr, Dan forth laid down the lancet, and 
took up the larger, if not more deadly weapon the sword and, 
assisted by Sergeant Grundy and Lieut. Ira D. Swain, engaged in 
getting up a company of cavalry for the Fremont Hussars. This 
became Co. F of the 13th cavalry, of which Dr. Danforth was 
made captain. 

At the same time another company, which became Co. C, 13th 
cavalry, was being enlisted in the eastern part of the county, of 


which Adam Sachs, of Monee, became captain, and Adolph Schule, 
of the same place, lieut. Our German citizens seem to have pre- 
ferred the cavalry branch of the service, although that nationality 
had its representatives in all our organizations not excepting the 
Irish Legion ; many having had military training and experience in 
the " faderland," were all the better prepared to do their part, as 
they bravely did, for the salvation of their adopted country. 

A meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held Sept. 17th, at 
which R. E. Goodell, supervisor of the town of Joliet, reported 
that he had received from the state authorities an auditor's war- 
rant for $1,579, which amount was refunded to the county for the 
subsistence of volunteers: which amount was ordered to be placed 
in the treasury to the credit of the war fund. 

The treasurer was also instructed to pay the bills for the uni- 
forms of Capt. Erwin's company, amounting to $950. Messrs. 
Reid, Kahler and Smith, committee to inquire into the needs of 
the families of soldiers, reported that there would be about sixty 
families, and about one hundred and twenty children, in need of 
aid, and that there remained an unexpended balance of $225 of 
the May appropriation, whereupon a further sum of $3,775 was 
appropriated for that purpose. The weekly sum of one dollar and 
twenty-five cents was allowed for the wife, or head of family, and 
fifty cents for each child under twelve years of age. Such relief 
was also extended to the families of such as might have lost their 
lives in the service. 

Sept. 26th was observed as a day of fasting and prayer, in con- 
formity with the president's proclamation. Union services were 
held at the Methodist church, and business was generally sus- 
pended. A sermon was preached by Elder Crews. 

I suppose everybody has heard of the famous N. Y. 7th regi- 
ment, and knows something of its exploits in the early days of the 
war. But most of my readers, I presume, will be surprised to 
learn that Will county can justly claim a share in the glory of its 
achievements. I was myself greatly surprised when, in the course 
of my researches, I stumbled upon the fact. But it is as true as 
it is strange. Our highly esteemed fellow-citizen, Mansfield Young, 
Esq., (sometimes called " Map," for short) was a member of this 
renowned regiment, and inasmuch as he was a resident of this 


county, both before and since the war, I think it is no robbery to 
claim him as our representative, and to insist that the glory of his 
achievements which were neither few nor small should be put 
to the credit side of Will county. Although, in a most 
remarkable manner, he escaped being in any of the great 
battles of the war, he went through a great many "scrim- 
mages," and made and received, both on his own hook, and with 
his company, a great many heavy charges. On one occasion, 
although not killed, he was buried yes, buried alive for the 
good of his country ! It happened in this wise : While the regi- 
ment was debarking from a railway train, the men of his company 
all heavy men stood drawn up in order of battle upon the 
platform, ready to make one of their characteristic charges, (there 
was a restaurant across the street), when suddenly the platform, 
which had been built over an excavation about ten feet deep, (not 
having been constructed for such heavy weights), gave way, and 
the entire company went down out of sight. The captain, who 
was in the middle of the street, looked around on hearing the noise, 
and lo ! the company had disappeared as mysteriously as did that 
of Dathan and Abiram when the earth opened and swallowed them 
up. Of course, divers wounds, bruises and sprains, more or less 
serious, was the result. One man had a bayonet thrust through 
the place where he carried his rations not his haversack. As for 
our hero, Mr. Young, besides getting his temper sadly out of 
joint, he suffered a most painful dislocation of the heel of his boot ! 
As the boot was subsequently heeled, and as our friend ultimately 
recovered his serenity of temper, and has maintained it ever since, 
I am happy to say that this is not an obituary notice. 

October, the war meetings are still the order of the day, and 
enlistments are going forward all over the county for various com- 
panies and regiments. The Yates Phalanx, in which, as has been 
said, Will county was largely represented, passed through Joliet, 
on its way from Chicago to the seat of war, and was warmly 
greeted by our citizens. Union sociables now became a feature of 
the times, when men and women, old and young, of all religious 
and political creeds, got together, and worked, and talked, and 
sung, and contributed for the good of the cause. 

About this time, (Oct. 1, 1861,) the ci!y of Wilmington enjoyed 


a first-class sensation. This was no less than a visit from the noted 
correspondent of -the London Times, Dr. W. H. Russell some- 
times called Bull Run Russell the persistent slanderer of the 
north, and the apologist for the rebels. Apeing the example of 
the Prince of Wales, of the year before, he visited "Wilmington, 
with a retinue of sportsmen and toadies, and recreated himself 
with a week's pursuit of game in the groves, and on the prai- 
ries in that vicinity. Not content with doing this on the secular 
days of the week, he and his friends chose to outrage the pious 
feelings of the citizens of that city, by continuing their sport upon 
the sabbath, and thus disturbed the holy meditations and devotions 
of some who had never been so disturbed before. For this offense 
against good order, wholesome American law, and Wilmington 
piety, Dr. Russell was arrested, brought before his honor, Justice 
Cobb, and mulcted in the sum of three dollars and costs. 

It is to be hoped that this severe, but justly merited discipline, 
worked at least an outward reformation in the morals and manners 
of this proud representative of " the Thunderer," and gave him a 
wholesome respect for Illinois law and Wilmington justice. It is 
also to be hoped that the citizens of Wilmington still retain their 
zeal for the sanctity of the sabbath ! 

In this month, also, a recruiting officer was here procuring 
recruits for the 64th regiment, known as the Yates Sharpshooters. 
Fred. W. Matteson, formerly a Joliet boy, son of ex-Gov. Matte- 
son, held the rank of major in this regiment, and was active in 
getting recruits here. A little later, in November, Capt. Grover 
recruited his company for this regiment, and J. S. Reynolds, Ward 
Knickerbocker, and others, recruited men in other parts of the 
county for the same. Later in the war, in 1864, Captain Logan 
raised a company, in this county, for the same regiment. Will 
county had in all in this regiment 17 commissioned officers and 
about 300 enlisted men. Its history, and the full roster of officers 
and muster roll of the men from this county, will be given in its 
proper place. It was only in this regiment that Will county can 
claim the honor of a General, although we had men worthy of the 
honor in other regiments. Lt. Col. J. S. Reynolds, of New Lenox, 
the son of one of our oldest Hickory Creek families, who entered the 
regiment as 2d lieutenant of Co. F, and rose to lieutenant colonel, 


was breveted brigadier general toward the close of the war, for 
conspicuous skill and bravery at the battle of Bentonville. Par- 
ties from other states were also trying to enlist men, but Governor 
Yates soon issued his proclamation prohibiting recruiting for 
organizations of other states. 

Lieut. O'Kane, of the 23d, known as Mulligan's, or the Irish 
Brigade, also opened an office in Joliet, and obtained some recruits. 
During the fall of 1861, also, Co. I, of the 46th regiment, was 
raised in the town of Plainfield, of which Charles P. Stimpson was 
captain, and James Ballard 1st lieutenant. About 60 men enlisted 
from that patriotic town. 

At the same time, Co. K of the 8th (Farnsworth's) cavalry, 
was raised largely from the towns of Plainfield and Wheatland, 
while Co. F, of the same regiment, was principally raised in Crete 
and other eastern towns. Over thirty of our German citizens from 
Crete also enlisted in Co. D, of the 9th cavalry, and, during the 
winter, the town of Channahon furnished fifteen men for the 10th 
cavalry. Thirty-six men, from various parts of the county, also 
joined the 53d regiment, Col. Cushman, of Ottawa. 

During the season the people often turned out to see different 
regiments passing through on the railroads for the seat of war. 
Among others, Col. Kellogg's Cavalry Regiment, from Michigan, 
passed through in November. Coming in on the Cut-Off, they 
were treated to a collation at the depot, by our whole-souled and 
patriotic citizen, Calvin Knowlton, Esq. In this regiment was 
a Joliet boy, Harmon F. Nicholson, who afterwards rose to the 
rank of Major, and made a very efficient and brave soldier and 
officer. And this was another instance in which patriotism got the 
better of party ism. 

In October, 1861, George R. Dyer, of Joliet, received the ap- 
pointment of quartermaster in the volunteer service, with therank 
of captain, and was stationed at Pilot Knob, Mo. 

In the latter part of October we were made proud by receiving 
the news of the battle of Fredericktown, in which the 20th got 
their first taste of war in earnest, and in which they won their 
first honors, and spilled the first blood, an account of which will 
be given in the history of the regiment. Happily, in this instance 
our joy was not abated by any list of casualities. 


There was nothing of special interest in our county history 
during the winter of 1861-2, until the movements of Grant against 
Forts Henry and Donaldson. Knowing that the 20th regiment, 
and also McAllister's Battery, were in the movement, we felt a 
special as well as a general interest in the expedition. And when 
we heard of the success of the expedition in the taking of Fort 
Donaldson, there were of course great rejoicings. These, however, 
were sadly dampened when we heard that Col. Erwin had fallen 
in the struggle. A public meeting was immediately called, and 
measures taken for receiving and rendering due honors to his re- 
mains. In due time they arrived in charge of Major Bartleson, 
whereupon funeral services were held at the Methodist Church, 
from which a large procession escorted the remains to the Rock 
Island depot, and a large committee of citizens accompanied them 
to Ottawa, where they were interred. The common council of the 
oity also passed appropriate resolutions and attended the funeral 
services in a body. 

The 22d of February was observed by the citizens of Joliet, 
in an unusually interesting manner. There were religious services 
in the Methodist church, and afterwards a meeting at the court 
house, where an eloquent oration on the life and character of 
Washington was delivered by Judge Parks. The matter of special 
interest was the appearance of Bartleson, and the enthusiasm with 
which he was received. The sight of the man who was just from 
the bloody field of Donaldson, in which he had taken an active 
and heroic part, awakened the most intense enthusiasm. Being 
conducted to the stand he made a thrilling speech ; in the course 
of which he gave a graphic account of the battle. Soon the pri- 
soners taken at Fort Donaldson began to pass through the city on 
their way to Camp Douglas. Crowds of our citizens were, of 
course, attracted to the depot to take a look at the conquered rebs. 
They were, however, treated courteously and kindly, and in con- 
versation expressed their surprise at the humane manner in which 
they had been treated since the surrender. 

Among the killed at Donaldson were James Bassett, of this 
city, who had been shot in the head and killed instantly. The 
oommon council of the city procured the bringing home of the 
body, and the funeral took place at the Methodist church, and a 


respectable burial was given it at Oakwood. A donation party 
for the benefit of the bereaved family was held in the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, Friday evening, February 28th. The common 
council of the city at its meeting February 19th, had, on motion 
of alderman Howk, passed a resolution appointing a committee to 
expend whatever money might be necessary in procuring the bodies 
of those killed at Fort Donaldson, and necessary relief for their 

The interest of our citizens was soon turned to Island No. 10, 
in the expedition against which our county was represented by 
Capt. Grover's company, and others in the 64th, and Capt. Keith's 

Early in April we received the news of its surrender, and al- 
most simultaneously we received the news of the great battle of 
Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing, fought the 6th and 7th of April. 
The account of this battle, in its general aspects and results, has 
been frequently given in the histories of the war, and its general 
features are familiar to all well informed persons. So far as it 
affected our own county, the details will be found in the history of 
the 20th Regiment and McAllister's Battery, both of which bore 
an honorable part in the two days' struggle. On hearing of this 
battle our fellow-citizens, George Woodruff, William Tonner, B. 
F. Russell, Otis Hardy, J. T. McDougall, and others, together 
with Dr. A. L. McArthur, left for the scene, to look after the dead 
and wounded from our county, Dr. McArthur, and Dr. E. R. Wil- 
lard, of Wilmington, going in a professional capacity. Soon after, 
we also heard of the death, from typhoid fever, brought on by 
exposure at Donaldson, of Albert S. Randall, son of Judge Ran- 
dall, of this city, a member of Co. F, 20th 111. 

Among other casualties of this battle, was the loss by Major 
Bartleson of his left arm. Lieut. Cleghorn was also severely 
wounded in the arm. Other casualties are noted in the history of 
the 20th, and of McAllister's battery. I must, however, mention 
here the fact that all accounts spoke in the highest praise of the 
efforts of Chaplain Button in behalf of the wounded, although suf- 
fering himself from sickness brought on by exposure at Donald- 
son. He attended unweariedly upon the wounded, carrying fence 
rails to build them fires, and working until he fell down exhausted. 


In the list of wounded in McAllister's battery, I find the name 
of " George Woodruff." Now, I am pretty sure this was not our 
friend, the banker, as he did not start for the scene until the battle 
was over, and I don't think it was George H. Woodruff, the drug- 
ger, for he kept at a safe distance all through the war, and I have 
often heard him admit that he could never " bide the smell of 
powder." On examination, I find that the man was from Indiana. 
Let us be grateful, however, that the name has been enrolled 
among the heroes even though it was done by a Hoosier ! 

Nicholas Shaw, son of James Shaw, belonging to the 45th 111., 
who was taken with other wounded at Shiloh to St. Louis, and 
who died there from his wounds, April 1 9th, was brought home 
from that place by his father, and the body deposited in Oakwood. 

The funeral of young Randall took place on the 27th, at the 
M. E. church, Rev. Mr. Kidd preaching the sermon, at which 
there was a large attendance. 

Friday evening, April 25th, a serenade' was given to the 
wounded officers of the 20th, Major Bartleson and Capt. Cleghorn, 
with speeches, &c. 

Orrin Johnson, of the 57th regiment, Jacob B. Worthingham 
and Reuben Atkins, of the 20th, were also brought home by their 
friends, being severely wounded. The remains of James Scanlan, 
also of Co. B, who died of disease contracted in the service, were 
also brought home and the funeral held, which was attended by 
Bartleson, who reported him as a brave soldier. 

Our county was also represented at Donaldson and Shiloh by 
Co. I, in the 46th regiment, known as the Plainfield company, in 
which we had three commissioned officers and 55 men, four of 
whom were killed at Shiloh. 

Sergeant, afterwards Lieut., James F. Branch, who had been 
home wounded from Donaldson, had just returned to the regiment, 
and although not fully recovered, he took part in the two days' 
battle, and bore a heroic part. But the exposure was so great, 
that he was compelled to return home again to recruit. 

Capt. Grover was home on a brief visit in July, to recuperate. 
He had been in all the engagements under Pope, and seen much 
service. He reported that but one of his company had been 



killed and four wounded. Alas ! the next time Captain Grover 
came back, he was brought to be laid in Oakwood ! 

During the last week in June, occurred the terrible battles 
before Richmond under McClellan, and the retreat to Harrison's 
Landing, and July 1st, Father Abraham, at the urgent suggestion 
of the loyal governors of 17 states, called for 300,000 more. It 
was, alas ! evident that the backbone of the rebellion was still 
sound. A deep feeling of anxiety pervaded the public mind, and 
great disappointment at the result of the struggle before Richmond, 
from which so much had been hoped, for many had expected that 
Richmond would certainly be taken, and the war closed, at least 
that the "backbone would be broken." The north was for a 
moment almost disheartened. But a reaction soon comes on, and 
fever supervenes, and the country is aroused to new effort and 
fresh and greater sacrifices. In this feeling our county shares. 
Immediately, we hear of first one, and then another, of our citi- 
zens becoming authorized to enlist companies, under the call of 
the president. Our own governor issues a proclamation, calling 
upon the citizens of the state to rally at the call. 

In response, we first hear that A. N. Waterman is authorized 
to raise a company. Next, Mr. Munger follows, and opens an 
office with Justice Heath, in the old clerk's office, on the corner of 
the public square. Thomas Hayes, Dan. O'Connor, J. G. Elwood, 
Dr. Kelly, H. B. Goddard, and ex-sheriff Bartlett, quickly follow. 
Soon, too, we hear that Dr. Bacon and J. S. McDonald, of Lock- 
port; Albert H. Amsden, of Dupage; McLaughry, of Homer ; Bur- 
rell, of Plainfield; Gardner and Bowen, of Wilmington, with others 
assisting them, are all actively engaged in raising companies. Patri- 
otic men mostly young men, flock to their standards. A special 
meeting of the Board of Supervisors is again called, and our city 
papers urge a liberal appropriation by way of bounty and aid to 
the families of volunteers. 

War meetings are again the order of the day, and, as Carlyle 
would say, the flood-gates of gab were opened. Speeches by Good- 
speed, Parks, Bowen, Randall, Breckenridge, Snapp, Starr, Casey, 
Norton, Waterman, Father Farrelly, &c., &c. 

If zeal lags, whisperings of a draft to come revives it. The 
business men of Joliet and Lockport held a meeting and passed 


resolutions calling upon the supervisors to meet and make liberal 
appropriations. June 23d, 1862, the common council appropri- 
ated $50 for a sick soldier. Even a common council can do a 
good thing ! 

The Republican, of that date, says : " W. C. Wood offers a 
bounty of $100 to the first company that is completed to its maxi- 
mum in the 100th regiment." Other citizens, I believe, made 
similar offers, and, it is to be hoped paid them ! 

The supervisors met July 29th, and appropriated $60,000 for 
a war fund, and took the necessary steps for raising the money. 
They voted a bounty of $60 to each volunteer, or $5 monthly to 
his family, as he might elect. War meetings and enlistments are 
going on all over the county. Twelve companies, six of whom 
had their headquarters in Joliet, were being raised in Will county. 
Soon the idea of a Will county regiment is suggested, and takes 
with everybody, and soon authority is obtained to that effect, and 
the old barracks on the fair grounds are put in order, and the 
Will county regiment, the 100th Illinois, are in possession, and 
fast organizing the companies and the regiment. This is soon 
accomplished, for the enthusiasm and excitement throughout the 
county surpasses that of the previous year. 

An enthusiastic meeting was held at the Linebarger school 
house the 26th of July, and 20 recruits raised. One lady, a Mrs. 
Bush, gave up her fourth son to the cause, and said, if she had 
four more, they should go. This was by no means an isolated 
instance. A Mrs. Noble, of Wilmington, gave two boys to the 
100th regiment, and she subsequently gave one to the 39th regi- 
ment. These were all she had of sufficient age. These widows, I 
think, exceeded in their spirit of sacrifice the widow that Christ 
commended. Like her, they gave all they had, and gave some- 
thing better and dearer far than money. 

These two Noble boys sons of a Noble mother were taken 
prisoners at Chickamauga, and taken to Andersonville. One lived 
through it ; the other died a martyr to his country. 

Another woman gave her only son, and her husband too, and 
both were sacrificed on the altar of her country. Of the son, Ser- 
geant Holmes, one of the bra vest boys in the 100th, we shall have 
something to say in the history of that regiment. The husband 
(Ellery B. Mitchell) died early in the service at Nashville. 


The companies comprising the 100th held their elections, 
and the regiment held its election, at Camp Erwin, as the camp 
was now called. Only one man was thought of for colonel, 
Fred. A. Bartleson, the gallant major of the 20th. The full 
account of this, and the roster of the officers and full muster roll 
of the regiment, together with a detailed history of its campaigns, 
will be found in its proper place. 

One of our resident physicians, Dr. A. L. McArthur, received 
at this time an appointment as medical examiner on the state 
board, a post of great usefulness and responsibility. Dr. A. W. 
Heise accepted the appointment of surgeon to the regiment, and 
Drs. E. Harwood and H. T. Woodruff were appointed assistant 

But the 100th regiment does not absorb all the interest, or all 
the volunteers. The " Casey Guards," Capt. O'Connor's company, 
joined the 90th regiment, or Irish Legion. A company was also 
raised in Lockport by some of the well-known citizens of Irish 
nationality, which joined the same regiment, under the captaincy of 
Patrick O'Marah. Our county was represented in this regiment 
by eight commissioned officers and 140 enlisted men, and a sketch 
of its history will be found elsewhere. 

During the month of August, also, Captain (afterwards Major) 
Holden, of Frankfort, enlisted some men for the Holden Guards, 
which became Co. E of the 88th regiment. Some twenty young 
men of Lockport also enlisted in the Chicago Mercantile Battery, 
and the 72d, or 1st Board of Trade regiment, obtained twenty-five 
men from our county, mostly from the towns of Dupage and Chan- 

The subject of the draft is getting to be one of great interest. 
A census of the county is taken, and it is ascertained that in Joliet 
there are 1,536, and in the county 5,963, subject to military duty. 

About this time (August) the excitement in respect to the war, 
and a draft, &c., was temporarily overshadowed by one of great 
local interest. I refer to the mysterious disappearance of one of 
our prominent citizens, which I think ought to be noticed in this 
history, as, although the subject of it was not a military character, 
yet he wielded a trenchant pen for the Union, and it is often said, 
" the pen is mightier than the sword." He was first missed on 


the morning of August 20th. For the first time in many years, 
he failed to make his appearance on the street, or in the editorial 

As soon as this failure to appear was noticed, a diligent inquiry 
was instituted, but it failed to elicit any information. People soon 
began to get excited. The disappearance of so prominent a citizen, 
a man of such regular habits, whose appearance upon the street at 
a certain hour, moving with steady step, and thoughtful brow, his 
head full of grave editorials on the situation, and his heart bur- 
dened with a nation's dangers, had come to be looked for as a 
thing as fixed as the rising of the sun the disappearance of such 
a man would of course produce great excitement as soon as known. 
Conjecture was soon busy; rumors were as plenty as blackberries. 
Some, knowing his patriotic ardor, thought that he had enlisted 
in McAllister's Battery, or the Irish Brigade, (as it will appear in 
the sequel, this last conjecture was not far out of the way). Oth- 
ers, knowing his chronic dislike to a draft, intimated that he had 
gone to Canada that he might not witness so disagreeable an oper- 
ation. None but " Black Republicans " entertained so slanderous 
a thought. Quite a plausible conjecture was that he had gone to 
Washington to tell his old friend Abe, how the war ought to be 
conducted. Again, some who had closely read his editorials, were 
inclined to believe that he had gone clean daft, from the negro- 
phobia, which had for some time disturbed his mental equilib- 
rium. For he had made a close estimate of the number of negroes 
that would be quartered upon the city in the event of their being 
freed and sent north, and found that Joliet would have to stand 
an infliction of at least 1200. Such a prospect, it was thought, 
might have produced temporary insanity, and perhaps led to sui- 
cide ; and the people were about dragging the basins, when the 
anxiety of all was relieved by reading in the Signal of August 
26th, the following announcement: 

." Married in this city, on the 19th inst.,by Rev. P. Farrelly, Mr. Calneh 
Zarley and Miss Annie Keegan." 

The public took a long breath again ! I have a word or two 
more to say about this chronic " negrophobia" with which "Cal " 
was tormented. This was truly a melancholy case. Many will 
remember how sorely he was afflicted, and how sorely he wflicted 


upon his readers his gloomy prognostications of evil from this 
dreaded irruption of darkies from the south. But I presume that 
the reader will be surprised that this hallucination took a poetic 
shape. And while all my readers know that the war gave rise 
to a wonderful amount of poetry, they will hardly be prepared 
for the announcement that Joliet had its war poet and least of 
all, that his name was "Cal." But such was the fact ! And if 
this history serves no other good purpose, it shall at least have the 
merit of doing tardy justice to neglected genius ! In looking over 
the files of the Joliet Signal, which have been kindly lent me, and 
from which I have gathered much valuable matter, I came upon 
the following choice poetical moreeau. I think I cannot be mis- 
taken in the authorship. Besides the place where it was found, 
the fact that it is not credited to any other source, and that it has 
no marks of quotation, no signature, or anything to indicate that 
it is a communication ; beside these circumstances, I think the sub- 
ject matter, and the style, and above all, the closing beautiful 
simile, leave no room for doubt as to its authorship. Without per- 
mission, I enrich these pages, with this poetical gem : 

" De Lord he lubs de niggah well ! 
He knows de niggah by de smell ! 
And while de pitch holds out to burn, 
De blackest niggah may return. 
He knows dere wants and all ob dat, 
He feeds dere souls on possum fat ; 
And when de niggah baby cry, 
De Lord he gibs um possum pie ! 
When in de tabernacle met, 
Big niggah by de white gal set. 
And in de Beecher chapel too, . 
De niggah hab a good front pew. 
De Lord determed not to keep, 
In different pews de .culled sheep, 
But mix the various colors up, 
Like rum and lasses in a cup !" 

Late tho' it be bring forth the " immortal bays, " and let the 
Joliet war poet be crowned ! 

During the month of August, the body of Frederick W. Mat- 
teson, of whom mention has already been made, was brought here 
for burial in Oakwood. He died of typhoid fever, brought on 
by his exposure in the line of duty. Such an event was well cal- 


culated to produce an impression upon the young men in the 100th, 
many of whom had been his play fellows and school mates in 
earlier days, but it only nerved their purpose to do their duty, 
come what might. 

The 100th regiment having been fully organized and become 
somewhat initiated into the routine of duty, and sworn into the 
U. S. service, broke camp September 2d, and took its departure 
for Springfield, and wherever thence the authorities might direct. 

Its departure was a scene of the most in tense interest and ex- 
citement. Probably around no other day in the history of Will 
county has there ever gathered so much of interest. Here were 
nearly a thousand men mostly young men the flower of city 
and county gathered from all the walks of life, about to go forth 
to the perils of war. Here were the hopes of fathers and mothers, 
the beloved of sisters and wives, the stay and comfort of the aged 
and infirm, of widows and orphans. Sacrificing all their business 
enterprises and prospects of worldly success ; dropping the imple- 
ments of husbandry and trade; closing their books and dismissing 
the studies of their age ; they had come in answer to the call of 
their imperiled country to peril their own lives in a grand, su- 
preme effort to crush the rebellion and save the union. Perhaps 
never in the history of the world was there a regiment composed 
of better personnel of so many young men in whose bosoms, 
contact with a selfish world had not yet dulled the romance of 
youth, or tarnished the lustre of a pure and holy patriotism. For 
no selfish purpose; with no hope of gain or dream of glory; but 
from a pure desire and purpose to save the country, had they en- 
rolled their names among its defenders. And now, having per- 
fected their organization, having gone through the weeks of pre- 
paratory drill and discipline, the time had come to bid good-bye 
to relatives and friends,' to fathers, mothers, sisters, wives and 
sweethearts, and to go forth to actual, earnest, perilous WAR ; to 
encounter all the hardships, hazards and temptations of the camp, 
the march and the bivouac ; of the outpost, the skirmish and the 
battle. Here they are, a thousand Will county men, in the full 
vigor of early manhood, animated by one impulse their hearts 
beating high with hope and courage, eager for the time which 
shall test their powers, their strength of endurance, and their cour- 


age. Yet with a solemn sense of the hazards and dangers before 
them; for the delusive hopes and expectations of the year and a 
half previous had been dissipated, and full well they now knew, 
that they were going forth on no holiday errand, that they were 
to be no carpet knights, and that to conquer the rebellion, a severe 
and protracted struggle would yet be required ; that the errand 
upon which they were going forth meant death to many, and 
peril, hardship and suffering to all. They had seen the lifeless 
forms of Erwin, Bassett, Shaw, Randall, Matteson, and others, 
brought home to their long and honored rest in Oak wood ; while 
others of their fellow citizens and friends had returned disabled by 
wounds and disease. How will the lOOrH return? How many, 
and who ? Which of our sons, our brothers, our husbands shall 
succumb to the weary march, the cold bivouac, the malarious 
camp ? Who shall come back with painful wounds, and sad 
disfigurement; with loss of limb, and enfeebled health? Who 
shall languish in southern prison pens, the body starving for the 
meanest food, and the heart starving for news from home ? 
Who, oh ! who, shall lay down life on the battle field or in the 
hospital, with no fond mother, sister or wife, to wipe the death 
damp from the brow, and catch the last farewell and close the 
sightless eyes ? Who shall be buried in haste without shroud, or 
prayer, or headstone, or to be left to fester and decay uuburied ? 

Oh ! in how many hearts, (both of those who went, and of 
those who stayed), that day, did these sad questionings come 
unbidden, and make the scene, despite the shouts and huzzahs, 
and the moving of flags and banners, and the music of bands, one 
of the most solemn import ! 

" All aboard," shouts the conductor, the last bell rings, the 
last farewell is said. Lips and hands have parted, many, many 
alas ! of which shall never again in this world, be pressed together; 
and the train moves out from the St. Louis Depot, and the " Will 
County Regiment," the 100th Illinois, is on its way to whatever 
the chances of war in a three years' campaign, shall bring. 

Elsewhere we shall give a succinct account of this three years' 

Again we hear from the 20fch regiment, of the brilliant affair 
at Britton's Lane, so creditable to our heroes, though as usual our 
rejoicings are subdued by the list of casualties. 


And now we are watching with increased interest for each 
day's intelligence from the army, for we have greatly increased 
our ventures on the field of battle. 

The month of September was one of great and varied interest 
in military affairs, on the field at large. Such was the dubious 
outlook, that our governor, on the 15th inst., issued his proclam- 
ation calling upon the people to organize a reserve force a home 
guard to be ready for any emergency that should arise. This 
was supplementary to the organizations which were recruiting 4 for 
the field. I believe that many of our citizens organized them- 
selves into volunteer companies, and met for drill in various halls 
and vacant rooms. I remember going once myself to Young's 
Hall, where the late Col. Smith was our drill-master. We had 
sticks for guns. At this meeting I learned how to shoulder arms 
(or rather sticks). I thought that was enough, and never went 
again. How much this contributed to the final issue I do not 
know. There has been no muster roll preserved of these compa- 
nies. I think they left but very " feeble foot-prints on the sands 
of time." 

A splendid banner was presented by our ladies to Capt. Dan. 
O'Connor's company, the "Casey Guards," so called in honor of 
its godfather, Hon. Sam. K. Casey, and a most generous godfather 
he was, having given one thousand dollars as a bounty for recruits. 
This company became Co. D of the 90th regiment. Mrs. Fellows 
made the presentation speech. 

The Board of Superviors met Sept. 8th. The war fund com- 
mittee, George Woodruff, Robert Clow, and D. U. Cobb, reported 
that they had borrowed the money as needed, and that all persons 
entitled to bounties under the provisions of the resolutions passed 
at the special meetings, had been paid. The amount drawn was 
$57,420, leaving a balance of $2,580 on hand for disbursements. 

Oct. 14th, we got the tidings of another battle, this time at 
Corinth, in which the Union forces are victorious, and in which 
Will county is personally represented, and in which, alas ! she is 
again compelled to mourn the loss of valued lives, among them 
Capt. Grover, of the 64th. Mayor Bowen, his law partner, left 
immediately to procure the body, and returned with it the 20th, 
and the funeral was largely attended on the next day at the Con- 


gregational church. The bar passed the usual resolutions of 
respect no mere formality and the speech of Judge Parks on the 
occasion was an eloquent and feeling tribute to the memory of the 
deceased. The city of Lockport also lost one of her most promis- 
ing young men, Sergeant Henry S. Clark, of the same regiment. 

Rev. Hooper Crews, of the Methodist church, having accepted 
of an appointment as chaplain to the 100th regiment, was presented 
by a few of our liberal-hearted citizens with a horse. And here 
let .me say, that the reverend gentleman served the country and 
the regiment for more than a year in this capacity, making him- 
self greatly useful to the boys, who will never forget his kindness. 
But the infirmities of age compelled him to give up the arduous 
position, after a year's service. 

During this month, some of our citizens, viz., Caswell, Morgan 
and Bush, who were trying to supply the wants of the 100th, in 
the way of notions, tobacco, eatables, and some other things which 
Uncle Sam did not include in the regular rations, had a rather 
unhappy experience, which I believe disgusted them with the call- 
ing of sutlers. The notorious guerrilla gorilla, the sutlers thought 
him John Morgan, had the impudence to disregard the dignified 
neutrality of Kentucky, and gobbled up a government train, to 
which our friends had attached their wagons, on the way out from 
Louisville to the 100th. Morgan confiscated all their goods, made 
a bonfire of the wagons, and appropriated the horses to his own 
use. Our friends returned, sadder, wiser, but not as they had 
hoped, richer men. I believe they don't like to hear anything 
about Morgan to this day. 

Our very excellent friend and fellow-citizen, Calvin Knowlton, 
Esq., had an introduction to the notorious Col. Morgan about this 
time. Happening to be at Louisville, he was invited by a brother 
railroad official to take a trip to Nashville. Being a little curious 
to see how things looked at the front, he accepted the invitation, 
and took passage on a train, not apprehending any trouble, as our 
forces now had possession as far south as Nashville. But after 
they had got along nearly to Cave City, the engineer was obliged 
to stop the train, on account of a pile of ties which had been 
thrown on the track ; and no sooner had the train stopped than it 
was surrounded by a lot of men, who seemed to spring out of the 


ground, and who carried those ugly looking weapons called six- 
shooters, and who ordered the passengers to get out of the cars 
forthwith an order which was obeyed without parley. Every 
man who had the misfortune to wear military clothes was taken 
prisoner. Everything except private property was confiscated. 
One officer had on a slouched hat and a duster, not being anxious 
to sport his shoulder-straps, and to his modesty in this respect, he 
owed his escape. The train was set on fire and burned up, except 
one old car and engine with which the citizens were allowed to 
return to Louisville. Col. Morgan was extremely polite, but he 
didn't care any more for railroad officials than anybody else. It 
is said that for a few moments the face of the superintendent of 
the Cut-Off was as long as it was broad, and did not exhibit its 
usual smile ! And some say that he even used that terrible oath, 
(which he has been known to use on one or two occasions), "I 
snum !" 

Nov. 3d, we were called upon to bury another of our soldier 
boys William M. Radcliff, of Co. F, 13th cavalry regiment, who 
died in St. Louis, Oct. 31st. 

It must not be forgotten that all this time soldiers' aid societies 
are hard at work all over the county, to meet the demands upon 
them for comforts, for the camp and hospital, although few records 
have been preserved of their labors. The papers have frequent 
acknowledgments from the 20th and 100th, and from Danforth's 
cavalry company, and other organizations, of articles received and 
most welcome. In the town of Manhattan, the ladies met every 
Wednesday, at the house of Mr. Lawrence, and gave out work for 
the week, and made up boxes and barrels for the army and for 
the sanitary commission. 

In the meantime, the 100th has been engaged in that tedious 
chase after Bragg through Kentucky, and, in the Signal, I find a 
letter dated Dec. 15th, which says: "Our regiment has been 
seriously reduced by sickness, desertion and death. We have now 
about 400 on duty. About 30 have died, 50 deserted, and the 
balance are in hospital or barracks, sick. What arc left are tried 
and good men, and will give a good account of themselves. We 
are well satisfied with our one-armed colonel. In fact, we were 


very fortunate in the selection of all our officers. Our popular 
and efficient lieutenant colonel is now absent on sick leave." 

By a notice in the same issue of the Signal, we learn that this 
sickness of the " popular and efficient lieutenant colonel" was fatal ! 
" Married, in Chicago, Dec. 16th, at the church of the New Jeru- 
salem, by Rev. Mr. Hibbard, Arba N. Waterman, Lieut. Col. of 
the 100th regiment 111. Vol., and Miss Ella Hall, of Chicago." 
It is said that he met his fate with the courage of a soldier and 
the resignation of a Christian. 

Let it be said, that many left behind on the dreary march soon 
rejoined the regiment, some of whom are reported above as desert- 
ers, and, on the 26th of the same month, Surgeon Woodruff reports 
600 as fit for duty. 

And so, peacefully, though anxiously, die out the closing hours 
of 1862 in Will county. In Washington in the white house 
alone in his office, sits the man on whom a nation's eyes are fixed, 
reverently invoking the " gracious favor of Almighty God " upon 
the words which he has written words which are destined to make 
the morning of 1863 forever memorable ; which are to challenge 
the admiration of the world, and to strike the manacles from the 
limbs of four million slaves. While down in far Tennessee on 
the banks of Stone River, night has pityingly closed down upon 
one of the bloodiest fields of the war, where 

" The earth is covered thick with other clay, 
Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent, 
Rider and horse, friend, foe, in one red burial blent." 

And our boys are there ! 




Our Military Lesson Military Record of the Smiths How 1863 Opened 
The News from Stone River Delegation goes there Other News Large 
Reinforcement leaves Joliet S. B. and Union Leagues War Meetings 
Provost Marshal's Office Opened Draft Threatened Strange Effects More 
War News Fourth of July Great Rejoicings A Missing Boy Found A 
Joliet Rebel Supervisors Meet Delegation to Chattanooga News from 
Chickamauga About the 100th How "Billy" Humbugged the Rebs We 
Feed our Enemies Another Call Good News One Boy Home from Libby 
Enrollment Novel Excuse Meeting of Supervisors Bounty War Meet- 
ings Capt. Logan's Company An Interesting Recruit Barn ett's Battery 
Veteranizes and Recruits Another Call Special Meeting of Supervisors 
Col. Bartleson's Release His Reception The 20th Veteranizes Reception 
100 Days' Men More Funerals Sad, Sad News Substitute Brokers and 
Bounty Jumpers Terms Explained A Long Jump More Sad News 
500,000 More Supervisors Meet^Draft County and Town Appropriations 
Substitutes A Preacher on his Muscle Election Jollification More Sad 
News Another Call Great Effort to Fill Quotas The Beginning of the End 
The Back Bone Broken at Last Great Glorification Hair Dye goes Up 
Substitutes Drop Saddest News of All City Draped in Mourning Obse- 
quies The Boys Come Marching Home Reception of the 100th How we 
kept July 4th, 1865 Finale. 

[EN. SHERMAN concludes his book with some military les- 
sons which he derives from his war experience. Although 
the author of the present work is not a military man, and this 
history has not been written from a military stand-point, or for a 
military purpose, yet I cannot forbear drawing one military lesson 
from my investigations. And, lest I may forget it, or lest many 
of my readers may not have the patience to read this book to the 
end, and would therefore lose the lesson if I deferred it to the 


proper place, I will introduce it here. And I think by the way, 
this is a very shrewd move on ray part, and might be profitably 
imitated by many writers, and perhaps by some preachers. 

In the journal of a private soldier, I have found the statement 
that the severe losses in an Ohio regiment, on one occasion dur- 
ing the Atlanta campaign, was owing to the fact that the officer 
in command at the time was drunk, and led his men into a posi- 
tion where no sober man would have gone. The same private in 
noticing the assemblage of Generals in council near Resacca says, 
"I noticed that they nearly all took their bitters." I will not go 
further into particulars, but will say, that I have found abundant 
evidence that many of the difficulties in regiments, and many of 
the disasters of the war are traceable to whisky. It would be easy 
to fill a chapter with proofs of this statement. And I think that 
one of the greatest evils chargeable to the war, and to those who 
inaugurated it, is the increase of intemperance which it occasioned. 
We still groan under the taxes, and the financial embarrassments 
which have resulted, but what are these to the habits of intemper- 
ance begotten and confirmed bythe war. I think no one will ques- 
tion the statement that the temptation to the use of stimulants 
was very strong in the army, and, the restraints of home and for- 
mer associations being removed, it was easy to yield ; and hence 
many who had never drank whisky before, did so in the army, 
under the mistaken notion that it would ward off the effects of 
fatigue and exposure. The temptation was also strong to re- 
inforce the nerves with a little whisky when going into an engage- 
ment, a resource which might indeed render the person less sensi- 
ble of danger, but which would also make him more reckless and 
imprudent. Some of the boys tell a story on one of our captains, 
who had always been known as a staunch teetotaler at home, and 
who had resisted all invitations to drink, until the time came 
when he and his company had to face the music of whistling balls 
and plunging shot, when seeing some of his men trying to "keep 
their spirits up by pouring spirits down," he was weak enough to 
ask for a little himself, with the apology, that he "felt a little un- 
well." As to how often he resorted to that expedient subsequently, 
history is silent. 

I think, moreover, that however men may differ in their esti- 


mate of General Butler, either as a political or military man, all 
must admit that he showed great judgment, and patriotism as 
well, when being in command at Fortress Monroe, he issued his 
order prohibiting the introduction of liquors within his lines, mak- 
ing his own headquarters no exception to the rule, although all 
his life accustomed to the use of wines and brandy. 

The reader has of course already anticipated my military les- 
son, but I will ^nevertheless formulate it. In time of war whisky 
and all its congeners, should be excluded under the severest penal- 
ties, from the army lines. So thoroughly am I convinced of the 
importance of this measure, that I am fully determined, that if 
I should ever be placed in the responsible position of Commander- 
in- Chief of the Army and Navy of the U. S., and should a war 
arise during my administration, (which may heaven avert,) I 
shall at the very outset, issue my proclamation, prohibiting under 
the severest penalties the introduction of whisky into the army 
lines, either under the name of contraband, commissary, tarax- 
icum, bitters, hospital stores, or any other name whatever ; or the 
having or using the same by any person in the service of the U. 
S., from the drummer boy up to the Lieut. General inclusive, 
under any pretense whatever. I am determined to do this, not- 
withstanding the present Lieut. General tells us of several occa- 
sions on which he took a glass of whisky. And this I shall do, 
not from any fanatical notions on the subject, but purely as a mili- 
tary measure, on which I shall invoke the "considerate judgment 
of mankind," and confidently expect "the gracious favor of Al- 
mighty God." And I hereby notify my political friends that it 
will be useless to urge that such a measure will be unpopular, and 
that, besides losing me some of my best generals, will hazard my 
chances of a re-election. Like the great Henry Clay I feel that it 
is better to be right than to be president. 

I have in contemplation one other measure, namely, to allow the 
utmost facility to the introduction of whisky into the lines of the 
enemy. I am not sure that I could expect the blessing of Heaven 
upon such a measure, but I am sure it would be the most brilliant 
strategy. If my Attorney General shall think the measure con- 
stitutional, I shall extend the prohibition to Congress. 

Having disposed of my military lesson, I wish to bring in one 


more matter here for which I may not find a more appropriate 
place- Elsewhere I have spoken of what some families did in fur- 
nishing volunteers for our armies. But there is one family 
whose record in this respect is very remarkable and ought to be 

I refer to the Smith family. Any one who has the honor of an 
acquaintance with the Smiths, would of course anticipate as much. 
For this is one of the cases in which the French saying, " noblesse 
oblige," is peculiarly pertinent. For what family so ancient, or so 
prominent in our history, from the time of its great founder in this 
country, Captain John Smith, of Virginia, in 1607, down to Jo. 
Smith, the mormon ! Such an ancestry, and such a record, would 
compel the representatives of this family, in the days of which we 
write, to acts of self-sacrifice and patriotic devotion. Hence, we 
are not surprised to find that the name of some member of this 
family is on the muster roll of every company of our regiments in 
every branch of the service. Thomas, George, William, Isaac, 
Israel, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Adam, Jeremiah, Abraham, Heze- 
kiah, Ezekiel, Job, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Paul, and 
Barnabas, and Timothy, and so on through the entire catalogue of 
known surnames, sacred and profane, even to Patrick and Bar- 
ney, are to be found, some one or more of them, in every organ- 
ization. Our own county, I am happy to say, furnished its full 
share of representatives from this family. And among the Smiths 
conspicuous above all, and everywhere, as we might also expect, 
was the name of the great founder of the family the well-known 
JOHN SMITH. His military record is unsurpassed by any member 
of the family, and of course by any other individual of any name. 
I shall not attempt to trace it in full ; we have not the time or 
space. Suffice it to say, that he enlisted in at least a dozen bat- 
teries, and in almost every company of the 156 infantry and the 
17 cavalry regiments furnished by our state. Indeed, he seems to 
have been well nigh ubiquitous. Sometimes, it is true, he inter- 
polated an initial letter in order to conceal his identity, and several 
times he passed himself off for a Dutchman, calling himself John 
Schmidt, and once, with the aid of burnt cork, he smuggled him- 
self into a colored regiment. He veteranized many times. He 
was in battles without number, and was discharged for wounds 


and disability almost every month. He deserted at least a dozen 
times. He was once in military prison at Vicksburg, and sen- 
tenced to the Dry Tortugas (a cruel fate, is he was one of the 
thirsty Smiths !) He was killed outright at Shiloh, Donaldson, 
Stone River, and Chickamauga, and died once of wounds received 
at Chattanooga, and many times of disease and exposure, and was 
once drowned in the Mississippi. After all these casualties, he 
was transferred (as he surely had a right to be) to the invalid corps, 
and, being taken prisoner on the Atlanta campaign, he closed his 
career amid the horrors of Andersonville ! Should any member 
of the family wish to drop a tear over the grave of their distin- 
guished relative, John Smith, they will find it numbered 10,849. 
Let it not be considered any disparagement to his memory, that 
his name once or twice appears among the brigadier and major 
generals, for not unfrequently in our army good men were placed 
in command. I ought, in justice to the family, to add, that his 
brother, " Bill Smith," was hardly less conspicuous. Indeed, they 
were "par nobile fratrum," and should beheld in grateful remem- 
brance by the country they did so much to save. Should anyone 
hereafter undertake to compile the family history of THE SMITHS, 
they are at liberty to use these facts, collected with so much labor, 
and which are entirely reliable. 

Having got my military lesson off my hands, and discharged 
my duty to the Smith family, I resume the narrative of home 

The year 1863 opened with the emancipation proclamation of 
Father Abraham. I find, on looking over the files of the Signal, 
that " Cal " did not like it. A good many did not. Others think 
that it was the turning point of our national destiny ; the saving 
measure of the administration the supreme act of our govern- 
ment which placed it en rapport with the divine purposes, and 
thus secured our ultimate triumph. 

While this was the most important item in the national aspect, 
the most interesting event to many families in WilL county was 
the battle of Murfreesboro, or Stone River, in which our regiment 
was engaged. The telegraph brings us speedy news of the engage- 
ment. We know that it has been a bloody one, lasting several 
days, bridging over the old year and the new, making New Year's 



day, 1863, a sad holiday to many a heart; and we watch with 
deep anxiety for the list of casualties. We do not have to wait 
long ; soon the lists of killed and wounded reach us, when we find 
that Lieut. Charles F. Mitchell, of Wilmington, (a son of one of 
our oldest settlers), and Lieut. Worthingham, of Joliet, (one of 
our old settlers of 1835), and John Hopkins, from one of the old 
families of Homer, and six others of the 100th regiment, are among 
the number killed. 

Our worthy citizens, Charles Weeks, O. W. Still man, and Otis 
Hardy, of Joliet, and A. W. Bowen and Franklin Mitchell, of 
Wilmington, start at once for the scene. Dr. McArthur, also, 
under an appointment from Gov. Yates, was there. We reserve 
all further matters connected with it for the history of the 100th. 

Almost at the same time we hear of the fierce assault barren 
of results, except the death and disabling of many a brave soldier 
made at Chickasaw Bayou, near Vicksburg, and our fellow citi- 
zen, H. N. Marsh, Esq,, was doomed to hear the painful news 
that his son, Wm. H. Marsh, was among the wounded, and in the 
hands of the enemy. 

About this time, also, we hear of the following casualties, in 
Co. C, 4th cavalry, to men from our county, in a skirmish near 
Colliersville, Tenn. : Sergeant John Avery, Corp. Geo. N. Smith, 
of Wilton, H. E. Benner, Joliet, and Marion Cooper, of Florence, 
taken prisoners. 

During the month of February, our army came near having a 
large reinforcement from Joliet. Master Webb, aged 12, Master 
Camp, aged 15, and Master Walker, aged 15, left the city early in 
the week to join the army. They had become, like some others 
of us, impatient at the delay of our forces in breaking the backbone 
of the rebellion, and unlike some of us grumblers, they had deter- 
mined to put their own shoulders to the wheel, and bring the war 
to a speedy close. Unfortunately for the cause, parental authority 
interfered, and they were brought back from Cairo, and the back- 
bone was not broken. 

During the spring of 1863, congress passed the conscription act. 
The measure was of course unpopular with those who sympathized 
with the rebellion, and perhaps with some others. There was con- 
siderable apprehension of resistance. It was said that the secret 


society of the south, known as " Knights of the Golden Circle," 
had their branches in the northern states, and were rendering all 
the aid and comfort possible to the confederacy. The friends of 
the government, believing that similar means might be used to 
advantage in sustaining the government, and in enforcing the 
laws, organized secret societies, having in view this result. All 
over the north, and also in portions of the south, such societies 
were formed, and drew into their lodges the loyal men of all par- 
ties. They were first organized under the name of the S. B. 
These cabalistic letters, which for a time excited great wonder and 
no little fear, were ascertained to stand for " Strong Band," nothing 
more nor less. This organization was soon, however, superseded 
by the "Union Leagues." These societies were bitterly denounced 
by a portion of the people and of the press, and regarded as very 
dangerous to our liberties. But I think that they were not only 
very harmless, but that they did much good in strengthening the 
government, and encouraging the armies in the field. I had the 
honor of belonging to one, and I am sure that one, was a very inno- 
cent affair. We had frequent, meetings, and secret signs and pass- 
words, and a kind of semi-military organization, and imposing ritual 
and ceremonials. We solemnly promised to be true to the Union, 
and to the boys in blue. We ate a cracker, took a pinch of salt, and 
drank a little water positively nothing stronger and then went 
through with some other flummery, which I have forgotten ; and 
we also spent some time in drill. Many of us bought revolvers, 
but I am quite sure we never intended to use them, except in self- 
defense ; and I doubt if some of us would have done so even then. 
For the only time in my life I owned a fire-arm, and I absolutely 
got so courageous that I dared to fire it, and so skillful that I 
could hit a barn door if it was a large one ! I kept this for a 
few weeks, slept with it under my pillow for a few nights (or 
rather tried to sleep) and then got so disgusted with the thing 
that I traded it off at Barrett's for some other, more innocent kind 
of hardware. This is about all that I remember about these secret 
leagues, except that our fellow-citizen, T. L. Breckenridge, Esq., 
was the " high-cock-a-lorum " of our lodge. 

Sunday evening the 10th inst., we had a lecture from Rev. 
Joel Grant, of Lockport, chaplain in the 12th regiment, a partici- 


pant in the battles of Donaldson, Shiloh and Corinth. The lec- 
ture was given in aid of the sanitary commission. During the lat- 
ter part of the month some 1500 rebel prisoners passed through on 
the St. Louis R. R. for Camp Douglas. 

War meetings are again the order of the day ; at one of these 
we had speeches from chaplain Button and Captain Hildebrant 
of the 20th. 

The body of John Mclntosh, of Wilmington, a member of the 
100th, who died at Nashville, February 26th, passed through here 
early in March ; and April 3rd, M. B. Glenn of the 100th, for- 
merly in the Republican office, died at Joliet ; and on the 4th inst. 
Wm. Bailey, late of the same regiment, also died. 

In May, Captain Abel Longworth, of Morris, was appointed 
Provost Marshal under the conscription act, and opened Kis office 
in Young's block, S. Simmons of this county being commissioner, 
and Dr. McArthur, of Ottawa, examining surgeon. A draft is 
evidently preparing for us. The towns are being enrolled, and 
the number subject to military duty ascertained. This looks like 
business. And now, many suddenly remember that they have 
friends in Canada, and think it will be a good time to make them 
a visit. Many are suddenly afflicted with various difficulties and 
disabilities. The demand for hair dye suddenly falls off, as old 
fogies no longer wish to be thought young, and stop dyeing their 
hair and whiskers. It was something wonderful, the transforma- 
tions that took place. Health and youth are at a discount, while 
age and disability are at a premium ; a stiffened joint is a perfect 
God-send. Now, too, a new business is devised by the sharp and 
knowing ones, and substitute brokerage, becomes the road to 
wealth for many. Now, too, come on the days of high bounties, 
and other motives than those of patriotism are appealed to, to fill 
up the thinned ranks of our armies. 

In May we hear from the old 20th, and the gallant part it 
took in the battle of Raymond, at which time Col. Richards, (then 
in command,) fell ; and the 20th lost heavily. Otto Lumberman, 
of Frankfort, and Albert W. Pearson, of Elwood, were among the 

During the month of June, the public interest centres on 
Vicksburg. The 20th and McAllister's battery, bear a part 


in the battles surrounding and investing it. Lieut. Henry 
King and Lieut. Wadsworth, both getting severely wounded iu 
the head, are home. July. 4th brings us the glorious news of its 
surrender, one of the greatest achievements of the war, hitherto. 
Simultaneously we hear of the victory of Gettysburg, in which our 
county had some share in the eighth cavalry. Great demonstra- 
tions of joy are made throughout the city. Cannons are fired, 
bells rung, and bands played. The people get together in the old 
C. H., and orate and blaviate, and jubilate in the most thrilling 
and patriotic manner. We think for a while that the backbone of 
the rebellion is surely broken, but it turns out that it had only 
got a bad wrench ! 

When the army of Gen. Grant captured Jackson, they found in 
a rebel hospital, Wm. H. Marsh, of the 13th regiment, of whose 
capture mention was made a few pages back. He had been badly 
wounded and taken prisoner in the attack on Chickasaw Bluffs in 
Dec. previous. The news was a joyful surprise to his friends who 
had been in entire ignorance of his fate, and had almost despaired 
of seeing him again. He was found by his old townsmen of the 
20th, and taken in their ambulance to his own regiment. It will 
be remembered that he was able to get home, and to be about our 
streets for a while, but succumbed at last to the effects of his 

But Marsh was not the only Joliet boy found at Jackson. 
The 20th regiment was ordered to occupy the yard of Miss. State 
Hospital as a camping ground. As they marched into the yard 
they saw two hard looking butternut clad gentleman sitting on the 
porch. On coming near one seemed to have a very familiar 
look to the Joliet boys, notwithstanding his long hair and but- 
ternut rig. One of them called to A. J. Sanger, who happened to 
be riding by at the time, and asked him if he knew that Reb. He 
took a good look at him and said, " Why yes, that's John Rob- 
erts." And sure enough it was the same chap that was guard for a 
time at prison, auctioneer, etc., and was clerk for " Brother Wood" 
when he used to sell horse collars, coffee and tobacco in the old 
" ominibus." John was now filling the position of ward-master 
of the rebel general hospital, and was a bitter rebel. He told the 
boys that he had been in the rebel army ever since the war broke 


oat, in Laywood's cavalry. He was with Armstrong's force that 
fought the 20th and 30th 111. at Britton's Lane, in Sept. 1862, 
and acknowledged that they had been most genteenly flogged on 
that occasion. The boys made John come down with the best he 
had in the way of hospital stores, for old acquaintance sake, 
among the rest some whisky which he evidently parted with very 
reluctantly. Roberts swore he would never quit fighting the 
Yankees, and was full of brag, and boasted of being one of the six 
that killed Lt. Col. McCullough, of Bloomington, of the 4th Cav- 
alry, in the fight near Coffeeville, Miss., Dec. 4th, 1862, when 
some Will Co. boys were taken prisoners. He had been ward- 
master of the hospital for six months, but meant to go back to the 
army soon. He enquired about many Joliet acquaintances, but 
said he should \iever go back there. Well, we can stand it if he 
can ! This so far as I know, was the only Joliet rebel, that took 
up arms! 

Captain Cleghorn, of the 20th, came home after Vicksburg, hav- 
ing resigned in consequence of a blow from a shell which struck 
the old wound in his arm, causing it to break out once more. He 
afterwards had a position in the invalid corps. He is still living, 
which circumstance alone prevents me from saying some good 
things of him. 

At a meeting of the Board of Supervisors on Sept. 9th, the war 
fund committee reported that certificates had been disbursed by 
the clerk to 957 soldiers to the amount of $57,420. Twenty-two 
volunteers had elected to draw $5 monthly for their families. The 
payment of relief to the families of soldiers was referred to the 
town boards, and the town auditors authorized to make the neces- 
sary appropriations. At a subsequent meeting, (on the 18th), the 
clerk reported "the amount of certificates drawn, to be $59,270, 
leaving a balance on hand of the $60,000 appropriation of $730; 
and that the amount necessary to pay the families of those who 
had elected the monthly payments, would be up to August 31st, 
1864, $1,320; and that there had been paid to two volunteers 
$120, making the total amount $1,440, from which, deducting the 
amount on hand, would leave a balance to be provided for of 
$710." The board made the necessary appropriation. 

The board also appointed a committee consisting of Rev. H. 


Crews and Dr. A. W. Bowen to proceed at once to the army of the 
Cumberland to look after the wants of the soldiers from Will 
county, and appropriated the sum of $300 for their expenses. 
This action was rendered necessary by the terrible battles of the 
19th and 20th of Sept. at Chickamauga Creek, Georgia, the news 
of which had just arrived, and in which our 100th regiment, and 
Barnett's battery were engaged. The city was filled with rumors of 
the casualties to the regiment. Col. Bartlesou was reported killed. 
For some time his fate was uncertain, even as late as October 
10th, Captain Burrell, of Plainfield, who was at home, (having 
been wounded in the fight), reported that the Col. fell badly 
wounded ; and Lt. Patterson, also home wounded, brought the re- 
port that an officer of the 26th Ohio, in the same brigade, saw 
his body lying in the field hospital, previous to its capture. 
After a while, however, it was ascertained that he was a prisoner 
at Richmond, and unhurt. 

Although the report of the Colonel's death proved premature, 
yet the list of killed and wounded was such as to enlist our sym- 
pathies, and bring anguish to many hearts. The number killed 
was 23, wounded 117, missing 24. We will only add in this 
place that Lieuts. Keniston and Koach, were also taken prisoners 
with the Col., and some others also, (about 15), who remained 
with him behind a picket fence after the main part ot the regi- 
ment had fallen back ; and that on the withdrawal of our forces 
on the night after the first day's fight, the hospital containing our 
wounded, in charge of Surgeon Woodruff and hospital steward, 
Stump, and attendants, was brought within the enemy's lines 
and all in it were made prisoners. They were all paroled to 
report at Atlanta, except the badly wounded, which were sent 
into our lines as soon as practicable. After the wounded were 
disposed of, Surgeon Woodruff and the rest went to Atlanta, and 
were distributed as the rebel authorities thought best. The sur- 
geon and hospital steward, brought up in Richmond, and some of 
the rest experienced the horrors of Andersonville, part of whom 
never escaped its foul precincts until death brought their release. 
We shall have more to say about this elsewhere. 

There was another man in the hospital at the time, who did 


not go to Andersonville or Libby, and he was not badly wounded 
either, and I must tell how this happened : 

Those of my readers who get their rations at Culver's meat 
shop know " Billy Bunker," and know that he can cut a steak or 
a roast in the most approved style. And you may perhaps know 
that Billy is a dead shot, and can bring down a deer, a duck, or a 
turkey, every time. But you may not know that Billy was one of 
the brave boys of the 100th, and once cracked his rifle at the ene- 
mies of the Union, as coolly as he would at a turkey ; for Billy is 
a modest man, and unless you have drawn him out, he has not told 
you. On the march of our army to Chattanooga, he got sick 
had a run of fever. When he was convalescing, as the regiment 
was about to move, Surgeon Heise gave him his choice, either to 
go back to a hospital, or to keep up with the regiment riding in 
an ambulance. Billy is not one of those who like to go back, and 
so he chose the latter, and kept on to Chattanooga, and out to the 
front at Gordon's Mills. He was in the division field hospital when 
the fight began, and lay there a long time, listening to its grim 
music, until he could endure it no longer, and seizing his musket, 
took his place in the ranks, and put in a couple of hours hard 
work, by which time he was so exhausted that he had to lay down, 
and when the regiment fell back, he was left. Surgeon Woodruff, 
coming along with his ambulance, picker! up the wounded, saw 
Billy lying there, and asked him what he was there for, and tell- 
ing him that the enemy would soon have the ground, and it 
behooved him to be on his travels. When he found that Billy 
was used up, he told him to creep into the ambulance. He did 
so, and was taken back to the hospital again. Well, the hospital 
came within the enemy's lines next day, as we have related, and, 
after two or three days, a rebel officer came around to parole those 
who were not disabled, to go to Atlanta, and await further orders. 
Billy did not want to travel in that direction, and he managed to 
keep out of sight while the rebel officer was around. A few days 
after, an arrangement was made by Rosecrans with the rebel 
authorities, to have the seriously wounded sent into our lines, and 
accordingly, a rebel officer came around to parole them, and to see 
that everything was done according to the terms of the agreement. 
Billy got wind of the matter, and, with the surgeon's consent, he 


had crawled into a vacant cot, and got covered up. Being still 
thin and pale, he was supposed to be a wounded man, and was 
paroled as such. When the ambulance came around for the 
wounded, he was helped in by two men his leg and foot swathed 
with blankets while another great blanket hung over his shoul- 
ders, beneath which he had concealed a half dozen canteens which 
he had filled with whisky from the hospital stores, and was bound 
to keep from the rebels ; and so he got back to Chattanooga, and 
escaped the horrors of Anderson ville, and saved me the necessity of 
writing his obituary. 

I have only one criticism to make on Billy's conduct. What- 
ever casuists might say, I think he did perfectly right in hum- 
bugging the rebels, but, in my opinion, he ought to have left them 
the whisky, as the more they had of that commodity, the worse off 
they would be ! I am afraid, too, that Billy never reported it at 
the commissary's, and can't show Sergt. Garnsey's receipt for it. 

The committee, Crews and Bowen, visited Chattanooga in com- 
pliance with their appointment, looked after the boys, ascertained 
their fate and their wants, and, on their return, gave a report of 
their mission, giving an authentic account of the casualties. For 
further particulars, see the history of the regiment. 

Oct. 17th, Father Abraham calls for 300,000 more, to fill up 
the ranks of the regiments in the field, and our patriotic governor 
backs up the call with a proclamation for a speedy response. The 
backbone is not yet broken ! 

About the first of December, a lot of rebel prisoners passed 
through Joliet, on their way to Rock Island. They changed cars 
here, and their presence, of course, excited much interest, and a 
large crowd gathered to take a look at them. By some mistake or 
negligence of the commissary at Louisville, they had but little to 
eat after leaving that place, and, when they arrived here, they 
were terribly hungry. When the fact became known to our citi- 
zens, a spontaneous movement was made for their relief. Parties 
went to their homes and to the provision stores, and gathered up 
sufficient food to relieve the wants of the poor fellows thus obey- 
ing the command : " If thine enemy hunger, feed him." The 
prisoners expressed their gratitude in the warmest manner, and 
-when the train left, gave three rousing cheers for Joliet. Many 


of our citizens gave the prisoners a quarter in Uncle Sain's cur- 
rency for a $5 or $10 bill of the confederate states, which I presume 
they still keep as a curiosity. Is there any danger that they will 
ever be worth anything more ! 

Nov. 28th, we were in receipt of the news of Grant's success in 
the operations before Chattanooga, and on Lookout Mountain, and 
on Mission Ridge. The 100th and the 90th regiments and Battery 
I, were engaged, and our townsman, Capt. Dan O'Connor, of the 
90th, was wounded severely, and brought home. Another of our 
citizens in the 90th, John O'Brien, got his empty sleeve at the 
same time. Adjutant Rouse, and Colonel A. N. Waterman, and 
Captain Nelson, of the 100th, the two latter wounded, were also 
home. Capt. Bowen, also wounded, and Lieut. Ewen, were home 
this month, trying to get recruits for the thinned ranks of the 
100th. Surgeon H. T. Woodruff arrived from Libby prison, (hav- 
ing been exchanged), the latter part of December, bringing us news 
of Col. Bartleson, and others he had left behind. 

The board of enrollment of this district, having completed 
their labors, all persons who have been enrolled, and who are not 
liable to military duty, are notified to appear before the 20th of 
December, and to present their excuses, and to get their names 
stricken from the roll. Notice is also given, that unless our quota 
is filled by the 5th inst., (Dec.,) the draft will probably come. 
The enrollment lists have been printed, and are posted in conspicu- 
ous places, and are eagerly read by the crowds of passers-by. 
Crowds also fill the office of the enrolling board, from early morn- 
ing till late at night, presenting their reasons for exemption. Some 
curious ones were given. One man, after a long time waiting his 
turn, when asked his excuse, in a manner both confident and con- 
fidential, whispered in the ears of the captain, that he was the only 
father of a small boy, and was ready to make his affidavit to the 
fact ! I believe the captain did not allow him to take his oath to 
such a rash statement. Some who had voted for years, and voted 
early and often, suddenly discovered that they were not citizens of 
the United States. A second hegira to Canada also took place. 

A special meeting of the Board of Supervisors was called at the 
clerk's office, Dec. 16th, to take action in respect to bounties for 
those who should enlist under the last call. A committee was 


appointed, who reported in favor of a bounty of $100, to be paid 
to all who should enlist before the draft ; and that the sum of 
$39,225 should be appropriated for this purpose. Also that Geo. 
Woodruff, B. F. Russell, H. Howk, of Joliet, and Wm. Gooding, 
of Lockport, and A. J. Mclntyre, of Wilmington, should be a 
war fund committee, whose duty it should be to sell orders for 
cash, as many as would be required, at not exceeding ten per cent, 
discount, and pay the proceeds to those who should be entitled to 
receive it. This report was adopted. It was also resolved that 
" justice to all the brave men in the field from Will county, (except 
such as have already received it), and the widows and minor chil- 
dren of such as have died or been killed in the service, required 
that they should be paid a bounty of sixty dollars;" but it was 
found that the board had already appropriated all that they legally 
could. And here it is but justice to this, and other like commit- 
tees to say, that, without pecuniary reward, they discharged the 
duties imposed upon them, in raising and disbursing the funds for 
this purpose, devoting much time and labor to the good work. 

Public meetings are again held all over the county, to encour- 
age enlistments. It was at this time Dec., '63, and Jan., '64 
that Capt. (afterwards Major) Logan, enlisted Co. G, with the aid 
of his lieutenant, Benj. Snyder, for the 64th regiment, or Yates' 
Sharpshooters. Thirty-three men for Co. I, were also obtained in 
this county, and five for Co. K. All recruits had to pass the scru- 
tiny of a medical examination by Dr. McArthur, of the enrolling 
board, which no doubt gave rise to some amusing scenes which are 
not reported. On one occasion, a youth of slender form, and deli- 
cate but interesting countenance, full-breasted and sinewy, though 
slight and short, applied for enlistment in Capt. Logan's company. 
The applicant was handed over to the surgeon, for the usual exam- 
ination. The doctor had not proceeded very far in the discharge 
of his official duties, when the recruit most decidedly declined fur- 
ther examination, and suddenly left, in disgust with the service, 
(or the preliminary thereto), the doctor advising a radical change 
of costume. This was very unfortunate for Capt. Logan, who, I 
presume, thought he had got a very valuable recruit ! 

Dr. Bailey, then of this city, and who had resigned his position 
,as assistant surgeon in the 20fch regiment, was at this time in. charge 


of one of the government hospitals in Quincy, and reports the 
names of ten privates of the 1 00th regiment, as in the hospitals of 
that city. Dr. Bailey was complimented by the soldiers of hospital 
No. 3, of which he had charge, with a New Year's gift of a gold 
watch, a well-earned and richly-deserved present. 

In January, '64, Barnef.t's battery was home on veteran fur- 
lough, and the captain opened a recruiting office here to fill up its 
ranks, at which time he succeeded in getting some forty or fifty 
recruits, that did good service in finishing up the rebellion. The 
battery rendezvoused at Camp Erwin. The 66th regiment, which 
had been home on veteran furlough, also rendezvoused at Camp 
Erwin, and obtained some twenty-five recruits from our county. 
Capt. Logan's company joined the 64th at Ottawa. 

In February, the 39th regiment came home on veteran fur- 
lough, and the Wilmington people had a high old time, receiving, 
and feteing, and recruiting companies A and E. 

February 1st, Father Abraham calls for 200,000 more, and 
orders are issued that the draft take place the 10th of March, ta 
make up deficiencies in quotas. A special meeting of the Board 
of Supervisors was again called, Feb. 10th, and a further appro- 
priation of $14,125 made, in order to give a bounty of $100 to 
each recruit enlisting before March 12th, or before the quota wa& 
filled. It was the wish of the supervisors to appropriate a like 
sum to each veteran who should re-enlist, but the board found that 
it had already gone to the extent of the law in making appropria- 
tions. The members, however, pledged themselves officially to use 
their best efforts to get an act of the legislature passed, which should 
enable them to do so, and ordered the clerk to make it a matter of 
record. The board also appropriated $7,000, for the purpose of 
filling up our quota. The desired legislation was obtained soon 

Barnett's battery, and the 66th regiment, left Camp Erwin for 
the seat of war, March 4th. The ladies of the city gave them a 
parting collation at the court house. A splendid sword and belt 
were also presented to Capt. Logan, of the 64th. 

Our fellow-citizen, Alex. Mclntosh, received in this month a 
commission as quartermaster in the U. S. volunteer service, with 
rank of captain, and took his departure for Chattanooga. He went 


through Sherman's campaign to Atlanta, and thence to the sea r 
and to Richmond. M. F. Hand, who had got his discharge from, 
the 100th, accompanied him as clerk, as handy as ever. 

In March, also, we hear the gratifying news of Col. Bartleson's 
release from Libby. He was met in Chicago, by a committee of 
our citizens, of which Mayor Porter was chairman, and on arrival 
at Joliet, was enthusiastically welcomed, and conducted to the 
court house, where Judge Parks made a speech of welcome, in his 
usual happy manner, to which Col. Bartleson made a modest and 
deeply interesting reply. This was one of the finest ovations ever 
tendered anyone in Will county, although it was gotten up on short 

The old 20th was home, also, this month, on veteran furlough,, 
and the two companies belonging to this county were met at the 
cars, and escorted to the court house by our citizens and the cornet 
band; and a speech of welcome was made by Breckenridge, to 
which Col. Bartleson, their old major, replied in their behalf^ 
After the reception at the court house, they were escorted to the 
Auburn House, and treated to a supper in Charley Austin's best 
style. Our large hearted citizen, Otis Hardy, Esq., also opened 
his house to a reception to the soldiers of the 20th, and others. 
The citizens of Frankfort, also, gave an oyster supper to all returned 
soldiers in that vicinity. 

In April, our governor calls for twenty thousand three 
months, or one hundred days' men, to take the place of such sol- 
diers as were guarding prisoners, or in other posts at the north y 
and recruiting is going on for this purpose. I. M. DeLine r 
Samuel Coll and E. Tyler, discharged soldiers, are trying to raise 
companies, and public meetings are held to facilitate the matter, 
and committees appointed to raise funds. A full company, partly 
from this county is soon in Camp Erwin, raised by Col. Goodwin, 
formerly Major of the 20th. Our county furnished about seventy- 
five of these 100 day men. They served a useful purpose inas- 
much as they permitted an equal number of old soldiers to go ta 
the front. Dr. Danforth having resigned his sword, took up the 
lancet again as surgeon of the 134th, 100 day regiment. 

April 27th, Lt. Col. Waterman who had been in command of 
the 100th since Bartleson was taken prisoner, having received 


from the government a new stand of colors, sent home the old 
flag, which the regiment had carried since leaving Joliet, now all 
tattered and torn, so that it could no longer be unfurled, accom- 
panied by a most eloquent letter giving briefly the scenes through 
which it had passed. 

At a special meeting of the Supervisors, May 14th, they ap- 
propriated the sum of $2,750, for the purpose of paying to each 
volunteer for the 100 days' service (not exceeding one hundred men) 
ithe sum of $27.50. 

The body of Adjutant Joseph D. Walker, of Lockport, of the 
39th, who was killed in the battle on the Peninsula, at Bermuda 
Hundreds, May 15th, was brought lo Lockport, where funeral 
services were held May 23d by Rev. Mr. McReading, the former 
chaplain of the regiment. The body was then taken to Wil- 
mington for burial. 

The funeral of Captain Burrell, of the 100th, killed on the 
.skirmish line May 30th, took place at Plainfield, June 10th. 

The Atlanta campaign, in which the 100th, 90th, 20th, 64th 
and McAllister's and Barnett's batteries took part, now absorbs the 
interest of our people, and we have frequent intelligence of casu- 
alties which will be noticed in the history of the several organiza- 

To cap the climax of our grief, to fill our cup of sorrow to 
the brim, comes the sad news of the death of our beloved citi- 
zen, the gallant Colonel of the 100th, killed on the afternoon of 
June 23d. As everything relating to this painful matter is else- 
where related, we pass over it now without further mention. 

A new kind of "scalawag" is Developed about these days by 
the necessities of the country, and the high bounties which are 
now being offered for recruits a scalawag, which I think is en- 
titled to be considered the devil's master-piece I mean the 
" bounty jumper." Substitute brokerage is also lively, and many 
are coining money out of the exigencies of the country. 

As the terms " bounty jumper, " and "substitute broker " are 
not to be found in Webster's unabridged, it may not be amiss to 
define them for the benefit of those to whom they may not be 
familiar. A "bounty jumper" was one who enlisted, and was 
sworn into the service, received his bounties from the govern- 


ment, and town and county, and then embraced the first opportu-" 
nity to desert, oftm going to another county or state, and repeat- 
ing the process. A " substitute broker " was one who procured 
men to enlist as substitutes for others who were liable to a draft, 
or to fill out the quotas of towns and districts. He got his sub- 
stitutes wherever he could, and at as low a figure as possible, 
and then sold them wherever he could get the highest bounty, or 
the best price. The business might be conducted on a fair and 
honorable basis, and the broker might thus serve both the country 
and his customer, and he would be entitled to a fair remunera- 
tion for his time and effort. On the other hand it is easy to see- 
how he might conduct the business to the injury of the country, 
by obtaining worthless men those who would desert, mere bounty 
jumpers ; and by pocketing outrageous commissions he could also- 
wrong both parties to the transaction. He might also be in collu- 
sion with the bounty jumper. Of course in our county, the busi- 
ness was conducted in the most honorable manner ! But some- 
where in some other county or state, the quotas were largely filled 
by worthless " scalawags, " against whose names in the muster- 
rolls stands the word " deserted" 

These substitutes were such slippery fellows that it became- 
necessary to keep them under guard. On one occasion in Janu- 
ary, a lot of them escaped from Joliet, by overpowering the guard. 
Some were retaken, but were probably never worth the trouble of 
recapture. One who had escaped on the cars, and who, it is said, 
had "jumped the bounty " three times, got alarmed when the- 
train was near Summit, and apprehending probably that he would 
be arrested at that point, jumped from the train. This proved to- 
be his last jump. Like Sam. Patch, he jumped one time toa 
many, andjumped farther than he intended jumped into eternity. 

In July another sad piece of intelligence comes to us. We 
hear first of the wounding, and in a few days after of the death of 
Adjutant Rouse, of the 100th, one of the finest young men that 
went out from our county, or from any other. 

August 20th, another meeting of the Board of Supervisors was 
held to provide further bounty for volunteers, under the call of 
Father Abraham, made July 1st, for 500,000 more. A bounty of 
$200 was voted to any person who should go as a volunteer substi- 


tute before the draft. The sum of 80,000 was appropriated to 
meet the same. A. J. Mclntyre, B. F. Russell, George Wood- 
ruff and Robert Clow were appointed a commission to raise and 
disburse the same. The sum of $2,000 was also appropriated 
for the relief of destitute families of soldiers, to be disbursed by the 
same committee. At a regular meeting in September, the action 
was so amended as to make the bounty $325, and to include drafted 
men or their substitutes, and the further sum of $10,000 was ap- 
propriated, and a bounty of $100 was ordered to be paid to such 
veterans as re-enlisted under the calls made during the last winter 
and spring, and who were credited to the quota of Will county ; 
or to the widow and heirs of any such veteran as had died, or 
might die, before receiving such bounty. 

Sept. 14th, Philip Filer received the appointment of paymas- 
ter in the volunteer service, and donned the army blue. 

September 27th, 1864, commenced that long dreaded, long 
threatened operation the draft for the sixth congressional dis- 
trict. The wheel of fortune, or misfortune, as you please to view 
it, commenced to turn at the provost marshal's headquarters in 
Young's block, beginning with LaSalle county. Renewed exer- 
tions are made to fill our quota before the draft shall reach our 

Besides the moneys appropriated by the county board, the 
various towns in the county appropriated money for the purpose 
of filling up their several quotas. We give a summary of county 
and town appropriations : 

The total of county appropriations wa8 $235,908 

The Town of Lockport appropriated 7,284 

Lockport Village Association appropriated 5,743 

Town of Florence ' % 10,075 

Town of Troy " 18,271 

Town of Wheatland " 9,340 

TownofJoliet " 40,000 

Which makes the total amount raised in this county, for war purposes, by official 

action $336,621 

The official action of the Bjard of Supervisors, of which we 
have given a summary from time to time, renders, perhaps, any 
further mention superfluous. We will, however, say, that from 
the first special meeting, in April, 1861, to the close of the war, 
the board were always ready to do everything in their power to 


further the cause of the Union, both by the passage of resolutions 
sustaining the government and denouncing disunion, and in going 
to the extent of their legal powers in voting bounties and aid to 
soldiers' families, and in assessing necessary taxes. 

The amount voluntarily raised in our county, for all purposes, 
and in all ways, was very large, but it cannot now be told. It 
was a day when men's hearts and purses were always open to the 
calls of the country, and to the needs of our soldiers. During the 
pendency of the draft, many of our citizens furnished substitutes. 
Some who were exempt, recognizing their obligations to the gov- 
ernment, did so. And when our government decided to make use 
of colored troops even those who had been most bitterly opposed 
to the measure, most magnanimously showed their submission to 
the laws, by being quick to avail themselves of this mode of get- 
ting out of the draft. Even editors of democratic papers were 
willing to be represented in the army by men as black as the ace 
of spades, although it cost them $600. One of our young men 
was represented in the army by no less a personage than GEORGE 
WASHINGTON at a cost of $800. That was a pretty hard load 
for one poor darkey to have to bear the weight of his own name 
and that of a Woodruff besides ! 

At this time, too, as many, both black and white, who had 
gone as substitutes, did not prove very good soldiers, but embraced 
the first opportunity to desert in fact turned bounty -jumpers 
the government had to establish the rule, that the person who sent 
a substitute, should be responsible for his fidelity. Fortunately, 
however, there was no rule making the substitute responsible for 
his principal ! 

But despite all efforts, the " wheel " had to make a turn in 
Will county, before our quota was full. The machine moved 
slowly, as much time of the board was taken up in the mustering 
in of recruits and substitutes, Lockport and Homer were the 
towns that had a taste of the luxury. The relentless wheel turns 
round, and, one after another, names are drawn to the number of 
ninety-four. Among those who drew prizes were Alfred G. Row- 
ley, the supervisor of the town of Homer, and F. G. Harris, the 
enrolling officer of the district. Out of this number, one-half (47) 
were required to fill the quota of the district. 


Substitutes now reach the top price, 800 to $1,500, a sum 
which was quite beyond the reach of a poor man. The brokers, 
I suppose, pocketed the lion's share of the sum. They did not let 
their politics prevent them from going south and importing negroes 
as substitutes. Anything in human shape, black, white, or mixed, 
was in demand. 

One of our clergymen an ex-chaplain a grey-haired old 
man, had occasion to go from Chicago to Galena about the time 
when the draft was imminent. Going aboard the train at night, 
and being very tired, he took a berth at once, and soon fell asleep. 
He was awakened after a time by the loud talking of some per- 
sons, and looking out of his berth, saw that several men had gath- 
ered around the stove, and were discussing politics in a loud and 
excited manner. They bitterly denounced the war and the draft, 
the government, and everything else, except the southern confed- 
eracy. Lincoln was a tyrant and a fool, and Jeff. Davis a gentle- 
man and a statesman, <fec., &c. The good ex-chaplain stood this 
as long as he could, but at length, getting out of all patience, he 
jumped out of his berth, and strode up to the stove, and addressed 
them as follows : " Gentlemen, I have listened to your traitorous 
talk as long as I can endure it, and I am determined to hear no 
more." " Well," said one of them, " what are you going to do 
about it? How will you stop it?" "I mean," replied the 
ex-chaplain, "to thrash every one of you." " Ha ! ha ! " said one, 
" you are a very angry old man." " No, I am not angry," he 
replied, " but I am determined to hear no more of your treason- 
able talk, and if there is no other way to stop it, I shall have to 
thrash you." At this point, some one from the middle of the car 
cried out : " That's right, old man, pitch in, and I'll help you ; 
I'm tired of it, too." " And so am I," " and so am I," now came 
from different parts of the car, " that's right, give it to the traitors." 
The treason-shriekers, finding that the old man was so well backed 
up, concluded to disperse, and the ex-chaplain, having relieved 
himself of his righteous indignation, and skedaddled the rebels, 
went to his berth again, and slept the sleep of the just, without 
further molestation. 

In the meanwhile, an exciting political campaign has been 
going on, and the impending draft was used as a powerful argu- 


ment against the re-election of Lincoln. But, to use his own 
homely illustration, the people decided it was no time to swap 
horses while fording the stream, and he was triumphantly re-elected. 
The friends of his election held a grand jubilee over the result at 
Young's hall, at which time a subscription was made for the bene- 
fit of the soldiers' families, amounting to over $3,000. The timely 
discovery of the Chicago conspiracy, was also a subject of great 
universal excitement at this time. 

The Atlanta campaign under Sherman has ended in the pos- 
session of that place by the Union forces, and its partial destruction, 
and the memorable march to the sea has commenced. Our 100th 
regiment does not join in this, but returns to Chattanooga, under 
Thomas, to watch Hood. The 90th and the 64th regiments, Bar- 
nett's battery, and what was left of the 20th, went on to the sea. 

We soon hear of the battle of Franklin, one of the fiercest in 
which the 100th was engaged, and which resulted in our success, 
enabling our force to get back to Nashville safely within the sur- 
rounding fortifications. But the list of casualties is again a sad 
one for Will county, for at this fight Major Rodney S. Bowen, of 
Wilmington, received the wound of which he died soon after, Dec. 
3d, 1864. The other casualties will be noted in the history of the 

Soon, too, came the battles before Nashville, the 15th and 16th 
of December, which resulted in our entire success, and which closed 
up the list of battles in which the 100th was engaged. In these 
last, the regiment escaped with but one casualty ; Joseph Butcher, 
of Co. F, lost his left leg. He died subsequently at Nashville. 

Dec. 20th, Father Abraham calls for 300,000 more, to finish 
up the work of suppressing the rebellion, and a draft is again 
expected, and meetings are again held in the various towns to 
devise ways and means to fill up the quotas. 

But good news comes thicker and faster. Gen. Sherman goes 
through triumphantly to the sea, captures Savannah, and turns 
northward. Hood was so badly whipped at Nashville, that we 
hear no more from him. 

The quota of the town of Joliet is ascertained to be sixty-eight, 
of which number forty-six have been furnished, leaving twenty-two 
to be drafted, unless substitutes are furnished. 


The evidence increases that we are approaching the beginning 
of the end. For the last six months, our forces have been success- 
ful at all points. The rebels want to negotiate. Sherman marches 
on. Grant holds Lee tight. Charleston, the womb of the rebel- 
lion, is taken. The rebels ask for an armistice. " Unconditional 
surrender," says Grant, and Lincoln, too. The price of substitutes 
begins to drop rapidly, and hair dye goes up ! Joliet being only 
two or three behind on her quota, old fogies begin to dye their 
hair and whiskers again. Richmond falls. Everybody is jubilant. 
The backbone is broken at last ! 

The news arrived Sunday night. The bells are rung every- 
body rushes to the streets to see where the fire is hears the good 
news, and joins in the hurrah. The people rush to the public 
square. The flood-gates of gab are opened again. Norton, Bo wen, 
Barber, Osgood, O'Connor, Tim. Kelly, Zarley everybody speaks. 
The band is out, and all day Monday nothing is thought of but 
the glorious news. Business is suspended. The two or three men 
still wanting to fill the quota are quickly found. The substitute 
broker's occupation is gone, and the bounty jumper has become an 
extinct " varmint." Joliet is out of the draft, but, better than all, 
no draft is needed, and no more recruits for now the word comes 
" Lee has surrendered ! " Glory, glory, glory hallelujah ! the 
war is over ! The backbone is not only broken, but ground to 
powder ! The boys will soon come marching home ! those who 
have survived the terrible four years ! 

Less than a week passes when, hark ! another sound is in the 
air. Saturday morning, the 15th of April, the first news which 
meets us as we come down town is, that during the night, while 
we slept sweetly, joyfully, our beloved president our own LINCOLN 
has been assassinated, and lies stark and cold in the white house. 
The rebellion, in its death throes, has dealt one terrible last thrust. 
Swift as thought spreads the news. Men refuse to believe that it 
is possible. But every dispatch confirms it. It is, alas ! too true ! 
Men of all parties are struck dumb with grief and consternation. 
All business is, by spontaneous action, suspended. Men talk with 
bated breath and walk with measured steps. Offices and shops are 
closed. The city is draped in mourning. Simultaneously with 
the funeral services at Washington, services are held in our 


churches, which are also draped in mourning, and every patriotic 
heart feels itself smitten by the terrible blow. 

" Oh, what a fall was there, my countrymen ! 
Then I, and yoa, and all of us fell down, 
Whilst bloody treason flourished over us." 

May 2nd, Lincoln's remains pass through Joliet on the way to 
Springfield. Great crowds assemble here, as everywhere, to catch a 
glimpse of the casket which holds the precious dust. Only a few 
however'can do so. Most must be content to look upon the car in 
which they lie. Although the train is to arrive at midnight, at 
least 5,000 people assembled to meet it. The depot was beauti- 
fully draped with the national colors, and with evergreens and 
mourning emblems, and such mottoes as these, "Over the ashes of 
the illustrious dead, we consecrate ourselves anew to the cause of 
truth, justice and freedom." " Reverently the prairie state re- 
ceives the ashes of her noblest son. " " Champion, Defender and 
Martyr of Liberty. " 

A beautiful arch spanned the track, draped in black and white, 
and trimmed with evergreen's, flags and flowers, and surmounted 
with a cross of evergreens. The train arrived at twelve minute 
guns were fired, the church bells tolled, and the multitude stood 
in reverential silence, with uncovered heads, while the band 
played a solemn dirge. Just as the train was approaching, a 
brilliant meteor shot across the heavens, apparently falling over 
the funeral car. After a half hour's stop, the train with its sa- 
cred burden passes on to receive similar homage at every .station. 
At Wilmington, in our county, the depot was beautifully deoora- 
ted, and bore this motto "Martyr, yet Monarch !" 

Our record opened with the death and funeral obsequies of 
DOUGLAS, one of the most gifted citizens of our nation, an hon- 
ored and influential senator. Called from the country he loved, 
when it was just entering the dark and stormy days of the rebel- 
lion, he gave out in his parting words a clarion ring for the 
Union, and the enforcement of the laws. We close with the 
death and funeral obsequies of LINCOLN, no less honored, and 
perhaps more deeply loved. He was permitted to guide the na- 
tion through the four dark and terrible years of the rebellion ; to 


see the authority of the government re-established, and our flag 
waving in triumph over the rebel capital and Fort Sumter, and 
to know that his great work was done. And so, " with malice to- 
ward none, and with charity toward all" he went to his reward 
the greatest martyr of the nineteenth century " the noblest 
Roman of them all !" 

And now, our streets are full again wih soldiers returning from 
their long and weary campaigns. But oh ! with what thinned 
ranks do they come ! And while we rejoice at their return, 
and at the success which has crowned their toils and sufferings, we 
mourn for those that have been left behind on so many bloody 
battle fields. The contribution to our county, to the great holo- 
caust, has been more than five hundred. Let us always grate- 
fully, reverently remember them, and let us believe, that 

" if there be on this earthly sphere, 

A boon, an offering heaven holds dear, 

'Tis the last libation liberty draws, 

From the heart that bleeds and breaks in her cause." 

a public reception, Saturday, July 1st, at the court house square. 
It was a grand demonstration. A most hearty and thankful wel- 
come was given to the bronzed and scarred veterans ; the survi- 
vors of Levernge, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, 
Rocky Face, Resacca, Adairsvilie, Dallas, Lost Mountain, Kenesaw 
Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Spring Hill, 
Franklin and Nashville ! 

They were received by the Mayor and Council, with the music 
of bands, the firing of cannon, and the shouts and huzzahs of the 
assembled thousands. The members of the Soldiers Aid Society in 
their sanitary uniform, and many other ladies lined the streets 
through which they marched, and welcomed them with smiles and 
the waving of flags and handerchiefs. A reception speech was 
made by Joliet's silver-tongued orator, Judge Parks, which was re- 
sponded to by Col. Waterman, An adjournment was then made 
to Young's Hall, which was tastefully decorated, and where a rich 
and bountiful repast had been provided, and was dispensed by the 
PAIR, always ready to welcome the BRAVE. 

July Fourth was celebrated by a grand union picnic, which 


was held in the park south of the city. Hon. Sam. K. Casey, was 
president of the day, assisted by twenty-four vice-presidents. 
Rev. Mr. Jewett of the Methodist, and Rev. Mr. Kidd, of the 
Congregational church, acted as Chaplains. Dennis E. Sibley, of 
the 100th, read the declaration of Independence, and T. L. Breck- 
enridge, was orator of the day. Our Joliet bard, C. H. Macom- 
ber, Esq., welcomed our returned soldiers in poetic and patriotic 
numbers. Major S. G. Nelson, of the 100th, and Major Dan. 
O'Connor, of the COth, were the chief marshals. A free dinner 
was given to all returned soldiers. And thus we celebrated the 
birth-day of our nation in 1776, and its deliverance from threaten- 
ed dismemberment in 1865. 

Other regiments, companies and battery's came home during 
the summer, and were gladly welcomed ; and one after another 
the Will couuty soldiers, the survivors of the long and cruel civil 
war, having given from one to four of the best years of their lives, 
to the work of saving the Union, doffed the army blue which they 
had worn so proudly and so long, and once more quietly took their 
places in the various walks of civil life ; GLAD, that their fighting 
days were over, glad, that all over our broad land, "grim-visaged 
war had smoothed his wrinkled front;" glad, that all the clouds 
which had so Jong lowered over our beloved country were 

" Now in the deep bosom of the ocean buried ; 
That their bows were bound with victorious wreaths ; 
Their bruised arms hung up for monuments ; 
Their stern alarums changed to merry meetings, 
Their dreadful marches to delightful measures." 

Glad ! glad! above all, that now, everywhere, from farthest 
Maine to the Rio Grande ; from the ice bound rocks of Alaska, to 
the orange groves of Florida ; and from the Chesapeake to the 
Golden Gate ; the flag of the Union waved unchallenged, and that 
now, nowhere, east or west, north or south, beneath its ample folds, 
could the all beholding sun, LOOK DOWN UPON A SINGLE SLAVE ! 





Regiment leaves Joliet En route Arrives at Alton Camp Experiences 
Accident Irregular rations Goes to St. Louis Is Armed Goes to Cape 
Girardeau Experiences Expeditions A. J.Sanger as a Spy Goes to Birds 
Point Returns to Cape Starts for Predericktown The Elder has a Prayer 
Meeting Fredericktown A Reliable Contraband The Battle Incidents 
How the 20th Behaved in its First Battle Thanked by Gen. Grant Returns 
to Birds Point Winter Quarters Expeditions Has Visitors from Joliet 
Difficulties in Regiment New Year's Calls Masquerade Old Birds' Honey 
Reconnoisance Starts for Fort Henry [n]the Fort Goes to Donaldson 
Battle Casualties Incidents Col. Marsh's Report Gen. Wallace's Report 
About the Bittle Afterwards Starts for the Tennessee River A Slip 
Betwixt the Cup and Lip Savannah Pittsburgh Landing Battle of Shiloh 
Casualties Advance to Corinth 3- >es to Jaclcson, Tenn. Difficulties 
Again Oapt. Hildebrant Negro Hunters A Pass Through Camp General 


[HE events which preceded and attended the organization of 

the 20th regiment, have already been given in chapter first of 
our " home record, " and need not here be repeated. The 
original enlistment was commenced under the first call for 75,000 
for the three months' service, but before the regiment was fully or- 
ganized, our government had become satisfied that more than 
three months and more than 75,000 men would be required to 
subdue the insurrection, and it was mustered in May 14th, for 


three years, unless sooner discharged. Only thirty of the number 
that had gathered together from the district, declined to go for 
three years, and their places were soon supplied. The full roster 
and muster roll of the two companies, and others from the county, 
will be found in Part Fourth. During the preliminary organiza- 
tion, Dr. A. L. McArthur, had charge of the camp as surgeon, as- 
sisted by Dr. Bailey. At the final muster in, Dr. Christopher 
Goodbrake of Clinton county, was made surgeon, and Dr. F. K. 
Bailey of this city, assistant surgeon, and the Rev. Chas. Button, 
the pastor of the Baptist church in Joliet, was made chaplain. 

On the 18th day of June, the regiment received the long- 
looked for orders from Gov. Yates, and at 5 p. m., bade good-bye 
to Camp Goodell, marched to the depot where the entire city, and 
multitudes from the surrounding country, had assembled to bid 
them good-bye and God-speed, and at 7:20 o'clock they were on 
their way to Alton. The boys met with a complete ovation all 
along the route. At every station the depots and platforms were 
crowded with men, women, and children, who greeted them with 
cheers, hand-shakes, "God bless you's," and boquets. From every 
farm house the train was signaled with waving of handkerchiefs 
and swinging of hats. At Monticello, a whole female seminary 
greeted the boys, and made them regret that they could not stop 
there awhile. 

The train arrived at Alton at noon of Wednesday, and the 
regiment immediately went into camp. But land seemed to be so 
scarce at Alton that they could not secure an eligible camp. The 
place to which they were assigned, consisted of hills and gullies, 
some bushes and innumerable stumps. They were exposed to the 
burning sun by day, with shady groves in sight, from which they 
were shut out, to tantalize them, while the water with which they 
were supplied, did not deserve the name. The contrast with 
Camp Goodell, with its shady oaks and magnificent spring of pure 
cold water, was a striking one, and the men thought the place 
must have been selected on the principle that the sooner they were 
inured to the hardships of soldiering, the better. Others said that 
they were placed there because the owner of the land (one Buck- 
master) wanted the land grubbed of its stumps. Indeed, the 
boys had this for their catechism : 


Ques. What is the chief end for which the 20th was enlisted? 

Ans. To grub stumps for Sam. Buckmaster. 

Certainly the boys were kept from the temptations of idleness 
and the wiles of the devil, while clearing the spot. 

Besides the 20th there was encamped here at this time, the 
15th, 17th, and 24th regiments, and a squadron of cavalry. The 
24th was known as the " Hecker Regiment," and was composed 
largely of Germans, who were old campaigners, who had seen ser- 
vice in European wars, and they were quite disposed to poke fun 
at the raw yankee boys. But before the war was over I presume 
they stopped their fun, as they found that the raw " yankee boys" 
could learn the art of fighting as well as any. Col. Turner of the 
15th, was in command of Camp Pope, as it was named. 

The Hecker regiment had even poorer fare than the 20th 
while in camp " Buckmaster," being without tents, and compelled 
to make blankets do double duty with the help of bushes. One 
day the chaplain of the 20th, conversing with the brave old Ger- 
man colonel, alluded to their hard fare. Hecker replied " Ah, 
well, you know we are only step-children !" 

A melancholy incident occurred while in Camp Pope. One of 
the privates of Company D seized a musket, and playfully point- 
ing it at another private, of the name of Titus, snapped it. Con- 
trary to his expectations, it went off, terribly wounding not only 
Titus, but also one of the Smith family. Both recovered, but 
were disabled and discharged, and one of them sadly disfigured. 
This was a lesson to the boys to be careful with the tools they were 
now handling. This was the first blood that our good chaplain 
had ever seen drawn, and he fainted at the sight, It is said that 
those who are first affected in this way, become the most fearless 
and reliable on the battle field. Certainly this was true of the 
chaplain of the 20th, as we shall see in the course of our history. 

While at Alton, the boys sometimes got hungry. They had 
issued to them some old, wormy hard-tack, that had lain stowed 
away in barracks since the Mexican war, and neither their teeth 
nor their stomachs had yet got reconciled to this kind of fare, and 
they got somewhat restive, and were fully of the opinion that to 
preserve their own lives was the first law of nature. Somebody's 
hogs got in the way just then, perhaps by the direction of old 


Nick, and all at once pop, pop, pop went the guns. Some 
thought the enemy had come, and was charging on the camp. 
But the result of the noise was a good many dead hogs, and 
hungry men fed. But they afterwards paid the penalty of such 
disorderly conduct, some of them in getting sick and having to 
swallow Goodbrake and Bailey's prescriptions, and all of them 
in having enough of their pay stopped to foot the bill. 

While here in camp the 4th of July came along, and was 
duly celebrated. The entire brigade was drawn up about noon, 
and listened to a most eloquent and appropriate address from the 
Rev. Dr. Bellows, of N. Y., who was just then visiting the camp 
as sanitary inspector. At the conclusion of the exercises, the 
whole force was requested to raise the right hand, and solemnly 
pledge themselves to serve the Union cause against all enemies 
whatever. The scene was a very impressive one. 

On the night of July 5th, the regiment was notified to be 
ready to march next day at an early hour, and on the morning 
of the 6th they moved to the river landing, and went aboard a 
steamer, and in a few hours were at St. Louis, and entered the 
enclosure of the memorable arsenal, encamped, and received their 
arms, equipments, and clothing. They were armed with old U. 
S. flint lock muskets changed to percussion lock, and although the 
boys were not very well pleased with them at first, yet they 
proved a very efficient and deadly weapon, and some of them 
were carried all through the service. 

St. Louis, at this time, was in a doubtful state of mind. There 
were many outspoken secesh among all classes, and street rows 
were common. Some of the 20th were passing along a street one 
day, when a lot of this gentry, who were in a livery stable, seeing 
the boys in blue, hurrahed for Jeff. Davis and the southern con- 
federacy. This was the signal for a charge, and that livery stable 
was cleaned out in a brief space of time ! 

After a three days' broil in St. Louis, the regiment again 
embarked, and after a pleasant sail down the river, landed on the 
10th inst. at Cape Girardeau. This place seemed still nearer the 
enemy's land, and matters began to look like business. 

On the night of the day on which they landed at the Cape, 
after the boys, who were very tired, (having had to unload the 


boat), had been about an hour in bed, Col. Erwin came around 
and said he wanted 26 men to go out and take a provision train, 
which had started for the rebel camp just before their arrival. 
Tired as they were, there were plenty of volunteers for the job. 
But Col. Marsh said they were too tired, and would not allow them 
to go. Col. Erwin then rallied a squad of the " home guard," 
and having armed them, set out. The guard had seen the train 
leave for the rebel camp, which was about 20 miles distant, but 
dare not interfere, as there was no force at the Cape to fall back 
upon. The expedition was entirely successful. Colonel Erwin 
returned during the night, having captured seven loaded wagons, 
five yoke of oxen, four horses, and eight prisoners. The train had 
a guard of twenty men the balance escaped. 

While at the Cape, J. E. Shields was appointed quartermaster ; 
J. F. Branch, wagon-master ; E. P. Smith, com. sergt. ; James 
Hubbard, sutler ; and Albert E. Randall, postmaster. 

The 20th laid an embargo upon the river trade, capturing con- 
traband to a large amount. It stopped the steamer Memphis, 
among others, finding on board a lot of medicines destined for the 
southern army, shipped by the loyal (?) house of G. & K., and 
secreted in trunks and valises. 

Three companies of the 20th (B, C and I), also went on a scout 
to ascertain the strength of the rebel Gen. Watkins' command, from 
whom so much was feared and threatened. They returned and 
reported his vaunted force to be about 1,500, poorly armed. 

About the 15th of July, word came that the notorious Jeff. 
Thompson was raiding on the Whitewater, about twenty miles 
away, and companies E and F were ordered for special service, 
with three days' rations. The boys were ready for the expedition, 
but the question of rations was a " little mixed." The government 
hard tack had been condemned, and rations of flour were issued 
instead. But there was no bread baked ahead, and all they had 
to take for rations was raw ham. Capt. Hildebrant, who was in 
charge of the expedition, reported at headquarters as ready for 
duty, with raw meat only, and was informed that bread would be 
supplied. But they marched at 10 o'clock at night, with very 
deficient rations, and were at Whitewater by daylight, and went 
into camp in the woods, well fagged out. During the next day, 


they managed to procure corn bread, and some potatoes, for which 
the captain paid out of his own pocket, and managed to subsist in 
this way two days. The expedition was one of those foolish ones, 
often made during the war, viz., sending infantry to catch cavalry. 
All through the war, our army was very defective in the cavalry 
branch of service, and inferior to the rebels. Gen. Scott, I believe, 
with all his skill as a general, was not favorable to cavalry. And 
then it was expensive ! 

On the return of the expedition, Capt. Hildebrant was placed 
under arrest by Col. Marsh, for taking his men on a march without 
bread, and for allowing them to forage. After two days, he was 
released, on demand of the regiment, who had learned the facts in 
the case. 

This unpleasant circumstance brings us face to face with the 
fact which we would gladly ignore if possible that there were, 
for some time, in the history of the 20th, dissensions which injured 
it, and rendered association with it unpleasant to many. I shall 
touch as lightly as possible on this part of its history, and only so 
far as is necessary to vindicate the reputation of some of our Will 
county men. 

Fremont was at this time in command of the department, and 
during the last of July, with his staff, paid the Cape a visit. 

While here, the first death occurred in the regiment, the 1st 
sergeant of Co. A, from Champaign county. 

It will be remembered that General Fremont, being somewhat 
more advanced in his views than the administration, had issued an 
emancipation proclamation, which, not being president, (having 
only once run for the office), and being only a department com- 
mander, was perhaps a little irregular. As a consequence, many 
negroes had come within the union lines, and there were a good 
many at the Cape. When this proclamation was overruled by the 
higher powers, of course there was trouble in the camp of the con- 
trabands, and many heart-rending scenes were witnessed by the 
boys, as the poor refugees gave way to their grief and fear, at thus 
being remanded to the tender mercies of the masters from whom 
they had escaped, believing that the "year of jubilee had come." 

While the regiment was at the Cape, one of the members from 
our county developed into a first-class scout, or spy. I need 


not say that this is the most dangerous, as it oftentimes is the 
most useful, service which anyone can render the cause of his 
country. The fate of a spy, if detected, is death. The justice of 
this, so long as both parties and all nations make use of them, it is 
hard to see. But so it is the man who undertakes this role runs 
the hazard of being detected and hung. Who has not wept over 
the story of Major Andre, spy though he was, and a British spy, 
too ! And who has not felt dissatisfied with the law which com- 
pelled Washington to order his execution, at the same time that he 
was, no doubt, employing spies himself? Much has been said about 
the morality of employing spies, and acting the part of a spy ; but 
they have been employed in war ever since the time of Moses. 

The person to whom I allude as a spy in the 20th, was Albert 
J. Sanger, of Co. F, in respect to whom I have found the follow- 
ing in a soldier's letter : 

"We have one of the best spies in the company that ever tried 
the swamps. It is A. J. Sanger. He can play the "sawney " to 
such perfection that the people believe him a fool. He is gone 
almost all the time. He has been eighty miles back toward the 
Arkansas line. He has been a prisoner in Thompson's and Har- 
dee's camps, but they thought he was a fool, and let him go. He 
goes out all alone, on horseback, with an old pair of saddle-bags, 
dressed in a blue linsey coat and butternut pants, calico shirt, and 
old straw hat, and is a regular who-haw-buck. When he returns 
to camp, no one can get a word out of him. He does not wish to 
be recognized. He went out a week ago, and has returned. He 
went into Arkansas, and was taken prisoner, and came near losing 
his horse, and narrowly escaped being shot several times. He 
was taken prisoner and brought before Jeff. Thompson, who told 
him that if he had no other business but to see his friends, he had 
better return, as the times were too hot for visiting. ' Besides/ 
said Jeff., 'I shall soon have possession of the Cape, and then no 
one will be allowed to pass.' This was just the information San- 
ger was after, and he told Jeff, he had been there, and he thought 
he could take it easily enough if he tried. But Jeff, did not take 
it so soon as he expected." 

Just before Sanger took up the role of spy, a lieutenant from 


the 9th regiment had tried it, went into Hardee's camp, was 
arrested and shot. 

July 23d, companies B, I and K, in command of Capt. Bartle- 
son, (it having been reported that 300 rebels were threatening an 
attack,) went out on a scout to look after them ; they went through 
Jackson, Whitewater and Dallas, and scouted over the country for 
ten miles around the Cape, returning July 28, with some prisoners, 
having marched 75 miles. 

July 29th, Capt. Bartleson, with 25 men, went on the steamer 
Illinois, 25 miles up the river, and destroyed a ferry boat with 
which the rebs were running corn from Illinois to Missouri. 

August 13th, companies B, C, E and F, and a section of artil- 
lery, in command of Col. Erwin, went to Hamburg, killed nine 
rebels, and returned with prisoners, having traveled sixty miles. 

August 17th, Lieutenant Cleghorn, with 25 men, went on the 
steamer Luella, down the river, to Big Island, in search of rebel 
stores, and returned August 20th, with a boat load of horses and 

During the month of August, occurred the visit of some of our 
citizens to the Cape, and the scare which Jeff. Thompson got up 
for their benefit, as related in the home history of the time. 

The Cape had now become a strong post and supplied with 
cannon, and it would have required a strong force to take it. 
Besides, the rebels had many friends in the town, who would have 
got cleaned out if they should attack it. Gen. Grant was now in 
command, under Fremont, of the sub-district, having his head- 
quarters at Cairo. Here the regiment remained until about the 
middle of August, being engaged, in the meantime, in building 
fortifications, drilling, &c., and in frequent expeditions, and eating 
Uncle Sam's rations. During their stay, they built the substantial 
earthworks, which commanded both the river and the town. The 
20th was, some of the time, the only force at the Cape, and was 
consequently liable to an attack. 

Sometime in the last of August, the regiment was moved out 
to Jackson, about twenty miles, with other forces from the Cape, 
for the purpose of aiding in a plan which had been laid to trap a 
rebel force under Pillow. This place was the residence of a rebel 
general, by the name of Watkins, a man of great wealth. Some 


of the boys were quartered in his fine mansion, and I fear were 
not as careful as they should have been of the house and contents. 

Sept. 12th, the regiment went down on the steamer Illinois to 
Birds Point, where it remained until the middle of October. Dr. 
Bailey was left at the Cape in charge of the sick. There was much 
sickness, measles, &c. The seminary building, court house, and a 
church, were all used as hospitals. The various regiments which 
had passed through the Cape had left their sick, and the doctor 
had his hands full. 

Hearing that Jeff. Thompson was at Fredericktown, a place 
between Pilot Knob and Cape Girardeau, Gen. Grant conceived 
the idea of cutting off his retreat. In consequence of this plan, 
the 20th regiment left Birds Point on the 16th of October, at mid- 
night, on the steamer Louisiana, with a section of Taylor's battery,, 
under command of Lieut. White. The steamer Chancellor fol- 
lowed, with two companies of cavalry, in command of Captain 
Stewart. Before noon, of the 17th, they arrived at the Cape, and 
encamped just outside of the city limits, on the Jackson road. On 
the 18th, the force, which consisted of the 17th 111., Col. Ross ; 
the llth Missouri, Col. Plummer; the 20th 111., the two compa- 
nies of cavalry, and the section of artillery before named all in 
command of Col. Plummer, of the llth Missouri started out for 
Fredericktown. It is proper to remark here that the llth Mis- 
souri was really an Illinois regiment, being one of those that had 
been mustered in as a Missouri regiment when our quota was 
filled. The force aggregated in all about 1,700. Moving out, 
they marched the first day about thirteen miles, camping about 
four miles northwest of Jackson, on. the Dallas road. On the 
evening of the 19th, they reached Dallas, about halfway to Fred- 

The regiment went into camp near the house of a southern 
planter, a secession sympathizer. The good chaplain called on the 
family, and finding that they were zealous Baptists, proposed hav- 
ing a prayer meeting after supper. This proposition was cordially 
accepted, and at the appointed hour the planter gathered his family 
and the neighbors, and the chaplain gathered the praying ones of 
the regiment, and they had a good, old-fashioned prayer meeting. 

But all of the boys of the 20th, I am sorry to say, were not of 


the praying kind. Some a majority, I fear were quite other- 
wise. At any rate, while the prayer meeting was going on, and 
the family were feeling safe and happy, and growing more char- 
itable in their hearts toward the Yankees, some of the boys took 
the opportunity of doing a little foraging on their own account. 
The result was, that many of the planter's chickens, and sweet 
potatoes, and a share of his honey, too, got into camp. The next 
morning, Sergeant Bernier very innocently went to the house to 
borrow a kettle to cook his potatoes in. The woman thought this 
pretty " cheeky." " A pretty set of Christians are you Yanks," 
says she. " Some of you come here and pray, and talk very pious, 
while the rest steal my chickens, and potatoes, and honey ; and 
now you have the impudence to come and a?k for my kettle ; " 
and she proceeded to pour forth upon the heads of the sergeant 
and the Yanks in general, a broadside of vernacular that must 
have nearly exhausted her vocabulary. The sergeant, though one 
of the bravest of the boys, beat a hasty retreat. 

Of course the good chaplain was not in collusion with the raid- 
ers ; but the chaplain's prayer meeting became a standing joke in 
the regiment, and whenever rations were short, his brother officers 
were wont to-suggest to him the propriety of holding another prayer 
meeting ; but the planters did not " hanker" after any more ! 

On the 20th, they approached within eleven miles of Freder- 
icktown, where they expected to cage the redoubtable Jeff. Strict 
watch was kept up that night. On the 21st, they resumed the 
march, and though many were footsore and weary, no complaints 
were made. They arrived in sight of Fredericktown about noon. 
The town was pleasantly located on high ground, the court house 
occupying the crest of the hill. They found the stars and stripes 
flying from the court house, and the place in possession of a force 
under Col. Carlin, which had come from Pilot Knob to aid in 
bagging Jeff. But Jeff, had captured a bearer of dispatches, and 
learned of the plot, and slipped out of sight. He formed a counter- 
plot, and intended to move out and intercept the force under 
Plummer, thrash them, and then return and do the same job for 
Carlin ; but 

" The best laid schemes o' mice an' men 

Gang aft a-gly." 


Col. Carlin, believing that Jeff, had made his escape, and think- 
ing that pursuit would be useless, was resting himself and his com- 
mand in town. The inhabitants of the place were strongly secash, 
and all the information that could be got from them was that 
Jeff, had left the day before for Greenville. Col. Plummer, 
however, to whom Col. Carlin had yielded the command, thought 
he would try and ascertain whether Jeff, was within reach. He 
accordingly organized a column for pursuit, consisting of his 
force from the Cape, and part of Scholfield's battery, leaving Car- 
lin's force in reserve. 

But Jeff, had not gone far, but had formed an ambuscade, 
about a mile from town, just over a ridge on .the Green- 
ville road, concealing his forces in a cornfield and some tim- 
ber, intending to draw on our forces and then open upon them. 
This plan would probably have been successful but for a " relia- 
ble contraband," who was sitting on a fence in front of a house, 
and who said to Capt. Stewart, who was in advance with his 
cavalry, " Don't go down dar massa, heap secesh down dar, seed 
'em myself, not seben minutes ago." His statement, fortunately, 
obtained sufficient credence to bring our forces to a halt, and 
cause a reconnoisance to see if it was true. Just over the hill 
partly concealed by the timber and the cornfield, the enemy was 
discovered awaiting the approach of our forces. He had planted 
four field pieces skillfully concealed by the woods, and his infan- 
try and about 800 cavalry were well posted to pour a deadly fire 
upon our boys as soon as they came in range. 

Thanks, first to a kind Providence, and next to the contra- 
band, this well laid plan was discovered in time. This "old 
darkey " does not figure in any official reports of the fight, but I 
have the account from an eye witness in the 20th, and I am only 
sorry that I do not know the darkey's name, that it might at least 
pass into this history. As it is, the credit of the affair must be 
set down to his poor despised race. 

Col. Plummer soon placed his forces in order of battle. The 
section of Taylor's battery, and one gun of Major Scholfield's were 
duly planted. The 17th regiment took the centre, the 20th the 
right, and the 1 1th Mo. the left. Silence, solemn and deep for a 
few minutes, and then the ball opened by two rounds from Tay- 
lor's guns. The enemy replied. In a few moments our forces 


advanced, and the conflict became general. The advance force 
of the enemy under Col. Lowe, 800 picked men, was brought, by 
the skillful disposition of our forces, between the cross fire of the 
two wings, and the slaughter was terrible. Our cannon spoke 
twice to the enemy's once. The officers and men of the 20th all 
fought bravely in this their first conflict. Cols. Marsh and Er- 
win were both in the thickest of the fight, and the bullets flew 
thick around them, but they escaped unhurt. A cannon ball 
passed under the horse of Col. Marsh, and struck off the shoe of 
the horse of his adjutant. The fight continued for about three 
hours, and resulted in the discomfiture and retreat of Jeff, and his 
entire force, leaving over three hundred dead on the field, and 
many prisoners. Jeff, did not go to look after Carlin's force, al- 
though they were not far off, but hastened as fast as possible in 
another direction. Only about 1200 of our forces were actively 
engaged in the fight. That of the enemy is supposed to have 
been considerably larger. 

A sad sight was this, the first battle field which had been seen 
by any of the 20th, save Lt. Col. Erwin, who had been in the 
Mexican war. The mangled corpses excited the pity of our men, 
although most of them were enemies of the Union. Old men and 
beardless boys, lay side by side, dead and dying. Col. Lowe who 
had been a terror to all Union men in the region, was killed. 

Our forces chased Thompson four miles, capturing many. The 
entire loss in the 20th regiment, was three wounded. Two guns 
were captured from the enemy, one of which was brought in by 
Co. B., led on by its brave captain, Bartleson, Chaplain Button 
was highly commended for his kind offices to the wounded and dy- 
ing on the field, although while the fight was in progress, it was 
hard work for him to maintain his official character as a non-com- 
batant. When Co. B. was hauling up the captured cannon, he swung 
his hat and cried out, " give it to them boys, the Lord is on our side/' 

That we have not over stated the action of the 20th in this, its 
first encounter with the foes of the Union cause, which, alas ! had 
not hitherto had many successes, will be seen by the following ad- 
dressed to Col. Marsh by the commanding general : 

HD. QRS., 2ND DIST. S. E. Mo., Oct. 31st, 1861. 

COL.: I am instructed by Gen. Grant, to extend to yon, and your com- 
mand his cordial welcome on your return from the field of battle, and of 


your victory. The reports that have reached him from Fredericktown, 
have filled him with the highest admiration for the valor aad patriotism dis- 
played by you and your command, in that engagement. Amid the gloom 
that filled the country in the commencement of the reverses of our army at 
Leesburg, Fredericktown arose and threw athwart the cloud its bow of 
promise. It was your privilege to be among the foremost of that gallant band 
who raised our drooping banner, and emblazoned it with victory. The im- 
portance of your success cannot be measured by an ordinary standard. It 
gave new life to tens of thousands of our discouraged soldiers. It has 
crushed out the rebellion in S. E. Missouri. It has restored the prestige of 
victory to our flag. And, not the least source of your general's gratification 
is the fact that you have brought back your entire command. 
Very Respectfully, 


Captain and Aid-de-Camp. 

The officers and men of the 20th regiment felt at the time that 
the correspondents of the Chicago papers did them great injustice. 
They scarcely made mention of the part of the 20th in this engage- 
ment. One account was written as if the regiments from Pilot 
Knob did the fighting, while they really had no part in it. The 
battle was fought mainly by the 20th and 17th III., and llth Mo., 
and the' 20th was the only regiment that got a sight of Jeff. 
Thompson, and had to be stopped in their pursuit. 

Col. Plummer, who commanded the forces engaged, compli- 
mented the 20th for its bravery, and tied the blue ribbon upon its 
flag, which was riddled with bullets. The boys after they deliv- 
ered their fire, had a trick of throwing themselves upon their .backs 
and then loading, and jumping up again and delivering their fire, 
and to this it was no doubt owing that they escaped with so few 
casualties. Our troops were so indignant at the people of Freder- 
icktown for their deception, that they were with difficulty re- 
strained from burning the town. 

During the return of the 20th from Fredericktown, strict or- 
ders were given by Col. Marsh against foraging. On encamping 
for the night, the men found themselves terribly hungry, and their 
prospects for supper very slim. One of the lynx-eyed boys es- 
pied a flock of sheep, and the temptation was too strong for some 
of them, and several carcasses were brought into camp, and pre- 
parations made for a good square meal. Suddenly the Colonel 
made his apppearanqe, and seeing what was going on said, " Boys 
this won't do, you know that it is a positive violation of my 


orders. " One whom the boys called " Lemon Jim, " spoke up, 
and with the utmost gravity said, " Col., we came suddenly upon 

these d d devils ; they refused to take the oath of allegiance, 

and here they are ! " 

The 20th, soon after the battle of Fredericktown, (Oct. 3 1st) re- 
turned to Birds Point, on steamer Alex. Scott. Here the men 
built log houses for their winter quarters. 

While here, during January, General .Paine ordered Captain 
Hildebrant to take Sergeant Branch and ten men, and proceed to 
Belmont and arrest one Wiseman, the leader of a rebel 
gang that shot many of our pickets on the 16th of January, and to 
bring him into camp. They arrived at Belmont about midnight, 
and cautionsly approaching a house found it a rendezvous of rebel 
pickets whose camp was a mile ahead, directly opposite Colum- 
bus. The call was unexpected. Our boys drove in the pickets 
and surrounded the house. In a loud voice the captain gave out 
his commands, ordering the columns to move forward ! as if he 
had a large force. The rebs skedaddled toward their camp with- 
out firing a gun. Our boys searched the house, but found that 
the bird had flown. On their return they heard the long roll 
call sounded in the rebel camp, and the order to " fall in." 

This bold reconnoisance on the part of Captain Hildebrant, is 
only one of the many tests to which his bravery and judgment 
were subjected, and in which he always proved himself equal to 
the occasion. 

Soon after the return of the 20th to Birds Point, it received a 
visit from some of its Joliet friends. Among them, Otis Hardy ? 
Esq., and his two eldest daughters, and Mrs. Button, the wife of 
the worthy chaplain.. "Bro. Hardy " had heard that somehow 
hospital stores which had been forwarded to the boys from Joliet 
had failed to come to hand, and with his usual zeal and thorough- 
ness he made it his business to investigate the matter. He ac- 
cordingly looked up the stores in Cairo, and got them into the 
hospital. Not liking the looks of the hospital, (of which our boys 
had just taken possession,) he pulled off his coat, and with the assist- 
ance of the others, he thoroughly " policed " it, without waiting 
for orders or even a permit from headquarters. Some officials 
looked on astonished at so extra-judicial a proceeding, but I guess 
the inmates rather liked it. 


The stay at Birds Point was extremely tedious, and the boys 
became somewhat restive. The difficulties in the regiment broke 
out again. A petition was circulated asking Col. Marsh to resign, 
which was signed by more than three- fourths of the officers, and a 
great majority of the men, which he declined to do. Capt. Hilde- 
brant, on being arbitrarily denied a leave of absence to go to Caira 
and meet his wife, allowed himself to be guilty of an act of insub- 
ordination, and to go without leave, for which he was placed in 
arrest, and ordered confined to camp. After a few days, Captain 
Hildebrant reported to the general commanding, when he was 
released from arrest, and placed on duty as a scout, and remained 
most of the winter on special service. Just before the movement 
up the river to Fort Henry, the captain was tried on the charge of 
disobedience, with some other charges of which he was not guilty, 
and the court cleared him of all ; but for some reason, the papers 
foiled to reach the headquarters. 

The captain remained on special duty, taking part in the New 
Madrid fight, and the final skirmish at Sykeston, until April, 
1862, when he rejoined his company at Pittsburg Landing as a 
private, and carried a musket during the two days' fight, and was 
afterward restored to his command by order of department com- 

While at Birds Point the llth 111. and 20th were brigaded 
together, and the men became fast friends. They were located in 
the vicinity of some of old Bird's bee-hives, and of course, as the old 
man was known to be a secesh, and as the boys had a kind of han- 
kering after honey, some of the hives got robbed of their sweet 
stores ; and what was more unfortunate, the robbers got caught at 
it by Grant's body-guard, who arrested the whole squad, and 
paroled them to appear at headquarters next morning, which they 
did, and got assessed a fine, to pay the old man for his honey. 
But the joke of the thing was, that the body-guard were so careful 
of the honey, and so anxious to keep temptation away from the 
men, that they eat it up themselves. The consequence was, that 
when any of them came within hearing of the brigade, the follow- 
ing catechism was repeated for their edification : 

Question. " Who stole the honey ? " 

Answer. "The llth and 20th." 


$. " Who paid for the honey ? " 

A. "The llth and 20th." 

,_ Who eat the honey ? " 

A. " Gen. Grant's body-guard ! " 

This got to the ears of the general after a little, and the fine on 
the llth and 20th was remitted ! 

New Year's day, 1862, found a large array gathered at Birds 
Point, under the command of Brig. Gen. Paine, Gen. Grant being 
in command of the district of Cairo. 

Many of the wives of the officers of the regiments composing 
this force were stopping at Cairo, among others, Mrs. Erwin, Mrs. 
Bartleson, Mrs. Hildebrant, and Mrs. Goodwin, of Joliet, were 
there. Of course there was much passing to and fro across the 
river. New Year's Day was kept under novel circumstances by 
the army congregated at the " Point," and by the ladies quartered 
at Cairo. The ladies generally kept open house, and were the 
recipients of many calls. Not to name any others, Mrs. General 
Grant "received " on that occasion. I presume that then she did 
not in the least anticipate that she would ever " receive " as mis- 
tress of the white house. 

Among others, Col. Wallace, of the llth 111., Lt. Col. Erwin, 
and Captain Bartleson, of the 20th, called upon her in company. 
Each of the three now sleep in honored graves, having met death 
on the field. The first to fall was Lt. Col. Erwin, (only a few 
weeks after), at Donaldson. A little later, Col. Wallace fell at 
Shiloh. Capt. Bartleson, after losing an arm at Shiloh, survived 
to meet the enemies of his country as colonel of the 100th, on the 
fiercely contested fields of Stone River and Chickamauga ; and 
after enduring a long imprisonment at Libby, fell at last before 
the deadly aim of a rebel sharpshooter in front of " Kenesaw " a 
few days after rejoining his regiment. 

While the officers were thus spending the day, the " high pri- 
vates" were not without their recreation. Some wagg of the llth 
and 20th took it into their heads to get up a masquerade, which 
for its grotesqueness, its happy hits, and telling comicalities, has 
seldom been excelled, and will be remembered by many still liv- 
ing. Among other performances, they went through a burlesque 
artillery drill, mounted on old mules, and using old stove pipes 


mounted on cart wheels for cannon, imitating the movements of 
artillerymen in the most ludicrous manner. Two of the boys 
one being dressed in female garb went on a " tour of inspection " 
through the camps and hospitals, riding from one to the other in 
great haste, dismounting, and going through a hurried inspection 
of the premises, asking questions ludicrously impertinent, making 
short speeches and exhortations, and then mounting their mules 
and flying to another ; thus burlesqueing some " visitors " they had 
seen. And in a hundred ways, which those who witnessed the 
scene may recall, the boys kept their New Year's Day alas ! the 
last very many of them would see ! 

On the 14th day of January, 1862, the 20th was in the force 
that accompanied Gen. Grant in his reconnoisance toward Colum- 
bus, and on the 20th returned to Birds Point. 

Some time in January, also, a part of the regiment accompanied 
a force of about 1,500, which was sent out to chase up a cavalry 
force of the enemy. The expedition started out a little after dusk, 
and after wandering about all night in a drizzling rain, they were 
guided by a man, who proved to be a traitor, into an ambuscade, 
while it was still dark. From some unknown source, they were 
met by a volley of musketry, which killed four and wounded some 
fifteen in an Iowa regiment. A retreat was indulged in as soon 
as possible. 

The regiment then took part in the expedition under General 
Grant, which left Cairo Feb. 2d and 3d, 1862, the objective point 
being Fort Henry. 

They left comfortable quarters, but were glad to be on the 
move. They left by steamer. A snow storm came on, which, 
with the crowded state of the boat, made things somewhat uncom- 
fortable, especially the first night, when the 20th had to occupy 
the hurricane deck. The deck was covered with ice, and it was 
impossible to move. Two men slipped overboard during the 
night, and were drowned. They laid at Cairo until 10 o'clock of 
Monday. They then crossed to Paducah, stopping two hours, 
and then passed up the Tennessee in the night. The morning 
found them within twelve miles of the fort. Soon they heard the 
music of the gun-boats in the advance, under Commodore Foote, 
shelling the shores. They landed within four miles of the fort, and 


encamped on a high hill. The 20th was placed in the 2d brigade, 
Col. W. H. L. Wallace, commanding; the 1 1th 111., the 45th 
111., the 4th cavalry, and McAllister's and Taylor's batteries, with 
the 20th, constituted the brigade. In the capture of Fort Henry, 
the land forces took no part, the work being wholly done by the 
gun-boats. On the 6th, the 20th was in the fort. 

It was the intention to have the land force invest the fort in 
the rear, and to cut off the escape of the garrison, as well as to aid 
in reducing it. Nine o'clock was the time set for attack, it being 
expected that by that time the land forces would be in position. 
But, although the troops were on the move by daylight, such was 
the condition of the roads, that they had not proceeded two miles 
before the gun-boats commenced the attack. The weather had been 
rainy for weeks, the river was over its banks, and every slough 
and bayou was full, so that instead of four miles, the force had to 
go ten to reach the rear of the fort, and had to wade streams and 
bayous waist deep, and encounter mud knee deep. The conse- 
quence was, that the infantry did not get to Fort Henry until after 
dark, and the main part of the rebels had escaped to Fort Don- 

The regiment left fort Henry for Donaldson on the 12th, with 
the army under Grant, the greater portion being in camp before 
dark the same evening. But they had a weary march through 
mud and snow, and over a rough country. The, bombardment by 
the gunboats was commenced the 13th. Friday, the 14th, was 
comparatively quiet. But on the 15th, the fight was vigorous. 
The gun-boats had got disabled, and the work had to be done, 
this time, by the land forces. On the night of the 13th, the enemy 
made an attempt to take Taylor's battery, and it was repulsed by 
the llth and 20th regiments. Saturday, the 15th, the enemy made 
a desperate attack, of which McClernand's division sustained the 
brunt. They were nobly resisted for three hours, and finally 
repulsed, our side being nearly out of ammunition. On the 17th, 
the fort surrendered, and Grant won the soubriquet of " Uncondi- 
tional Surrender Grant," that being the terms he gave the rebels. 

In the three days' fight, resulting in such a glorious victory, 
so important in its results, the 20th took its full share. And this 
time not without severe loss. The rejoicings which filled our hearts 



at the news of victory, were sadly dampened when the tidings came 
that Col. Erwin was among the killed; that the life of one of our 
most respected citizens was part of the cost of victory. The 20th 
also lost twenty killed, eight of whom were from Will county, and 
our companies, B and F, had also thirty wounded. 

The attention shown the remains of Col. Erwin has been given 
in our home history, and a brief sketch of his life will be found 
elsewhere. We give here the official report of Col. Marsh, in full, 
and the casualties to Will county men : 



SIB: Incompliance with orders,! make the following report of the 
moveaieuts of my command during the 13th, 14th and 15th insts. On the 
morning of the 13th, my regiment with the rest of the brigade was formed 
in line of bittle neir tha brow of the hill, fronting the right of the enemy's 
fortifications. Nothing of special interest affecting my command occurred 
during tha day. Towards evening I was ordered to move toward the right, 
and I took position on a ridge facing tha outworks of the rebel's left, the llth 
III. being on my right, and the 48th on my left. Shortly after taking posi- 
tion it commen ;ed raining, turning in a short time to snow, and bitterly 
cold. My regiment was underarms nearly the whole night, the frequent 
skirmishes of our pickets with those of the enemy, leading me to fear au at- 
tack at any moment. At daylight, on the morning of the 14th, I ordered 
fires started, and coffee made for my c >mmand ; our close proximity to the 
enemy forbiddi ig the use of fires at night. Most of this day was spent in 
watching the movements of the enemy, and employing my sharp-shooters 
in picking off the rebels as they showed themselves above their breastworks. 
This night passed very similarly to the preceding one, my men bearing the 
exposure of the cold and fatigue with exemplary patience. At daybreak, on 
the morning of the 15th, repeated volleys of musketry on the right, caused 
me to form in line of battle. I soon ascertained that the firing was caused 
by the enemy's attacking the 1st brigade, (Col. Oglesby's) posted on the ex- 
treme right of our line. I immediately strengthened my skirmishers whom 
I had kept out all night, giving instructions to report from time to time the 
movements of the enemy, if attacked, to endeavor to drive back their ad- 
vance, and not retreat till forced to do so by a superior force. Matters con- 
tinued thus for some two hours, the firing on the right being without inter- 
mission. At this time the officer in command of my skirmishers, informed 
me that the enemy was advancing in my front. A few moments and my 
advance was drawn back, and almost immediately the rebels appeared com- 
ing over the brow of the hill. Not waiting to receive their attack, I order- 
ed my command to advance, which they did in admirable order, driving the 
rebels steadily before them till they broke and run. Advancing in pursuit 
I was suddenly met by a fresh force of the enemy, who at once opened fire 
upon me, still moving forward. I succeeded in forcing them to retreat, and 
followed them up, till running short of ammunition, I drew back in good 


order to my first position, and sent back for a fresh supply. I remained 
here without further molestation from the enemy till ordered to march to 
the left. Shortly after taking my original position, the llth 111. next on my 
right became engaged, and at the time of my being ordered off the field were 
still fighting bravely. Had I received a fresh supply of ammunition, I 
would gladly have gone to their assistance. I may be pardoned for speak- 
ing with pride of the behavior of my entire command, officers and men 
during the action. The fine order, coolness and courage with which they 
advanced in the face of a terrible and continuous fire meets my hearty com- 
mendation. My every order was promptly and correctly executed to my 
complete satisfaction. Could my record end here, I would be indeed happy 
but the painful duty remains to report the loss of many of my brave men. 
My Lt. Col. Wm. Erwin was killed quite early in the action, being struck 
in the breast by a round shot from one of the enemy's guns. A cool, brave 
officer, a noble man, he gloriously fell in the execution of his duty, adding 
in his death new laurels to those he Jong since won on the bloody field of 
Buena Vista. His commander sadly regrets the occasion which calls forth 
this feeble tribute of respect to his memory. Color Serg't Newton and the 
entire color guard, except one corporal,' were either killed or wounded. vTl 
herewith append a list of the killed, wounded and missing of my command. 
My field music and band were employed during the action in removing the 
wounded and dead from the field, thus rendering efficient service and per- 
mitting me to retain all my fighting men in the ranks. Tendering my con- 
gratulations on the glorious victory and the capture of Fort Donaldson, I 
have the honor to remain, 

Your very obedient servant, 


The official report of Gen. W. H. L. Wallace, commander of 
the 2nd brigade, 1st division, says: 

"My brigade was formed by order of Gen. U. S. Grant commanding the 
district of Cairo, consisted of the llth 111. Infantry, Col. Ransom ; 20th 111. 
Infantry, Col. C. C. Marsh; 49th, Col. John E. Smith; 48th 111., Col. I. N. 
Hayne; 4th 111. Cavalry, Col. T. L. Dickey; Capt. Ezra Taylor's Battery (B. 
1st 111. Artillery) and Capt. E. McAllister's Battery of three 24 pound howit- 
zers. * * * * * * * * * 

" The 20th, which stood next the llth, was the next heaviest sufferer, 
having eighteen killed on the field. Lt. Col. Erwin, while nobly animating 
his men, and adding new laurels to those he so nobly won at Buena Visita, 
was struck down by a cannon shot from the enemy's battery." 

Col. C. C. Marsh exhibited the utmost coolness and self-possession on 
the field, encouraging his men with all the order of parade. Major Rich- 
ards also acted with great bravery. 

"McAllister's guns did good service. They were three 24 pound how- 
itzers, without caissons, and with a limited supply of ammunition, and with- 
out a full compliment of men. One of them lost a wheel, shot away onthe 
13th, but supplied from their limber. On the 15th inst, the trail of another 
howitzer was broken, and it was rendered useless. They fired all their am- 


munition, fifty rounds a piece. The cavalry of Col. Dickey, 4th 111., did ex- 
cellent service in reconnoitering, and holding the enemy in check on the 

To Surgeon Goodbrake of the 20th, acting brigade surgeon, lam under 
special obligations. Chaplains Pearsons of the llth, and Button of the 20th 
were indefatigable in their attentions to the wounded, and in collecting and 
burying the dead." 

The reader will bear in mind that in the 4th cavalry men- 
tioned above, Will county had five commissioned officers and one 
hundred and twenty-seven men ; and also that McAllister's bat- 
tery was largely from our county ; thus, in this memorable en- 
gagement, our couiity was largely represented. 



Lieut. Col. Erwin, Private, Thomas Mahan, Co. F. 

Color CorporalJohn Weist, Co. B. " Jacob Dolkey, Co. F, 

Private, James A. Bassett, Co. F. " John A. Bowman, Co F. 


Wm. D. Rudgers, Drum Major. Joseph Griffin, Co. B. 

2nd Lieut. Harry King. George Bentz, Co. B. 

James Carson, Co. B. George F. Smith, Co. B. 

Francis MRooke, Co. B. Henry Gerich, Co. B. 

George Lee, Co. B. Joshua Dykman, Co. B. 

Serg't James F. Branch, Co. F. Duncan W. Covert, Co. F. 

Corp. John J. Quackenbush, Co. F. John W. Coombs, Co. F. 

Wm. Lanson, Co. F. George Wier, Co. F. 


Private, Eugene R. Connors, Co. B. Lewis Otto, Co. F. 

Corp. James C. Porter, Co. F. A. W. Burrows, Co. F. 

John Hiller, Co. F. John Counter, Co. F. 

William Unruh, Co. F. David Spade, Co. F. 
Oscar Gamble, Co. F. 


Wilson W. Wright, Co. F. died Feb, 18, Alonzo Rose, Co. I. 


Henry Sampson, Co. B. John Ragan, Co. F. 

James E. Sheffer, Co. F. 

Wm. H. Duncan, Co. F. 

Total in regiment killed, 18; wonnded, 109; missing 6. 

A writer after the surrender of Donaldson, writes most exult- 
antly, "The Union is saved, and the backbone of the rebellion 
broken." This proved a little premature ; we had to break that 
backbone seAeral times afterward. 


A correspondent writing from the battle field of Donaldson 
says, " We first rode over the ground where the rebels on Satur- 
day endeavored so hard to break through our lines. That the 
fight had been of the most desperate character, the scores of the 
dead lying all around fully attested. I counted on a piece of 
ground not more than 100 feet square, thirty-five dead rebels 
lying where they fell, while in every direction we took we met 
their dead on every hand. In a deep ravine just below the ground 
occupied by the rebels, the llth, 8th and 20th. 111. regiments had 
met the terrible charge of 1,600 rebel cavalry supported by six or 
seven regiments of infantry. It was here too that they were ex- 
posed for two hours to the fire from the enemy's rifle pits, not more 
than 200 yards off, I need not write that here our own dead 
were lying as it were in heaps. When we reached the ground, par- 
ties from the regiments had commenced the sad work of gather- 
ing the dead. The llth had already identified 44, and placed 
them in rows for burial. The 20th had found 20, and the 8th, 
30, and still the ground was strewn with the dead." 

Lieut. Branch, of the 20th, writes thus in reference to Fort 
Donaldson, and the part the 20th took in the action : 

" On the afternoon of the 12th, we came in sight of the rebel 
fort, and on the 13th and 14th were busily engaged in taking and 
changing positions, constructing lines, &c. After three years' ser- 
vice in the field, and enduring every hardship imaginable, I look 
back to the 13th, 14th and 15th of February, 1862, as being filled 
with the severest hardships we were ever called upon to endure. 
On the afternoon of the 13th, it commenced raining at about three 
o'clock, and rained hard for three hours, then turned to snow, with 
high, freezing winds, which drove the sharp frozen snow in our 
faces. We had marched without tents ; our clothes and blankets 
were wet through and frozen stiff. We were within easy musket 
range of the rebel works, and could not build a fire. It was impos- 
sible for the men to lay down to rest or sleep, on account of the 
snow and cold, as well as the rebel sharpshooters, who were con- 
tinually firing at us, and we stood in line of battle three-fourths of 
the night. The morning of the 14th brought no relief. At day- 
light the snow turned to rain again, and continued nearly all day. 


Constant skirmishing and sharpshooting all day. At ten, the gun -. 
boats opened, but after two hours' heavy firing, drew off disabled.. 
The rebels set up a yell of triumph. The night of the 14th was, 
if possible, more uncomfortable than the preceding one. The snow 
fell, and the weather grew colder, and the rebel firing was more 
vigorous. About 9 in the evening, our pickets were driven in ^ 
two were killed during the night. Some of the men were so com- 
pletely exhausted that they lay down and slept in the snow. On 
the 15th, with the first streak of daylight, I saw heavy lines of 
rebel infantry passing to our right. I was on the picket line, as 
sergeant of the guard. I was satisfied that they were marching 
out to attack Oglesby, in command of the 1st brigade, on our 
extreme right. I reported the fact to Col. Marsh, who despatched 
a messenger to apprize Oglesby, but before he could have gone 
half way, the battle opened fiercely with musketry, and continued 
for an hour on the right, when our attention was called to our 
immediate front, where, from my advanced position with the skir- 
mishers, I could see heavy columns coming directly toward us, 
and by 9 a. m., we were desperately engaged at short range, with 
small arms alone, as we were too near each other (not over five 
rods), for artillery. We were firing across the crest of a small hill, 
we occupying one side and the rebels the other. The brigade 
advanced, under the most galling nre, to the top of the hill, driv- 
ing the enemy back step by step, and inch by inch, until they 
were driven into their works, when the enemy opened with artil- 
lery, and we were obliged to fall back behind the hill. In this 
engagement, our beloved Lt. Col. Erwin was killed, and 21 men 
of the regiment, and one hundred and four were wounded. After 
expending all of our ammunition, we were ordered to the rear to 
replenish the stock, and another brigade took our place. The 
rebels rallied and drove this brigade back past the place where we 
had left our knapsacks, which they took, robbing us of all our 
clothing except what we wore, and that being wet and frozen, the 
prospect was not cheering. We prepared to renew the engage- 
ment, expecting every moment to be called on, but the rebels, after 
being three times repulsed, remained behind their works. Gen. 
Smith, who commanded the left, charged the enemy's works, and 
held them, at 4 p. m., and our lines were reformed for a grand 


charge, but as the day was so far spent, it was deferred until morn- 
ing, when the rebels surrendered. After the details of the sur- 
render were gone through with and witnessed, then came the 
hardest part of all. Twenty-one brave boys our comrades had 
to be buried in one common grave, with their blankets their only 
shroud and coffin, and 104 poor wounded men cared for in the 

After the surrender of Donaldson, the little village of Dover, 
just above the fort, presented a novel sight. The river was full of 
steamboats, but not for the peaceful purposes of trade and com- 
merce. Many were there to transport the rebel prisoners who had 
been taken in the surrender, and the little town was suddenly a 
populous one. Long files of the prisoners filled its streets, march- 
ing down to the boats for transportation north, more than 15,000 
men, looking somewhat the worse for the wear and tear of the stay 
in Donaldson. 

The camps of the conquerors, also, were not very inviting 
places. All the tents of the 20th were riddled with balls, some of 
them being mere rags, and the weather was wet and cold, and the 
ground muddy. Besides the wounded to be cared for by our sur- 
geons, sickness began to thin the ranks, and many had to be sent 
to hospitals, which had been established in the village. 

Most fortunately, the sanitary stores from the north began to 
arrive, and, with these, the sick and wounded were made as com- 
fortable as possible. 

But the regiment could have but a brief rest here. It was 
ordered to the Tennessee river, and camped at the " iron works " 
after a ten miles' march, as advance guard. 

The regiment bivouacked at night in the vicinity of a farm 
house, at which the staff officers took up their quarters. They 
also determined to have a good square meal, and gave their orders 
accordingly. But the rebel army had been so long in the vicinity 
that coffee and hoe-cake was about all that the family could fur- 
nish. But coffee and hoe-cake, when brewed and baked by a 
skillful darkey cook, are not to be despised at any time, much less 
in the present circumstances. The hoe-cake, let it be premised, is 
not ordinarily baked in the crude, original way i. e., on a hoe 


but in that utensil called a bake kettle, found in every southern 
kitchen, consisting of a broad, flat-bottomed, iron kettle, which is 
placed over a bed of coals, and which has a cover so constructed 
as to hold a good bed of coals on top, thus securing the baking of 
the bread or cake on both sides, at the same time, and very quickly. 
It is another peculiarity of southern life, that the kitchen is a 
building by itself, at a little distance from the house, where the 
cook reigns undisturbed and supreme. 

Well, in obedience to the wishes of the officers, very soon the 
" coffee was in de pot and de hoe-cake bakin'," and they congratu- 
lated themselves with the prospect of something of a variation 
from the regular rations. But alas ! it is still tr.ue that there is 
" many a slip betwixt the cup and lip." 

When the old " mammy " cook had completed her arrange- 
ments for supper, and " allowed dat de hoe-cake was 'bout done," 
she carried the smoking coffee pot from her domain to the house, 
where she was welcomed with cheers from the impatient officers, 
and orders to hurry up her hoe-cake. 

Now, it happened that a hungry soldier had been prospecting 
around for something to fill his own private stomach withal, and 
had seen, with covetous eyes, through the window of the kitchen, 
the cook's preparations for the officers' supper; and when she 
stepped out with the coffee, he saw that his opportunity had come, 
and stepping quickly into the kitchen, he removed the cover of 
the kettle, fished out the steaming, fragrant hoe-cake, wrapped it 
in his blanket, carefully replaced the cover, and quickly disap- 
peared from the scene, leaving no traces of his visit. The old 
mammy, on her return, took the kettle off the fire, and removed 
"the cover. Imagine her astonishment at finding that the hoe-cake, 
on which she had lavished her utmost skill, was not there. For a 
moment she was speechless. But words soon came to her relief: 
" Oh, gor-a-mity, de debbil has been here, shore ! de hoe-cake 
done gone ! Oh, Lordy ! Lordy ! dis chile spoke for, shore ! Oh, 
Lordy ! Lordy ! " Her outcries brought the family and the offi- 
cers upon the scene, and they found her with uplifted hands, horror- 
struck, gazing with distended orbs upon the empty bake kettle. 
And if the sight had not caused her to turn pale, and made her 

" Knotted and combined locks to part, 
And each particular hair to stand on end, 
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine," 


it was owing to a physical impossibility, and not because she was 
not sufficiently scared. It was a scene worthy the pencil of a 
Hogarth. But the officers, as may be imagined, were more mad 
than scared ; and I fear, in their vexation, they were even more 
profane than the old darkey ; for they quickly concluded that if 
this was the work of the devil, he had employed as his agent some 
hungry soldier, who had not a proper respect for the rights of staff 

March 6th, the regiment embarked on board the Belle Memphis, 
(once a floating palace, but now retaining only a shadow of its 
former splendor), with such sick and wounded as could be moved. 
They were on the boat until the 15th, when they landed at Savan- 
nah, a small town on the east bank of the Tennessee river, nine 
miles below Pittsburg Landing, both obscure points hitherto, but 
destined to become memorable. Here the regiment found a good 
camping ground, and a hospital was established. The weather 
had now grown warmer, and there was less suffering. 

Although the boats were crowded, it was a pleasant and beauti- 
ful voyage up the Tennessee. They were eight days in going up, 
as the woods and bluffs along the river had to be shelled by the 
gun-boats in advance. 

The regiment remained here, doing picket duty, until the 25th 
of March, when it again went aboard transports, and went to Pitts- 
burg Landing, ten miles farther, on the opposite side of the river. 
This point was a mere landing, having no buildings, except an 
old cotton shed. The bank was covered with woods, a lonesome 
looking place, but it soon became populous. The brigade marched 
back two miles, and encamped on Owl Creek. Col. Marsh was in 
command of the brigade, and here the regiment remained until the 
great battle of Shiloh. 

April 6th and 7th , it took part in the memorable engagements 
known as the battle of Shiloh so called from a little church in 
the vicinity. I do not propose to give a general description of 
these battles. The general histories of the time have done this. 
The fight, as is well known, commenced on the morning of April 
6th, by the enemy attacking our lines, and resulted in driving back 
our forces to the river, and the shelter of the gun-boats. Being 
reinforced during the night by Gen. Wallace's division, and the 



3d division of Gen. Buell's army, the battle was renewed on the 
7th, and the enemy was driven back, and our force re-occupied the 
ground from which they had been driven on the 6th, thus remain- 
ing masters of the field, though at a fearful loss of life. 

In the two days, the 20th regiment lost in killed one officer 
(Adjutant John E. Thompson), and twenty-one men, seven of 
whom were from Will county. There were wounded in the regi- 
ment, six officers and ninety-eight men, and ten missing, two of 
the officers, and seventeen of the enlisted men, being from this 
county. Among the wounded was Col. Bartleson, then major of 
the regiment, who had just returned from his melancholy errand to 
Joliet and Ottawa, in charge of the body of Col. Erwin. He had 
been promoted major at Donaldson. He was wounded in the left 
arm so severely as to necessitate amputation. Lieut. John F. 
Cleghorn, of Co. B, who had been promoted captain, was also 
severely wounded in one arm. 

The boys were gratified with a visit from several of our citi- 
zens immediately after the battle, who came to look after their 
wants. These citizens were B. F. Russell, J. T. McDougall, Wm. 
Tonner, O. Hardy, A. Leach, and Dr. Me Arthur, and perhaps 
others. They went over the field of battle, and although the dead 
had been buried and the wounded removed, yet the scene showed 
traces of a terrible conflict, trees, logs and underbrush cut and torn 
by the missiles ; and huge mounds, having posted by them such 
inscriptions as these" 142 rebels," " 70 Union," " 50 rebels," 
" 25 Union," &c., were frequent. 



Adjutant J. Edward Thompson. Private Francis Danser, Co. B. 

Corp. Isaac B. Reynolds, Co. B. " Rudolph Troove, Co. B. 

Private Philip Bentz, Co. B. " John Delancey, Co. F. 


Major F. A. Bartleson. Private George Lee, Co. B. 

Capt. J. F. Cleghorn, Co. B., severe. " Jacob B. Worthingham, " 

Sergt. Wm. S. Vail, Co B. 
Sergt. Benj. F. Coates, Co. F. 
Corp. Rudolph Bush, Co. F. 
Corp. Josiah Wright, Co. K . 
Private Reuben Atkins Co. B. 
" George Bentz, 

Samuel S. Myers, 

E. D. Conner, 

Henry A. Sperry, 

Otto Lopman, Co 

Charles Tege, 

Joseph Myrick, 

Joshua Dykeman, " Geor * e Connolly, Co. K. 

James Gallagher, " 


The 20th had but (about) 394 men in the fight, and almost one- 
third were killed or wounded, and after the fight had only 264 
fit for duty, out of the 1,000 men with which they left Joliet less 
than a year before. 

Jacob B. Worthinghatn, a son of one of our oldest citizens, (who 
himself fell afterwards at Stone River), was wounded early Sun- 
day morning, the first day of the battle, and lay among the heaps 
of the dead and dying until Monday evening, before he was cared 
for, passing two days and a night on the bloody ground, suffering 
from pain, thirst and hunger, while the desperate conflict was 
going on over and around him. During the fight, while the rebels 
had possession of the ground, a rebel soldier kindly placed a blanket 
under him, to make him more comfortable. When our forces took 
the field he was found, nearly exhausted, from loss of blood, and 

It was for some time feared that Captain Cleghorn would lose 
his arm, but it was ultimately saved in a damaged condition . 

The regiment also lost, from sickness, Albert S. Randall, of Co. 
F, on the 30th of April, who was acting at the time as brigade 

About the 1st of May commenced the advance on Corinth. 
It was slow, our army, (having been taught a severe lesson at 
Shiloh,) fortified their positions as they advanced, having occasion- 
al skirmishes with the enemy. Corinth was evacuated by the ene- 
my May 29th, 1862, without a fight. 

On the 3d of June, the 20th left their position near Corinth 
and moved to Jackson. 

The regiment remained at Jackson until about the middle of 
August. During its stay here the chronic trouble between Col. 
Marsh, and some of his subordinates again broke out. Captain 
Hildebrant was again placed under arrest by order of Col. Marsh. 
No charges were preferred at the time, and after a few days the 
captain reported to the general commanding the department, and 
was assigned to staif duty with General Lawler, commanding the 
post. Charges were not preferred until some time in October, 
when a copy was served upon him. The charge was disobedience 
of orders in not attending morning drill, from which he had been 


excused by the assistant surgeon. He was tried by a court mar- 
tial consisting of a major, two lieutenants, and Captain Pullen, of 
the same regiment. 

On the trial clear proof was presented of his having been ex- 
cused by the surgeon, and also to refute another charge of dishon- 
esty which had been added to the original charges. The captain 
left the court without arguing the case, and came north in charge 
of prisoners to Alton. On his return he learned that he had 
been dismissed the service by sentence of the court, and that the 
finding had been approved by the general in command. The find- 
ing caused great indignation on the part not only of many in the 
regiment, but also in the brigade, and certificates from both offi- 
cers and men in the regiment, were forwarded, and are now on 
file in Springfield, sustaining the captain's cause. In the roster in 
the Adjutant General's report, is the entry, " cashiered Oct. 1st, 
1862." Such an entry, of course, compelled me, who knew the 
captain well, to make an inquiry into the history of the case. 

Captain Hildebrant appealed to the war department, who 
finally reversed the action of the court. But, as meantime his 
place in the 20th had been filled, he took an honorable dis- 
missal from the service, as now appears on the records of the 
office in Springfield and also at Washington. Captain Hilde- 
brant afterwards joined the army at the east, and served under 
Sheridan in his chase after Early up the Shenandoah, and remained 
in the service until near the close of the war. There were other 
troubles in the regiment, but as they did not affect Will county 
men, I pass them by very gladly. 

While staying at Jackson, the regiment was olten annoyed by 
the application of negro owners for the return of their slaves 
who took the opportunity to escape whenever near any of our 
forces. The negroes could not get it through their woolly heads, 
that our forces being at war with the rebs, should not take the 
advantage of depriving their enemies of their main-stay, and the 
object for which they at least were confessedly fighting. It seems 
astonishing to some whose heads are not wolly, how tender the 
administration was of the rights of the rebels to their slaves. But 
the boys in the army early got disgusted with the business of 
catching negroes for rebels in arms, and held the work in great 
contempt even the most democratic of them ! 


Well, some darkeys had got into the camp of the 20th, and 
presently two of the Tennessee gentry made their appearance on 
the hunt for them. They applied to Gen. Logan for the privi- 
lege of searching the camp of the 20th for their lost property. 
Gen. Logan wrote an order as follows: "Officer of the day will 
please pass these men through the camp of the 20th." 

Capt. Hildebrant was the officer of the day. He looked at 
the pass and said, " all right," and calling an orderly and giving 
him a wink, told him to get a guard, and pass the men through. 
And he did straight through, from one side of the camp to the 
other, with a brace of yankee bayonets at their rear, not allowing 
them to turn right or left, until they were helped over the fence 
at the rear of the camp. When they got round to the place where 
they had left their horses, they could not find them, but looking 
down the road saw them on a bee line for home. The indignant 
representatives of the aristocracy of color, found their way again 
to Gen. Logan, and made their complaints, as proudly and indig- 
nantly as if the business of the Union army was to help them to 
catch their runaway property. 

The General sent for the officer of the day, and inquired what 
the d 1 he meant by such conduct. This was done in a voice, 
and with a manner which was plainly forced. Indeed, the officer 
saw by the twinkle of his black eye, that he was enjoying the 
scene. In reply, the officer produced the order and assured the 
General that his commands had been carried out to the strict letter. 
The General looked over the order saw the point commended 
the captain for his prompt obedience, and dismissed him and the 
indignant complainants together. 




Ordered from Jackson A Narrow Escape Goes Back Sent to Esten- 
aula An Alarm Ordered Back What They Met Battle of Britton's Lane 
Glorious Victory Casualties Dr. Bailey's Account Returns to Jackson 
Resignations Movements up to January, 1863 Movements to Memphis 
Down the River Lake Providence Milliken's Bend Down to Grand Gulf 
^Crosses Thompson's Hill Incidents Results Port Gibson Bayou 
Pierre Big Black Battle of Raymond Casualties Jackson Champion 
Hill Big Black Bridge Vicksburg Siege Incidents A Visitor says His 
Prayers Assault of Fort Hill Casualties An Exploit The Surrender 
Summary Incidents after Surrender Lieutenant Branch as a Detec- 
tive Moves Out to Big Black A Dog Story Meridian Raid Inci- 
dents Results Re-enlistment Goes Home Receptions Recruits Goes 
to the Front at Big Shanty Kenesaw Atlanta 21st and 22d July Casual- 
ties Remnant Mounted as Scouts Joins March to the Sea and northward 
Receives Recruits at Goldsboro Resumes Regimental Organization Takes 
part in Grand Review Comes Home Summary Muster Out Reception t 

'HILE the 20fch was at Jackson, it, with other forces at that 
place, had a very narrow escape. On the first of July, they 
were ordered to move with their impedimenta, and accord- 
ingly took up their march, destination unknown, and proceeded 
until two o'clock p. m., when a counter order was received, and 
the forces, after a short rest, took the back track, and in twenty- 
four hours from the time they left Jackson, were back in their old 
quarters. All this was a mystery at the time, but afterwards it 
was ascertained that the force had been ordered east, but the order 
was changed, for some reason, and they had narrowly escaped 
being gobbled up by Washington and the Potomac army. Truly, 
a merciful deliverance ! 


Early in August, the 20th and 40th regiments were ordered to 

Estenaula, a crossing on the Hatchie river, about twenty-five mil 5 

from Jackson, where there was a rope ferry for the accommodation 

of ordinary travel. Here the regiments remained, guarding the 

ferry, through the month, with but little of incident, except the 

visits of the contrabands, who wanted to cast in their lot with the 

yankees. As a squad were coming in one night, they were the 

innocent occasion of quite an excitement. The picke" called a 

"halt" on hearing them, but the darkies had not yet learned what 

{( halt" meant, and kept approaching, whereupon the pickets fired 

off their guns and fell back, and the whole camp was at once 

aroused, and "fell in " in line of battle, awaiting the approach of 

the enemy. When daylight revealed a score or so of darkeys 

straggling into camp, as unconscious of the stir they had made as 

the mules they rode, the affair assumed the aspect of the ridiculous 

pretty largely, which, however, was changed again to the pathetic 

when their masters made their appear? ice and compelled them to 

return our government not having yet gotten sufficient manliness 

to protect them. 

On the 3 1st, the force had orders to fall back to Jackson. The 
order was one that demanded haste, and they burned their stores, 
tents and baggage, Bssides the 20th regiment under command of 
Capt. Frisbie, and the 30th 111. under Major Shedd, there were also 
two pieces of Swartz's battery, and two companies of Foster's cav- 
alry, all in command of Col. Dennis, of the 30th. While on the 
march they received orders to go to Medan station on the Miss. 
O. R. R. They camped the n ; ght of 31st, near Denmark, and at 
day-light Sept. 1st, resumed the march. Soon after starting they 
received orders to goto Clover Creek and intercept a force of rebel 
cavalry which had been annoying our forces at Medan Station 
that morning and were now retreating. The guide of our force, 
either by mistake, as one account says, or to shorten the distance, 
as is stated in another account, took a road which led through 
some woods to a cross road known as " Britton's Lane." A de- 
tachment of Foster's cavalry were in advance, and entering the 
lane about ten o'clock, came suddenly upon the enemy's pickets. 
These being driven back, the enemy was discovered posted in a 
cornfield. The cavalry engaged the enemy's skirmishers until the 


20th came up and took position on a ridge, supporting the battery., 
which was posted in the road. The artillery opened and the 
cavalry advanced, but had gone but a short distance when they 
met the enemy coming on in force, four deep, and, as it was after- 
wards ascertained, 3,000 strong. It is supposed that they had been 
preparing a surprise for our force, as they had thrown down the in- 
tervening fence, enabling them to charge in force. 

Capt. Frisbie had placed companies B. and G. on the left, and 
the balance of the regiment on the right of the artillery. In 
front, and on the right and left were cornfields full of rebs. On 
they came, the ground fairly trembling beneath their tread, ex- 
pecting no doubt, as from their superior numbers they reasonably 
might, to ride rough shod over our little force. The enemy had 
also sent out strong detachments both to right and leit to flank, 
surround and bag the entire Union force. 

On they came, tearing up the road and through the fields, 
firing volley after volley. Our men stood firm, reserving their 
fire until the enemy had got near enough for them to deliver it to 
some purpose. They then gave them such a deadly salute as not 
only checked the advance, but made them fall back with a hun- 
dred empty saddles. They soon rallied and made a second charge, 
and were again repulsed. They tried to outflank us, but Cap- 
tain Frisbie did not allow it. A desperate hand to hand encoun- 
ter ensued, the rebs riding in among our boys in superior num- 
bers and taking some prisoners, for a little while; but the boys 
would not stay captured worth a cent. Their comrades came to 
their rescue. One Capt. of the 20th being completely surrounded 
with his little force was ordered by a rebel captain to surrender, 
but our captain got the start, and, firing his pistol first, the reb. 
bit the dust. They succeeded however in capturing one cannon 
and most of the transportation train, and so greatly did they out- 
number us that the issue must have been against our brave boys 
but for the opportune arrival of the 30th regiment, which was one 
and a half miles in the rear at the commencement of the fight. On 
they came with a yell, led on by Capt. Shedd on the double quick. 
The two regiments had been to gether in previous encounters, and 
now they fought for and with each other with such mad desperation 
that the enemy was compelled once more to withdraw. 


They had however, learned the exact position of our forces, 
and their strength, and with fresh troops they prepared for an- 
other onslaught, which they expected would surely be final and 

But Col. Dennis having ridden out in advance, and discov- 
ered them dismounting and preparing for a charge on foot, took 
advantage of the lull in the fight, and of a concealing cloud of dust, 
to change the position of his little force, without the knowledge 
of the rebs, so that when the next charge was made, it was made 
upon empty space, while our force poured in upon them such a 
deadly cross-fire w as threw them again into confusion and made them 
retire defeated. They gained a little knoll, and made a stand upon 
a little point which promised them some advantage. Capt. Fris- 
bie seeing the importance of this position, called for volunteer's 
to take it, and the entire 20th followed him in a charge, which 
drove them from it; meanwhile the 30th had repelled another 
charge on the left. 

Three other attempts were vainly made by the enemy, and after 
four hours of severe fighting, a Union force which could not have 
been more than 800, all told, defeated a rebel force of 3 or 4 
thousand. The rebs. left 179 (by actual count) dead on the field. 
The entire loss on our side was 5 killed, 51 wounded, and 52 




Sergeant Wm. Vail, Co. B. C. Houstine, Co. F. 


Serg't Michael L. Fannegan, Co. B. August Abram, Co. B. 

Francis Rook, Co, B. Henry A. Sperry, Co, B, prisoner, 

H. A. Sheffer, Co. F. August Shierer, Co. F. 

Henry W, Bartlett, Co. F. (died) Martin F. Bissell, Co. K. 

August Abrams, named in the above list, was from Wilming- 
ton, and was one of our adopted citizens. His wound was such as 
to disable him for life, and make him a pensioner on our govern- 
ment, and most dearly did he earn the pittance we pay him. The 
ball passed through his body, cutting away a small piece of the 
spine. The same ball passing out killed a sergeant behind him. 
He was a powerful fighter ; he kept six men at bay when a cavalry 



company charged upon them, spiking and pitching them off, as if 
they had been men of straw. He had been a soldier in Europe, 
and cheerfully took up the musket in behalf of his adopted coun- 
try. On his return to Wilmington, the people appreciating his 
services and condition, got up a donation sociable in his behalf. 

The rebs. took Assistant Surgeon Bailey, and Chaplain Button, 
prisoners with some others, but after getting across the Hatchie, 
having no use for a chaplain, and thinking perhaps that the Dr. 
would do them the most good at home, they released them, not 
however until they had made a trade with the doctor. The doc- 
tor had a fine spirited young horse of which he felt very proud. 
The rebs. thought it was not a safe animal for a doctor, so they 
kept it, giving in exchange, an old broken down secesh mule, as a 
much safer and more appropriate animal for a non-combatant. 
I don't think the doctor appreciated at the time, or even to this 
day has fully appreciated their kindness. But if you had heard 
the shout with which he was received when he rode that old mule 
back into camp, you would have thought the boys appreciated it. 
I believe that the rebs. thought they had done so well by the doc- 
tor in the trade, that they could not afford him a saddle, or even 
a blanket. 

During the fight while one of Co.' D was loading his gun, a 
rebel captain demanded his surrender, but hardly had he got the 
words out of his mouth, before he was shot dead by one of Co. 
H, and the reb. himself that it was surrendered. 

Some of the mounted rebs. rode up to a teamster of the 
20th, and demanded his surrender, " Surrender," he replied, 
" h 1 ! that's played out," and putting a whip to his team he 
drove away in triumph, saving two good mules for " Uncle Sam." 

The Times' correspondent says, under date, September 2nd, 
1862, " Yesterday two regiments 20th and 30th, stationed at Es- 
tenaula were sent out to attack Villepigue in the rear. They 
came upon him about seven miles from Jackson, and after a short 
engagement, waged at most wonderful odds in favor of the enemy, 
gave him a severe drubbing, putting him to an inglorious rout. 
We lost about a half a dozen in killed, and less than fifty wound- 
ed. The enemy left one hundred and fifty dead bodies on the field, 
and the wounded are estimated at two or three hundred." 


Col. Lawler's official report of Britton's Lane, accords great 
credit to Captain Frisbie, commanding the 20th ; and to Sur- 
geon Goodbrake for his skill and attention to the wounded. 

After " Britton's Lane " the 20th returned to Jackson on the 
4th of September. 

This fight at Britton's Lane was a very curious affair. I here 
copy from a communication of Surgeon Bailey some further ac- 
count of it, especially of his own adventures : 

"The chaplain and myself rode into a ravine where there 
appeared to be some wounded men brought, seemingly the only 
place where they could be safely placed. At this juncture, there 
was an onward movement of the train, and we followed. In a 
few moments some one came running up, saying that a wounded 
man had been brought to the ravine spoken of, and required assist- 
ance. I turned my horse, and, with the chaplain, rode back. 
Before reaching the spot, however, there came a body of men 
towards us, firing down the ravine. My horse was frightened and 
became unmanageable, and ran at full speed across the ravine and 
up a steep hill. When at the top, I saw an ambulance with the 
yellow flag. As we were approaching the spot, we were suddenly 
surrounded by a force of rebels, who, with leveled guns, demanded 
our surrender, which, of course, was the only thing we could do, 
though the thought of being prisoners to the rebels was not at all 
agreeable. We were soon ordered to follow our captors. No pro- 
testations of ours, that we were non-combatants, availed go we 
must. We were taken to a secluded place in a ravine, where we 
were out of the way of the bullets, which were still flying lively. 
Here we found about two hundred men that they had taken on this 
and the day previous. My captor soon proceeded to exchange an 
old, broken-down mule for my fine animal, to which I had become 
much attached, and I saw her no more. 

" About 3 p. m., the firing ceased, and we were uncertain as to 
the result of the conflict. We soon began to move. We went 
through cotton fields, and all kinds of ground, before reaching the 
public road, and then started southward, with an occasional halt. 
We went on till midnight, and then encamped. It was a fearful 
ride for one who had just recovered from an attack of sickness, and 


who was hardly able to sit up. (And on that old mule ! This was the 
unkindest cut of all ! ED.) Many of our comrades were sick, 
gome wounded in the day's fight. The poor fellows were constantly 
goaded on by their captors, and often threatened with the point of 
a bayonet, if they did not make good time. Remarks more express- 
ive than elegant, were frequently made, and all epithets imaginable 
heaped upon the yankees. 

" Tuesday morning, our iriends rose early, and at break of day 
we were on the move. I had not been able to sleep much, but 
had lain awake listening to the full and sonorous breathing of our 
good chaplain, who seemed to take things more philosophically 
than I could. During the forenoon, I interviewed the commander 
of the rebel forces, Gen. L. C. Armstrong, in reference to our 
release. He expressed a willingness to make out our parole papers, 
as soon as there was time. It was evident that he was afraid of 
pursuit. About 4 p. in., we stopped about ten miles from our 
former camp on the Estanaula. Here the general made out his 
paroles, and then we went on about a mile further and bivouacked 
for the night, upon the plantation of Dr. Watkins, who was sup- 
posed to be a Union man, and consequently must be at the expense 
of keeping the general and his staff, and the commissioned officers 
who were prisoners, about twelve in number. 

" We were given a supper and breakfast by our captors, being 
allowed to come to the second table. To men who had fasted two 
or three days, the question of etiquette was not so important as 
that of time. 

" On Wednesday morning, about nine o'clock, we took leave of 
our rebel friends, and made our way back to the river. Thursday 
noon, we reached the battle field of Britton's Lane, and then learned 
the results of the battle. The dead rebels were not yet all buried, 
and the ground and lanes were strewn with dead horses. Our 
wounded had been taken to Jackson the day before, and we slowly 
made our way to the station at Medan. Wednesday and Thurs- 
day nights we spent with families along the route, We were 
received as kindly as could be expected under the circumstances, 
and on Friday we reached Jackson. 

" At the time of the battle of Britton's Lane, the 20th could 
not have had more than 350 men who carried muskets, and I do 


not think the 30th had any more. The entire Union loss is given 
in the Medical and Surgical History of the rebellion, as five killed 
51 wounded, and 52 missing, and the confederate loss as 179 
killed and 100 wounded. These figures show a remarkable instance 
of good firing. We had but two six-pounders with us, and prob- 
ably about 100 cavalry, so that our entire force did not probably 
exceed 800 fighting men. Now, as to the number of those engaged 
on the other side. In conversation with their officers, we were 
told that Gen. Armstrong had at least 6,000 men, and some of 
them claimed 10,000. At any rate, there was a much superior 
force in numbers. I was told by a confederate captain that some 
of their men were killed at a distance of half a mile, aiid that in 
some instances the same bullet would kill or wound several men. 
I asked one officer why it was, that, with such a greatly superior 
force, they did not surround and bag the whole of us. His reply 
was, that they supposed we had a much larger force. It appears 
that the boys of the 20th, with the two cannons, made fearful 
havoc before the 30th came up, and when they came to the front, 
the rebs. supposed it was a heavy reinforcement. 

" Taken altogether, this was one of the most remarkable battles 
of the war, and it is said to have been so considered by Mr. Lin- 

" All the houses in the vicinity were full of the wounded who 
could not be moved. Where we stopped on Thursday there were 
a number, and frightful cases they were. A surgeon was in attend- 
ance, who told me he had scarcely a dose of morphine or opium to 
administer. Having some morphine in my pocket, I divided with 
him, reciprocating a like favor shown to me on Tuesday by one of 
their surgeons, who had given me bandages with which to dress 
the wounds of some of our men who were prisoners." 

Dr. Bailey, had sent in his resignation in August, his health 
being much impaired, and on the Sunday after his return, he 
received notice of its acceptance, and on the 8th of September, bade 
the regiment farewell. The doctor afterwards served the cause 
ably as a hospital surgeon at Quinoy. What disposition the doctor 
made of that old secesh mule, he forgets to tell us ! He certainly 
ought to have taken him home as a trophy. 


The last of August, Maj. Bartleson resigned, and was mustered 
out for promotion in the 100th regiment, of which he had been, 
chosen colonel. 

The regiment left Jackson, Nov. 8th, and arrived at Lagrange, 
Nov. 1 1th. Nov. 27th, left Lagrange, and arrived at Holly Springs 
the 30th. Left Holly Springs Dec. 1st, crossed the Tallahatchie 
Dec. 3d, and reached Oxford. Returned to Tallahatchie Dec. 24th r 


Jan. 5th, 1863, the regiment received orders to be ready for a 
move, and at 9 a, m. left with the army for Holly Springs, which 
place was reached at dark, and the regiment went into camp. 
Next day marched to Coldwater, seven miles. Next day marched 
to Lagrange, nineteen miles, and staid until the 10th, when we 
marched on the railroad track to Moscow, ten miles, and then 
leaving the track, we marched on a road parallel with it, and went 
into camp on a beautiful plantation. On the llth, marched to 
Colliersville, twelve miles, and went into camp at 4 p. m. Here 
we remained until the 20th, when we left with brigade, and 
marched twelve and a half miles towards Memphis, going most of 
the way on the railroad track, and passing through Germantown, 
camped in the woods. The roads were very bad. Many men had 
to be left at Colliersville, to come on the cars, on account of their 
shoes being worn out, and the ground cold and muddy. 

Jan. 21st, marched 11 miles, and went into camp in a pleasant 
spot, about one mile from Memphis, in a large grove. Mud knee 
deep on the march, though through a beautiful country, which 
began to show indications of spring. 

Here we remained in camp until the 20th of February, receiv- 
ing new clothing and tents, and doing some scouting and detatched 
service, &c. While here, some of our men, who had been taken 
prisoners at Britton's Lane and parolled, rejoined the regiment. 

On the 20th, went on board the steamer Continental, at 10 a 
m., but did not leave the harbor of Memphis until the 22d, at 9 
a. m. Then, after a fine sail down the Mississippi of 340 miles, 
landed at noon of the 23d at Lake Providence, and marched four 
miles along the bank, bivouacking in a pleasant camp. We 


remained in this camp until April 18th, foraging some, but gener- 
ally doing nothing but routine duty. We were visited by some 
notables, civil and military, who made speeches, &c. 

On the 18th of April, went aboard the steamer Continental, 
started down the river, and arrived at Milliken's Bend about 11 a. 
m. of the 19th. Country low, but inviting. April 21st, nine out 
of the regiment went as volunteers on the boats to run'the block- 
ade. Many more volunteered, but only nine from the 20th were 
accepted. The brigade was reviewed by Gov. Yates, who made a 

The history of the 20th, from this time to the 6th of May, will 
be best understood by copying entire a letter from Sergt. James F. 
Branch, of Co. F, to his wife : 

" VIOKSBUBO, MAY STH, 1863. j 

" We started from Milliken's Bend on the morning of the 25th 
of April, at 9 o'clock, and marched to Carthage, below Vicksburg. 
We marched nine miles and encamped. The roads were in good 
order ; ten days before, they would have been impasable. It was 
through a swampy country, and it was plain to be seen that if it 
rained we should have fun. And sure enough, on the night of the 
26th, it began to rain in earnest, continuing all night. We were 
without tents, and were well soaked by morning. But no matter, 
we started on in a terrible thunder storm. Companies F and E 
were rear guard. It rained all day, and of all the roads I ever saw, 
ours was the worst. That day we passed over a hundred wagons 
stuck in the mud. We were drenched with water all day. We 
made six miles, and encamped on an old deserted plantation, and 
slept in a bed of raw cotton, without blankets, and in our wet 
clothes. I slept first-rate, got up in the morning all right, and 
.started on again. We made ten miles that day, and encamped at 
Perkins' plantation, on the river, below Vicksburg. Perkins was 
U. S. senator six years ago. When he saw the yankees coming, 
he set fire to all his buildings, &c., and left for Grand Gulf, twelve 
miles below. 

"We lay there until midnight, then started down the river 
bank, and arrived opposite Grand Gulf at 2 p. m., and the same 
evening we crossed the river on the gun-boats and transports, which 


had run the blockade before we left Milliken's Bend. We landed 
six miles below Grand Gulf and encamped. General McClernand 
had crossed before us, and marched out the same night. On the 
morning of May 1st, we started at six o'clock out into Mississippi. 
We had gone about six miles, when boom ! boom ! from the front, 
told us of work ahead. The men quickened their pace without 
orders, and for four miles we marched so fast that the men b^gan 
to drop from the heat. Some six or seven were sun-struck. About 
that time, Gen. Smith (commanding the brigade) came back and 
asked us if we could stand it to go three miles further, saying that 
we were badly needed in front; that the rebels were holding Gen. 
McClernand very closely, and he must have help. We all said 
'Go ahead/ and the next three miles were made on the double- 
quick, the noise of musketry and cannon increasing all the while, 
and at noon we unslung our knapsacks, loaded guns, and were 
marched to the front. The adjutant took command of the regi- 
ment, and we lay under fire for three hours, without any chance to 
retaliate ; we were held as reserves. One regiment after another 
was sent to the front, to try and dislodge the rebels from a high 
hill (Thompson's hill) which they held. The hill was covered with 
houses, and full of deep gullies, surrounded by deep ravines, while 
the side hills were covered with canebrake, so thick that you could 
not see a rod. Every regiment that went into that canebrake came 
out badly cut up and in confusion. It was no use trying to take 
the hill from that front. 

All this time the 12 pound guns of the rebels were making 
bad work among our boys, and could not be silenced by our guns. 
At 4 p. m., the 20th and 45th were called in and sent to the left 
rear of the coveted hill. We went and lay in a deep ravine await- 
ing orders when Gen. McPherson came down and gave the fol- 
lowing order " Swing that 20th around so that its left will rest 
on the right of the 15th, and go up that hill and give the rebels- 
fa 11." 

Quick as thought we swung round and started up the hill, so 
steep and thick with canebrake that we had to draw ourselves up 
by the cane, and when we were at the top we were within 15 rods 
of the rebel battery. The order was given to fix the bayonets and 
charge the battery. We did so with one of those peculiar wild 


yells, but when within five rods of the guns, a line of rebels rose 
as if out of the ground just behind the guns, but they did not get 
time to fire a gun. We stopped short, and without waiting orders, 
fired a solid volley into them, and what we did not kill or wound, 
left on the double quick. 

" We then went ahead, took the guns, killing and capturing the 
gunners. I straddled one of the guns and fired two shots after 
the retreating rebels. Then we started to follow them, and found 
a squad lying in a gully, which we captured. That set me to 
thinking and I broke out on my own hook, and found seven 
rebels hidden in one gully. They had their guns which I ordered 
them to throw down. All but one did so. He started to run 
down the ravine. I hailed him but he would not stop, and I shot 
him dead. The other six I took to the rear, and gave them over 
to the captain, who had a squad already. We took over seventy- 
five men prisoners'on that hill. This was on the left. 

All this time the fight was raging terribly on the right, and 
McClernand could not rout the rebels. He sent to the left for 
Stephenson's brigade of our division. They went over and 
charged the hill and took it, as we had ours, in less than an hour. 
So you see Logan's division turned the day in our favor. 

"On the right, left and centre we followed our advantage 
closely, and chased the rebels all day until dark, when as we 
raised a steep hill we were greeted by a rousing volley from the 
brow. The 20th and 30th 111. claimed that hill ; formed and 
advanced, fired one volley, when the graybacks skedaddled, again 
leaving us in possession of the field, and their commander mor- 
tally wounded. We lay on our arms that night, and thus ended 
the first of May, 1863. 

" But the best is yet to be told. Not a man of the 20th was 
either killed or wounded in the charge or pursuit! A miracle 
surely, for I have never seen the bullets fly thicker. We killed 
their commander Gen. Tracy, captured a colonel, several captains 
and lieutenants, and 650 privates, and killed and wounded through 
the day, 3,000. 

The entire Union loss through the day was about 400 killed 
and wounded ; none of our force were taken prisoners. 

" May 2nd we started in line of battle with the 20th deployed 


as skirmishers, and went two miles in that order, but found that 
the rebs had run, and we marched into Port Gibson, as pretty a 
little town as I ever saw, of about 2,000 inhabitants in peaceful 
times. Here the rebs had burned the wire bridge and R. R. 
bridges, and run away. Logan's division took a circuit of nine 
miles in order to get there and head them off, but they were too 
fast for us, and we started on again, marching half the night to 
cut them off at Greistone Ferry, but they gave us the slip again. 

" On the 3d of May we crossed Big Bayou Pierre on an iron 
bridge which the rebels failed to destroy, and marched one and 
a half miles, when we were brought up all standing by six shells 
dropping into us from the front. We immediately lay down, 
while our batteries tried the rebel batteries. While lying there 
we went to sleep, and slept for an hour while the shells were fly- 
ing over us both ways. At the end of an hour I was woke up, 
and we formed in line of battle, and advanced to take the rebel 
batteries. But when we got to them, they were not there, gone 
again ! So we pushed on another while when the rattle of mus- 
ketry, and the whiz of bullets told us of another blockade. We 
pitched into it in earnest. The 20th was detached to support a 
battery, which we did in fine style, being entirely out of danger, 
for the rebels run again as soon as our batteries opened on them. 
They had no idea of making a fight, but wanted to detain us 
until their forces, which were evacuating Grand Gulf, could get by 
us on another road. After we routed them Logan's division was 
ordered to take the Grand Gulf road, and try to cut off their re- 
treat. We traveled half the night to do so, but they were too 
fast for us. We picked up a good many stragglers, captured over 
10,000 pounds of meat, many horses, mules, etc., but the main 
force had crossed the Big Black before us about an hour, and 
planted artillery on the opposite side to prevent our crossing. 
They shelled the camp of the 30th 111. yesterday morning, killing 
and wounding twelve men. Our batteries opened on them, when 
they ran as usual. 

" We are now waiting here for rations, ammunition and 50,000 
more men which are on the way. Grant is going to make a clean 
thing of it this time. It cannot fail. There is not a man in this 
army that would for a moment doubt that we shall take it, and 


that soon. Grand Gulf was thought to be a Gibralter until we 
crossed the river, when it fell by its own weight. Our gun boats 
had tried three times to take it. When the rebs left we captured 
two 128 pound columbiads, two six-inch rifled guns of superior 
English make. All the ammunition they use against us is of Eng- 
lish manufacture. 

Two negroes ran away from Vicksburg yesterday, and came 
in. They say the rebs are moving their commissary stores to 
Jackson, Miss. 

The weather is very hot through the day, but the nights are 
cool. Five nights since leaving Milliken's Bend I have slept 
in wet clothes, without blankets. Our blankets were in the 
wagons, and the wagons stuck fast in the mud. After the battle 
I went into a house and simply and innocently took a good doubl 
blanket, promising to pay when the independence of the southern 
confederacy was acknowledged by Father Abraham." 

On the 12th was fought the battle of Raymond, in which our 
20th also took its part. This was fought by our forces under 
Gen. McPherson, and the rebs under Gen.' Gregg, and was a 
very severe engagement, ending in our success. The second 
brigade of Logan's division, (in which the 20th was placed,) was 
early ordered forward to attack the enemy which had been found 
posted too strong for the cavalry to dislodge. The brigade ad- 
vanced and held its ground against a superior force. The other 
brigades of Logan's division were brought up, aided by the 8th 
Michigan battery, and the rebels fell back to a position just in the 
rear of Farnsden's creek. 

Gen. McPherson at once ordered an advance upon that posi- 
tion. Gen. Dennis' and Gen. Smith's brigades moved forward, 
and a severe though brief conflict ensued, in which the 20th 111. 
fought most desperately, and lost heavily, but the rebels were 
forced from their ground. 

During this desperate struggle the rebels attempted to turn 
our left flank, and very nearly succeeded. The fight on the left 
was fearful. The 20th 111. had fired forty rounds of cartridges, 
and still held the enemy at bay. Their colonel had been mortally 
wounded while urging on his men, but not one of his heroes fal- 


tered. At this critical moment, Stephenson's brigade came to the 
rescue and the rebels gave way, and fled towards Raymond. The 
20th lost the only field officer in this engagement, Col. Richards, 
who was mortally wounded. The 2d lieutenant of Co. C was also 
killed, and fifteen privates, three of whom, Israel J. Waters, Henry 
Mitchell, and Wm. Shugar, were from this county. 

May 14th, after a short, sharp fight of three hours, the enemy 
was again defeated under Gen. Joseph E. Johnson, and retreated, 
and our forces had possession of the capital of Mississippi. In this 
the 20th took part, but was not seriously engaged. 

On the 16th, occurred the battle of Champion Hills, or 
Baker's Creek, which was fought with the rebels under Peraber- 
on. This was a very important battle, and the rebels were in 
strong force and well posted. The Union loss was 3,000. But 
our victory was complete and decisive, opening up the way to 
Vicksburg. Logan's division was in the most desperately fought 
part of the field, and stood the brunt of it without flinching. 

During the battle, an officer was sent to Gen. Logan, to inquire 
how it was going. " Tell Gen. Grant," says he, " that my division 
oannot be whipped by all the rebels this side of h 11." 

In this fight, the major of the 24th Iowa, known as the " Meth- 
odist regiment," was wounded, and walking slowly off the field, he 
captured a rebel and made him carry him on his shoulders to the 
provost marshal's headquarters. 

May 17th, there was a closing fight at Big Black Bridge, in 
which we were again successful, and soon after, Vicksburg was 
effectually invested. Pemberton had retired his army behind the 
defenses, with great loss of men and munitions of war. 

The 20th arrived before Vicksburg the 19th of May, and had a 
full day's share of skirmishing in taking up its position, and from 
that time out, to the final surrender, took its full share in the 
labors and dangers which attended the memorable siege. 

Much has been written upon the siege of Vicksburg. I shall 
attempt no description of its general features, and only relate a few 
incidents that occurred in the experience of the 20th regiment. It 
would be impossible to convey an adequate idea of the harrassing, 
exhausting nature of the service which was rendered by the 20th, 
in common with all parts of the investing army. To lie day and 


night in the trenches, in the heat of a southern summer, under the 
fire of the rebel forts, and with two 10-inch guns (84-pounders), 
four 24-poun Jers (McAllister's battery), and eight 10-pound guns, 
all the while being fired within twenty rods, was, to say the least, 
disagreeable. This was the kind of berth the boys of the 20th had 
got into. The rebels were, of course, as active as the Union army, 
and were constantly sending over their metal in various shapes, 
while their sharpshooters were ready to take advantage of the 
slightest exposure on the part of any of the men. 

One day the rebels opened on the 20th, with a new battery of 
10-pound guns, with which they kept things lively for a while, 
until McAllister's 24-pound guns got the range of it and soon 
silenced it. An officer, with his field glass, saw the rebels carry 
back fifteen dead men from the battery. 

The rebels also planted a mortar somewhere out of range in a 
ravine, with which they threw over a very ugly kind of shell as 
big as a water pail extremely disagreeable to meet. On one occa- 
sion, one of these shells fell in a tent, where two men were asleep, 
and exploded, and, strange to say, neither were hurt. Another 
time, one of these ugly visitants exploded in the camp, while the 
boys were getting their dinner, and scattered eight, ten, and four- 
teen pound fragments around in an exceedingly careless manner, 
happily, however, doing no other mischief than knocking over the 
camp kettles in which the bean soup was cooking. 

It was while this mortar was doing its work that R. W. Water- 
man, of Wilmington, made the boys a visit, and wanting to see as 
much as he could, went to the front to see the big guns. While 
going around with Lieut. Branch, one of the shells came over and 
buried itself in the ground within about twenty feet of them. 
Branch, being used to the thing, dropped to the ground at once, 
and told Waterman to do so ; but he was so paralyzed with sur- 
prise that he forgot to drop. Happily, the shell had buried itself 
deep in the ground before it exploded, which gave an upward 
direction to fragments, and they were not hit. On being asked 
why he did not drop, Waterman said he was so busy praying that 
he forgot it. Branch asked him what prayer he made, and he 
replied, " Now I lay me down to sleep ;" not an inappropriate 
prayer under the circumstances. Whether he used it on account 


of its applicability to the situation, or because it was the only one 
he knew, the author is not informed ask him. 

After a while, our side got the range of the gun and silenced it. 

The rebel sharpshooters, though they did not make as much 
noise as their artillery, were perhaps more to be feared. Their 
balls were flying all the time, and everywhere ; no one could safely 
appear from behind their works. Branch says in one of his letters : 
" While I was writing this last sentence, a bullet from a rebel 
sharpshooter cut off this leaf, which fell upon my paper, and I send 
it to you. We make light of such things here, but, at the bottom, 
we don't like it." 

The 20th took part in the memorable assault of the 20th, 21st 
and 22d days of May, which was unsuccessful, and, as many thought, 
ill-advised. The 20th assaulted Fort Hill, in which it lost 30 
men. They succeeded in planting their flag on the rebel works, 
but as the general movement failed, they were compelled to retire 
the next day. 

The 20th was in the centre of Logan's division, on the Jackson 
road, and after the assault on Fort Hill, was occupied in digging 
and sharpshooting. They dug up to within twenty feet of the 
enemy's works, and so closely were they besieged, that they had 
not fired a shot in some time. In this charge of the 22d of May, 
Lieuts. King and Wadsworth, of our county, were both wounded. 
The regiment went into the assault with 164 men, of which number 
it lost 30. 

On the night of the 3d of June, the boys of the 20th conceived 
the idea that they had as good a right to the rebel fort in their 
front as the rebels had, even though they were on the outside of it. 
Accordingly, they dug a ditch from the bottom of the earthwork 
to the top, five feet deep and three feet wide, and when they reached 
the top, they extended the trench each way, and in the morn- 
ing the rebels were surprised to see, from the top of their works, 
the " Enfields " of the " damned yanks" pointing right at them. 
This was good as an exploit to pass the time, but was of no great 
advantage, as another fort commanded it. 

July 4th, the 20th shared in the triumph of the surrender, and 
was the second regiment to enter the city, where it remained on 
provost duty for several months. 


Surgeon Goodbrake, writing from Vicksburg, July 16th, says: 
" The 20th has been engaged in all the battles since Gen. Grant 
crossed the river, up to and including the charge of May 22d, in 
which Col. Richards, Capt. Stevens, Lieut. Sears, and sixteen pri- 
vates were killed. Up to the surrender of Vicksburg, the regiment 
had 21 killed and 102 wounded; had been in nine battles, with 
honor every time, and had gained the soubriquet of the " Little 
Fighting Regiment." 

Lieut. Branch, of Co. F, writes from Vicksburg, August 17th, 
that of the 103 boys of that company who left Joliet, only 16 
remained with the regiment, and that of these, only seven reported 
for duty that day. Twenty-nine were absent, eight on detached 
duty, twenty-one sick or wounded, and of the balance, many "sleep 
the sleep that knows no waking." " We have left," says he, "the 
slaughtered at Fredericktown, Donaldson, Shiloh, Jackson, Brit- 
ton's Lane, Raymond, Champion Hills, and Vicksburg. We 
have buried our dead at Birds Point, Cape Girardeau, Memphis, 
and Mound City." Of the original commissioned officers, they 
had but one left, J. B. Bailey, and of the non-commissioned officers, 
not one. " One thing," he says, " distresses the few who remain 
more than all else, the cry for a dishonorable peace." 

After the surrender, the men were nearly all sick. The excite- 
ment being over, they seemed to collapse. Some incidents which 
occurred after the surrender, we record. 

One sabbath, in the Episcopal church, when the prayer for the 
president was being read, nine young ladies of the " upper ten" 
rose and went out, to manifest their rebellious spirit and contempt 
for the president of the United States. Next day they received 
orders to leave the city, or take the alternative of going to the 
common jail. 

An order was issued from headquarters, forbidding any person 
wearing U. S. clothing (blue) that did not belong to the army, 
and authorizing the provost guard to strip any such persons of all 
such clothing. The 20th was at this time doing provost duty. 
The boys used to go for such persons lively. One day, walking 
down the main street, they saw a gent coming, with a lady on each 
arm. He had on one of our blue blouses and a military vest. 
The boys asked the officer in charge what they should do. " Obey 


orders, of course." So they ordered the gent to strip, but he 
showed fight, inspired by the presence of the ladies. The boys 
knocked him down, and stripped him of his coat and vest, and left 
him to escort his ladies in his shirt sleeves. 

On another occasion, they stripped a man of his pants also, 
leaving him in a still more unpresentable condition. 

I am afraid the boys were hardly actuated by the golden rule 
in these proceedings. But the southern gentry were so insulting 
in their treatment of our men that it is hardly to be wondered at 
that they sometimes exceeded the limits of Christian forbearance. 

During their stay at Vicksburg, Lieut. Branch was called upon 
to play the part of a detective. A widow, whose husband, being a 
Union man, had been hung by the rebels, had been robbed of a 
large lot of jewelry, to the value of $3,000, by one Geo. W. Paine. 
The thief was said to be still living in the vicinity of Vicksburg. 
Branch was commissioned to investigate the case. He accordingly 
disguised himself in "butternuts," and went out alone beyond our 
lines, into a secesh neighborhood, where he found his man, quietly 
enjoying the fruits of his steal, at his own house, with a female 
quadroon. He had a full description of the stolen property, and 
identified the man by a large diamond pin and ring which he wore, 
and a diamond brooch, which was glistening on the bosom of his 

The lieutenant, who was a bitter secesh for the occasion, ingra- 
tiated himself into the good graces of the lovely pair, and took 
dinner with them, and then returned to the city. The next morn- 
ing at daylight, while the gentleman was still sleeping in the arms 
of his dulcinea, Lieut. Branch, with four men, well armed, made 
another call upon him, not now in butternuts, but with Uncle 
Sam's uniform, and one of Uncle Sam's muskets. Having secured 
the gentleman's weapons, he made known to him the nature of his 
visit, and called upon him to disgorge. This he did in part, and 
while two of the party kept watch of the pair, the rest searched the 
premises and found some more. But a large part of the plunder 
was still missing, and Mr. Paine refused to reveal its hiding place. 
Thereupon Lieut. Branch took a bed cord from one of the beds, 
and ordered the boys to take the gentleman out into the >ard r 
adjusted a hangman's noose around his neck, threw the end over 


a branch of the tree, and told the boys to " pull away." This 
brought the gentleman to terms, and he gladly accepted the alter- 
native of revealing the hiding place of his plunder, which, being 
secured, the lieutenant let him go, a sadder, but probably not much 
better man. The lieutenant and his men returned to the city, and 
had the pleasure of restoring the plunder to the widow. 

The 20th remained, as has been said about four months in the 
city of Vicksburg, and sometime in the fall of 1863 moved out to 
the Big Black River, where it remained until the raid on Me- 

In the fight at the Big Black in May, a rebel captain of a 
Georgia regiment had been killed who was the owner of a fine 
large dog. The dog refused to leave his master's body until it 
was buried, and then remained upon the grave uttering the most 
dismal howls. Some of the men tried to coax the dog to go with 
them when they left, but he could not be induced to desert his 
vigil. Now, eight months after, when the regiment was again 
encamped in the same vicinity, the dog was still there every 
night, uttering the most dismal howls over the grave. No coax- 
ing could swerve him from his fidelity to the memory of his 
dead master. The brute was better, more faithful than the man, 
for he had forgotten his allegiance to Uncle Sam. Although the 
dog's howlings made night hideous, the boys could not find it in 
their hearts to shoot him. 

In the celebrated Meridian raid of General Sherman's, the 
20th bore a part, an account of which I have condensed with 
slight alterations from a description given by Lt. Branch, of Co. F 
to his old captain, T. Q. Hilderbrant. His letter was written 
March 9th, 1864, just after the return of his expedition. 

He says: "Our brigade consisting of the 20th, 31st, 40th 
and 124th 111. Infantry, with a battery of twenty pound parrots, 
and Co. D , Captain Felters, of Dickey's 4th cavalry, have been 
encamped on the Big Black, 15 miles east from Vicksburg, for 
the last four months. On the 2nd of February, Sherman's troops 
consisting of the 16th army corps, and Gens. Stephen's, Hurl- 
but's, Leggett's and Crocker's divisions of the 17th army corps, 
under General McPherson, marched from Vicksburg to this 
place, where our brigade joined them, and on the 3d crossed the 


Big Black on pontoons, and started out for the purpose of break- 
ing up the extensive R. R. communications of the rebels, by which 
they have been enabled to concentrate their forces in Mississippi, 
Alabama and Georgia, at any point in Mississippi in forty-eight 

" We marched four miles and encamped without tents. Feb. 
4th we marched at 7 a. m., and after proceeding four miles had 
a lively skirmish with the enemy in front, on the old battle field 
of " Champion Hills," in which we had whipped the rebels in 
the advance on Vicksburg last May. The cavalry were now 
driven back upon the infantry line. But in this infantry the 
rebels found a snag, from which their cavalry rebounded, and we 
passed on. From thence to Baker's Creek, nine miles, was a con- 
tinued skirmish, in which our side lost five killed and eighteen 
wounded, mostly of the 12th Wisconsin. We encamped at dark 
on the creek. 

" Feb. 5th, marched at daylight, and as the rebels were known 
to be in force on the opposite side of the creek, the 1st brigade 
was put in advance, and as usual on such occasions, the 20th was 
in advance of the brigade. The passage of the creek was obsti- 
nately disputed, but to no purpose. We routed them in one-half 
an hour, and advanced across a large plantation, firing as we went, 
and occasionally passing a dead grayback in the road. 

" That day we reached 17 miles and skirmished on every hill. 
We drove them through Clinton. And here was one of the finest 
sights I have ever seen during the war. Clinton is situated on a 
high hill, while to the west and south is a level plain a mile or 
more in width. Hurlbut came in from the southwest, and Mc- 
Pherson from the northwest. We were fighting and driving 
Lee's cavalry, while Hurlbut was driving Jackson's cavalry, and 
both drove the rebels out of the woods at the same time. We 
were on the skirmish line and could see the whole thing. 

" The rebels came out in confusion and close on our and Hurl- 
but's skirmishers in splendid lines, while our batteries took posi- 
tion on the hills in the rear, and sent shell and canister over our 
heads. Down the hill, across the bottom, and up the hill, and 
through the town, pell-mell went the rebs. and close after them 
the blue jackets, yelling and firing like devils until ordered to 


halt, a mile behind town. While resting, our cavalry passed us 
to the front to follow up the chase, but in the course of twenty 
minutes they came back fleeing and chased in turn. Then the 
order, " First brigade fall in," came, and we advanced through the 
woods to the edge of the large plantation, where we found the ene- 
my strongly posted on the opposite side in the woods. 

" We formed our line, then threw out oar skirmishers, and lay 
down for orders. Meanwhile our artillery opened and was 
replied to by six pieces of rebel cannon well served. Their first 
shot knocked two of our artillerists hors du eombat, and the next 
killed two of the 124th 111. The third was aimed at Gen. Force, 
our brigade commander, which ricocheting in front, passed close 
over his head. We occupied some time here in order to let a 
body of troops pass to the right and left, to flank them. When 
the proper time came we opened on them with ten guns, which 
soon made them change their position, and while doing so came 
the command, " Attention, 20th 111.! forward, double quick," and 
away we went. But the rebs. always could out run us. We fol- 
lowed them for about a mile, when we came in view of their whole 
force, drawn up in an open field, apparently with the design of 
charging on us. A few rounds from our parrots, however, made 
them change their minds, and show us their horses tails. We 
moved on in line of battle until dark, when Gen. Leggett, com- 
manding the division, came to us and said that we were two miles 
from Jackson, and as we had driven the rebels twenty miles that 
day, and had worked well and hard, he would not order us to 
march any farther. But it was believed that the rebels were 
evacuating Jackson, and if there was a brigade that would volun- 
teer to go to Jackson and hold the place for the night; he would 
feel much obliged to them. Of course that meant us. Up jumped 
our boys, tired as they were, with the ready reply, " We will go 
sir," and we went; and as we entered the rebel works from the 
west, the enemy went out on the east side, firing a few parting 
shots at our advance. 

" The night was spent in laying a pontoon bridge across the 
Pearl river; our artillery in the meantime shelling the Pearl 
river swamps to protect the working parties. We encamped on 


the Canton road, north of the city, and inside the rebel works 
where we lay waiting for the bridge to be finished, all the next 
day (6th.) 

On the 7th we crossed Pearl river, and after marching two 
miles halted for Crocker's division to pass. We found the South- 
ern R. R. repaired to Pearl river, with a new turn table on the 
bank, which we burned, also the bridges and trestle work. We 
tore up the track making piles of the ties, setting them on fire and 
laying the rails across, so that when heated they bent in such away 
as to render them useless. In this way we used up the railroad 
as far as we went. 

" The city of Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, was, before 
the visit of Grant last May, one of the most beautiful in all the 
south. But the rebels had inaugurated the policy of burning all 
buildings which contained commissary stores, an example which 
our side was not slow to follow, and now this was the third visit 
which the yanks had made this city, and from its appearance I 
think, one visit more would make a finish, for the State House is 
about the only building left of any importance, standing in melan- 
choly grandeur amid a forest of chimney stacks, and ruined brick 
walls, among them those of the penitentiary. They had fortified 
the place so that they regarded it as almost impregnable. But 
Grant walked into it after one bayonet charge, an hour after he had 
formed his lines. 

" We marched thirteen miles this (7th) day, passing through 
Brandon, a very pretty site for a town, but as the 4th corps passed 
through it, they set fire to everything that would burn, and all we 
could see was smouldering ruins. We were obliged to go around 
it to avoid the heat, destroying the railroad as we went. The first 
few miles after leaving Jackson, we passed alternately through 
pine swamps, and over pine hills, sand ankle deep, a miserable 
looking conntry, but good for raising cotton. We know when 
we are coming to a large plantation, by the smoke of burning cot- 
ton, cotton gins and negro quarters. We encamped in the pine 
woods, one mile east of Brandon. Here we had full rations, 
plenty of fresh beef, pork, mutton and poultry of all kinds, for 
now we make the rebs feed us as we go. 

" Monday, the 8th, we marched at 9 o'clock, Crocker's division 


in advance, we then crossed the railroad a mile from camp, set- 
ting all the ties, trestle work, bridges, etc., on fire as far as we 
can see before and behind us, besides houses, barns, cotton gins, 
and cotton sheds and warehouses filled with the bodsted staple, 
(no longer king,) fences and woods all on fire in all directions. 
We march in a cloud of smoke by day, and the light of the burn- 
ing fires by night, like the Israelites of old. But unlike them 
our pillar of cloud by day, and pillar of fire by night, were not 
supplied by the miraculous interposition of God, but by the cruel 
torch of desolating war. 

" We marched sixteen miles and encamped in a heavy pine 
forest. We are driving a rebel brigade steadily before us, besides 
a large cavalry force who skirmish with us continually. 

" A sad accident occurred to-day while on the march. The 
rebel cavalry made a stand on every hill, and fired upon our 
advance, and then run. In one instance, they formed in a yard in 
front of a house, in which a family were living, and fired on our 
troops without giving any notice to the inmates. On their firing, 
he lady of the house came to the front door to see what was the 
occasion of it, and was hit in the neck by our return fire, and 
instantly killed. She left six small children alone, her husband 
being in the rebel army. It was a heart-rending sight, over which 
many a soldier, albeit unused to weeping, dropped a tear. 

" Tuesday, 9th, marched at 9 a. m. We went into Morton, con- 
trary to expectation, without a fight. The enemy had 18,000 
troops here, and boasted that this was to be the end of Sherman's 
expedition. They formed in line of battle, threw up earthworks, 
dug rifle pits, and seemed to have made every preparation to con- 
test our advance, and then skedaddled. We were glad they did so, 
for they had a splendid position, with an open field and swamp in 
front, and it would have been a hard job to take or turn it. 

"Morton, its depot, warehouses, &c., shared the fate of the 
other places through which we passed. We remained here all day, 
and here the 16th army corps passed us, Gen. Hurlbut claiming 
the privilege of driving the rebs part of the way. 

" Wednesday, 10th, left Morton at 9 a. m., and made fourteen 
miles. We marched through what had been the town of Hillsboro, 
but when we came up, the boys christened it " Chimney Town." 


The 16th had been obliged to fight its way through the town, and 
applied the torch to everything combustible, and chimney stacks 
were about all that was left. We went into camp at 11 o'clock 
p. m., two miles east of Hillsboro. To-day I had charge of 54 
rebel prisoners, and marched in the rear of the regiment. Two of 
these prisoners belonged to the 2d Florida infantry, of which an 
uncle of mine (on the mother's side) is colonel. We lay in camp 
until 4 p. m. 

" At ten this morning, a rebel lieutenant and seven men made 
a dash at our rear pickets, Co. D, 4th 111. cav. (Captain Felter's.) 
Oscar T. Randall (of Channahon) waited until the rebs had got 
into close range, then fired, ank killed the lieutenant on the spot, 
and the rest left. We marched again at 4 p. m., and marched all 
night, going through the worst piece of swamp I ever saw. We 
made six miles, and went into camp at 4 in the morning, tired out, 
sleepy, foot-sore, and hungry. 

" Friday, 12th, marched at 8 a. m., and made eighteen miles. 
We were twenty out of the twenty-four hours on the move, and 
encamped at Decatur. The night was dark, and the march would 
have been very dreary, but for the light of burning plantations. 
Decatur shared the fate of the other towns on the march, and we 
could say of it as of ancient Troy it was ! 

"Saturday, 13th, at 11 a. m., left Decatur, marched a mile, 
and halted for the train to close up. While resting, the rebels 
made a dash at our train. The 20th was ordered back to repulse 
them. But the rear guard, the 45th, had done the job before we 
got there. Some few rebs killed, was the result. Marched thirteen 
miles, and encamped on a small creek at 11 p. m., receiving orders 
to cook rations to-night, as we were to go on a separate expedi- 
tion to-morrow. 

" Sunday, Feb. 14th, St. Valentine's day, the first brigade 
marched alone at nine o'clock, on a road running south, with 
orders to proceed to " Chunkey Station," on Chunkey river, and 
destroy the railroad bridge, burn the town, warehouses, depot, &c. 
We were told that there were two companies of rebel cavalry- 
guarding the bridge, and having two stockades. We marched 
light, taking nothing but haversacks and canteens. The 20th, as 
usual on such occasions, had the advance. When within one mile 


of the bridge, we ascertained that there were 2,000 of Jackson's 
cavalry there. We were less than 1,000 strong ; but, as we had 
never yet met our match among the greybacks, we determined to 
sail in, well knowing that nothing but a bold front would save us. 
We advanced thirty of the 4th 111. cavalry all we had to find 
out their position. We soon came upon their picket fires, still 
burning. The order was passed down the line to load as we went, 
and by the time we had loaded, the cavalry opened on them from 
the top of a hill. Colonel Bradley sang out, " Forward, double- 
quick," and up the hill we went on a run. Then, " On the right 
by file into line," and the regiment swung into line lively. Com- 
panies A and F were deployed as skirmishers, Captain Wadsworth 
on the right, Bailey on the left, and Co. B had command of the 
centre of the skirmish line. We soon came up with and passed 
our cavalry, and came in sight of the enemy. They had a fine 
line of skirmishers, but we soon turned it into a running rabble, 
We were on the left of the railroad, and two companies of the 45th 
on the right. We had a good cover of brush, while they were 
exposed in an open field, so for their benefit we gave an infernal 
yell, which drew the enemy's fire from them to us. We advanced 
to the river bank, and, as we broke cover, were greeted with a 
shower of balls, which made us take to the trees and fight shy. 
We had found that we were fighting with their main line across a 
narrow river, at a distance of five to eight rods. We told the 
boys, (in a voice loud enough for the rebels to hear), to take it cool, 
as the artiltery would soon come up, and that we were flanking 
them. These words, addressed to our own men, but meant for the 
rebels a little yankee strategy gave the enemy a scare, and they 
broke and run. Thus two companies, A and F, of the 20th, and 
two companies of the 45th, fought and whipped 2,000 of Jackson's 
cavalry in an hour. The regiments came up, and we burned the 
bridge, warehouse, mills, and 300 bales of cotton, and marched 
back, making eighteen miles in eight hours. Our loss was three 
men of the 45th, wounded; none hurt in the 20th. We sent the 
d 1 sixteen valentines in the shape of dead rebels, one of them a 
colonel, wounding thirty-five more. 

" An amusing incident occurred during this skirmish. In order 
to preserve the line intact, it became necessary to pass through the 


door-yard of a house in which there was a family living. While 
doing so the boys happened to see a well filled hen coop. The 
temptation to improve their rations was too strong to be resisted, 
and as they passed along, each took a chicken, and, wringing its 
neck, clapped it into their empty haversacks, and John W. Coomba 
knocked down an old gobbler with his gun, and slung him over 
his shoulder. All this brought the lady of the house to the door 
in a great rage, and crying and wringing her hands, she blurted 
out to the boys : " Oh, you nasty thieves ! the secesh came along^ 
here and stole my old hoss, and now you are stealing all my chick- 
ens, but you'll catch h 11 when you get down there to the bridge." 
The boys cheered her, and passed on well satisfied with their part 
of the joke. We encamped with the trains of our division that 

" Monday, 15th, started for Meridian. We marched ten miles 
and encamped five miles from Meridian. Here we heard that the 
place was evacuated by the enemy and occupied by our advance. 

"Tuesday, 16th, marched at seven, reached Meridian, and 
encamped. We found it a place covering a great deal of ground, 
as the houses were scattered. It is the headquarters of this part of 
the "confederacy" for the manufacture and repair of arms. We 
found a large arsenal, armory, foundry, machine shops, &c. In 
the arsenal were 5,000 rifles and shot-guns, and shot, shell, grape, 
canister, &c. Here, too, are or rather were large grist mills, 
saw mills, barracks, hospitals, two large hotels, and a great many 
new houses, built by refugees from the territory which had come 
into the possession of the Union army. All of this made a splendid 
fire before we left. Meridian, too, is among the things that were. 

" We remained here and around here three days, and on the 
17th, the 20th alone went out foraging. Gen. Sherman told Col. 
Bradley that he sent him out because he knew the 20th could get 
back if anyone could. The 18th, I remained in camp, while the 
regiment went along the railroad, tearing up and destroying the 
track. A lady had sent in a request that an officer might be sent 
for her protection, to save her from the insults of the soldiery, and 
her house from the flames. So I had the pleasant duty of passing 
two days and nights at the house of a very pretty and well-informed 
southern lady, whose husband was absent in the rebel army. 


" The regiment went seven miles, and captured two hogsheads 
of sugar, one yoke of oxen, and wagons loaded with meat and 
sweet potatoes. Part of the boys, mounted on captured horses, 
went out on their own hook foraging, and before they had got out 
of sight, they met a squad of rebels mounted. Both parties fired, 
and then turned and ran as fast as they could. It was amusing to 
see each party fleeing from the other. 

" Friday, 19th, the regiment went two miles from Meridian to 
guard a mill and grind up a lot of corn for our own use. After 
doing what grinding we wanted, we let on a full head of water, 
applied the torch, and left her grinding and burning. 

" Saturday, 20th, we marched at daylight back to town, and 
found that all had left at five o'clock, on the return march, except 
the details left to finish up the work of destruction. We had to 
march around the burning town, as the heat was too great to pass 
through it. The sun was just rising as we came in from the west, 
and as it came up through the smoke and flames of the burning 
city, the whole scene had a weird and strange appearance, while 
the guns, many of which were loaded, and the shot and shell 
exploding the crackling and roar of the flames the crash of fall- 
ing walls altogether made a scene grand, but terrible and sad. 
May I never have to look upon another. 

" After looking upon the scene awhile, we took up our return 
march to the tune 'Get out of the wilderness/ and after a few 
hours overtook our brigade, and went on our way. While at 
Meridian we captured and burned five locomotives and 35 cars, 
and while we lay there our cavalry went down the Mobile & Ohio 
railroad, and burned Enterprise and Quitman, destroying every- 
thing as we went. We marched twenty miles and encamped in 
pine woods, tired, foot-sore, and short of rations. 

" Sunday, 21st, started at seven, marched thirteen miles to Deca- 
tur, and encamped before night, sending out foraging parties, which 
returned heavily loaded with all kinds of plunder, gathered from 
the pastures, smoke houses, poultry yards, and potato patches. We 
were once more in clover, while many a family, I fear, was short 
of rations. 

" Monday, 22d, started from Decatur at 7 a. m., and made 
eight miles, camping on the Radcliff plantation, three miles from 


Pearl river, waiting for the laying of pontoons. While lying 
here, our foraging parties brought in large quantities of all kinds 
of produce which had been hid away in the swamps by the old 
planters. The negroes would reveal the secret hiding places, and 
the foragers would go for the spoils without scruple. The 16th 
corps commenced crossing at dark, and we had orders to be ready 
at midnight, but the bridge broke, and we lay till 11 o'clock next 

" Friday, 26th, we marched three miles and crossed the river. 
We now struck high lands, with beautiful plantations, the finest 
country through which we had passed. We made fourteen miles, 
and camped within one mile of Canton, on the west. This has 
been one of the most rabid of rebel cities, and one of the most 
beautiful places in the south. A heavy rebel force has been kept 
here since the capture of Vicksburg. The city is made up of 
planters' residences, elegant and costly, and the surrounding coun- 
try is one of splendid plantations, rich in cotton at least such was 
the town and country before the advent of the Union army. 

" Saturday, the 27th, we lay in Canton. Five companies of 
the 20th remained in camp, near Gen. Force's headquarters, while 
the other five were out foraging. About noon some scamp set fire 
to a cotton shed, which so enraged General Force that he ordered 
Major Kennard to take his regiment out into a plowed field and 
put a guard around them, where we were kept (companies A, C, E, 
F, and K,) in corral for six hours. When the rest of the regi- 
ment came in, we moved camp two miles south of town, on account 
of water. 

" Sunday, 28th, marched back to town and encamped in line of 
battle around the place, on account of reports that there was a 
heavy force of rebels in the vicinity. The 31st, 45th and 124th 
regiments occupied the day in tearing up the railroad. We cap- 
tured here twenty-one locomotives in one lot, and then moved up 
the road a few miles and burned the whole lot, with ninety cars. 
We put a 24-pound shell in the fire box of each engine, which 
exploded and tore the boiler wide open. 

" Monday, 29th, the day came in cold and blustering, with a 
cold, north wind, anddrizzing rain. At 10 a. m., it held up, and we 
went out and destroyed the railroad on thenorth side of the town, 


while the cavalry was having a heavy fight within a mile of town, 
on the south, with the cavalry of Jackson, Lee, and Wirt Adams. 
We destroyed a mile of railroad track and returned to camp, to 
find that a provision train of forty wagons had just come in to 
meet us, from Vicksburg, bringing also a heavy mail, the first news 
we had had from the civilized world for twenty-nine days. You 
may be assured the sight was a welcome one. 

" March 1st, we left at twelve, after a rain all night, with three 
days' rations in our haversacks, and accomplished but five miles in 
nine hours, on account of the mud, and camped at night in the 
mud wet, cold, hungry, and fagged out. We had to break the 
ice half an inch thick to fill our canteens. 

" March 2d, marched at 7 a. m., the 16th corps in advance. 
Cavalry skirmishing commenced before we had fairly got out of 
sight of the camp, and continued, with little intermission, all day, 
accompanied with heavy artillery firing. The rebel cavalry and 
artillery followed closely on our rear, and kept our cavalry busy 
all day. We encamped on an old plantation. 

" March 3d, at 8 a. m., the first brigade was marched to the 
rear to cover the retreat of the whole army. We formed in line 
of battle on the edge of the woods, and let our entire train pass us. 
The position was one of great peril. An open field two miles 
long had to be crossed, and on the opposite side was a poor bridge 
and a swamp, requiring a long time to cross, while a high hill in 
the rear afforded a grand position for the enemy to place a battery 
and shell us. But for some reason or other they did not trouble us. 

" After our forces had passed we marched across the planta- 
tion, and resumed our place in the division on the homeward 
stretch. We made eighteen miles and went into camp without any 
further trouble from the rebels. Gen. Leggett said that the reason 
he took the 1st brigade out of its place to cover the retreat, was 
that he knew he could depend upon it in a tight place. 

March 4th, left camp at 7 a. m., and after a march of 15 miles 
arrived at our camp on the Big Black, at 4 p. m., well fagged out ; 
but in half an hour had to go on picket duty ! 

Thus, from Feb. 3d to March 4th, we had marched 375 miles, 
captured and burned the towns of Clinton, Jackson, Brandon, De- 
catur, Hillsboro, Chunkey Station, Meridian, Enterprise, Forest, 


Quitman, Canton and Brownsville ; captured and burned 35 lo- 
comotives and 125 cars ; and killed about 400 rebs, wounded 
800 more, and took 800 prisoners. We had captured 2,000 horses 
and mules, and brought in with us 10,000 contrabands of all ages, 
sizes, colors, sexes and shapes ; in all kinds of conveyances from 
the great plantation wagon, crammed fall of woolly heads, down 
to the smallest jackass, loaded down with a big wench on her pack 
of movables. Our contraband train was a sight to behold, worth 
more than any street show that Barnum ever organized. We had 
destroyed more than 150 miles of R. R., burned every R. R. build- 
ing on the route, and every cotton gin, mill and public house 
and some private ones. Long, long will the people remember 
the visit of Sherman's army, and its marks will not soon be oblit- 
erated from the region. When we marched out we were told that 
the march would be a short and rapid one, and we took no extra 
clothing, and consequently we went thirty-three days without a 
change. How we looked on our return, you can conjecture. I 
will not attempt to describe it. Even the "ragged 20th" never 
looked so ragged before." 

The regiment as has been seen returned from the Meridian 
raid early in March, 1864. The term of their enlistment would 
expire in May, (14th). What remained of the regiment had 
(mostly) agreed to re-enlist. The regiment was therefore granted 
what it had so richly earned, a veteran furlough. Only 197 of the 
original enlisted men remained. The two Will county companies 
had a public reception on their return to Joliet, at the court house, 
where they were welcomed with appropriate honors, and addressed 
among others by their old captain and major, Bartleson, who was 
just home from Libby. 

A supper at the Auburn House, and a reception at the house 
of Otis Hardy, Esq., was also given them. 

The regiment veteranized, and recruited its thinned ranks, re- 
joined Sherman's army, which had now entered upon its Atlanta 
campaign, at " Big Shanty." It then took part in that memorable 
campaign. It lost heavily at Kenesaw, being in the first assault, 
and also in that of June 27th. It was also in the fiercest of the 
fights before Atlanta, on 21st and 22nd of July. On the 21st 
the regiment was on the left flank of the army, and with the divis- 


ion took a strong work of the enemy situated on a high hill, and 
maintained its position against repeated attempts to dislodge it. 
It had six killed and forty-eight wounded. Among the killed was 
Sergeant Macherly who had carried the flag of the regiment since 
Shiloh, and had been distinguished for his bravery in every en- 
gagement, having received the gold medal of merit at the siege of 

On the 22nd, the enemy charged the division with great force, 
and the fighting was severe until dark, when the enemy with- 
drew severely punished. It was estimated that the division killed 
more rebels in this engagement than its own number. Lt. Col. 
Bradley commanded the 20th in this engagement. Its losses 
were heavy. It had the misfortune to get flanked, and nearly all 
were captured. 


Commissioned officers killed,!; wounded, 5 ; missing, 4; 
Enlisted men killed, 8 ; wounded 47 ; missing, 66 ; Total 
killed, 9; wouuded, 52; missing, 70. Total loss, 131. 

Only 13 men of the number engaged on the 22nd escaped cap- 
ture. The prisoners were taken to Macon, Ga., whence the privates 
were sent to Anderson ville, the officers to Savannah. Among 
the officers taken were Jeremiah B. Bailey, 1st Lt. Co. F, and 
David Wadsworth, Captain of Co. F, and Gideon Bernier, Lieut, 
of Co. B. These were taken to Savannah, and subsequently to 
Charleston, where they were placed under the fire of our forces, 
then bombarding the city. They were finally exchanged under a 
special cartel between Sherman and Hood. 

For a daring act of Captain Bernier, of Co. B, in this engage- 
ment, and for some other details, the reader is referred to the his- 
tory of McAllister's Battery. The remnants of the regiment, 
(about 20 men and officers) together with some others that had 
been on detached duty the whole numbering 35, were placed in 
command of Captain Harry King, mounted and put on a scouting 
service in the memorable march to the sea and northward. 

At Goldsboro, they received 250 recruits, and at Alexandria 
the captured men that had been exchanged, rejoined them, and the 
regimental organization was resumed. It took part in the grand 
review at Washington after this " cruel war was over." Surely 


they were entitled to partake in the triumph after having done 
and suffered so much to achieve it. 

The regiment then returned by way of Louisville to Chicago, 
where they arrived and were discharged, July 19th, 1865. 

It came home with 21 officers and 322 men, of whom only 
about 70 were in the original muster roll of 924 men. 

At the grand review in Washington, the regiment attracted 
much attention as one that had participated in more regular bat- 
tles than any other. It had been in twenty-nine battles and nu- 
merous skirmishes, and was in service four years and two months. 

Co. B was noted for its promotions. Its captain had been 
promoted major, and then Col. of the 100th. Henry King who 
enlisted as private came out Colonel. Bernier who enlisted as pri- 
vate at the age of eighteen, returned Captain, having won his first 
promotion on the field of Donaldson for his bravery and soldierly 
conduct. A public reception was given the 20th, with 'other soldiers 
of the 8th Cavalry and Battery D, (McAllister's) on the 25th of 
July, and a supper at the National. The military record of each 
member of the regiment from Will county, so far as I have been 
able to obtain it, will be found in part four of this work. 






Organization Will County Companies Leaves for the Front En route 
Surprised and Captured Arrives at Williamsport Sickness First Death 
and Funeral Another Bereavement Leaves Camp Crosses into Dixie 
Distributed Affairs at Great Cacapon Alpine Station Bath Present to 
Gov. Yates Captain Munu Tested Movements Promotions Sickness 
Movements Winchester Strasburg Battle Gen. Shields Battle of Win- 
chester Incidents Advance Woodstock Foraging Advance Brilliant 
Charge Movements Columbia Bridge An Astonished Reb Temperance 
Story Advance to Fredericks burg Grand Review Takes the Back Track 
Movements Manassas Review Goes to Alexandria Harrison's Land- 
ing Closing Scenes of McClellan's Fizzle Malvern Hill Change of Base- 
Fortress Monroe Suffolk Resignation Breaks Camp Chowan River 
Embarks Folly Island A Flag from Yates Attack on Sumter Night 
Exploit Morris Island Fort Wagner Casualties Hilton Head Veter- 
anizesComes Home Receptions Recruits Goes Back Washington 
Yorktown A Historic Region City Point Wiers Bottom Drury's Bluflfs 
Fight Casualties Another Fight Losses Other Movements Assaults 
Deep Run Losses Incidents Casualties to Will County Men In the 
Trenches at Petersburg Another Fight Incidents Another Fight Win- 
ter Quarters A March Charge on Fort Gregg Casualties Incidents 
Last Battle Casualties In at the Death of the Confederacy Comes Home. 

[HE organization of this regiment was begun immediately upon 

the receipt of the news of the attack upon Fort Sumter. T. 

O. Osborn, who subsequently became its colonel, (and after- 
wards a general), was active in its organization. At that early 
stage of the rebellion, the government had not become fully awake 
to the magnitude of its proportions and of the work before them. 
Considerable delay was therefore experienced before the regiment 
could get accepted. Indeed, such were the difficulties it encoun- 
tered, that at one time an effort was made to get it into the service 


as a Missouri regiment. And all this trouble and delay was 
encountered, notwithstanding earnest efforts made in its behalf by 
Gov. Yates, by whom the organization was regarded with especial 
favor, it having assumed his name. Bull Run, however, secured 
its acceptance on the day following that disaster. 

In this regiment, Will county was represented by 20 commis- 
sioned officers and over 200 enlisted men, perhaps a greater number 
than could be claimed by any other one county. At any rate, we 
were so largely, and, I may add, so ably and honorably, repre- 
sented, that a brief history of its eventful and noble career is 
demanded at our hands. 

With the exception of about 100 men in the 8th cavalry, and 
10 men in the 12th cavalry, the 39th was the only regiment in 
which our county was represented, to any extent, in the east. Its 
history will therefore take us to different scenes and localities from 
those elsewhere traversed. 

Recruiting for this regiment was early commenced in this county, 
principally in the city of Wilmington, and the towns of Florence, 
Wesley, Channahon, and Homer. Co. A was raised in Wilming- 
ton, largely through the efforts of S. W. Munn, Esq., who became 
its captain, and was afterwards promoted major of the regiment. 
He was assisted by Lt. L. A. Baker, aftewards captain, and Lt. 
Richardson, and others. 

Co. E was also raised mostly in Wilmington, Wesley, and 
Florence, and was originally known as the " Florence Rifles," Jas. 
H. Hooker, of the last named town, being its first captain. 

Hon. Amos Savage, of Homer, one of the oldest and best known 
residents of that town, was also actively engaged in raising Co. G, 
in his town and vicinity, and he became its 2d lieutenant, and sub- 
sequently its captain. The first captain of this company was the 
Rev. Wm. B. Slaughter, well known to many of our citizens as 
once pastor in charge of the Methodist Episcopal church of Joliet. 
At the organization of the regiment he was stationed at Blue Island, 
where he recruited a portion of the company. For the other offi- 
cers of the regiment, as well as the privates, from our county, the 
reader is referred to the roster and muster roll of Will county 
names in Part Fourth. 

The organization of this regiment was completed at Camp 


Mather, Chicago, with Austin Light as its colonel, and left camp 
at Chicago, 950 strong, Oct. 13th, 1861, for Camp Benton, Mo., 
where it reported to Gen. Curtiss. 

But the west was not to be the scene of its exploits. On the 
29th, it was ordered to the east. The statement has been made 
that this change in its destination was not in consequence of orders 
from the war department, but by the direction of Marshall Lamon 
a general in expectancy who wished to have it in his division. 
However this may be, it left Benton barracks at 6 p. m of the 29th, 
by the Terre Haute, A. & St. Louis R. R., arriving at Ind ianapo- 
lis in the afternoon of the same day, where it was treated, after the 
manner of that patriotic city, to a substantial dinner in the market 
house, by the loyal ladies of the city, who had come together for 
that purpose. 

During the night they arrived at the smoky, but no less hos- 
pitable city of Pittsburg, where they found a fine supper awaiting 
them. The hearts of the boys which were perhaps a little down- 
cast, thinking of the homes and the girls they had left behind 
them were greatly cheered by such hospitalities, and made to feel 
that their self-denial in behalf of an imperiled country was not 
unappreciated. The ride had also been a delightful one. It was 
the beautiful Indian summer; all the groves and woods were 
dressed in crimson and gold ; the air was soft and balmy ; the 
orchards were loaded with golden fruits ; and at all the towns and 
hamlets they were greeted with cheers, waving of handkerchiefs, 
and offerings of pies, cakes, fruits, and flowers. 

But the regiment had the best reception of all at the town of 
Carlysle, Fa. The memory of it is still sweet and precious. This 
place lies below Harrisburg, about 50 miles from the border, and 
in the track of threatened rebel invasion, of which the inhabitants 
were living in constant fear. The appearance, therefore, of troops 
going on to the front, to place themselves between them and the 
rebel army, was hailed with joy. Indeed, they had good reason 
for their fears, for subsequently these were realized in the partial 
destruction of the place, during the invasion of Lee's army in 1863 . 

The railroad at Carlysle runs through the main street of the 
town, where the train was halted, and, all unconscious of what was 
in store for them, the boys at once got out to stretch their legs, and 


see what was to be seen. Although it was late at night, the streets 
were full of citizens, and no sooner had they got upon the side- 
walks on either side, than they found themselves attacked in front, 
flank and rear, by a crowd of well-dressed and beautiful women 
and girls, who at once began to hug and kiss them, with a gush 
and heartiness seldom equalled. Taken thus entirely by surprise, 
the boys were just for a moment at a loss what to do. But 
although they had not yet received their muskets, they had the 
right kind of arms with which to meet such an encounter, and no 
doubt returned the attack sudden and unexpected as it was 
with compound interest. Indeed, I suspect they rather liked it ! 
Whether this attack upon them would have been as hearty if the 
regiment had not been composed of good-looking men, is a ques- 
tion I leave for the reader's consideration. 

But hugs and kisses was not all that the boys got. The ladies 
then took the men round to their houses and fed them giving 
them something more substantial, if not so sweet. 

Friday evening, at ten o'clock, the regiment arrived at Hagers- 
town, Md., where it debarked from the cars and passed the night, 
and on the next day marched six miles to Williamsport, on the 
Potomac, and encamped one mile from the town. At this place 
the regiment remained for some time, learning meanwhile the 
details of the new business in which it had embarked. 

While at this place, the measles the seeds of which had been 
brought from Benton barracks broke out in a severe epidemic 
form, and many were sick, and some died. Here, also, Lieutenant 
Joseph W. Richardson died of typhoid fever the first death in 
the regiment. 

The death of Lieut. Richardson, universally beloved, both as a 
man and as an officer ; a young man of great promise as a soldier, 
and with brilliant prospects in his chosen profession of the law, 
threw a great gloom over the regiment. But he was dead, cut oif 
by disease, without having an opportunity to fight for the Union 
and the country he loved, and all that they could now do was to 
pay him the last honors. These would consist in part of a salute 
fired over the grave. But the regiment as yet had not a musket, 
and could not render this service. A request was therefore made 
upon the colonel of the 13th Mass., which was in camp near, that 


he would send a company of his regiment to render it. In response, 
the entire regiment turned out and attended the funeral. Both 
regiments stood with heads bowed and bared around the grave, 
while Chaplain McReading read the solemn burial service of the 
Masonic order, to which the deceased belonged. And there they 
buried him on the banks of the Potomac, in sight of two hostile 
armies the friends and foes of the Union; and the hills of Penn- 
sylvania, Maryland and Virginia, echoed the salute which Massa- 
chusetts fired over the grave of the patriot son of Illinois ! 

At this place the regiment received its arms and equipments. 
Before leaving Chicago, it had been presented with a handsome 
stand of colors by Miss Helen Arion, and had also won a hand- 
some flag at a prize drill. The regiment had lain here, in sight of 
the enemy's pickets, six weeks without arms. 

While at Williamsport, the regiment also experienced a second 
bereavement. This was no less than the loss of its colonel, by dis- 
missal from the service. This took them with painful surprise. 
The regiment had become much attached to him ; and he was an 
able and efficient officer, and had brought the regiment to a high 
state of discipline and drill. He had formerly been in the U. S. 
service. As to the cause of his dismissal we have nothing to say. 
It was greatly regretted by the regiment at the time. The men 
marched in a body to headquarters to bid him good-bye, and the 
colonel addressed them in these words : 

" Fellow Soldiers, Officers and Gentlemen of the Thirty-Ninth : 

" It has pleased the war department, through the influence of 
some political intrigue, I know not how else, to deprive your colonel 
of his command. As I leave you, I must say that I have found 
you soldiers such as command my respect, and such as I should be 
proud to lead against the rebels now in arms. I must now bid 
you all farewell." 

As he passed down through the ranks, every head was bared, 
and there were few dry eyes. There was the deepest and most 
intense feeling in the regiment. All mourned the loss of a friend, 
as well as an able officer. 

On the 14th, the regiment received new arms, which, greatly to 
their delight, were the Springfield rifled musket. 


On the morning of the 17th, the regiment left Camp Lamon 
(as it had been called), and marched eleven miles to a little village 
called Clear Springs, and had just got settled down to sleep, when 
a dispatch came, to the effect that the canal boats, on which the 
baggage of the regiment was placed, were about to be attacked by 
the enemy. This looked like business. The long roll was sounded, 
and the boys " fell in," and were quickly on their way to defend 
their property. But on reaching the spot, a distance of two or 
three miles, no enemy, or signs of an enemy, were visible, and they 
returned. Next morning they marched to another point known as 
Dam No. 5, and here they found no enemy. Then they marched 
to Hancock, fifteen miles, and the third day crossed over into 
" Dixie's land." 

Companies A, B, C and F were stationed on the opposite side 
of the river from Hancock. Companies E, H and D were sent six 
miles up the river, to a place called " Sir John's Run ;" and com- 
panies I and G five miles further on, to a place called " Big Caca- 
pon." Three companies were afterward moved three miles back 
into the country to Bath, the county seat of Morgan county, 
Virginia. The men of the 39th were now learning picket duty, 
scouting, &c. 

The country where they were located, as is well known, was a 
romantic and rough one, composed of mountains, valleys, rocks and 
ravines, being but sparsely populated. A night excursion over 
the hills and mountains, and through the passes and ravines, was 
an exciting though wearisome adventure one in which details 
were often called to indulge. 

The companies at Sir John's Run (E, H and- D), occupied 
buildings which had been deserted by the inhabitants, when the 
rebel troops took possession of the place, and were comfortably 
fixed in respect to quarters. 

On Friday morning, Jan. 6th, a report came to the companies 
at this point to the effect that the enemy was approaching Bath. 
But the men had been so often fooled by mere rumors, that they 
did not credit this one until a dispatch came from Major Mann, 
ordering part of Co. E to go to Big Cacapon to assist Captain 
Slaughter. Twenty men, under Lieut. Whipple, were thereupon 
dispatched to the place, where they arrived about one o'clock in 


the morning. What took place at this point Big Cacapon will 
be best told in the official report of Capt. Win. B. Slaughter, who 
was in command of the companies at that point. If it was not a 
very " big thing," it was quite a brilliant one for its size, and 
showed the kind of metal of which the 39th was composed. His 
report, dated Jan. 6th, 1862, says : 

" The afternoon of Friday, the 3d inst, I spent with a small 
part of my company, and Lieut. Rudd, in a careful reconnoisance 
from the top of Big Cacapon mountain, taking observations from 
prominent points, for a distance of two and a half miles. From 
these points we could plainly see indications of the presence, in the 
valley between us and Warm Spring mountain, of a large force of 
the enemy. We estimated it at not less than 3,000, and in the dis- 
tance could be seen two extensive camps. I accordingly extended 
my pickets on the mountain during the night, and ordered my men 
to sleep on their arms. 

" On Saturday, I threw out a party of 21 men, under Lieut. 
Rudd, to the top of the mountain, with instructions to observe the 
enemy, (which we knew to be approaching Bath in great force), and 
embarrass the approach of any force that might be sent against us. 
About eleven o'clock, information was brought that a column of 
three regiments was approaching by the Bath road. It was thought 
probable that another force would be brought against us, by the 
Long Hollow from Bloomery Gap. This supposition was enhanced 
by the fact, which I had learned, that the movements against Bath 
were simultaneously made, by large forces by way of Sleepy Creek 
and the valley east of the Big Cacapon. I therefore directed Capt. 
Dircks, with his company, to occupy the approaches by the Long 
Hollow and points across to the bluffs of the Great Cacapon creek, 
and took measures to defend the bridge and ford with my com- 
pany, and the detachment from Co. E, under Lieut. Whipple. 

" Breastworks of timber and railroad ties had been constructed 
during the day, on each side of the bridge, and strong defenses 
planted along the bluffs of the creek. Lieut. Whipple, with 30 
men, were posted at the bridge, and the balance of my force, except 
the detachment under Lieut. Rudd, disposed on the bluffs, under 
command of Lieut. Savage. Valuable service was rendered during 


the day by the detachment under Lieut. Rudd. Having the whole 
valley west of the Big Cacapon mountain before him, he was able 
to see every movement and disposition of the enemy, and to per- 
ceive their strength. 

" The column advancing against us consisted of three regi- 
ments of infantry and one piece of artillery. To check so large a 
force was a desperate undertaking for 22 men, but, as the event 
showed, not impossible one. Selecting a position near a bend in 
the narrow road, which they knew the column must pass, our boys 
knelt on one knee, and awaited its approach. Not until the fore- 
most files were within twelve rods, was the presence of our party 
suspected, and then, at the critical moment when the discovery had 
caused hesitation, the men coolly delivered their fire. Several of 
the enemy were seen to fall, and the head of the column was thrown 
into confusion. Our party retired to another shelter. The enemy 
was thus held at bay for three hours, and it was not until the 
darkness of the night covered them, that they ventured to descend 
the mountain. Lieut. Rudd expresses the highest admiration for 
the coolness and determination of the men. The whole execution 
of his part was such as to reflect the highest honor upon him. 

" Col. Foster, with the 1 3th Indiana, arrived on the ground at 
Big Cacapon about six o'clock p. m., but he declined to take the 
command, and our plans were not changed. Had the enemy 
descended the west side of the mountain before dark, nothing 
could have saved the 13th, as its retreat would have been effectually 
cut off. I am fully convinced that its salvation is due to the cour- 
age and skill of the detachment that occupied the mountain road. 

" About seven p. m., we became aware of the fact that the enemy 
were fixing a gun in position to attack us. Deeming it probable 
that we should be obliged to retire before their superior force, I 
ordered all the company baggage and stores to be placed in the 
cars, so as to facilitate our retreat when it should become necessary. 
Our loading was not completed, when the enemy opened on us 
with his cannon. The engineer immediately started the train, and 
moved around the curve about two miles, where it could lie in 
safety. The 13th Indiana, being in the cars, were carried along. 
Our men, stationed at the bridge, under command of Lt. Whipple, 
could distinctly see the position of the enemy's gun. They answered 


Its fire with their muskets. After the second shot the gun was 
deserted, and gave us no further trouble. 

" A large force of their infantry at the same time made its 
appearance at the creek, and replied with muskets. Our men, 
being well protected, were able to maintain their position with 
impunity. The skirmishing continued for about three-fourths of 
an hour after the train had left. A company of cavalry, and a 
regiment of infantry, made a show of purpose to cross the ford 
opposite the bluff occupied by Lieut. Savage, but they were hand- 
somely repulsed. I was confident the position could be maintained 
at Big Cacapon, provided the Indiana regiment could return and 
take part in the defense. I accordingly dispatched a message to 
Col. Foster, with the request that he would bring down his force 
and assume command. Before the messenger reached him, how- 
ever, I received word that the enemy had crossed the creek a mile 
and a half above, and were likely to cut off our retreat. I there- 
fore ordered a retreat, which was effected in good order. Since 
the above was written, we have reliable information that the enemy 
lost seventeen men in the Big Cacapon affair, including Dr. Wil- 
son, a distinguished and influential citizen of Morgan county, and 
surgeon in the rebel army." 

At the same time with the affair at Cacapon, Col. Osborn, with 
a portion of the regiment, (four companies), was attacked at Alpine 
Station. Two companies, in command of Captain Munn, went out 
to engage the enemy and hold them in check, and cover the retreat 
across the river, which they accomplished successfully. They met 
the enemy a short distance from camp, when, after getting into 
position, the rebel cavalry made a charge upon them, which was 
met by our boys with a volley from their rifles, which emptied 
some fifteen saddles. Our men fell slowly back, contesting the 
ground inch by inch, and completely covering the retreat of our 
force across the river. 

In the meantime the other companies were hurrying themselves 
across the river as fast as possible, with their baggage, all of which 
they got over safely, while Co. A lost their tents, and the captain 
and 2d lieutenant lost their trunks with their books and papers. 
Capt. Munn also lost his horse. 


As soon as the enemy reached the river, they planted their 
guns and commenced shelling the town, and our batteries replied. 
They finally drew off. 

In the meantime General Lander had arrived with an addi- 
tional force, and had taken command. Next morning the ene- 
my commenced planting their guns above town, and sent over a 
flag of truce, demanding the surrender of the place. The flag of 
truce was brought over by the afterwards famous Ashby, who was 
received by Captain Munn, and another who blindfolded him, 
and marched on either side of him through the town, to Lander's 
headquarters, where he demanded the surrender of the place 
saying that if not surrendered they would fire upon it. To this 
Lander gave a peremptory refusal, telling him that he might 
shoot and welcome, as they would kill more of their own friends 
than they would of Unionists. He was then conducted back in 
such away as to impress him with an exaggerated idea of our 
strength at this time, which was perhaps the reason that the ene- 
my afterward withdrew with so feeble an attack. 

Gen. Lander was then notified to remove the women and 
children, as the place would be bombarded. This it was thought 
advisable to do. All kinds of animals and all sorts of vehicles 
were brought into sudden requisition, and a general skedaddling 
of non-combatants took place, which would have been amusing if 
it had not been so serious. The enemy had set the next day at 
12 a. m., as the hour when the bombardment would open. 
Our men waited until the time was past, and hearing nothing 
from them, sent them a shell to inquire " why the delay ?" The 
rebels then replied with a shower. To this the Union battery 
replied so well as to soon silence them, and drive them from their 
guns. The enemy had the advantage of position, but our boys 
had the best guns, and scattered the rebs like sheep. 

The 39th regiment was highly commended for its behavior, in 
these its first encounters with the enemy. None were killed but 
about a dozen were captured, one of whom was from Co. E. The 
enemy were 15,000 strong, and in command of the famous Stone- 
wall Jackson. 

In the skirmish near Bath, some members of the 39th cap- 
tured a very beautiful horse, the rider whereof had been un- 


horsed by Sergeant Hopkins, of Co. D. This rider, by the way, 
was the adjutant general of Stonewall Jackson. The boys at ouce 
determined to send this horse as a present to their patron saint, 
Gov. Yates. It was accordingly put in charge of Captain Munn 
for that purpose. While subsequently going through Winchester, 
the horse was claimed by one of the loyal rebel women of that 
place, as her property. She affirmed that she had only loaned 
it for that day as a special favor to the officer from whom it was 
captured. Now, I need not say to those who know him, that the 
captain, (now major) is an exceedingly gallant man, and would 
naturally be disposed to yield to the claims of a woman, espe- 
cially if young and pretty, as this one happened to be. I am fur- 
nishing no mean evidence, therefore, of the major's nerve, as well 
as loyalty, when I assert that he was proof against all her appeals. 
The horse had been found in bad company, it was contraband of 
war, and above all, the boys had made it " corban" to Gov. Yates, 
and however loyal, and however pretty the widow who claimed 
it, she was compelled to see it depart forever, with the pros- 
pect of its being subjected to the ignoble use of carrying the loyal 
governor of the Sucker State. 

Cumberland being threatened about this time, the regiment 
was ordered to make a forced march to that point, which they did 
over very bad roads in eighteen hours, a distance of thirty-nine 

From Cumberland the regiment was ordered to New Creek. 
In the meantime Lt. Col. Osborn had been promoted to the 
Colonelcy of the regiment, and Major Mann had been made 
lieutenant colonel, and Captain Munn of Co. A. had been made 
major. It will be well for the reader to look sharply to the 
vowels in these two last names. It is our Munn, who is now the 
major, and though he is a man, he is not " Major Mann," as the 
" patriotism of Illinois," erroneously calls him. 

During January, while at New Creek, the regiment received 
new uniforms, of which they were greatly in need, as they still 
wore the ones with which they left Chicago. It was not with our 
soldiers as it was with the children of Israel in the wilderness ; 
their clothes waxed old and that very soon. The comfort and 
health, as well as the appearance of the regiment, was greatly en- 


hanced. For it was now suffering greatly from sickness, brought 
on by exposure and fatigueing duty. The weather was very cold, 
and much of the time their quarters were poor being cattle cars. 
For over two months at this place and Patterson's creek, the men 
endured the discomforts to which they were exposed without 
grumbling, although many of their comrades were dying. 

In February the regiment had the advance in the movement 
to open the railroad toward Martinsburg. It had been assigned 
to the first brigade of Gen. Lander's division. It was for some 
time kept on the move, and sometimes divided, watching the road 
at different points, until the boys began to think that that was 
the chief end of their creation. 

Company E left Alpine Saturday afternoon and crossed the 
river to guard the baggage train of the regiment that had been 
ordered to Martinsburg by way of Williamsport. They left Han- 
cock Saturday evening, and marched to Clear Spring, fifteen 
miles. This was a beautiful village of about 1000 inhabitants, 
and comparatively loyal. The citizens treated them to a good 
breakfast. Moving on they reached Williamsport, eleven miles 
further, about 11 a. m. Here they crossed on a ferry. The 
train consisted of twenty-four wagons, and only one could cross 
at a time. The town was full of soldiers. The regiment was at 
this time distributed between Williamsport and Alpine Station. 
On the llth of March the rest of the regiment came into Martins- 
burg, and marched through town and bivoucked about one and a 
half miles out on the road to Winchester ; and the next morning 
Company E joined them, and all moved on about ten miles, and 
waited for the wagons to come up, and bivoucked for the night. 
Started next morning at 4 a. m. and hastened on to join the 
brigade. They came up with them and encamped two miles east 
of Winchester. 

Here they found a vast array of armed forces ; the country as 
far almost as they could see was covered with tents and trains. 
Here was all of Shield's force, consisting of 17 regiments, (Gen. 
Lander had died, and Shields was now in command); together 
with a large part of Bank's force. They had taken possession of 
the place Wednesday morning, the enemy retiring before them, a 
few of their rear guard being captured. 


On Tuesday the 18th, the regiment was ordered to move 
with three day's rations and 60 rounds of cartridge, and 9 a. m. 
moved out with the brigade, passing briskly through Winchester, 
all the bands playing inspiring music. The day was fine and 
the roads good, and the boys were animated with the hope of 
doing something more brilliant than the guarding of railroad 
bridges. Far as the eye could see the column stretched out be- 
fore and behind over the rolling hills infantry, artillery, and cav- 
alry ,][an imposing sight. 

" 'Twere worth ten years of peaceful life, 
One glance at their array." 

Gen. Shield's division was with them, and they were mov- 
ing in the direction of Strasburg a " reconnoisance in force." 
Just the other side of a village called Newtown, the advance 
came in sight of the enemy's cavalry six miles from Winchester. 
The Union column pressed on as fast as possible, with some skir- 
mishing, until they came to a little stream called Cedar Creek. 
Here, the enemy having got across, blew up the bridge and turned 
their cannon on our forces. The advance waited for the artillery, 
which soon came flying up, but before they could get into posi- 
tion, the enemy retired. The 1st brigade was assigned to guard 
the artillery, and not allowed to build fires. So they bivouacked 
on the wet ground, and stretched out their tired limbs, and rested 
as best they could, under their blankets, and in the morning 
found themselves nearly frozen in. 

In the morning, crossing the creek, they marched out about 
three miles, passing through the camp of the enemy. General 
Shields reconnoitered the ground, sending forward the artillery and 
the 1st brigade. The batteries took position on two hills, com- 
manding the position of the enemy, and the infantry were posted 
on the hill side, in the rear. Two regiments were deployed as 
skirmishers, and the artillery opened fire. The rebels at once 
withdrew, and the skirmishers and cavalry were ordered forward. 
After advancing two miles the enemy began to throw shells, and 
it being now night, the advance was called back and bivouacked 
near town. This constituted the great battle of Shenandoah, near 
Strasburg, on the 19th of March, 1862. The rebels did not stop 


long enough to fight, after our forces got into position. Two men 
were slightly wounded on the Union side. Next morning the 
force returned, and got back to their former quarters, (21 miles) 
just after dark. 

Saturday, March 20th, the report came into camp that Col. 
Ashby had made a dash into our pickets, and had taken Co. C 
of the 39th, prisoners, and captured eighty wagons. The long 
roll was sounded ; the regiment formed in line and moved out on 
the double quick, through Winchester, and off to the right on the 
Romney road. Just as they got through the town they encoun- 
tered a rebel battery which opened on them, and here General 
Shields had his left arm broken by a fragment of shell, which at 
the same time did not wound the flesh. Our artillery quickly re- 
plied and drove them off. The report that Co. C was captured 
proved false, only two men of that company were captured. The 
regiment moved on about eight miles, but found no enemy, and 
returned to camp at one in the morning. 

March 23d, the regiment had the privilege of taking part in the 
brilliant fight at Winchester, in which " Stonewall" proved to be a 
" bowing wall and a tottering fence" before the Union army. 

Being posted at the extreme left, the 39th did not come into 
the thickest of the fight, and suffered but little. Its part in the 
battle is thus told by a member of the regiment, writing to the 
Wilmington Herald ok the time. Under date of March 29th, near 
Strasburg, he writes : 

" Everything remained quiet after that, until Sunday noon, 
when the long roll sounded again. We marched out on the 
Strasburg road, and within two miles of Winchester, turned off 
to the left, and marched through the fields and woods until we 
came in sight of the enemy. We halted and were ordered to lie 
flat. Meanwhile the enemy's cannon on the front and right was 
speaking loud and fierce. Some of our artillery were planted on 
a hill to the right, and replied with good effect. The position of 
the enemy was in the woods to the right and left of a little vil- 
lage called Kernstown. All around there were patches of timber 
in which the enemy concealed themselves as much as possible. 
Their main force seemed to be in the edge of a wood on a hill, 


northwest of the town. Most of our force was on a ridge north- 
east of the town. The rebels opened fire on our regiment from 
a battery in front, but few shells reached us. They then moved 
to the left and nearer, and the shells burst thick and fast around 
us. Two cannon came to our rescue, and soon silenced the rebel 
guns. We now moved to the left, and took position close to the 
nemy, so as to command their position, and they immediately 
drew back. 

" About five o'clock we hear a heavy roll of musketry, and 
another, and another in quick succession, then one continued roar 
and crash, and the smoke rises thick above the trees where the 
battle is raging. The roar and smoke continue without abate- 
ment, but it moves farther and farther off, and we conclude our 
forces are driving the enemy. As night comes on we see the 
flash of the guns, as the messengers of death fly fast from line 
to line, and as the darkness increases, the noise dies away, until 
it ceases altogether. We lie down on the field with our guns be- 
side us, not knowing when we may be called upon to renew the 
conflict. All night long the men are moving about with torches 
in search of the wounded and dead. Many poor fellows on both 
sides have gone to their long rest. Many more are crippled for 
life. The Union loss is said to be from fifty to one hundred killed, 
and three or four hundred wounded. The enemy's loss is not 
known, but said to be three hundred killed. 

"The scene of the battlefield is awful. Dead men lying in 
heaps here and there, limbs of others, and dead horses lying in 
every direction. In a little hollow behind a battery, four rebels 
were playing cards. They had just dealt, and each held his hand, 
when a shell burst in their midst, and killed all of them. In 
other places the wounded are groaning and crying for help. Such 
is a battle field ! Although the shell fell thick around us, and 
Co. D. were skirmishing all the afternoon, none of our regiment 
were injured. Next morning before light we moved on, the ar- 
tillery occasionally throwing shells. All day we followed after 
the retreating rebels, till we came to Cedar Creek, when our artil- 
lery threw shells across at the rebels who were cooking their 
supper. They gathered up in haste and fled ; one shell killed one 
man and wounded three. Next morning as we passed over the 


ground of the rebel bivouac, we found it strewn with half filled 
barrels of flour, cakes half baked, and tents half burned, and 
things scattered very generally. We passed on without much 
skirmishing, to our present position, three miles from Strasburg." 

In the pursuit of the enemy down the Shenandoah valley, the 
39th were in advance. The pursuit was resumed Tuesday, the 
25th, and as our forces moved forward, the rebel cavalry and ar- 
tillery disappeared. Our artillery continued to throw shells after 
them, and they went behind the hills and woods towards Wood- 
stock. The pursuit was kept up with more or less skirmishing, 
and the regiment went into camp about three miles southeast of 
Woodstock. The town of Woodstock is a county seat, and con- 
sisted of one main street running through the valley. As we en- 
tered one end, the enemy left at the other. They had artillery 
planted upon the hill on the further side, and ours was planted 
upon the height on this side. Not wishing to injure the place or 
peril the lives of the citizens, our forces did not fire until the ene- 
my opened from their side, when we replied ; and then for a little 
while the shells flew from either direction over the little town, to 
the no small terror of its inhabitants. One of our shots struck 
the large brass ball upon the top of the court house, and halved 
it. During this artillery duel also, Gen. Ashby's horse was killed 
under him, giving the rebel general a close call. 

When we went into camp, near the little town of Edinburg, 
the army was short of rations, and permission was given to forage, 
which was eagerly accepted on the part of the men. The woods 
were full of hogs, and forthwith a big hog hunt was instituted, and 
a promiscuous firing was going on all over the wooded sides of the 
mountain. It is a wonder that something besides hogs were not 
slaughtered. Indeed, one man had a very narrow escape. He was 
sitting down by a tree reading a letter no doubt one he had just 
got from home when all at once he was seen to throw up his 
arms and sink down. On being examined, he was found para- 
lyzed and insensible. A ball had struck the top of his head, 
depressing the skull, so that it pressed upon the brain, and yet the 
scalp was not lacerated. The surgeons, with ready skill, elevated 
the skull and relieved the pressure, and he was restored to con- 
sciousness, and recovered. 


While in this position, which was in a beautiful grove, on the 
north bank of the Shenandoah, there was daily more or less skir- 
mishing with the enemy. 

On the first of April, the regiment was called up at one o'clock, 
and moved forward toward the enemy. It marched through Edin- 
burg, the advance driving the pickets of the enemy. The rebels 
fire a few shells and retire, and our force moves on. After sunrise 
they go through Mt. Jackson, a village of five or six hundred 
inhabitants. Here the rebels, before leaving, set fire to cars, 
engines, bridge, &c. While they were trying to burn the bridge 
over the Shenandoah, our cavalry charged them, shot one man, 
took three prisoners, and saved the bridge. Jackson tried to make 
a stand on the heights across the river, but Shields flanked him, 
and he withdrew toward Stanton. 

It was here that the 39th made its first, if not its most brilliant, 
charge. Across the valley, on Rood's Hill, nearly a mile distant, 
a masked battery was discovered. The men were concealed, and 
only the mouth of what was at least a 24-pounder, could be seen. 
It was important that this battery should be taken at once. To 
the 39th was assigned the duty and honor of taking it. Away the 
boys went on the double-quick, but silently and cautiously, and 
making a detour so as to conceal their movement, and come upon 
the battery in flank. When they had got sufficiently near, with a 
yell, a whoop, and a hurrah, through the woods they charged with 
a rush upon the formidable battery, which was found to consist of 
an old steampipe, which had been abandoned, by the roadside, and 
which was supported by any number of trees standing in serried 
ranks behind it ! How many of the regiment owed their promo- 
tion to this gallant exploit, the writer is not informed. 

Our force then marched around, forded the river, and arrived 
at Newmarket, Friday afternoon, and went into camp in the woods, 
April 19th. 

Next day, the 39th was ordered across the mountain, to the 
south branch of the Shenandoah. Four companies of the regiment 
were stationed at the bridge, near Luray. The other companies, 
in charge of Captain, or rather Major Munn, (for such he now was), 
were sent some seven miles above, to guard another bridge, known 
as the Columbia. They found the cavalry of the enemy in pos- 


session of the farther end, and had quite a sharp and brilliant skir- 
mish before getting possession. They, however, drove off the 
enemy, and took some seventeen prisoners. 

Major Munn then posted his men in such a way as to hold the 
place. The bridge was a covered one, and of considerable length, 
so that the character of any persons in the bridge could not be 
determined by anyone approaching it. This circumstance gave 
them another prisoner soon after they had got possession. 

One of the rebel officers had been off down the valley to see 
his girl, and was returning on his horse very leisurely, and with- 
out the least suspicion that in his absence the bridge had changed 
hands. He came along singing to himself, feeling very happy, no 
doubt, for the parting kiss was still warm upon his lips ! Our boys 
saw him coming, and one drew up to fire upon him. But Major 
Munn said, " No, we will not murder him, but we will have some 
fun." So they withdrew into the shadow of the bridge, and, when 
the reb had got close up, they gave the word " halt ! " He sang 
out, " What are you halting me for ; I ain't no d d yankee." 
" "We be ! halt ! " and our boys, with levelled muskets, stepped 
out and repeated the challenge. The astonishment and chagrin of 
the reb, at thus finding himself a prisoner to the hated yanks, was 
beyond description. The remembrance of the good time he had 
just had with his girl down the valley could hardly compensate 

The regiment remained in the valley some weeks, having more 
or less skirmishing with the enemy. During this time, Co. E lost 
one man, John Ripple, by capture, he having got outside the lines. 

The weather was, much of the time, wet and disagreeable, and 
even as late as April 23d, there were snow storms. One member 
of Co. A also died at Newmarket, April 22d, David S. Farabee. 

Patrolling for bushwhackers, and for whisky, relieved some- 
what the dullness of the stay here. Some of the boys made visits 
to the top of the mountain, three miles distant from camp, from 
which the view of the Shenandoah valley was so splendid and 
enchanting as to amply repay one for the labor of the ascent, and 
the hazard of being gobbled up or bushwhacked. The valley lay 
spread out like a map beneath the eye. It was now beginning to 
put on its spring garb. One could not but regret that such a beau- 
tiful region should feel the tread of devastating armies. 


We said that the regiment was engaged in patrolling for whisky. 
This may need some explanation, and it also reminds us of a little 

Whisky had been made contraband of war, and was also 
excluded by military edict from the army lines at least from the 
rank and file of the army. Hence it was part of the duty of offi- 
cers and men, when doing provost work, to hunt it up, and destroy 
or confiscate it, and get into safe hands. Now, in the 39th, as in 
most other regiments, there were some who had a fondness for the 
contraband, and many were the devices of such to hide it from the 
provost details. It is said that some were in the habit of hiding 
their canteens in the tents of the officers, well knowing that no 
one would think of looking in them for anything contraband, and 
that there they would be perfectly safe. 

Well, one day, a private of the regiment was returning to the 
camp from a foraging expedition. He was a good and brave sol- 
dier, but sadly fond of contraband, and his gait and general appear- 
ance now showed plainly that he had somewhere got hold of some 
of it. In this plight he was met by the colonel, who, seeing his 
condition, felt bound to call him to account. He therefore halted 
him, charged him with being drunk, and demanded of him where 
he had got his whisky. The man stoutly denied the charge, 
although his speech and manner testified sadly against him. The 
colonel was somewhat taken aback by the man's bold denial, and 
was about to pass on, when he discovered that the man was trying 
to conceal his canteen. He then demanded of him what he had 
got in his canteen. "Nothing," was the unblushing reply. 
" Nothing," says the colonel, " hand it up and lei me see." The 
man had no choice but to comply, and a slight examination only 
was required to demonstrate that it was full of whisky. Enraged 
at the man's mendacity, he asked him what he meant by lying so. 
The soldier avowed that he had not lied. " Not lied," said the 
colonel, " why, you told me that you had nothing in your canteen, 
and here it is full of whisky. What do you mean." " Oh, said 
the soldier, " this is not my canteen ; my canteen is in my tent." 
" Not your canteen ; then whose is it, sir?" demanded the colonel. 
" Oh this is Ma jor Munn's canteen ! " 

The colonel confiscated the canteen and contents, and rode on. 



The subsequent history of Major Munn's canteen is veiled in obscu- 

Symptoms of an advance now manifest themselves. All the 
sick and disabled, and extra tents, baggage, &c., were sent back, 
and preparations made for a long march. 

Monday, May 12th, the 39th started out with Shields' entire 
division of three brigades, marched around ten miles across the 
lower bridge, and encamped near Luray. From thence the force 
moved to Front Royal, twenty-seven miles, in a day and a half 
the last day and night being very rainy. The boys of the 39th, 
not being provided with rubber blankets, they were quartered in a 
large hospital building, which had been put up by the rebels. 
After remaining twenty-four hours, they moved on for Warrenton 
Junction, which was reached the next Monday. From this place 
to Manassas, the country was one complete scene of devastation, 
having been so often traversed by the armies of both north and 
south. Wednesday the march was resumed, and the army reached 
the vicinity of Fredericksburg Thursday night, and encamped on 
the east bank of the Rappahannock, among McDowell's forces. 
Fredericksburg lay on the opposite side of the river, apparently a 
fine city. 

On the 23d, there was a grand review of the army. This was 
witnessed by the president, and secretaries Seward and Stanton. 
It was a splendid pageant. The president particularly noticed the 
39th, it being an Illinois regiment, and bearing so loyal a name. 

Here, the next day, the news of Gen. Banks' defeat in the valley 
arrived, and the regiment was ordered back. Although they had 
had but one day's rest, they made a forced march back again, a 
distance of 180 miles. They left Sunday morning, the 25th, and 
reached Front Royal, Friday, the 30th, going by way of Manassas 
Junction, and having considerable skirmishing. The march was 
a hard one, and, to increase its discomfort, the rations were scanty. 
Sunday afternoon they moved on from Front Royal, and arrived 
at their old camp at Luray, having been absent three weeks. 

Subsequently the brigade was sent from Luray to Port Republic, 
to hold, or, if need be, to burn the bridge across the south branch 
of the Shenandoah, and met with a sad disaster. But the 39th had 
not reached there, and escaped. Some of the boys were called upon 


to assist in the care of the wounded brought in from that fight, 
(about 75). 

Gen. Shields' command remained in the vicinity of Luray until 
the 15th of June, when he started for Front Royal, where the 
whole command arrived on the 17th. Remained here until the 
22d, when the march was resumed, passing through Manassas and 
Thoroughfare Gap, arrived at camp near Manassas. Here there 
was another grand review and inspection. 

While here, orders came to move by railroad to Alexandria, 
Va., where it was embarked upon transports for the James river, 
and next day, June 29th, reached Harrison's Landing, in time to 
take part in the closing scenes of General McClellan's seven days' 
fight and seven nights' retreat. It here met the 8th cavalry, in 
which were many old friends and acquaintances. Sunday, August 
3d, Chaplain McReading preached, having the 8th for part of his 
congregation. While here, the 39th was kept at the front, on 
picket duty, and had a series of skirmishes, of no great importance, 
until the 5th of August, when it took part in the second fight at 
Malvern Hill, without material injury, although it was on the 
picket line, Major Munu being in command. 

From this point, many, both officers and privates, were sent 
away sick. The regiment was assigned to the 1st brigade of Peck's 
division of Keys' corps. It participated in the memorable "change 
of base " of McClellan's grand army to Fortress Monroe. 

On the 1st of September, the regiment was sent to Suffolk, Va., 
where it remained three mouths, fortifying the place, and making 
frequent expeditions to the Blackwater, having occasional heavy 
skirmishes with the enemy. On one occasion, it aided in the cap- 
ture of two pieces of artillery and forty prisoners. 

While at Suffolk, Maj. Munn, finding his health giving way, 
resigned his commission and returned home. This closed the cam- 
paign of 1862. 

On the 5th day of January, 1863, the regiment again broke 
camp, and leaving its comfortable quarters at Suffolk, where it had 
been resting since the first day of Sept. last, marched to the Chowan, 
river, a distance of about 75 miles. Having lain idle so long, the 
marching came pretty hard. Here they embarked on transports 
for Newbern, N. C., passing through Albemarle and Pamlico 


sounds, where they arrived on the 9th, and reported to General 
Foster. Col. Osborn was here placed in command of the 1st bri- 
gade of Terry's division of Foster's corps. 

After remaining at Newbern two weeks, the regiment was 
ordered to form part in the great southern expedition of General 
Foster. It went by railroad to Morehead City, where it embarked 
on the 25th. But as a storm was raging outside, they lay at anchor 
several days for it to subside. They finally put to sea. This was 
the first experience many of them had of " a life on the ocean 
wave," and to many of them it was not very delightful. They 
had to settle their accounts with old Neptune, who demanded the 
usual tribute exacted from fresh fish. 

After a rough voyage, they anchored safely in the harbor of 
Port Royal, on the island of St. Helena, having been on ship- 
board about two weeks. Here they went into a beautiful camp at 
Laud's End, seven miles from Hilton Head, which was shaded by 
live oaks and orange trees ; and here they remained several weeks, 
passing the time in drill exercises. The regiment was highly com- 
plimented, by experienced drill officers, for its perfection in drill 
and soldierly appearance. By way of recreation, the boys indulged 
in boat rides, oyster bakes, and in alligator hunting; also in col- 
lecting shells, which were found in great abundance on a neigh- 
boring island. 

While here the regiment received a beautiful flag from Gov. 
Yates, which had the State coat of arms on one side, and the por- 
trait of their patron saint on the other. The regiment also carried 
a national flag. The portrait of Gov. Yates subsequently met 
with a casualty. A solid shot from a rebel cannon carried away 
the governor's head entirely. I suppose the rebs would have 
been glad if it had been the head of the patriotic governor him- 

On the 2nd of April the regiment left St. Helena Island to 
take part in the expedition of General Hunter, against Charles- 
ton, and embarked on the steamer New England, and arrived at 
Folly Island, the 6th of April. This island is about five miles 
irom Charleston. The men were pleased with the idea of taking 
a hand in the task of subduing the hot bed of the rebellion. They 
were immediately set to work to erect batteries. They were here 


brought into close relations with the rebs again, as they occupied 
part of the Island. 

From an observatory, the entire harbor, Forts Sumter, Moul- 
trie and Johnson, and the steeples of the city were plainly visible. 
On the day after their arrival, they saw Admiral Dupont enter 
the harbor with his fleet of iron clads and monitors, and they wit- 
nessed the engagement with the famous Fort Sumter which 
a member of the regiment thus describes : 

" FOLLY ISLAND, April 7th, '63. When the day broke this morn- 
ing, we discovered that the eminence upon which we had encamped 
last night about 12, commanded a view of great range. We 
could see the blockading fleet off Charleston harbor; the iron clads, 
and the reserve fleet of wooden vessels; Fort Moultrie and the 
sand batteries on Sullivan's Island; Cumrnings Point bat- 
tery on the end of Morris Island, and Secession ville ; the steeples 
of Charleston ; and above all Fort Sumter, with the rebel flags 
flying defiantly over it. Old Sumter loomed up grandly ; as we 
gazed upon its massive walls we thought bitterly of the startling 
episode of two years ago. Every heart in the 39th was burning 
to avenge the insult and treason of that hour. Between two and 
three o'clock p. m., the entire iron clad fleet had crossed the bar, 
and for a time we watched in suspense, as the intervening woods 
and sand hills shut out the .fleet from our view. Suddenly we 
saw clouds of white curling smoke fly from the walls of Sumter. 
It was the signal for engagement, and the fort became calm as 

Soon we discovered a white flag flying beneath the stars and 
bars, but it was no flag of peace and submission. Leveling our 
field glasses we recognize the " Palmetto flag," the contemptible 
rag with which South Carolina opened the rebellion, and displaced 
the stars and stripes. Immediately we saw smoke and heard the 
roar of heavy guns as Moultrie and Sullivan's Island opened fire. 
We could see their flags, but not the works, nor could we see the 
fleet as yet ; but soon the monitors sailed up the channel, and we 
could see the smoke stacks and turrets. Soon one of them ap- 
proached very near Sumter and opened fire. The fort was soon 
hidden by dense clouds of smoke, as in rapid succession it dis- 


charged its guns, and similar clouds hung over Moultrie, Cura- 
mings Point and Sullivan Island. The engagement had now be- 
came general, and the roar of the many heavy guns of both sides 
was terrific. It seemed impossible that the little monitor could 
float under such a fire. But the heavy boom of their sixteen 
inch dahlgreen, and two hundred pound parrots, which we could 
distinguish from the rebel cannon, assured us that they were afloat, 
and fighting bravely and desperately. Occasionally, too, as the 
clouds of smoke lifted we could see them in position, but we could 
see also the accursed flag of Sumter still flying amid the smoke of 
battle. The scene was grand and sublime beyond description. 
For two hours the fight continued ; between four and five Sumter 
slacked fire, and as the shot and shells of the indomitable iron 
clads still flew through the air, we expected that the walls of 
Sumter would soon fly the national colors. 

But the fire was again renewed fiercely by the rebels. Day 
was drawing to a close, and the fleet firing a parting shot with- 
drew over the bar, and thus ended the conflict. We rejoiced that 
when we counted the " cheese boxes" (as they were moving after 
the huge iron-clad, like ducks following their mother bird,) none 
were missing, and we supposed that the contest would be renewed 
in the morning, but we were doomed to disappointment. The en- 
gagement was not renewed, we know not why. Our only loss 
was the sinking of the Keokuk. We would have thanked Gen. 
Hunter, if he had ordered us then and there to take Morris Is- 
land and its batteries by storm. Our boys commenced swearing 
when they saw the fleet withdraw, and are still at it." 

I don't suppose the boys' swearing hastened the downfall of 
Sumter, and the taking of Charleston one bit. At any rate they 
had to content themselves in their position for sometime longer. 
Meanwhile the tedium of their sojourn on Folly Island was re- 
lieved by an occasional adventure. 

One night they got up an excursion to a rebel craft which had 
got aground on the sand bar in trying to run the blockade. Being 
unable to get it off, the crew had abandoned it, first setting it on 
fire. For some reason the fire went out, and the vessel and cargo 
were but little damaged. The vessel lay under the fire of the 
rebels on Morris Island, and the Union batteries on Folly Island, 


so that neither side dare visit it in the day time to get off the 
cargo. The 39th made up a boat's crew, in charge of Maj. Linton, 
one dark night, for the purpose of making the vessel a visit, and 
seeing what they could find on board. They approached the ves- 
sel very cautiously, not caring to be discovered, and thus draw the 
fire of Morris Island, and not knowing but they might meet a like 
expedition on the part of the rebels. 

They reached the vessel safely and got aboard, and found them- 
selves sole possessors. But unfortunately the matches with which 
they were provided had somehow got wet, and they could not 
strike a light to aid them in their explorations. They could only 
ascertain the nature of the cargo by the senses of feeling and small. 
But they were able to smell out, and feel out, a lot of pineapples 
and other fruits, a lot of cigars, and some fine old Scotch whisky. 
It is something wonderful how keen the boys were on the scent ! 
It was a wonderful instance of that compensating provision of 
nature, by which when one sense is absent, the other becomes pre- 
ternaturally acute. They confiscated as much of the cargo as they 
could conveniently carry, and got back to quarters again all right. 

On learning the success of this trip, another squad thought they 
would try it. These managed to keep their matches from getting 
demoralized, and thus were able to examine the cargo pretty thor- 
oughly, finding it to consist of cigars, liquors, and ready-made 
clothing, for all of which, no doubt, the rebels in Charleston were 
longing. After satisfying their curiosity, and getting together as 
big a load of the cargo as they could conveniently carry, they pre- 
pared to return. Bat what was their chagrin to find that the 
boat, which had been left in charge of some careless sentinel, had 
got loose from its moorings, with the rising tide, and had floated 
off. They could do nothing now but to leave their plunder, 
(except such as had been consumed), and swim for the shore. This 
they did, except two who were not swimmers, who had to be left 
behind until the next night, in full possession of the vessel and 
cargo. The rest of the party reached the shore safely, although 
some of them were pretty nearly exhausted. 

In June the regiment was moved to Coles Island, where they 
had a pleasant camp beneath the scattering live oaks, and also good 
water. June 29th, it returned to Folly Island. 


July 10th, the regiment assisted in the capture of part of Mor- 
ris Island, Forts Wagner and Gregg being still in possession of 
the enemy. The regiment now engaged in the construction of the 
forts, parallels, and trenches, which resulted in the capture of Fort 
Wagner. It had been assigned to Gen. A. H. Terry's division. 
A day or two previous to the fall of this fort, Col. Osborn was tem- 
porarily disabled by the premature discharge of a piece of ordnance. 

The 39th formed the advance of their brigade, under command 
of Lieut. Col. Mann, and occupied the trenches on the night (Sept. 
6th) when it was discovered that the fort was being evacuated. 
As soon as the purpose of the enemy was discovered, a detail of 
the 39th went into the fort, capturing the rear guard of the enemy, 
and being just in time to stop a man who was just about to pull 
the lanyard of a gun, which was heavily loaded with grape and 
canister, and which had the range of our men, who were advancing; 
and also to cut the fuse which the rebels had fired to explode the 
mines and magazine. They then had the satisfaction of being the 
first to plant the national colors, and the portrait of Gov. Yatea, 
upon the parapet of Fort Wagner. A part of the regiment gar- 
risoned the fort for a few days, and the rest occupied Fort Gregg, 
which fell at the same time. While in Fort Gregg, the regiment 
lost one of its officers, Capt. Woodruff, of Marseilles, by a shell 
thrown by the rebel guns on Sullivan's Island. 

The loss of the regiment during the four months it had been 
engaged in siege duty, was not very heavy, considering its expo- 
sure. The experience of being under fire continually, although 
behind intrenchments, is much more trying to the nerves, and 
courage even, than a hotly contested battle-field. 

Walter Van Bogert, of Co. E, (from Wilmington), was killed 
by the fragment of a shell, while passing from one fort to the 
other, just after being released from outpost duty. He was a 
brave and valued member of his regiment, a young man barely 
old enough for enlistment at the time the regiment was raised. 
The following tribute to his memory was written by a member of 
the regiment at the time of his fall : '. .. 

' Comrade, sleep, thy warfare is done, 
Roll we in grief the muffled drum, 
Bear thee with sighs, and measured tread, 
To the silent home of the patriot dead. 


We shall miss thy bright and joyous face, 
When we see thee not in thy 'castom'd place ; 
But we know that thy Heavenly Father's hand 
Has placed thee in a bright and better land. 

Fast fall our tears on thy hallowed clay, 

And, laden with grief, we turn away ; 

And at night 'round our camp-fires thy virtues tell, 

Comrade in arms, farewell farewell !" 

Fort Wagner was a strong and extensive fort. In its front 
there was a space which ran out to the shore, and which served 
as a dyke, or passage to the fort. This had been filled up, it was 
said, by the bodies of those who fell in former attacks. It was 
also said that Col. Shaw was here buried, under a heap of his col- 
ored soldiers. This, no doubt, was meant as an indignity. There 
are those so peculiar as ,to regard it as the noblest burial ! 

After assisting awhile in the repair of the defenses of Morris 
Island, the 39th returned again to Folly Island, Oct. 28th. While 
on Folly Island, Lieut. Kingsbury was presented by Co. E with 
a fine swoid, sash, &c. 

The regiment left Folly Island the 6th of December, going to 
Hilton Head. Here it remained until about the first of February, 
1864. While here, the 39th set the example of re-enlisting for 
another three years, and received its veteran furlough. It left 
Hilton Head, Feb. 1st, 1864, for Chicago, going by way of New 
York. It was escorted to the place of embarkation by an entire 
brigade, with several generals and their staffs. During the passage 
to New York, a sad accident occurred. A water butt broke loose 
from its mooring on deck, rolled against some of the men, injuring 
eight two fatally. 

The regiment reached Chicago about the 4th of February, 
with 352 men, 40 whose time was not expired, remaining with 
40 others who did not veteranize. They received a fine ovation 
at Bryan Hall. The people of Wilmington also gave companies 
A and E a fine reception, at which Col. Osborn and a portion of 
his staff were present, and the Col., who was as good a talker as he 
was a fighter, made an eloquent and patriotic speech. 

The boys spent their furlough at their various homes, being 
everywhere received with the honors they had so deservedly won. 
During their furlough great efforts were made to fill up its deci- 



mated ranks, which were ably seconded by their former Major 
Munn. This county, especially Wilmington and vicinity, fur- 
nished its share of recruits. The citizens of Wilmington treated 
the 39th to a re- union, which was a happy and pleasant occasion. 
A highly complimentary letter was written to Governor Yates in 
relation to the regiment by Gen. Seymour, who had commanded 
the brigade, speaking in the highest terms of the conduct and 
pluck of the 39th. This letter was strongly endorsed by Gen. 
Gil more. 

After the regiment had recruited to 750, it left (March 15th,) 
for Washington, by the Pittsburg & Fort Wayne R. R,., once 
more saying good-bye to friends and relatives, and after a safe 
and pleasant trip, arrived at Washington. After spending a quiet 
Sabbath in the city, it marched over the famous long bridge, and 
went into camp at camp Grant, Arlington Heights. 

The regiment remained for some weeks in camp at this place, 
enduring the discomforts of a Washington spring, which consisted 
of mud, rain and snow, in about equal proportions. The time 
was spent in drilling recruits, and in the routine of camp duty, 
and in witnessing the practice of the artillerists at the neighboring 
forts. The thundering of the cannon, and the terrific shrieking 
of shells, being new to the recruits, gave them an inkling of the 
experience that awaited them. While here, the regiment raised 
by subscription $600 for instruments for a brass band which had 
been organized by members of the regiment. 

While here the 39th was temporarily brigaded with the 25th, 
62d, and 67th Ohio regiments. Col. Pond of the 62d being in 
temporary command. At a review of the brigade by Major Gen- 
eral Casey, the 39th was highly complimented by him. A squad 
of recruits from Springfield, Illinois, was also received at this 

On Monday, the 25th of April, the regiment struck tents once 
more, marched to Alexandria, and embarked on board the " Mon- 
tauk," for Fortress Monroe, After a pleasant voyage they reached 
the Fortress on the next morning, and proceeded immediately to 
Yorktown the place made historic by Gen. McClellan, as well 
as by Washington and Corwallis. Here they were rejoined by 
the members of the regiment who had not veteranized, and who 


had remained behind at Hilton Head. The regiment was now 
assigned to the first bridade, first division, 10th army corps. 

The regiment had now come into a region of great historic 
interest. On the James River, about fifty miles from its mouth, 
was planted in 1 607, the first English settlement in our country. 
On the site of the present city of Richmond, was the capital of 
Powhattan, the great chief of thirty tribes, where, in his royal resi- 
dence of twelve wigwams, he dwelt in regal state, as proud as any 
of his successors ; and here originated that beautiful legend, con- 
cerning the rescue of the great founder of the Smith family by the 
beautiful Pocahontas. (We would tell the story but we have a 
suspicion that it would not be fresh.) At Williamsburg was the 
old colonial capital of Virginia, where Patrick Henry uttered the 
thrilling words, (since occasionally quoted,) "Give me liberty, or 
give me death." Near by, on the shore of the Pamumkey was 
the home of that charming widow, to whom the great Washington 
struck his colors, while a little to the north on the Rappahannock 
grew the famous cherry tree. At Yorktown was settled the ques- 
tion of our independence by the surrender of Cornwallis. And now 
in these days the 39th was to aid in enacting new events, and in set- 
tling new questions which were to add new interest to the region 
to make it still more historic. At Hampton, an old town near 
the mouth of the James, Captain Baker strolled into an ancient 
grave yard surrounding the ruins of an old brick church which 
had been burned by the rebels, and here he found a moss grown 
grave stone which would have delighted Old Mortality himself, on 
which was the inscription, "Under this stone lies the body of 
Captain Willis Wilson, who departed this life the 19th day of 
December, in the year 1701, it being the 128th year of his age." 
This man was then 32 years old when Captain Newport 
brought over the Jamestown settlers the 105 persons, 48 of 
whom were " gentlemen," Captain John Smith being one. It is 
not unlikely that Captain Wilson came over at the same time and 
was one of the 48 gentlemen. I wish I knew. He died five 
years before the birth of Franklin. He no doubt enjoyed the 
honor of being the oldest inhabitant of that quaint old town for 
several years. Surely he must have been " fully ripe" when the 
great reaper " gathered him in." I wonder if he smoked ! 


The regiment left Yorktown for City Point, on the James 
River, Wednesday, May 4th, at which place it arrived on Thurs- 
day evening. Friday morning the army disembarked without 
any opposition, and then took up the line of march, (the 39th 
being in the advance,) for a dense pine forest known as Wier 
Bottoms, within fifteen miles of Richmond. The day was ex- 
cessively warm, and the road soon became strewn with discarded 
blankets, overcoats, etc.; everything which could be dispensed 
with to lighten the load, with the usual recklessness of the sol- 
dier, being thrown away. During the next few days the army 
had considerable heavy skirmishing, capturing trains, prisoners, 
etc., and tearing up railroad tracks. Gen. Gilmore was in com- 
mand of the corps. 

After a few days the column was moved forward to Drury's 
Bluff, and the 39th was placed on the extreme left of General 
Butler's command, and was not brought into action until the 
14th, when it supported a battery, and had two killed and seven 
wounded. On the 15th had some casualties from sharpshooters. 
On the 16th our entire force was driven back. The 39th was at 
one time completely surrounded by the enemy, but succeeded in 
cutting its way out, suffering great loss. To use Gen. Butler's 
words, " The 39ih fought most gallantly, and suffered most se- 
verely." In respect to this action, a correspondent of the Wil- 
mington Herald, (E. D. Conley), one of the new members of the 
regiment, writes: 

"On Saturday morning, at 2:30, we were ordered to " fall in," 
with two days' rations. We marched eight miles, and halted on 
the R. & P. R. R., eleven miles from Richmond. Firing was 
already going on, and the 39th proceeded at once to the extreme 
left of the Union line, under a heavy fire, to support the 5th N. J. 
battery, which was shelling the rebel earthworks, two miles from 
Fort Darling. After a stubborn resistance, the rebels were driven 
back from a thick pine wood to their strongholds. Here an open 
field of three- fourths of a mile intervened between the two armies. 
Col. Osborn received a ball in his right elbow, but kept the field 
for hours, until compelled to leave from loss of blood. The rebels 
made two charges after dark, but were repulsed. Night came on, 


and the rebels returned to their defenses. Sunday there was des- 
ultory firing by the sharpshooters, and the time was improved by 
the 39th in intrenching themselves. Monday, the 16th, the bloody 
work began again in earnest. The rebels were in possession of 
the railroad which ran through the battle-field to Richmond. At 
daylight the enemy opened with heavy cannonading. A heavy fog 
shut them from sight until after sunrise. Our right wing was 
pressed hard by the rebel cavalry that had advanced under cover 
of the fog, and after repeated charges, broke the Union line 
at a point where we had no artillery. About 8 a. m., as the right 
was giving way, two regiments on the right of the 39th fell back 
in disorder, and the 81st New York was ordered away from our 
left, leaving the 39th on the extreme left, and compelling them to 
stretch out and occupy the rifle pits vacated by the N. Y. regiment. 
At this moment, on came the enemy in heavy columns, but the 
39th was ready to receive them. The adjutant ordered the boys 
to hold their fire until the enemy was within 300 yards, when we 
delivered a fire that mowed them down, and threw their ranks into 
confusion. They rallied and advanced a second time, and were 
treated to the same reception. It was here, that while standing 
upon the earthworks, cheering on our men, that Adjutant 
Walker fell, and Major Linton soon followed. At one time the 
enemy got in our rear, after the command had devolved upon Capt. 
L. A. Baker, and he was called upon to surrender. The demand 
was answered by a volley and a cheer. The army finally fell back 
to our fortifications, and it seems the rebels were not anxious to 
follow. The 39th was the last regiment to leave the field, and was 
thought to be captured by the commanding general." 

The entire loss in the regiment was nearly 200. 

On the 20th of May the regiment was again ordered out, to 
dislodge the enemy from some temporary work near Wier Bot- 
tom church, which was accomplished in a most gallant manner, 
being entirely successful. The 39th captured a large number of 
prisoners, including Gen. Walker, who was seriously wounded. 
In this engagement, Lieut. Col. Mann was wounded, and the regi- 
ment was left without a field officer. The entire loss of the regi- 
ment was about forty killed and wounded. The following is a 


list of casualties to Will county men in these engagements of the 
14th, 16th, and 20th of May, 1864 : 


Silas Benton, Co. E ; Elisha Carr, Co. E, 


Adjt. Joseph D. Walker, of Lockport, wounded by a musket shot in the 
bowels, and died in five hours. Co. A A. H. Carrigan, wounded, died June 
8d; Henry Bowen, severe and missing; James Wilcox, slight ; Corp. John 
Holton, slight; Henry Ruppenthal, arm amputated: Wm. Willard, slight; 
Daniel Ashton, missing; F. Bronchet, missing; Glaus Arhues, slight; M. 
Coons, missing ; Andrew Sybert, missing ; James Dobson, severe ; Samuel 
Proud, slight; Wm. Baxter, severe; Harvey Tracy, missing; Barton S. 
Walters, missing; Ira Nichols, severe and taken prisoner; Daniel Daly, 
slight. Co. C Michael McNally, slight. Co. E 2d Lieut. Elisha S. Kings- 
bury.^left arm amputated; Sergt. T. Gronigal, severe and missing, (died); 
Sergt. David M. Hansom, missing ; Sergt. John L. Ripple, missing ; Hugh- 
R. Snee, severe and missing; James Gillett, severe; James Nelson, severe; 
Dilton Lee, missing ; Henry'Ohlhues, severe ; Reuben Slayton, missing ; 
George H. Dunn, slight ; Frank M. Corbett, slight ; Wm. Baxter, severe and 
missing; Almon Merrill, severe; Lawrence Baker, mortally; George W. 
Morgan, severe ; Howard Johnson, severe ; Moses Mayer, severe ; Alpheus 
fiogers, arm amputated; James Munroe, slight; Wm. F. Hertzog, slight; 
Orson C. Porter, slight. Co. G Corp. N. B. Kendall, severely wounded and 
left on the field, reported mortally, but recovered ; Henry Frank, concus- 
sion; Sergt. Horace T. Corwin, slight; James B. West, slight. Co. A May 
26th, Lieut. Burrell, severely wounded. 

I On the 2d day of June the regiment was again called out, and 
had a severe engagement on nearly the same ground as on the 20th 
of May, and its losses were nearly the same, about 40. The losses 
from our county were : Co. A Corp. Thos. DeLineand Wm. H. 
Reed, taken prisoners ; Frank Abrams, missing. 

Many of those reported missing in the above lists, experienced 
the delights of rebel prisons. Andrew Sibert and David H. Han- 
som perished in Andersonville. Barton S. Walters and Thomas 
DeLine lived to get into our lines, but never recovered from their 
sufferings. Smith died at Annapolis, April 1st. DeLine came 
home, lingered awhile, and died. 

On the 16th, 17th, and 18th days of June, the regiment came 
into collision with the famous Longstreet corps, near the Richmond 
and Petersburg pike, and fought them night and day. Here Capt. 
O. F. Rudd, of this county, was killed, and the regiment lost in 
the three days' fight about 35 in killed and wounded. Sergt. W. 
J. Harris, of Channahon, was also mortally wounded, and died on 
the 17th. 


Monday, June 20th, the regiment was ordered to Jones Land- 
ing, on the James river, where a pontoon bridge was thrown over, 
and the regiment crossed to the south side next morning. The 
25th it proceeded to Point of Rocks, went on board transports to 
Wilcox Landing, to make a diversion in favor of Sheridan. Find- 
ing their services were not needed, they returned. Remained at 
Bermuda Hundred until the 14th day of August, when they crossed 
to the north side of the James at Deep Bottom, and operated in 
conjunction with the 2d corps of the army of the James, under the 
direction of Gen. Grant, in a reconnoisance toward the works near 
Richmond. They fell back at night across the James, and on 
Monday, the 15th, recrossed a mile below, and again advanced on 
the enemy at Strawberry Plains, near Malvern Hill. Not much 
was done on Monday, as the day was very hot, and some were sun- 
struck. They were visited by Grant, Hancock, and Butler. 

On the 16th the brigade was ordered to charge the works at 
Deep Run at the point of the bayonet. The assault was made by 
the brigade most gallantly, but it was met by a resistance as stub- 
born and fierce. Even after the assaulting column had mounted 
the works, the enemy maintained a hand-to-hand fight. But suc- 
cess at length crowned our brave boys, and the lines of the enemy 
were broken, and a large number of prisoners captured. But it 
was at a fearful expense. In perhaps fifteen minutes' time, the 
39th lost 64 men, and came out of the encounter with only two of 
the officers left on duty that appeared on a roster of 28, when they 
left Washington in the spring. t 

During this action, a private of Co. G, Henry M. Hardenburg, 
encountered the color sergeant of an Alabama regiment, when a 
desperate conflict took place for the colors. After a sharp struggle 
of some minutes' duration, Hardenburg was the victor, having 
dispatched the rebel sergeant, and captured his colors, not, how- 
ever, without receiving divers wounds himself. He presented the 
captured colors to Gen. Birney, commanding the corps. General 
Butler, on hearing of the affair, promoted him to a lieutenancy in 
a colored regiment. But he did not live long enough to assume 
the position, as he was himself killed at Petersburg, two days 
before the commission arrived. 

The entire loss in this engagement in the 39th, was 104 in 


killed, wounded and missing. The casualties to Will county men, 
were Capt. L. A. Baker, in command of the regiment, shot 
through the leg, so severely as to necessitate amputation. 

Lieutenant N. C. Warner, of Co. E. was severely wounded 
and suffered amputation of a leg. Corp. H. E. Sartell, of Co. 
E, Sergeant Joseph S. Evans, and Charles H. Jackson, of Co. E. 
were also wounded, the latter.losing an arm. Corp. Wm. Butter- 
field, Co. A, killed, and private John Berden. 

In the latter part of August, the regiment went into the 
trenches in front of Petersburg, where it was on duty, and under 
fire almost constantly, night and day. In the latter part of Sep- 
tember it moved with the corps north of the James, and on the 
7th of October met the enemy near Chapin's farm, where it was 
assaulted behind some hastily constructed breastworks. But the 
enemy was repulsed in threesuccessive assaults with great slaughter. 

On the 13th of October, the 39th shared in the charge made 
under command of General A. H. Terry, upon the enemy's works 
near Darlington road, seven miles from Richmond. The regiment 
went into this fight near 250 strong, out of which number they 
lost 60. Several officers were killed. Indeed, the fight left the 
regiment again with but three commissioned officers on duty. In 
this engagement we lost Geo. W. Yates, of Co. A, from Wilming- 
ton. He had been promoted color sergeant for his bravery, and 
fell with the colors in his hand. Some one passing rapidly by 
him in the charge, seeing the flag, seized the staff to take it along, 
Sergt. Yates, though dead, held the staff with so firm a grasp that 
his body was dragged some distance before the muscles relaxed 
sufficiently to let go. 

On the 29th of October, the remnant took part in a reconnois- 
ance near the same place, and had a brisk engagement with the 
enemy. In November, Colonel Osborn returned to the regiment, 
although not fully recovered from his wounds. He was placed in 
command of the brigade, and the command of the regiment de- 
volved on Lieut. Plimpton, who was promoted captain. All the 
field officers that survived, were off duty on account of wounds. 

Ifuring the winter, the regiment remained behind the intrench- 
ments, on the north side of the James, and was equipped anew. 
It had some skirmishes during the winter. In March, it received 


about 100 recruits, and on the 27th took part in the movements 
which resulted in our final victory over the rebel army in Vir- 

On that day, it struck tents before Richmond, and made a 
forced march to the extreme left of the Union lines. Next even- 
ing passed Sheridan's camp, and the headquarters of the army of 
the Potomac, where all was busy. Going a few miles further, it 
went into camp, having marched 37 miles. Monday morning, it 
advanced to a position near Hatcher's Run. 

Heavy skirmishing, sharp shooting, etc., occupied the next 
three days, while Sheridan's cavalry was operating on the south 
side of the railroad, gobbling up prisoners by thousands. Satur- 
day night, April 1st, preparations were made for a grand advance 
on Petersburg ; and Sunday morning the ball opened, the enemy 
felling back to Fort Gregg, the key to the rebel works around 
Petersburg and Richmond. This was a work of great strength, 
surrounded by a ditch six feet deep and twelve wide, and defended 
by the picked men of Lee's army. It was assigned to the 1st 
brigade to charge and take the fort, Col. Osborn of the 39th being 
in command. With wild cheers the brigade advanced under a 
galling fire. The fighting was terrific. The 39th was the first 
regiment to gain the ditch, (a ditch six feet deep and twelve 
wide, to get out of which they had to dig footholds with swords 
and bayonets,) and stockade, and then the parapet. The sup- 
porting column came up in line of battle, but the enemy did not 
surrender until the General in command of the fort was felled to 
the ground by a clubbed musket in the hands of a sergeant, and 
our troops were inside the works, and the colors of the 39th floated 
from the parapet. 

In this assault 150 men of the 39th were engaged, the rest be- 
ing on other duty. Of these 150, sixteen were killed, and now 
lie buried where they fell, and forty-four were severely wounded, 
some of whom died afterwards. Among the killed was George 
"W. Burton, of Co. E, of Wilmington, who had mounted the para- 
pet alone, under a raging fire, and fell pierced by three balls. 
The president and Gen. Grant witnessed this charge which occu- 
pied twenty-four minutes. For the gallantry displayed by the 
39th, a magnificent brazen eagle, cast for the purpose, was placed 


upon the regimental color staff at a subsequent review, by Major 
General Gibbons. The color sergeant, Henry M. Day, of Wil- 
mington, who was severely wounded while placing the colors upon 
the fort, received a medal of honor from the war department. 

Thus flanked and defeated, the rebel army retreated, and on 
Monday morning April 3d, our army marched into Petersburg. 
The fleeing foe was promptly pursued, the 39th joining in the 
chase in advance, on the line of the south side railroad, marching 
one day forty miles, General Grant accompanying the column. 
The brigade took part also in the action of the 9th, in which Os- 
born's old war horse, " Mack," was killed under the General by the 
explosion of a shell. In this its last engagement, the regiment 
had several casualties, as given below. 

And now as a fitting close to all its fierce combats and weary 
marches and campaigns, the 39th had the glorious privilege of 
witnessing the surrender of Lee at Appomatox Court House,, 
when the " back bone of the rebellion" was finally and effectually 

But little now remains to be said. The regiment was occupied 
a few days in guarding the spoils of the rebel army. It was 
then ordered to Richmond, where it had the satisfaction of tread- 
ing the streets of the proud rebel capital until August, when it 
moved to Norfolk, Va., where it remained until Dec. 6th, when it 
was mustered out of service, and on the 7th started for Spring- 
field, 111., where it arrived via Chicago, on the 12th. 

On the 16th, the regiment was assembled in chapel and sur- 
rendered its flag, which it had borne so bravely on many a 
bloody field, and which had never been polluted by rebel hands, 
to the State. The adjutant general thanked them for their gal- 
lant record and valuable services to the State and country, con- 
gratulating them on the happy termination of their honorable 
and patriotic service. The following are the casualties in compa- 
nies A and E in the last actions. In action of April 2d, 1865 : 


Co. A Samuel A. Proud, of Channahon; Hugh Rourke, of Chaunahon? 
Co. E George W. Burton, of Wilmington ; Henry Olhuea, of Florence. 


Co. A Serg't. Wm. A. Keepers, of Wilmington ; Serg't. Henry M. Day, 
of Wilmington ; Corp. Ernest Holtz, of Wilmington ; Cornelius S. Wil- 


lard, of Channahon, lost an arm ; Sergt, Wm. Cumberlick ; Nicholas Smith, 
(died). Co. E Ralph Babcock, Alexander Anderson, (substitutes) ; Serg't. 
Wm. P. Kelly, of Wesley. 

In action of April 9th : 


Co. A James Hopkins. Co. E Theo. .F. Axtell, of Wesley; Eden B. 
Strobe 1 ., (a substitute) ; Martin V. Harderman, of Wilmington. 

Of the field color guard organized in the spring of 1864 at 
Washington, not one survived the battle of August 16th, 1864! 
Lieut. N. C. Warner, who himself lost a leg at the assault on 
the enemy's works August 16th, 1864, and who now resides at 
Rockford, 111., says, " Theodore Gronigal was chosen color ser- 
geant of the regiment, and bore the national colors at the battle 
of Drury Bluffs, and was wounded and fell into the hands of the 
enemy, and is supposed to have died. He was magnificently 
brave. George W. Burton, Almon Merrill, Walter Van Bogert, 
Alexander Gray, Henry Olhues and Thomas^Stewart were boys 
just old enough to pass muster, and belonged to substantial fami- 
lies of Wilmington and vicinity, and all perished in battle from 
wounds received, and I remember them as conspicuously brave." 
To which statement we add, that N. C. Warner is entitled to the 
same compliment which he bestows upon his comrades. He was 
struck down as we have related August 16th, 1866, with the regi- 
mental colors in his hand, and was breveted major for his gal- 

This history, brief as it is, needs no concluding words of rhetoric. 
Our county lost in the 39th four commissioned officers, two of whom 
were killed on the field. Several others were cruelly maimed. 
Twenty enlisted men from Will county, died of disease, thirty 
more were killed on the field or died of wounds. Four died from 
imprisonment. Many others were wounded and suffered imprison- 
ment. Surely the Yates Phalanx contributed its full share of 
precious life and loyal blood to the preservation of the Union. 
May that life and blood not have been spent in vain ! 




Will County in the Yates Sharpshooters Organization Movements 
From Birds Point to New Madrid Movements First Blood Under Fire 
Island No. 10 River Sights Expedition to Fort Pillow Goes to Hamburg, 
Tenn. Siege of Corinth Battle of Chambers Creek Casualties Incident* 
Reconnoisance Evacuation of Corinth Incidents Becomes Gen. Rose- 
crans' Headquarters' Guard Major Matteson's Death Capt. Morrill made 
Colonel Goes to luka Movements Battle of luka Pursuit of Price luka 
Recruits Contrabands Battle of Corinth Casualties Incidents Vari- 
ous Accounts Goes to Glendale Long Stay on Outpost Duty Incidents- 
Goes to luka Pulaski Re-enlists Comes Home Recruiting Becomes a 
Full Regiment Promotions Leaves for the Front Decatur Sunny South 
Captain Logan's Company Brigaded Chattanooga Forward Resacca 
Snake Creek Gap Kingston Van Wirt Dallas Casualties Pumpkin 
Vine Creek Aekworth Big Shanty Kenesaw, June 27th Casualties A 
Gritty Boy On Kenesaw 4th of July Movements A Friendly Swim 
Marietta Roswell Nancy's Creek Decatur July 22d Casualties Inci- 
dents What Sherman Says True Story of the Dispatches Who Filled the 
Gap 28th of July Before Atlanta Change of Base Atlanta Transferred 
to 17th Army Corps Chasing Hood Hard March One Man Hard to Wake 
Snake Creek Gap Fight Casualties Rations Short Rations Full Co. 
G as Foragers Marches Return to Atlanta Joins the March to the Sea 
Poole's Station Savannah Poke-em-till-i-go Northward Salkahatchie 
Orangeburg Columbia Fayetteville Battle of Bentonville Major Rey- 
nolds Wins a Brevet March Resumed Washington- -Review Home 
Something About the Smith's A Problem in Natural History Conclusion. 

the 64th regiment, Will county was represented by 16 com- 
missioned officers, and about 300 enlisted men. We had, 
therefore, about the same number of Will county men in this 

regiment as in the 20th. 

Capt. David G. Grover, of Co. E, was one of our well-known 

lawyers, and raised his company here early in the war, in the fall 

of 1861. 


Co. F, of this regiment, was raised largely through the efforts 
of Joseph S. Reynolds, of New Lenox, a son of one of our oldest 
and most respected Hickory Creek families, who had just gradu- 
ated from the Chicago high school at the breaking out of the war. 
He was assisted by Lieutenant Ward Knickerbocker, also of New 
Lenox. Mr. Reynolds entered the company as 2d lieutenant, and 
shared in all its campaigns and exposures, from New Madrid to 
Goldsboro. He gradually rose first to the command of the com- 
pany, and then of the regiment. Co. F was raised mainly in the 
towns of New Lenox, Frankfort, and Wilmington. 

Henry Logan, captain of Co. G, (afterwards major), was, and 
still is, a well-known Joliet lawyer, and raised his company entirely 
in this county in the winter of 1863-4. 

The first major of the regiment, Fred. W. Matteson, although 
at the time of entering the service a resident of Springfield, was 
born and brought up in Joliet, and his early death was as deeply 
felt by our citizens as if he had gone immediately from this county, 
and his remains now sleep in our own "Oak wood." 

All these facts fully justify us in giving the history of this regi- 
ment as part of the war record of Will county. To these reasons 
we might add the fact that in the 64th we had the only general of 
whom we can boast, Colonel Reynolds being breveted brigadier 
toward the end of the war, as he richly deserved to be. 

The first battalion of this regiment, consisting of four compa- 
nies, was originally known as the " Yates Sharpshooters." This 
was organized at Camp Butler, Dec. 16th, 1861, by Lieut. Col. D. 
E. Williams, of Peoria. Two more companies E, Capt. Grover, 
and F, Capt. Payne mostly enlisted in Will county, with Fred. 
W. Matteson as major, were mustered in the last day of December, 
1861. Jan. 10th, 1862, the battalion, consisting of six companies, 
was ordered to Quincy, where it went into barracks and was armed. 
Feb. 16th, it moved to Cairo. March 5th, it moved via Birds 
Point, Charleston, Bertrand, and Sykeston, to New Madrid, where 
it was assigned to Morgan's brigade, Payne's division of General 
Pope's command. 

The march from Birds Point to New Madrid was a hard initia- 
tion for the Yates Sharpshooters into the discomforts of army life. 
Much of the country was heavily timbered and low, and as the 


river was now high covered with water, which obliged them to 
follow the railroad track. Anyone who has tried it, knows that a 
railway is a hard road to travel on foot. They reached Charles- 
ton the same day, a very pretty town of 1,500 inhabitants, now 
reduced to 36 persons the rest having fled when our army took 
possession, as they cast their lot with the rebels. Next day the 
battalion marched to Bertrand, where they joined other Union 
forces. Here they staid the 7th and 8th, and on the 9th resumed 
the march, having the same kind of swampy country, with the 
additional discomfort of rain, before they reached Sykeston. 
They were without tents, and passed the night in the mud and 
rain, without shelter. But they made the situation a little more 
cheerful with numerous fires. Next morning the march was 
resumed, the Yates Sharpshooters in the lead, over a rough and 
muddy turnpike, but the rain had ceased. Night came on again 
when within five miles of New Madrid, and this, too, was passed 
without shelter, and it was a cold and chilly one, rendering sleep 
almost impossible. Next morning, their rations being short, a 
detail was allowed to see what they could find in the country to 
help them out. The result was that the boys had plenty of fresh 

The force then moved on to within two miles of New Madrid, 
where they were welcomed with shot and shell from the rebel forts. 
The boys made their bivouac about one and a half miles northeast 
of the town, near the river, protected from the rebel gun-boats by 
a heavy piece of timber, making their shelter out of brush and corn- 
stalks. Next day the Yates Sharpshooters had the honor of being 
selected from the large army there gathered, to make the first 
move toward the capture of the town and forts, which consisted in 
a demonstration in the night, on the opposite side of the town from 
the one where our forces were planting siege guns. Maj. Matteson, 
in command of the battalion, moved cautiously forward until fired 
upon by the enemy's pickets, when they were ordered to lie down. 
The bullets flew freely, but no damage was done, except that one 
bullet passed through the coat collar of Jesse Cremer, of Co. F, 
and slightly wounded his neck, just enough to give him the honor 
of shedding the first blood drawn by rebels in the Yates Sharp- 


The skirmishing was kept up during the night by the picket 
line. The enemy's pickets were reinforced by several hundred 
men, some of whom were well posted in an old mill. As all the 
object of this demonstration was to divert attention from the opera- 
tions of our forces who were planting the siege guns, no attempt 
was made to dislodge them. In the morning, the battalion was 
early drawn up in line of battle, and just at sunrise had the pleas- 
ure of hearing from one of our 64-pound siege guns, which had 
been successfully planted during the night. Loud cheers went up 
from the boys on hearing the music. Gen. Paine's division was 
then ordered to support the guns, as it was anticipated that the 
enemy would make an effort to take them. Silently and solemnly 
the men moved forward in anticipation of serious work. 

The division was halted in the rear of the siege guns, and then 
awaited the movements of the enemy until about 11 a. m., when, 
no demonstration being made by them, the division was ordered 
to move to the left, and if it should be practicable, to attack the 
upper fort and carry it by storm. Gen. Paine moved the division 
forward until the Yates Sharpshooters, who were a quarter of a 
mile in the advance, reached the edge of the town, where the 
division was halted. The Yates Sharpshooters could look down 
into the rebel fort, which was firing its guns very rapidly toward 
our siege guns. Soon, however, the presence of the division was 
discovered, and one gun turned upon them. Two rebel gun-boats 
also came in sight, and commenced playing upon them with shot 
and shell in profusion. This necessitated rapid changes of position, 
and the Yates Sharpshooters were ordered to lie flat upon the 
ground, and never did a squirrel lie closer to a limb, when the 
hunter was trying to draw a sight on him, than did the boys, just 
then, to mother earth. The position was by no means pleasant, 
but they endured it for about an hour, when the order came to fall 
back. The Yates Sharpshooters, being deployed, were not so 
much exposed as the rest. Some were slightly wounded, but not 
enough to take them from duty. After another hour in the woods, 
they returned to camp. 

Next morning (the 14th), the men rose with the expectation of 
another day's exposure, and perhaps a bloody engagement ; but 
soon one of Gen. Paine's orderlies passed through the camp, sing- 


ing the welcome song, "Madrid is evacuated!" Such was the 
fact, as the reader of our war history well knows ; and our forces 
came into possession of the place, with a great amount of guns and 
munitions of war. 

The battalion then witnessed more or less of the operations 
against Island Number Ten, and the rebel batteries on the main 
land ; the running of the blockade by the Pittsburgh and the 
Carondalet, and their gallant exploits in silencing and spiking 
their guns, assisted by the batteries which our forces had erected 
on the Missouri shore. Here were some of the most brilliant 
operations, and the most sublime and magnificent spectacles of the 
war. As is well known these operations resulted in the evacua- 
tion and surrender, (it partook of the character of both), of Island 
No. 10, with 5,000 prisoners, among them several generals and 
other officers, and of great numbers of guas, etc. 

Three companies of the battalion then went to Chicago to as- 
sist in escorting the rebel prisoners, while the other three in the 
command of Major Matteson joined Pope's expedition down the 
river to Fort Pillow. This expedition left on transports preceded 
by gun-boats on the evening of the 13th of April, and arrived at 
Osceola, in the vicinity of Port Pillow next day at 3 p. m. The 
voyage down the river by daylight was a fine one. The day was 
beautiful. The transports had bands of music which made the 
woods on either side resound with the national airs, while the stars 
and stripes waved gaily in the breeze, and flashed in the sunlight. 
The men also witnessed a fierce naval battle between our gun-boats 
and a fleet of seven rebel boats, lasting half an hour, and closing 
by the retreat of the rebels down the river. 

After, their arrival the battalion escorted Generals Pope, 
Palmer and Hamilton, and the assistant secretary of war, on the 
" clipper Brown," on a reconnoitering expedition up the river, 
landing (about twelve miles up) at the house of a Unionist, where 
they took on board some rebels who gave themselves up as pris- 

The gun-boats lay just above a given point of land, and sent 
their compliments into Fort Pillow, while the transports lay in 
their rear out of range of its guns. As is well known the opera- 


tious against Fort Pillow directly, were not pressed, and the expe- 
dition returned. 

The battalion then moved with the army up the Tennessee 
and disembarked at Hamburg Landing on the 22d of April. 
From that time it was engaged in the siege of Corinth until its 
evacuation, May 30th, being continually on the picket and skir- 
mish line, generally a mile in advance of the main army. 

On the 3d of May it was heavily engaged. A reconnoisanoe 
in force was ordered, and Generals Paine and Palmer were de- 
tailed for the work. Among the regiments selected was the 
" Yates Sharp Shooters." After proceeding five miles on the 
Farmington road, the enemy was encountered, and the battle of 
Chambers Creek ensued. 

This battle in which the " Yates Sharp Shooters" played a 
most important part, is thus described in a letter of Sergeant 
Henry S. Clark, of Lockport, to his family friends : 

" The 3d inst. (May), our division made a movement toward 
Corinth, our battalion in advance. After proceeding some three 
miles we came to low swampy woods with thick underbrush and 
tangled vines all through it. In the center of the wood, and run- 
ning at right angles with it, was a small stream, the bridge over 
which had been burned by the rebels, and along which the enemy's 
pickets were stationed. On nearing the swamp, the battalion was 
deployed, three companies on the right, and three on the left of 
the road. The order then came "forward march!" and away we 
went. It was one of the worst places I ever tried to get 
through. We had not got ten rods in the swamp / before the rebels 
opened fire upon us. Neither party could see each other ten 
paces off, and the first intimation we had of their presence was a 
volley irom their guns. Our boys never faltered, but pushed 
steadily forward, loading and firing as they went. In fifteen 
minutes after we started we had cleared the swamp of every rebel, 
and held the high ground on the other side. Our loss was six 
wounded, two of whom have since died. Upwards of thirty of the 
rebels have already been found and buried, including one lieuten- 
ant and a large number wounded. We also took two captains and 
a number of men prisoners. 


"After we gained the high ground, and ceased firing, General 
Paine sent his orderly to find us, but he returned saying that he 
could not. Then he sent another, and soon rode up himself. He 
said he had learned from the prisoners that the rebel force was 
600 men, in the swamp. Our battalion had left part of its men 
in camp, and went into the action with only 295 men, and in fif- 
teen minutes routed the enemy from a strong position, killing, 
wounding and taking prisoners about seventy- eight of their force, 
with a loss of only six men. General Paine said he did not ex- 
pect us to do it alone, but only to draw their fire, and then he waa 
to have a regiment of infantry charge them. As soon as the sap- 
pers and miners had repaired the bridge, the whole division 
crossed over with its artillery. Pretty soon the order came for us 
to advance again, the enemy having retreated to where its bat- 
teries were stationed. We advanced at the double quick across an 
open field, and had scarcely gained the high ground before the 
enemy opened on us a terrific fire of shot, shell, grape and canister 
from their batteries, and musketry from their infantry supports. 
Here four of our men were wounded. In the meantime our artil- 
lery had begun its work, the first shot killing six of the rebels, 
and for twenty minutes it seemed as if all the demons from the 
infernal pit had broken loose. Our lines had faltered at first 
under their terrible fire, but only for a moment. The next we 
sent a shower of minie balls in return, lying down and loading and 
firing. Soon General Paine rode on the hill, a fair mark for the 
enemy's guns which were immediately trained upon him. But 
he was as cool as upon parade, and did not mind them. " Now 
boys," said he, " dash forward at the double quick and flank that 
battery, and shoot their gunners." We dashed down the hill and 
towards the woods to the left of their battery, and soon flanked it,, 
but they had skedaddled. We got two prisoners, and came near 
getting their baggage train. The infantry then came up, and the 
whole of us, infantry, cavalry and artillery, moved toward 

" We followed to within two and a half miles of that place, 
when we were ordered to return to the high ground near the 
swamp, where we are now encamped. General Paine rode along 
our line with his staff and said, " Boys, you have done nobly to- 


day. I never saw men do better, I am proud of you." He says 
we have done enough for a while, and some of the others must 
try their hand. We did all the fighting done by the infantry dur- 
ing the day. The artillery only helped us." 

The battalion was received with shouts of welcome on its re- 
turn from the fight. Gen % Pope also complimented the battalion 
in his special orders. 

In this engagement, Lt. J. W. Baker, of Wilmington, had 
command of the left wing of the skirmishers. While pressing on 
and fighting sharply he saw a rebel behind a tree, aiming at him. 
But fortunately he did not hit the mark. Lt. Baker then ordered 
one of his men to shoot the reb. But he could not see him, and 
so the lieutenant took the soldiers gun and shot the reb in the 
arm, and he fell. After the fight was over, Lt. Baker saw the 
man he had winged, who said he was from Quincy, 111., and was 
1st sergeant in a rebel regiment. 

In this engagement, 118 of the enemy were killed, 25 wounded 
and 90 taken prisoners, acccording to one account. While the 
Union loss was four killed and eleven wounded, mostly in the 
Yates Sharp Shooters. Co. A. had two killed and three wounded. 
B and E each one killed. As has been seen the battalion re- 
ceived the special commendation of General Paine for their skill 
and bravery on this occasion. This engagement gave our forces 
possession of Farmington. 

On the 8th, a reconnoisance of General Pope's entire command 
was made towards Corinth, which is thus described in the diary of 
an officer of Co. F : 

" A reconnoisance in force was made to-day. The Yates Sharp- 
shooters were in their accustomed place, leading the force as 
skirmishers. The rebels retired before us without offering any 
determined resistance, until within about two miles of Corinth. 
Here, as we entered a rye field, a battery opened on us. The shell 
exploded over our heads, and fragments flew in every direction, 
but did little harm. Our line of skirmishers pushed on until 
about the middle of the field, when we came in sight of the enemy 
in full force. Our sharpshooters, and those of the enemy, kept up 


a brisk fire. While standing, leaning my hand against a tree, a 
bullet struck between two of my fingers, slightly wounding each. 
I saw the miscreant when he shot. He was on the fence, behind 
a clump of bushes. I pointed him out to the boys, and they soon 
cleared him off the fence. After remaining about an hour in the 
field, and getting no orders, I thought it strange, and started to 
the right of our company, which was in the woods. But on enter- 
ing the woods, they were not to be found. I started on still farther 
to the right, but had not gone far when I was arrested by the whiz- 
zing of bullets. I hastened back and told Capt. Grover that the 
rebs were getting in our rear, and that all the boys, except his 
company and part of ours, had fallen back. Captain Grover then 
ordered a retreat, and, by double-quicking, we escaped the enemy. 
When we got out of the woods, we found that the rest of our forces 
had fallen back two miles. With no pleasant feelings toward our 
superiors, we returned to camp." 

By way of explanation of the above, it is proper to say that it 
was afterwards found that an orderly had been sent to notify Capt. 
Grover of the falling back, but for some reason he failed to reach him. 

Another engagement, which is known in history as the battle 
of Farmington, followed on the 9th, when the rebels, 20,000 strong, 
attacked our forces under Palmer and Paine, with the design of 
cutting them off from the main army. Gen. Paine engaged them 
at once, and fought them for five hours, but as the orders were 
imperative to avoid a general engagement, Gen. Paine fell back. 
The enemy made some demonstrations, but did not see fit to fol- 
low. In this engagement, the Yates Sharpshooters were not seri- 
ously engaged, the fighting being done by the brigade of General 
Plummer. The Yates Sharpshooters, however, held the front, 
after our forces fell back, until relieved by the 10th Illinois next 

The Yates Sharpshooters remained quiet in camp until the 
morning of the 15th, when it was again ordered out in line of battle, 
supported by two companies of the 10th, but after advancing about 
half way across the swamp, were halted, and at noon returned to 

May 17th, Pope's army, the Yates Sharpshooters in advance, 


was moved beyond Farmington, and the line established very close 
to the enemy, and the night spent in fortifying. In the morning 
a sharp picket firing commenced, which was kept up till 4 p. m., 
with an occasional shell from the enemy ; but our big guns kept 
silent, though ready to speak. The advance was general. The 
fortified lines were extended eight miles, with three tiers of works. 
The drums of the enemy, and the rumble of the cars in Corinth, 
were plainly heard. 

On the 19th, a large force of the enemy was seen moving to 
our left, and an attack was expected. The Yates Sharpshooters 
were placed in support of Houghtaling's battery. A brisk artil- 
lery fight occurred between it and a rebel battery, but the rebels 
soon withdrew satisfied with the experiment. 

On the 20th, the Yates Sharpshooters were marched out with 
other forces, and had a brisk skirmish across a swamp, over which 
they could not pass, and at noon returned to camp. 

Nothing special now occurred until the 28th, when the position 
of the battalion was changed. Marching buck through Farming- 
ton, it took a southwesterly course, which brought it directly in 
front of General Price's " Pea Ridge batteries." Here they were 
deployed as skirmishers, and advanced within half a mile of the 
enemy, and within 200 yards of his skirmish line. Sergt. William 
Scheel, Corp. Jesse Cramer, Corp. Wm. Lamb, and private Wm. 
Kimber, of Co. F, were sent out to ascertain the direction of the 
enemy's lines, and their strength. Cramer advanced within two 
rods of a rebel picket, and ordered him to surrender, but he turned 
to run, when Cramer shot him down. This provoked the enemy, 
and a lively skirmish was the result. But our sharpshooters held 
their ground, and, in the course of the afternoon, excavated a row 
of rifle pits. At dark, the Yates Sharpshooters were relieved by 
two companies of the llth Missouri. The pickets were posted by 
Lieut. Reynolds, at the request of Major Matteson, who was now 
in command of the battalion. Early on the morning of the 29th, 
a brisk firing commenced all along the line, and heavy artillery 
firing in front all the forenoon. This, as it afterwards proved, was 
a show on the part of the rebels, while they were busy evacuating 

The rebel generals, finding their position no longer tenable, 


commenced evacuating Corinth, the 27th, and May 30th the bat- 
talion entered Corinth in time to see the rear guard of the enemy 
leaving. Lieut. Baker, of Co. E, was the first man in the rebel 
works. The rebels had effected their retreat safely, and carrying 
off much of their stores and ammunition, and leaving the rest dam- 
aged and useless. The place presented a scene of desolation and 
destruction that was complete. 

The evacuation of Corinth is thus described in the journal of 
an officer of the Yates Sharpshooters : 

"May 30th, 1862. Very early this morning Gen. Morgan 
rode out to our line, and told the Yates Sharpshooters to prepare 
at once for a reconnoisance. He gave us minute instructions, and 
we moved towards the enemy's works. We advanced very cau- 
tiously, every moment expecting the enemy's guns to flash in our 
faces. But the thickest brushwood was passed, the summit of the 
hill gained, and no enemy met. From the hill top the enemy's 
works were plainly seen. A negro and a white horse were all 
that could be seen moving in the rebel works. Colonel Tilson's 
adjutant and myself moved around to the left, so that we could see 
behind the works. Nothing was to be seen but broken gun car- 
riages, and some large shells. When we informed Gen. Morgan, 
he ordered the Yates Sharpshooters to occupy the works. At five 
o'clock in the morning we clambered over the immense fortifica- 
tions, and were fully aware that Corinth was evacuated. General 
Morgan and the Yates Sharpshooters were the first to discover this. 

" Maj. Matteson now sent me with twenty men down the Kos- 
suth road, where it was known the enemy had heavy works. The 
remainder of the battalion moved into Corinth. Going down the 
road a short distance, we came in sight of a squad ot about 60 
rebel cavalry, They galloped off on our approach. When about 
a mile and a half from the Pea Ridge batteries we saw them again 
behind a long line of fortifications, moving in great confusion 
among the tents. A bullet sent into their midst by Corp. Lamb 
started them again post haste still further down into Dixie. We 
now took possession of the second line of works, which were much 
more extensive than the first. Behind them were the camps of 
Gens. Price and VanDorne. Everything indicated that they had 


left In the greatest haste. Tents were standing, victuals on the fire 
cooking, many guns, knapsacks, and camp equipage of all kinds, 
were lying scattered about. Hundreds of barrels of flour, beef, 
pork, sugar and molasses, were left behind. Two fine flags, belong- 
ing to the regiment known as "McCulIough's Avengers," were 

" After a little, Fred. Sonner called me into the tent of Capt. 
A. Jack's (such was the name on the tent), and invited me to par- 
take of a warm breakfast which had been prepared for the captain. 
Being hungry, I ate heartily. The board was loaded with warm 
biscuit, blackberry jelly, corn bread, butter, &c. } and a bottle of 
superior wine. Thanks to Captain Jack for an excellent breakfast. 

" We had been here four hours before we saw anyone else. 
Gen. Granger then came up, and was much surprised to find us, 
supposing that he was in the advance. He told me to take charge 
of the camp." 

In the afternoon of the same day, the battalion joined in the 
pursuit, taking the advance. They came upon the rear of the enemy 
at Tuscumbia Creek, just at dark, on the 30th, when a brief skir- 
mish ensued, continuing during the night, and the next day the 
pursuit was con tinned to Boonville with frequent skirmishes. The 
battalion then returned June llth, and camped at Big Springs, six 
miles from Corinth. One man, Wm. Johnson, of Co. F, was killed 
in a skirmish on the second day of the pursuit. 

Thus, from April 12th, the time that the battalion landed at 
Hamburg, until the return from Boonville, June 10th, the battalion 
had the advance of Pope's army, generally a mile in front, more 
than half the time without tents, and always sleeping on their arras. 
During this time they lost but one man by disease. It was true of 
them, (and of our army generally), that the men were healthier 
on an active campaign, than when lying idle in quarters. And 
more men could be rallied for a fight or a skirmish, than for a 
drill or parade. 

At Tuscumbia Creek the battalion was actively engaged in 
skirmishing. Some of the boys had become so tired and exhausted 
with the constant marching, &c., that they went to sleep right 
under the fire of the rebel battery of four guns, and of the butter- 


nut and Indian supports. Having been three nights without sleep, 
they had become almost indifferent to anything else. One of the 
captains, John Morrill, in the 64th, shot an Indian who had a 
bush tied to his head, from under which he was shooting our men. 

In July, Gen. Rosecrana succeeded Pope in command, and the 
battalion of sharpshooters was chosen as his headquarters and pro- 
vost guard, and remained on this duty until November. 

Lt. Col. Williams having left the battalion on sick leave, the 
command devolved on Major Matteson, who held it until August, 
when he was taken sick and died August 9th. Captain Payne of 
Co. F, going north as escort, to the body, Lieutenant Reynolds 
was left in command of Co. F. 

Captain John Morrill, of Co. A, then took command of the 
regiment, and was afterwards promoted to lieutenant colonel. 
About this time Captain Payne resigned, and Lieutenant Reynolds 
was promoted captain . 

August 29th, the battalion moved to luka, Miss. This is a 
village of a few thousand inhabitants, and was famous for its min- 
eral springs, being before the war a place of great resort for the 
southern chivalry. It was a spot of considerable attraction, the 
spring being in a beautiful grove, with summer houses, and afford- 
ing a cool and pleasant retreat from the heat of summer. The 
boys enjoyed the retreat very much, and were grateful to Uncle 
Sam for sending them to this fashionable resort, where they could 
refresh themselves without being subjected to the payment of hotel 
bills. They had faith in the medicinal virtue of its waters. 

In September, the battalion returned to Camp Clear Creek in 
the vicinity of Corinth. August 18th, it again started for luka, 
going by way of Jacinto . While on the march to luka, the 
tidings of the rebel reverses in Maryland, reached the army. It 
was said that Gen. Rosecrans on hearing it, jumped out of his 
bed en deshabille, leaped over two camp stools, grasped the ridge 
pole of his tent, and turned two summer-saults in his joy at the 

The battalion reached the vicinity of luka on the second day's 
march, the day of the battle, which commenced about 5 p. m. 
of the 19th. The battalion took a position in support of a bat- 
tery on our extreme right, and was not seriously engaged. Next 
day it joined in the pursuit of Price. 


A private member of the regiment writing home in reference 
to the battle of luka, under date of September 27th, says : 

" We left Corinth with five days' rations, and took through the 
country, marching thirty-five miles each day. On the 2d, about 
five miles from luka, we were alarmed by the booming of can- 
non. We were halted and told to look to the priming of our 
guns, then ordered to march double quick. We were supporting 
Powell's battery about eighty rods from the fight. We lay out all 
night; it was very cold. The fighting was terrible from four 
o'clock until after dark. I was on the picket near the field, and 
the groans and cries of the wounded were awful. The ambu- 
lance driver says our army lost 300 killed and wounded. The 
rebs were drunk. The llth Missouri had to push them back so 
as to shoot them. They lost two generals, one (General Little) 
killed, another wounded and captured. The rebs started that 
night and we started about nine in pursuit, and after marching 
about twenty miles came up with their rear guard, and our bat- 
talion deployed and came up too close to go any further without 
artillery, and so fell back." 

Orders then came to abandon the pursuit, and the battalion re- 
turned to Corinth, Sept. 27th. 

While the battalion was at luka, many of the residents of 
northern Alabama enlisted in that and other regiments. Many of 
these recruits were as pronounced in their hatred of slavery as 
Wendell Philips himself. Said one to an officer of the 64th, 
" When I find a northern man upholding slavery I feel to curse 

The negroes also came into the Union lines in great numbers. 
Trains from Tuscumbia brought them by thousands. Many were 
sent to the north daily, but thousands were continually about the 
Union camps. They held big prayer meetings, in which they 
sang and prayed and talked as only the contrabands could. They 
compared their deliverance to that of Daniel from the lion's den. 
The soldiers all welcomed the darkies, and even those who had 
once been bitter against fighting the war for the overthrow of 
slavery, had got cured of their prejudices, and did not seem to 



feel bad at seeing the slaves escape, and every mess soon had its 
colored cook and servant. 

Price having been reinforced by Van L>orne and Lovel returned 
to attack our forces at Corinth, and on the night of October 3d, 
formed his lines within 1000 yards. The Y. S. S., went into po- 
sition on the evening of the 3d as skirmishers. On the morning 
of the 4th, the battalion met the first advance of the enemy, and 
was heavily engaged through the day, rendering efficient and ef- 
fective service. It lost heavily in this engagement, going into 
fight with 233 men, at evening roll call but 160 responded, 73 
were killed or wounded. Co. E suffered most of all, losing 
twenty-one men, killed and wounded, and among these, alas! 
Captain Grover, who was mortally wounded. He was in com- 
mand of companies B, C and E on the skirmish line, and was 
cheering on his men when he fell. Sergeant Major Henry 8. 
Clark, one of Lockport's most promising young men, was also 

A private of Co. E, writing home after the batttle, says : 

"I am safe and sound after the great battle of Corinth, fought 
Friday and Saturday. The enemy attacked us 50,000 strong, 
under Price, VanDorne and Villipugue. The first day's fighting 
was terrible, but nothing to the next. We were out in the woods, 
three companies of us, Co. B deployed as skirmishers. Our men 
were driven in and the rebs attacked the reserve. We fought 
about an hour, at last they came so fast that we had to retreat be- 
hind our breastworks. We went out with forty-two men, (refer- 
ring to Co. E) and when we got back, had but twenty-one. Serg't 
Henry Clark, from Lockport, is killed. Our Captain is danger- 
ously wounded, but the Dr. says he is better. Peter Brown from 
Channahon, Mike McGalligut and Geo. Rouse are killed. Messrs. 
Coyles, Casey and Tom Garlish, from Lockport, are wounded. 
John Sullivan from Joliet, lost his leg. We have taken 2000 
prisoners. Our men are after Price, and captured his army train, 
and Price had to leave his horse and take to the woods. We took 
his staff. His men fought like devils charging our batteries, and 
taking both; but the llth Missouri, (which was really an Illinois 
regiment,) 52d Illinois, and our battalion charged and drove 


them out. Our camp ground was covered with their dead. It was 
mighty rough at first, but I soon got used to it." 
The same soldier writing again the 16th, says : 

" We had a job yesterday of lifting our little orderly who had 
been buried ten days without a coffin. I helped to bury our gal- 
lant little captain. I may well call him gallant, for a bolder man 
never drew sword than him and Lieutenant Manning. I believe 
Manning will be our next captain. I hope he may. I saw S. W. 
Bowen this morning. We will have to lift our captain to-day. By 
this time you know all about the great battle, but you don't know 
about our company (E). 

" We lay out all night, and as soon as daylight the ball opened. 
We lay between our artillery and the rebel fire for two hours, when 
Captain Morrill told Captain Grover to send some of his best 
shots over to see how the rebels got along, when Pat Feeley, Dar- 
win Gilford and myself, went over to the railroad and got behind 
an old milk cellar, and with some of Birges' Sharpshooters gave 
them the best we had in our boxes for about an hour. 

" We saw them crossing on our right in brigades, trying to flank 
us right and left, which they did. I then went and reported to 
our commander. We stood our ground which was to our loss. 
We got behind a big log and waited in silence until they came 
within about three rods when we gave them a volley which made 
them waver and go into the woods again. In front of us was a 
deep gulley with a very steep bank next to the enemy. They 
came to the edge of the bank in solid column, five brigades deep, 
mostly Arkansas troops. We filled the gully full of them. But 
our own batteries gave us two charges of grape and shell, killing 
four and wounding a great number of our company. So we had 
to retreat up to the breast works, when we stood and held them in 
check. They came up to the batteries on the double quick, 
charging them three times, and we drove them back as often. 
They got up in town as far as old Rosey's headquarters, when 
they met our boys that was guarding them, and they drove the 
rebels back, killing twenty and not losing a man. I saw one 
sixty- four pound ball go through one hundred yards of a solid 
body of the 2d Texas, killing almost a whole company. 


" As soon as the enemy was driven off the field, I went over 
to see how many were hurt. The first man I found was John 
Sullivan, of Joliet. Says I, " John, your leg is broke." "Yes, 
says he, " but by we drove them ! they had to run ! " I ex- 
amined many of the rebel haversacks to see what they had to eat. 
All I could find was some corn, some roasted and some raw, with 
a little side meat, no bread in any of them." 

Such is the account given by a corporal of Co. E. We add an- 
other account given in a letter of a commissioned officer of the 

" CORINTH, Oct. 6th, 1862. We are still at Corinth, but it 
was by a close chance that our forces held the town. The rebels 
were perfectly desperate, and fought like mad men. On the 3d of 
October the fight was kept up from eight in the morning until 
dark. On the left our force drove the enemy from the field the 
first day, and the enemy drove us on the right. On the second (4th) 
the rebels made a desperate charge on the left, but were repulsed 
with great slaughter. In about one and a half hours after, the 
combined forces of the enemy made a second charge on the town 
from the northwest. Here was the most desperate fighting of the 
day. Two brigades charged at once in column by division, on the 
double quick. Two of our siege batteries are posted on the north- 
west side of the town, and our forces were drawn up in a double 
line of battle, connecting the two batteries, and also in one line ex- 
tending some way on the outside of the batteries. 

" At first the rebels drove our forces back about fifty rods, and 
got possession of both batteries and about half of the town. But 
our troops rallied, and then followed such a scene as I hope never 
to witness again. Eleven of our battalion fell dead and thirty- 
nine wounded. The contest remained for some time undecided 
victory leaning now to the one side, and now to the other for 
about twenty minutes. During this time, the enemy made con- 
tinuous efforts to plant their flag upon our forts, but no oftener 
was the attempt made than flag, and flag-bearer, fell from the par- 
apet together. Our battalion paid its especial attention to the 
upper fort, or the rebels in and about it, and at that very place the 


rebels first began to give way. No sooner was it known along our 
lines that they were yielding on our right, than our whole line 
commenced to advance with wild shouts, and when the rebels saw 
that our men were going to give them a hand-to-hand fight, they 
turned and sought the woods like frightened sheep. But while 
our men were in the height of their exultation, lo ! two new bri- 
gades of rebels were rushing up at double-quick directly toward 
our lines. Although our regiments were now all mixed up, yet 
order prevailed along the whole line the moment the enemy were 
seen advancing, and an earnest and determined look took the place 
of shouting. The danger was met most gallantly by our boys 
not a foot of our lines gave wa\ , but every man stood up nobly, 
and poured volley after volley into the foe, still advancing, even 
when to do so was certain death. They were more than brave 
they were reckless. Their officers advanced the last time mounted, 
but not one who was mounted returned. Their regimental officers 
were on foot. When they commenced to retreat, they did so in 
order, but it soon became a stampede. 

" The fresh battle-field was awful to behold ; many a Union sol- 
dier lay dead or wounded, but the enemy lay piled up in heaps 
the wounded often weighed down by the lifeless body of a comrade. 
The fighting continued next day on the Chevalla road, and report 
says the secesh suffered terribly. Our battalion did not join in the 
pursuit, being too badly cut up." 

In this battle, Lieut. Reynolds, of Co. F, had a very narrow 
escape. A bullet broke the ring which held the scabbard of his 
sword to the belt, and a spent ball hit his leg with sufficient force 
to drop him, and make him lame for a while. 

During the fight, Lieut. Knickerbocker got hold of a rifle, but 
having no cartridges, on coming up to one of our men who lay 
dead on the field, he put his hand under his head for the purpose 
of slipping off his cartridge box, which the poor fellow could use 
no longer, when his hand went into a ghastly wound from which 
the blood and brains were oozing. Just then some one spoke, 
'' This is hard," said he. The words came from a mere boy, 
though a soldier. " Do you know the man?" inquired the lieu- 
tenant. " It is my father" was the reply. The boy shed no tears, 
but his look expressed volumes of agony. 


After the fight was over, Lieut. Knickerbocker went over the 
field to look after the wounded. In one place he found a rebel 
soldier bleeding from a wound in the ankle, which was badly 
broken. The lieutenant picked him up and carried him under a 
tree, aad procured him medical aid. These attentions both sur- 
prised and touched the man, even to tears. He said that he did 
not expect such treatment, as their officers had told them before 
the battle that anyone who fell into our hands would be butch- 
ered. He avowed a determination, that if he got well, he would 
fight us no more. 

Nov. 22d, 1862, the battalion was ordered to Glendale, Miss., 
where it was stationed on outpost duty, and where it remained 
nearly one year, engaged in hunting guerrillas, and scouting for 
Gen. Dodge, and in erecting fortifications, &c., thus assisting in 
holding this portion of the Union lines, while more active opera- 
tions were going on elsewhere. 

Of its stay while here, we have but little record. It was dur- 
ing this period that Capt. James C. Cameron, Co. A, of Ottawa, 
organized a regiment of cavalry from the Union men of that region, 
which was known as the 1st Alabama cavalry, of which he was 
commissioned colonel. Philip A. Steinberg, of Will county, a 
sergeant in Co. F, was commissioned a captain in the same regi- 
ment. Col. Cameron was afterwards killed in a fight at Barton's 
Station, April 17th, 1873, and Capt. Steinberg was killed at Vin- 
cents Cross Roads about the 23d of October, 1873. 

While at Glendale, John Sullivan, who lost his leg at Corinth, 
was discharged, and came home the boys of his company gener- 
ously making up a purse of $200, out of their hard earnings, to 
help him on his way. 

The same corporal, from whose letters we have already quoted, 
says under date of Sept. 7th, 1863 : 

" I was in Corinth the other day. I walked in. It is a long 
walk through the woods, and they are full of guerrillas, and they 
shoot without halting us, as they would a dog. So we are ordered 
not to take any prisoners, but to shoot them on sight. They put 
six bullets into one of our men the other day, without telling him 
to halt. But he is living yet, for we are hard to kill. We went 


out the other day, a squad of eight, to a house where we found six 
women and girls, but we could see no man. So we began to look 
around a little, and presently three men ran out of an old stable. 
"We ordered them to halt. Two did so, but the third kept on, and 
we leveled our rifles at him. The mother, wife and sisters screamed 
out to us not to shoot him. So we fired over him, but still he 
would not stop. So three of us took good aim, and brought him to 
a halt. He proved to be a lieutenant in the rebel army. We did 
not kill him, but we gave him a long furlough." 

We give one more brief extract from the same soldier's letters, 
to show how the sensibilities become hardened in time of war. He 
says : " We do have some funny times now and then. We have 
skirmishing with the enemy almost every day. We killed fifteen, 
one of them a colonel, this morning. Send me the Joliet Signal 
as often as you can ! " 

Nov. 4th, 1863, the Yates Sharpshooters moved to luka, and 
thence to Pulaski, Tenn., arriving at the latter place on the 12th, 
making a march of 135 miles in eight days, crossing the Tennessee 
river at Eastport. It formed part of Sherman's great army of 
60,000, sweeping through Alabama and Tennessee, cleaning out 
everything as they went, leaving not a hoof upon the grass a pre- 
liminary movement to the next summer's campaign. 

The latter part of December, enlistment rolls were opened to 
see who would re- enlist. The battalion had been two years in 
active service, and in eighteen different engagements of more or 
less importance forty days before the enemy without tents or 
shelter of any kind, except the forests yet so determined were 
these brave men that they would see the rebellion crushed out, and 
the Union restored, that over three- fourths of the battalion re-en- 
listed ; and on the 15th day of January it went north on veteran 
furlough of twenty days from its arrival at Chicago, the 22d. 
During this interval, recruiting was actively engaged in, to fill up 
the ranks of the old companies, and four new companies, G, H, I, 
and K, were added, thus making it a full regiment, known there- 
after as the 64th regiment. Of these new companies, one was 
raised in our county by Captain (afterwards Major) Logan. Of 
the regiment thus recruited and enlarged, Lieut. Col. Morrill was 


made colonel, and Capt. Maiming, of Co. E, was made lieutenant 
colonel, and Captain Thompson, of Co. B, major. The regiment 
re- assembled at Ottawa, Feb. 14th, and after being fully re-organ- 
ized, left on the 17th of March for the front. On the 20th, it 
arrived by rail within two miles of Decatur, Ala., where it went 
into camp. 

Captain Logan's company, not being yet provided with tents, 
and having no covering but their blankets, and being all " fresh 
fish," had rather of a cool time, for just at this time a storm came 
on which would do credit to northern Illinois. True, they were 
now in the " sunny south," and they had great faith in that poeti- 
cal expression ; but their faith was somewhat dampened, when, on 
the next morning after their arrival, they iound themselves under 
a blanket of snow a foot thick. This seemed a rough introduction 
to a soldier's life, none the easier to bear because the old campaign- 
ers made light of it. But they soon got comfortably quartered in 
the town, and the weather got hot enough before they reached 

Ten days after their arrival at Decatur, the inhabitants of the 
town were ordered to leave, and the place was converted into a 
fortified camp. Redoubts were built, rifle pits digged, and every 
preparation made for an attack or siege. For two weeks the regi- 
ment was kept continually under arms. The rebels, under Roddy, 
were hanging about the place, nine or ten thousand strong. 

Capt. Logan, writing home during this period, says : " I can 
get more work out of my men, when there is a prospect of a fight, 
than at any other time. On one occasion, when called up at mid- 
night, in expectation of an attack, I noticed that my company was 
unusually full, and found a dozen or more in the ranks that had 
been on the sick list the day before. Among them was Jacob 
Lutz, of Jackson, a mere boy, who was really sick. I asked him 
what he was there for when he was sick. " Well," he replied, 
" Captain, I am sick, but I wanted to get a pop at the rebs and 
make them sick, too." 

The regiment was now placed in the 1st brigade, 4th division 
of the 16th army corps. 

May 4th, it arrived at Chattanooga, and entered upon the 
great Atlanta campaign. Leaving Chattanooga the 5th, it camped 


the first night on the old Chickamauga battle-field. Here they 
found many bones and skulls still unburied ; whether they belonged 
to friend or foe could not now be told, but they gave them decent 
burial. The civilized human mind revolts at the sight of human 
remains unburied. 

We shall quote now, generally verbatim, from the diary of an 
officer of Co. F, in detailing the movements of the regiment during 
the Atlanta campaign : 

" We arrived before Resacca May 9th, and companies A and F 
were deployed, and drove the enemy in their front into their 
works. In the night the regiment marched to Snake Creek Gap. 
On the 12th it was in the advance on the skirmish line. Captain 
Reynolds, who was in command of the right of the line, had a 
very narrow escape. His sword was hit by a bullet, and knocked 
out of his hand. 

" On the 13th, advanced to Resacca, and was engaged until the 
16th, when the enemy retired. May 20th, arrived at Kingston, 
and remained in camp the 21st. On the 22d, Sunday, inspection. 
On the 23d, moved at 2 p, m., going about a mile, halted until 
sundown, when the regiment moved again, and, going some three 
miles, crossed a branch of the Coosa on a covered bridge, and going 
four miles farther, went into camp at 11 p. m, 

" On the 24th, moved at 5 p. m., passing through a pine dis- 
trict about eight miles in extent, passing a steam mill and numer- 
ous wheat fields, stopping at 11 to rest at a splendid spring of 
water. The men were footsore and weary. 

" Moved on again at 4 p. m., going some six miles, camped at 
dark in the town ol VanWirt ; on the way passed a fine slate 
quarry. It rained all night, and we got thoroughly soaked. May 
25th, lay in camp until 5 p. m., then moved on, acting as train 
guard, moving a few rods at a time, until about 1 :30 a. m. of next 
day, when we Jay down until morning. It rained for a couple of 
hours, and was so dark as to compel us to move by the sense of 
feeling more than by sight. About sunset, we hear heavy artillery 
firing some eight miles in front. 

" May 26th, moved on again as train guard at sunrise. Some 
sight for a fight. After going on five miles, camped in the town- 



ship of Dallas at 2:30 p. m., and had dinner and rest. We hear 
that bushwhackers are about, two men having been found with 
their throats cut while they were asleep, and one shot through the 
head. At 9 p. m. we are under arms, expecting to move every 
moment, and at 1 1 we moved half a mile, and lay down until 
morning. For the last two days we have been passing over high 
ground, being a spur of the Blue Ridge. May 27th, we started 
early and marched three miles to Dallas. We hear heavy firing 
in front. 

" In about twenty minutes after halting, companies A and F 
are out as skirmishers, and deployed in the woods, and moved by 
the left flank into an open field, then by the right flank forward. 
Thomas Rickard, of Co. F, was shot through the hip at this time. 
When about half across the field, an order came to halt, leaving 
about half of the company without cover except two or three trees 
or shrubs, and the bullets in the meantime were raising the dust 
lively. Getting tired of this position, we made a change on our 
own responsibility, and reached the timber without further loss. 
We then moved forward again, and changed direction to the right, 
got close to the enemy, within four or five rods, and found them 
stubborn and hard to drive. We could only move them by making 
a rush for them. I tried to make one of them surrender, but he 
wouldn't, so I tried the next best thing, and emptied my pistol at 
him. The right of the line fell back, obliging us to do the same. 
The 35th N. J. came up and assisted us. Three of them were 
killed within fifteen feet of me. When our line fell back they 
left, although we did not move more than ten rods to the rear, 
which position we held until we were relieved, after dark. Our 
loss in the company was severe. A. Wagner, killed, shot through 
the head, while in the front rank, loading and firing with all his 
might. We were obliged to leave his body in the hands of the 
enemy. They buried him under the tree where he fell. James 
H. Gilfallan, shot through the leg, died at night. Corporal John 
Parks, shot in the abdomen, will probably die. John Schleken, 
shot through the leg. Richard F. Hammond, (of Alabama,) shot 
through the shoulder, and Thomas Rickards, through the hip. 
Corp. G. Waldron, through the arm. Co. A had three men killed, 
and among the wounded was Capt. Conger. 


" While writing, the rebels are sending sundry missives, and 
one of Co. D has just passed, hit in the head. Their sharpshooters 
look like Indians to me, and I have had a pretty good look at 
them. I was told by one of the 16th 111. that there were women 
on the line in front of them, and that one of them was shot." 

The regiment in this engagement lost fourteen men, killed and 
wounded. Among the wounded was Captain Logan, of Co. G., 
who was shot in both legs. 

"May 28th, we lay in camp all day. We found ourselves 
badly stiffened in the morning. We expected to move at night, 
but did not as the rebels charged on the second division, but 
they were repulsed with a loss of two thousand men. On the 
29th we were ordered to relieve the 39th Ohio in the intrench- 
ments, two companies as skirmishers. At night the enemy made 
seven distinct charges on our lines, but were repulsed each time ; 
their loss not known. It was a pretty hot time, one man in Co. 
C killed, and five or six wounded, mostly by premature firing from 
our own line. 

"May, 30th, companies H and K, detailed as skirmishers. One 
man killed and four or five wounded. Our regiment was relieved 
at dark by the 39th Ohio, and we went back to our old ravine and 
to bed. Lt. Meeker, of Co. K, was wounded through the arms. 
The enemy made an advance on the line about nine, but fell back 

" May 31st, Lt. Meeker and Captain Logan, go back to Kings- 
ton this morning. Companies F and A detailed for skirmish line. 
The enemy closed down on us in the night. Some pretty sharp fun. 
June 1st, our forces during the night moved to the left, leaving us 
to protect the rear, a very disagreeable job, as the enemy closed 
down on us when they found we were leaving. We fell back over 
hill and dale in skirmishing order. Our company was the nearest 
giving out of any time since their enlistment. Having been all 
night without sleep, the fighting and the excitement of the march 
made it tough. Moved about four miles and camped, and im- 
proved the time in sleep. 

" June 2d, lay in camp all day. It rained hard for a couple of 
hours. June 3d, five companies ordered to Kingston as train 
guard. The rest moved about a mile to the left across Pumpkin 


Vine Creek, camped and commenced throwing up intrench men ts, 
but next morning, June 4th, received orders to move again. 
Rather trying to our patience as it was raining hard. Moved a 
mile or two and stopped again. Skirmish firing pretty sharp on 
our left. A change has just been made by our forces apparently 
successful. We are ordered to intrench again. Commenced, bat 
were soon ordered to suspend. Rained again during the night. 
Zuell and I have a purp tent and slept well. 

" June 5th, ordered to move again this morning. Rebs said to 
be falling back. We advanced nearly three miles to the enemy's 
works, and found them deserted. They were very strong and 
well constructed. The work is said to be done by the negroes, who 
are said to be as numerous as the rebs. Their right flank was 
turned by Stoneman's cavalry, and the 1 7th army corps passing 
Altoona Gap, and they had to leave. Returned to camp, got 
dinner and moved again towards the railroad. After going six 
miles stopped for the night. June 6th, started forward about 8 
a. m., going some eight miles, slowly, being hindered by the wagon 
train. Camped about four at the town of Ackworth, a station on 
the railroad. 

" June 7th, lay in camp with the expectation of a few days' rest. 
June 8th, ordered to be ready to march on the 9fch, a decisive 
battle expected in a few days. June 9th lay in camp all day ex- 
pecting to move. Our teams have been sent for forage, cloth- 
ing, etc. Hear that the 17th army corps has arrived. The 
15th and 16th army corps is now commanded by General McPher- 
son, the right of the grand army. 

" June 10th, marching orders, we are to follow the 15th army 
corps. Frequent showers. Captain Reynolds is sick. Moved 
into town just before night, and halted until 10 o'clock, then 
marched about five miles on a very dangerous road, rough and 
muddy. Camped about 1:30 and went to bed. Showers again. 
Moved in the afternoon two and a half miles down the railroad, 
the skirmishers are engaged. Halted awhile, rained very hard. The 
name of the station is Big Shanty. We began intrenching after 
dark, made a log work. Col. Morrill went down on the skirmish 
line, and tried his hand at shooting. He shot one of the enemy 
with a Henry rifle as was seen by the glass. But he came near pay- 


ing dearly for his rashness, as a bullet grazed his abdomen leaving 
blue mark. 

"June 12, companies B and G on the skirmish line rain all the 
time. D and I sent out to relieve them. June 13th, companies 
H and C sent out. Regiment ordered in line of battle at day- 
light. The enemy have apparently left Hooker's and Howard's 
front our right, (lost mountain), and are either massing their 
forces at Kenesaw on our left, or are evacuating. Rain still pour- 
ing down. Captain Reynolds is quite sick. Scorpions are quite 
plenty in this section, just caught one at the door of my shanty. 
They have a disagreeable habit of creeping into a person's pants. 

" June 16th, lay in camp all day. Was stung by a scorpion, 
applied ammonia, and felt no serious results. Ordered out on 
the skirmish line at night, expected a warm time as the lines were 
to be advanced. Moved our pits about forty rods to the front, 
but were not fired upon. We were supported by six companies. 
Guess the rebels got sick of the place as they left in disgust, as the 
14th Ohio battery knocked their rail piles skyward. Some of the 
inmates too, appeared to make desperate leaps in the same direc- 
tion. One of their officers appeared to be furious by the way he 
waved his sword, but a shell soon quieted him. Their signal lights 
were in operation during the night on the summit of Kenesaw 
mountain. Our signal officers can read their signs. One of their 
messages read that Lt. General Polk had been killed in our front 
by a solid shot through the arms and abdomen. 

" June 15th we were relieved at daylight by two other compa- 
nies. Towards noon we were ordered out to support our skir- 
mishers, as they were to advance. Did so, captured eight or ten 
prisoners. One of them told that five hundred men were captured 
in front of the 15th and 16th army corps. Some of them came in 
with a white rag. Bullets circulated pretty freely, but only one 
of our regiment wounded, in Co. D. One of Co. D shot a reb, 
wounding him in the back and found that he was from Pulaski, 
and that one of our recruits in Co. D. sparked his sister last win- 
ter." (A very affecting incident !) 

" Our company laid in a ditch supporting our skirmishers all 
night. Pioneers commenced putting up a fort, when the enemy 
opened fire on our line, causing a lively stampede among the pio- 


neers and negroes. The darkies got into the ditches before us r 
in some places three or four feet deep. Bullets came over by the 
basket full. Col. Manning was hit on his pistol. It was a hard 
fight and our second night without sleep. 

"June 16th, the regiment was relieved this morning. Other 
regiments moved out into the new works constructed during the 
night. The enemy appear to have their principal signal station 
on top of Kenesaw, about three and a half miles distant. With a 
good glass groups of ladies have been observed several times on its 
summit taking a look at the detestable yankees. Our rations are 
brought to us, and we lay down in the ditch at night ; I tried to 
make up lost time in sleeping. We were disturbed but once dur- 
ing the night, and then the firing did not last long. The pickets 
commenced talking with each other, asking all sorts of impudent 
questions. Our officers finally put a stop to it. June 17th, firing 
commenced at daylight ; our regiment relieved the 27th and 39th 
Ohio on the front line at 4 p. m. The first division had a poor 
place, as the enemy's fire enfiladed their works. We had to throw 
up traverses to protect ourselves. At dark firing ceases and talk- 
ing commences. Came near coaxing over one of the rebs. They 
belonged to the 20th Alabama, and had friends in our regiment, 
and in the Alabama cavalry. At 10 o'clock they relieve guards, 
then we usually have a small skrimmage. At daylight it began ta 
rain, and rained all day. We got only one and a half hours sleep. 
Our ditches filled with water, and we had to occupy our cross 
work until we could drain them. Our situation was too uncom- 
fortable for description. It ought to be illustrated in Harper. We 
could not stand up for the bullets, and we could not lie down for 
the water. The firing was very sharp. I had two pretty close 
calls. It was dangerous to put a head above the works. We were 
warned at night that an attack was expected during the night, or 
that they intended to evacuate. 

" During the night, as I and one of the boys were lying in the 
orchard outside the works, we heard an old recall signal of the 
guns, and immediately after, signal whistles to the right and left, 
on their skirmish lines. Waked up the company, and waited for 
' what next.' Did not sleep a wink during the night. It rained 
a little ; no alarm. Morning came at last. We fired a few shot 


into their rifle pens, without eliciting any reply. Neither could 
any be obtained along the lines. Reported to the colonel that I 
thought the Johnnies had absconded. He told me to take two 
groups and reconnoitre. Took one from Co. F, and one from 
Co. A, and stole out and examined some sixty or more of their 
pits, but nary reb could we find. Went back and reported. The 
first division was ordered to fall in, in skirmish order, and examine 
the main line of works. We found them evacuated. We halted 
to get breakfast. Other troops moved on to search for the enemy. 
He soon opened on them from the mountain. At noon skirmish- 
ing was going on with heavy cannonading. Our generals are on 
the lookout for some trap, and move very cautiously. At 3 p. m. 
moved ahead again, beyond the main line of rebel intrenchments, 
and halted for the night. Our corps are crowded out of the front 
line, and are now in reserve. 

" June 20, skirmishing on the front line as soon as light. It 
is very difficult to find out the true state of affairs. Our forces 
appear to be much concentrated and investing the mountain. The 
enemy occasionally opens a battery on us from the mountain, but 
is soon silenced. Heavy cannonading toward night. Heavy fight- 
ing about ten at night. Rainy. Some twenty-eight prisoners 
came in that I saw ; seventeen of the number were officers. June 
21st, rainy and but little firing. Fell in during the afternoon, 
and moved one and a half miles nearer the mountain. After a 
good bit of moving and changes of base, stopped for the night, and 
had just gone to roost, when a fatigue detail came for two compa- 
nies. A and E turned out. Had some one hundred yards of 
fortifications to put up. Finished, and returned to camp at day- 
light. The soil was hard to work, being stony and full of roots. 
The rebel trains were within a mile of our front. They seem to 
have chosen this as their final standpoint. They opened on us this 
morning with several batteries from the top of the mountain. 

"June 23d, skirmishing as usual. Heavy cannonading in our 
front. Shot and shell pass over us by the wholesale. The regi- 
ment moved down nearer the mountain into intrenchments. Sev- 
eral shell dropped where we had just moved from. Skirmishers 
have advanced one-fourth of the way up the mountain. Compa- 
nies D and E exchanged coffee for tobacco with the rebel skirmish- 


ers last night. Heavy fighting on our right. A shell struck to-day 
between two men of Co. K as they were asleep, but did no harm. 

" June 24th. All quiet on the lines. Our artillery are firing, 
but get no reply. Think they are hanging out a bait for us to 
charge the mountain. At two, received orders to fall in, for the 
purpose of charging old Kenesaw. The boys seemed cheerful and 
disposed to make the attempt, although it looked as if we could 
not get up, even if there were no enemy to dispute the attempt. 
After wasting an hour or more, we were told to take off our traps 
again, as it had been abandoned for the present. A masked bat- 
tery has been discovered on the mountain side. 

" June 25th. One of Co. E wounded in the shoulder. One 
more of the same company wounded, and one killed. Weather 
very hot, and much sickness. The majority of the officers are 
complaining. Some of the troops moving to the right. Our regi- 
ment relieved on the skirmish line. June 26th, Sunday. Not 
much firing on the skirmish line. Had a sermon from a chaplain 
on the front line. It was calculated to make an impression, as a 
thunder storm was rising at the time. The flashes of lightning, 
the thunder, the darkness, and the constant skirmishing, all com- 
bined to make the scene very impressive. 

" June 27th. A memorable day ! We were awakened at 2 a. 
m., by the adjutant, packed our knapsacks, fell into line, and 
moved toward the formidable mountain. It was understood that 
we had to take it or at least to make the attempt. We made the 
attempt, with our regiment as two lines of skirmishers, and got 
part way up the hill. But the enemy was too strong in force and 
position for us to effect anything more." 

The 64th contributed its full share to the fearful holacaust of 
the 27th of June, 1864. Its total loss of officers and men, killed 
and wounded, was fifty-seven. The adjutant of the regiment was 

" Among the severely wounded in this charge of the 27th was 
James Stoneking, of Co. F, who had his arm amputated close to 
his shoulder. He was a boy of only nineteen years, but the pluck- 
iest of the plucky. The next day after the amputation, an officer 
of his company went to the hospital to see how he was getting 


along, but he was not there. He had got some one to tie a pail 
around his neck, and had gone blackberry ing. 

" June 28th. Firing as usual. Some charging done toward 
noon. June 29th, about the same. June 30th, General Dodge 
tendered his thanks to the regiment for its gallant conduct on the 
26th, and general good conduct during the campaign. 

" July 1 st. Reinforcements are reported coming up. Troops 
were moving last night. Some strategic movement is in contem- 
plation. The wounded are sent north on furlough to-day. In 
the evening we had the heaviest cannonading by our guns I ever 
heard. Some forty or fifty pieces seemed to be discharged at once. 
At 3 a. m. of the 2d, the cannonading was resumed, and the skir- 
mishers advanced somewhat. Seven hundred deserters are reported 
to have come in during the night. In the evening orders came in 
for companies F and A to relieve the 18th Mo. on the skirmish 
line, with instructions to hold the enemy in check while our forces 
moved to the right. Some pretty sharp firing. Our artillery 
commenced moving, which could be plainly heard by the enemy. 
We began to suspect that they were evacuating the mountain. At 
daylight went up the mountain, and had my suspicions confirmed. 
The Johnnies were gone, except some who were tired of fighting 
and remained behind. From the summit there is a splendid view 
of the surrounding country. We found six of our regiment dead 
on ^the mountain, who were killed on June 27th, still unburied. 
The bodies were much decomposed. We gave them a soldier's 
burial on old Kenesaw. The colors of the 64th were the first 
planted on the rebel works." 

General Sherman, in his recent work, says in reference to this 
evacuation of Kenesaw : " McPherson drew out his lines during 
the night of July 2d, leaving Garrard's cavalry dismounted occu- 
pying the trenches, and moved to the rear of the army of the Cum- 
berland stretching down the Nickajack. But Johnson detected 
the movement and promptly abandoned Marietta and Kenesaw. 
I expected as much, for by the earliest dawn of July 3d, I was up 
at a large spy glass mounted on a tripod, which Colonel Roe, of 
the U. S. engineers, had at his bivouac, close by our camp. I 
directed the glass on Kenesaw, and saw some of our pickets crawl- 


ing cautiously up the hill. Soon they stood upon the very top, 
and I could plainly see their movements as they ran along the 
crest just abandoned by the enemy." 

The men thus seen by General Sherman were Lieut. Knicker- 
bocker and others of the 64th. On calling Lieut. K's attention 
to the narrative of Gen. 8., he writes : 

" As to Gen. Sherman's account of the evacuation of Kenesaw 
mountain, he must be mistaken about the cavalry occupying the 
trenches. The 64th had orders, when they relieved the troops 
occupying the rifle pits, that they would probably have to cover 
the movement of McPherson's corps during the night, but they did 
not go. The rumble of our artillery, as it moved, could be plainly 
heard by the rebels, as our men did not muffle the wheels as the 
rebels did. I suspected from the signal whistles, that by this time 
had become somewhat familiar, that they understood our move- 
ments, and were evacuating. I sent word to that effect to Colonel 
Morrill. He returned answer, 'Go and see.' As soon as it was 
light enough to see, I started up the mountain, moving very cau- 
tiously, until assured that most of the enemy had left. On arriving 
at the summit, I could, of course, be plainly seen by those below. 
Then commenced a race between the color bearer of the 64th and 
those of the Ohio regiments, who were climbing the smaller moun- 
tain, but the 64th came up ahead." 

We resume the diary : " July 3d. We can see sharp fighting 
going on beyond Marietta. Prisoners are reported coming in by 
the hundreds. We marched twelve miles during the night, and 
got no sleep. July 4th, moved again in the morning about two 
miles. Our brigade formed in line of battle and moved on the 
enemy. Sharp firing from their skirmishers. We had one or two 
wounded. After going half a mile, the line halted, and our regi- 
ment deployed in two lines. Our loss during the day was heavy 
seven killed and eighteen wounded. Our skirmish line advanced 
to within one hundred yards of their works about 4 p. m. The 
27th and 39th Ohio passed us with a whoop, charged the enemy's 
works, and in a trice had possession. Not three minutes before, 
the rebs were calling to us, 'Yanks, why don't you come on ?' and 


laughing because the 81st Ohio did not move forward at the sound 
of the bugle. Quite a number of prisoners were taken. The 39th 
Ohio had its colonel wounded, and about fifty men killed and 
wounded. This was the way we kept the 4th of July. Fireworks 
were plenty. 

" July 5th. The enemy reported missing from our front this 
morning. Lay still until after dinner, then moved to the right 
again about five miles. Very hot; some sun- struck. Camped 
within four miles of the river, where there was heavy cannonading. 
The enemy trying to cross. A brigade reported to have surren- 
dered. July 6th, cannonading near the river. Moved one and a 
half miles to the right and camped. 

" July 7th. Lay in camp until noon, when our brigade was 
ordered to the front about two miles. Piled knapsacks, and 
advanced down the picket line. At the sound of the bugle we 
commenced firing by volley, and kept it up until night. A section 
of the 1st Ohio battery issued a few shells. We never fought at 
such long range before. One of our company had coat, pants and 
drawers perforated by a bullet, which was the extent of our casual- 
ties this day. The enemy opened on us with two batteries in our 
front, but their shot fell short. We were relieved at dark by the 
18th Mo. 

" July 8th, lay in camp. The skirmishers moved down to the 
river last night, and made an agreement with the rebs not to fire 
on each other, and then went in swimming together in the Chat- 
tahoochie, and traded coffee for tobacco, and exchanged papers, as 
though they were the best of friends. 

" July 9th, marching orders again, moved to the left, marched 
about 16 miles and camped about a mile beyond Marietta. Cap- 
tain Reynolds is here quite sick, and Albert Ashley was detailed 
to nurse him by order of General Veatch. Two men of Co. F 
sent to hospital. 

" July 10, moved at 9 a. m. The 39th and 64th Ohio brought 
up the rear. Moved very slow, raining heavy. We had to wade 
two streams waist deep. Stopped on the bank of the river at a 
village called Roswell, which has a starch factory, and did con- 
tain cotton factories, but our cavalry had burned them. They 
contained great quantities of cloth for confederate uniforms. The 


river is wide here and rapid. July llth, crossed the river on a 
foot bridge and camped so as to protect the crossing. In after- 
noon commenced throwing up intrenchments, and finished them 
before morning. Saw Captain Holden, of the 88th, to-day. July 
13th, lay in camp, nothing important. Went into the river and 
helped get out one of the 43d Ohio, who was drowning. 

"July 14th, lay in camp. There was a shower came up, with 
sharp lightning. Three men in the 18th Missouri were killed by 
lightning and two or three in a battery, other casualties reported 
across the river in the 15th corps. July 15th, the 17th army 
corps took 4,000 prisoners and nine pieces of artillery. July 17, 
moved about six miles to Nancy Creek, where we came up with 
the enemy's cavalry and artillery, and charged and drove them 
one and a half miles. The 39th deployed in front. No one hurt 
in the regiment. Were relieved at dark. Our scouts killed two 
rebels and one old rooster. 

" July 18th, moved again in the morning. Our brigade in 
front. No fighting. Camped about 3 p. m. Had honey, goose 
and potatoes for dinner. July 19th, moved, 64th in the advance. 
After going two miles, the cavalry found the enemy. We expected 
to get into Decatur before night. The 23d army corps beat us in. 
Not much resistance; we moved into and through town, when the 
enemy opened on us with artillery, severely wounding our surgeon, 
Dr. Stewart and five men. The 65th was then deployed and 
drove them back. Our advance in that direction seems to have 
been unexpected. The enemy burned the depot with a lot of corn 
and government wagons. Our troops tore up and destroyed the 
railroad for some distance. 

" July 21st, the 17th army corps made a charge this morning 
and took the first line of the enemy's works, losing heavily. In the 
afternoon our brigade moved to the extreme left and formed the 
third and fourth line in the rear of the 17th corps, expecting an 
attack on our flank. Staid there all night without blankets. July 
22d, about 10 a. m. the brigade was ordered out on the double 
quick. The 64th was heavily engaged hand to hand, charging 
the enemy three times, and capturing forty prisoners and one 
battle flag, and also recovering the field glass and papers of Gen. 
McPherson who had been killed and robbed by the enemy. The 


flag of the 64th was pierced this day by eighteen musket balls, 
one shell and a bayonet thrust. The regiment lost fifteen killed, 
fifty-seven wounded and seven missing. Among the wounded is 
Lieutenant Zuell, of Wilmington, severely in the bowels." 

I will here say what Lieut. Knickerbocker, from whose diary 
the foregoing extracts have been taken, is too modest to say, -that 
this affair was a very brilliant one. Captain Reynolds, being at 
this time sick, the command of Co. E devolved upon Lieut. K., 
who, aided by Lieut. D. W. Moore, of Co. E, and several ser- 
geants, succeeded in rallying about seventy men from various regi- 
ments, and threw a skirmish line across the gap between the 16th 
and 1 7th corps, capturing as above stated, forty prisoners, among 
them the man who had rifled the body of General McPherson. 
This important capture was made by a private of Co. F, Frederick 
W. Sonner, who handed the dispatches (Sherman to McPherson), 
to Lieut. Knickerbocker, who delivered them to the brigade com- 
mander, introducing Sonner to his notice, with the expectation 
that he would have honorable mention in the reports of the affair, 
which, however, Sonner did not get. Sherman thus speaks of 
the affair in his work : " Fortunately the spot in the woods where 
McPherson was shot, was regained by our troops in a few min- 
utes, and the pocket book found in the haversack of a prisoner of 
war captured at the time, and its contents were secured by one of 
McPherson's staff." To Frederick "W. Sonner, a private, should 
be accorded the credit of this recovery, and to Lieuts. Knicker- 
bocker and Moore, and their brave men the recovery of the ground. 
The reader of the general history of this engagement will under- 
stand how timely this movement of these lieutenants and sergeants 
was. This little squad of men remained on the field the longest 
of any, coming out of the fight in good order with the regimental 

Lieut. Knickerbocker was himself wounded, though slightly, 
in this engagement. That it was not a serious and indeed a fatal 
wound, is due under Providence to the memorandum book, con- 
taining the journal from which I have been quoting, one corner of 
which was struck by a minie ball, turning it aside, and thus proba- 
bly saving the life of the brave lieutenant. 


In this battle little Frank Swearenger, of Co. G, saved the 
life of Lieut. Crews, of that company, and lost his own. The fight 
had become a hand to hand one, and only a fence separated the 
combatants. A rebel soldier had his gun aimed at Lieut. Crews, 
and was about to fire when Frank S. with his musket clubbed, 
struck him down from the fence, and turning said to Crews, 
"Lieutenant, I saved you that time." No sooner were the words 
out of his mouth than the brave boy fell himself mortally wounded. 

From the 22d to the 27th, the regiment was engaged in skir- 
mishing. On the 28th it was again hotly engaged. It was de- 
tached from the brigade and sent to the 15th army corps. Here it 
took a position on a rise of ground for the purpose of silencing a 
rebel battery. It had just time to throw up temporary breast- 
works when the enemy charged and were repulsed. The charge 
was repeated three times and failed. The regiment was armed 
with the Henry repeating rifle, and handled them with deadly pur- 
pose and effect. The number of dead rebels in its immediate 
front is said to have exceeded the number of the regiment. Only 
two or three were hit in the regiment. 

From this time until August 26th, the regiment was engaged 
in the siege of Atlanta, constantly at work and under fire. On 
the 26th of August it moved out of the works down the Sand- 
town road, marching all night, and the 27th and 28th struck the 
Montgomery railroad, and was engaged on the 29th in tearing up 
the track. On the 30th marched to the Macon railroad, and on 
September 2nd passed through Jonesboro and Lovejoy, and on the 
8th went into camp at Eastpoint, Atlanta having been evacua- 
ted the 1st. 

On the 28th of September the division was transferred to the 
17th army corps. The 64th was now in 1st brigade, 1st division 
17th army corps. Brig. Gen. J. W. Fuller, commanding the 
brigade, and Major Gen. J. A. Mower, the division, and Major 
Gen. F. B. Blair, the corps, 

October 1st, the regiment went to Fairburn on a reconnoisance. 
Returned on the 3d, and on the 4th commenced the chase after 
Hood. Went to Atlanta, crossed the Chattahoocjiie at midnight, 
and marched all night in the rain. Camping in the works 


at Marietta. Thence on northward through Kingston, past 
Adairsville, arriving at Resacca the 15th. 

This was a terrible march, the hardest yet experienced. Says 
a member of the regiment, " For two days and nights we did 
not stop lo eat or sleep. Where we crossed the Chattahoochie, sev- 
eral men lay down completely used up, never to get up again. I 
saw many march in their sleep, one walked off a bridge, falling 
some ten feet, injuring himself considerably. By the time we ar- 
rived at the end of the march, the loss of mules and horses was 
fearful. We realized the fact more fully on our return some days 
after, as by that time they were about half decomposed, and the 
road being most of the way through the woods, our olfactories re- 
ceived the full benefit. Of some of the companies, neither officers nor 
men came in until the march was concluded. Co. F. started with 
forty-five men, but came in with only fifteen. 

" All company officers were required to march in the rear of 
their companies, and in more than one instance were obliged to 
pick the men up and set them on their feet, and put their guns into 
their hands. Whenever the wagons got clogged, the men woulcl 
drop in their tracks and be asleep by the time they touched 
the ground. Our Colonel Manning also rode in the rear 
of the regiment, to assist in keeping up the stragglers. One night 
after one of the temporary halts, he saw as the men commenced 
moving, something laying on the ground that looked like a man, 
called out to him, "Wake up sir, your company is moving." But 
there was no movement and he spoke again, louder and sharper, 
"Get up, sir, and move on." Still no response or movement. "Will 
you get up?" he says, accompanying the words with a slap with hia 
sabre. But still he did not move or speak, when the Colonel got 
just a little out of humor, and said, " Now, sir, get up or I will 
prick you," and he did so pretty savagely. The boys standing 
around could hold in no longer, and burst into a roar, and the 
Colonel found that he had been talking to a dead mule on which 
the boys had just been sitting." 

During the night of the 15th, Captain Conger, with Co. A, 
moved in advance as a reconnoitering party to Snake Creek Gap, 
Here they encountered the enemy who had got possession of the 
old works. A sharp skirmish was the result, in which Captain 


C. was mortally wounded. To the 1st division ^was assigned the 
task of driving them out. The 64th maintained its well-earned 
reputation in this engagement, losing besides CaptainXDonger, nine 
men wounded. Captain Logan, who had a little before rejoined 
the regiment, although still weak, thus speaks of this engagement 
in a letter to the Republican, written at the time. 

" Arriving near the works in the thick woods about 10 a. m., 
we were ordered to take them in the rear through the dense thicket 
by the left flank. On we march, past the entire division. Form- 
ing into line, off go the knapsacks, and we advance. Arriving 
at the edge of the woods, we emerge into a cornfield. Down goes 
a fourteen rail fence. Passing the field, we scramble on through 
briars, bushes, sloughs and creeks. The rebs open fire, and the 
splinters from the trees fly in our faces. Double quick is ordered, 
and with a yell we rush on. I soon fell exhausted in Snake 
Creek, the cold water of which saves me from sun stroke. On re- 
covering I perceive amid the shouts of ten thousand voices, our 
glorious ensign flying over the rebel works. Victory is again ours 1 

" The day after the fight we were out of rations, and all 
that our mess, consisting of seven, had for dinner, was two ears of 
corn between us. Two days after we were in Sugar Valley, 
the richest and most beautiful in the world. Here we got leave 
to forage, and in order to give you an idea of what foraging is, I 
must tell you how some of the Will county boys of my company 
looked on the 19th, about two hours before halting for the night. 
Although tired with a twenty mile march, here comes Sergeant 
Berow, my foraging captain, with half a sheep hung on his rifle ; 
Michael Keefe with a young hog on his back Mike loves pork ; 
Pat. O'Connor is similarly loaded ; Ed. Lizur has a sack of sweet 
potatoes ; John Stone has a pail of honey his face somewhat 
demoralized in getting it j Sergeant Sanders has a pail of syrup ; 
Victor Henry and Frank Simpson are loaded down with potatoes 
and pork ; Barney Lynch, just out of hospital, has as much as he 
can travel under of pork, mutton and chickens, and little Pat. Har- 
rison, from Five Mile Grove, decently loaded with chickens and 
turkeys, and two great geese astride his neck, and looking half man 
and half goose, and swearing like a trooper for daylight, to the no 
email amusement of the boys. 


" Up to this time, the entire loss in Co. G is forty-four twenty- 
five killed, seven prisoners, and the rest wounded and sick. I am 
proud to say that in all the terrible conflicts in which the 64th has 
been engaged, the Will county boys, with but one exception, have 
never faltered in the presence of the enemy, but have bravely done 
their duty, as has the rest of the regiment." 

Marching by way of Lafayette and Summerville, the regiment 
arrived on the 21st of October at Gaylesville, Ala. On the 29th, 
marched via Cave Springs to Cedartown. Had a skirmish with 
the enemy's cavalry. Moved to Smyrna camp ground on the 5th 
of November. On the 13th it returned to Atlanta, and on the 
15th commenced the " march to the sea." 

During this march, and the subsequent existence of the regi- 
ment, it was in command of Captain J. S. Reynolds, who had been 
promoted major. We shall not give a minute record of this march 
to the sea, which has been so often described. The experience of 
the 64th did not differ materially from that of other parts of the 
grand army. As it left Atlanta, and for the first day or two of the 
march, the sky was darkened by day with the smoke of burning 
buildings of Atlanta and the vicinity, and lit up by the lurid flames 
at night. Its position was in the left hand column of the right 
wing of Sherman's army of 60,000 infantry. Passing through 
McDonough, Jackson, Monticello, Hillsboro, to Gordon Station, it 
there engaged in the business of tearing up and destroying the 
Macon & Savannah railroad. The regiment had no encounter 
with the enemy until it reached Poole's Station, about twelve miles 
from Savannah, where it had a lively skirmish on the 9th of 
December. On the 10th it assisted in the investment of Savan- 
nah, skirmishing with the enemy during the day. On the 16th 
it marched to Kings Bridge, on the Ogeechee. On the 17th 
moved south, and on the 19th reached Doctortown on the Gulf rail- 
road and the Altahama river. After destroying the railroad at 
this point, it returned to Savannah on the 23d. Thus, after a leis- 
urely march of 300 miles in twenty-four days, it sat down with 
the rest of the grand army between the Savannah and Ogeechee 
rivers, waiting for the plum, now ripe, to fall into its mouth. In 
common with the rest of the army, it was in even better health 



and spirits than when it left Atlanta. It had lived on the fat of 
the land, finding chickens, honey, pork, mutton, sweet potatoes, 
and rice, in great abundance, and without having far to go to find 
enough for the wants of the array. And let it be remembered, 
that this was in the vicinity of Andersonville, where our poor 
boys more than twenty-five of whom were from Will county 
were being starved into idiocy and death. 

But while the boys were fat and saucy, they were also black 
and dirty, and could hardly be distinguished from the contrabands 
that accompanied them, being blackened with the smoke of the 
resinous pine knots with which they built their camp fires. 

As every reader knows, the plum fell into Sherman's hands on 
the 22d, who sent it as a Christmas gift to FATHER ABRAHAM. 

At Savannah, Lieut. Knickerbocker, whose time of enlistment 
had now expired, bade farewell to the regiment and to army life. 
Having served the country well and bravely for three years, and 
until the rebellion was evidently on its last legs, he came home 
and hung up his sword by the side of his grandfather's, who had 
held the same rank in the army of the revolution. 

Jan. 3d, 1865, the regiment (with the 17th corps), embarked 
at Thunderbolt for Beaufort, S. C., and on the 13th left Beaufort 
and arrived at Pocotaligo. Here there was quite a brilliant little 
affair in getting possession of the place. The 64th, under com- 
mand of Major Reynolds, made a charge on the enemy's works 
and captured them. The boys gave the place a slight change of 
name, calling it " Poke- em- till- 1- go." 

Jan. 31st, on which day the movement of Sherman's army 
northward commenced, the 64th moved from Pocotaligo, having 
previously been engaged in making some demonstrations against 
the enemy at the Salkahatchie and Combabee ferry. Feb. 3d, they 
crossed the Salkahatchie at Bice's ferry, in the face of the enemy, 
crossing a swamp nearly three miles wide, in which the water was 
from knee to waist in depth, and very cold, as was the weather also. 
The enemy then fell back behind the Edisto, and the division was 
pushed on to Midway, where it was engaged with the rest of the 
corps in the destruction of the S. C. R. R., to the 10th of Feb. 
Then moved to Orangeburg, where the enemy was intrenched at 
the bridge, but it was soon routed, and the corps was across the 


North Edisto and destroying the railway. Marched thence to 
Columbia, and witnessed its burning by the rebel General Hamp- 
ton, who had with insane folly set fire to the cotton in the streets, 
to keep it from falling into the hands of the yankees. Thence it 
marched to Winesboro and Cheraw, to Fayetteville, N. C. 

March 20th it arrived at Bentonville, and on the 21st the entire 
regiment was on the skirmish line. The division had been ordered 
to make a demonstration against the left flank of the enemy. It 
therefore moved to Mill Creek and formed in line of battle, with 
the 64th in front as skirmishers. After advancing a little way 
through a swamp, they encountered the enemy's cavalry, with four 
pieces of artillery, and at once charged them, capturing a caisson. 
Major J. S. Reynolds was in command, and was ordered to drive 
the enemy as far as he could with the skirmishers. He succeeded 
in driving the enemy's cavalry and artillery two miles, capturing 
Gen. Joseph E. Johnson's headquarters, with forty horses belong- 
ing to his staff and escort, and twelve prisoners. The regiment 
was now in the rear of Johnson's army and on the line of his 
retreat. Gen. Mower was moving to his support, when he was 
attacked with great fury on his left flank by Gen. Hardee's corps, 
and was being forced back toward the swamp. 

The 64th was now in great danger of being surrounded and 
captured. But Major Reynolds here displayed that skill, courage 
and presence of mind which showed him worthy of the promotion 
which he afterwards received, and which would justify still higher 
honors. He changed his position so skilfully and quickly as to 
give him a great advantage. The moment he saw his supports 
were being driven back, he contracted his line, and directing Capt. 
Long, who was acting as major, to watch the enemy's cavalry, with 
companies A and F, he attacked the enemy with the rest of 
the regiment, with great vigor and intrepidity. The effect was 
everything that could be desired. General Hardee, supposing, 
no doubt, that he was being flanked by a large force, fell back 
with haste to re-form his lines, and did not discover the true state 
of affairs, until Gen. Mower had got his division safely across the 
swamp. The 64th then gave the enemy a parting souvenir, and 
also fell back across the swamp. 

Sergeant Lamb, on the retreat, kept up a running fight, killing 


six rebs, loading as he ran ; but, being overtaken,~while ^loading, 
he had to surrender, but he first broke his gun around a tree. The 
rebs parolled him, having first robbed him of his watch and pocket 

The 64th lost thirteen men in this affair. Had it not been so 
skilfully handled, its losses must have been much greater. Its 
formidable sixteen-shooters were never handled to better effect. 
Both Generals Mower and Fuller highly complimented Major 
Reynolds, and the officers and men of the regiment generally, for 
their gallantry on this occasion. Major Reynolds was also recom- 
mended for promotion as brigadier general, which honor he received 

The march northward was resumed, and on the 24th of March 
the 64th camped at Goldsboro. Thence it proceeded on to Wash- 
ington, by way of Raleigh. It reached the capital of the Union 
it had so bravely aided in preserving, on the 19th of May. It 
then took part in the grand review. Being armed with the deadly 
Henry sixteen-shooters, (at their own expense), the men attracted 
special attention and received frequent cheers. 

June 6th, it left for Louisville, Ky., and on July llth was 
mustered out of service. The regiment arrived at Chicago on the 
14th, and received its final pay and discharge July 18th, 1865. 
Colonel John Morrill (breveted brigadier general), commanded 
the regiment until he was severely wounded, July 22, 1864. Lt. 
Col. Manning then commanded it until Nov. 22, 1864, when Capt. 
J. S. Reynolds, promoted major, took command and retained it 
until muster out, being promoted lieutenant colonel May 8th, an d 
breveted brigadier general at muster out. Capt. Logan, of Co. G, 
was promoted major. A reference to the roster will show the other 
promotions of Will county men. 

Before closing the record of the 64th, I want to make special 
mention of two of its privates, no suitable opportunity having been 
presented in the body of the narrative. 

By reference to the muster roll of the regiment, it will be seen 
that JOHN SMITH, whose military record I have given at some 
length elsewhere, was also a member of Co. E, in this regiment. 
It will also be seen that he is reported as " absent, in arrest, at 
muster out." Seeing this statement, and being naturally anxious 


to rescue the memory oi my pet hero from this stain, I have been 
on the lookout for some iavorable explanation of this matter. 
Most happily, I have found one which affords partial relief. la 
one of the letters written home from the regiment by a corporal of 
Co. E, (now dead, poor boy !) I find this statement : " Big John 
Smith shot two copperheads in Ottawa, and deserted. He got 
scared, and dare not come back to us ; but if he had come back, 
the colonel would not have done anything to him. 7 ' 

This is some explanation, and affords considerable satisfaction, 
inasmuch as it shows that it was not for cowaidice or disloyalty 
that my hero was put in arrest. But just what his offense was, I 
have not been able to ascertain. I am at a loss to conjecture what 
the animal was that John Smith shot. It seems to me it could not 
have been the Trigonocephalus Contortex, the reptile to which the 
name of " copperhead" was usually given, for though a native of 
America, it has never, I believe been found so far north as Ottawa. 
I remember that in the early settlement of this county, the prai- 
ries were infested with a species of the Orotalus, which was famili- 
arly called " massasauger," but I have never known it to be called 
a "copperhead." And then, why should it have been an offense 
which could have made John Smith fear the authorities, civil or 
military, if he had shot either a Crotalus or a Trigonocephalus 
Contortex, or indeed any number of them 1 Such reptiles being 
ferce naturce, and venomous withal, are liable to be shot at will. 
The whole subject is involved in mystery, and I am compelled to 
leave it unsolved. There was also in this same company another 
representative of this renowned family, to- wit, Christian Smith. 
He is registered as being from Chicago, but this is of course a mis- 
take. Without any hesitation I have transferred his name to 
the Will county list. I have only one item of special interest to 
record of his military history. On the 4th of July, 1864, he was 
severely wounded in that part where the Spartan mother, in her 
pride, prayed her son might not be. Let it be charitably remem- 
bered that we fight now altogether differently from the style of her 
time, and now a man cannot select the spot where he shall be hit. 
The wound, happily was not mortal, but it was a long time very 
inconvenient. This was a hard way to keep the 4th of July, but 
that's the way they did it in Georgia, in the year 1864. Let this 


" hair breadth 'scape 'i the imminent deadly breech," 

go into history as another blazon on the escutcheon of the Smith 
family ! 

In closing our record of the Yates Sharpshooters, we are deeply 
sensible that our imperfect narrative will convey but a feeble im- 
pression of the services rendered, and the sufferings and dangers 
endured by them, in common with most of our Illinois regiments. 
From New Madrid to Goldsboro, it fought its way through hard- 
ships and dangers which can never be fully told. Being one of 
the sharp shooting regiments armed with the deadly Henry rifle, 
it was always kept in advance, and allowed the post of honor and 
of danger, and on many a hard fought field, its men displayed their 
skill and valor. At the battle of Corinth, it received the special 
commendation of Gen. Riseurans. At Kenesaw after the terrific 
27th of June, it was thanked by Gen. Dodge, for its bravery and 
success. In front of Atlanta it received the thanks of Gen. 
Fuller and at Bentonville of Gens. Fuller and Mower. 

It is impossible now to conceive how men could so cheerfully 
endure the constant hardships and exposure of the Atlanta cam- 
paign, when scarcely a day passed when some companion was not 
left behind, hastily buried in the inhospitable soil, or bleeding be- 
neath some tree, awaiting the tardy care of the surgeon ; while 
every day brought its reports of rebel barbarities practiced upon 
the wounded and dead. Most of the time too was passed in 
cramped trenches and rifle pits, under the fire of rebel batteries, 
and the keen watch of sharp shooters, when the slightest exposure 
was sure to be fatal, all aggravated by hard, and ofttimes deficient 
rations, and insufficient clothing, and by the intense heat of a 
Georgia sun, alternated with terrific storms and rain-pours 
without shelter. On the route northward from Savannah, many 
of the regiment marched two hundred miles barefoot, much of the 
time skirmishing through swamps, and enduring all without a 

Of the one thousand men and officers that left Ottawa after 
veteranizing and recruiting, in March 1864, only four hundred and 
fifty returned for muster out. Of company E Captain Grover's 
company only five of the original enlistment returned with Lieut. 


Our county lost fifty-six men in this regiment. Two valued 
officers, Captain Grover and Sergeant Clark, were killed at Cor- 
inth, as has been related. Sergeant Wm. Paul, from whose letters 
I have several times quoted, and who died of Typhoid fever on 
the Atlanta campaign, was the son of our citizen, Wm. Paul, 
then a resident of Troy, and brother of Oliver Paul of the 100th. 
One man, Israel Parker, died in Andersonville. 

Let us who reap the benefits of the sufferings of our brave 
boys, gratefully remember the dead, and honor the living, and re- 
solve to transmit inviolate that Union and Freedom they helped to 





Departure ED route Louisville Reception Regiment Armed Put 
on Duty Marches and Counter- Marches Almost a Fight Joins a Brigade 
Capt. Elwood Detailed How the Boys Prepared for Inspection A Banner 
from Home Moves Camp Goes Scouting An Immersion Regiment 
Returns without Trophies Hard March Through the City Louisville In a 
Scare Intrenchments Two Visitors from Joliet Movements The Shoot- 
ing of Gen. Nelson New Brigade Starts out for Dixie Incidents CoLBuell 
tries " Mit's " Hospital Stores Signs of the Enemy A Kentucky Pig 
What came of It Consequences Regiment Moves on In Line of Battle- 
In the Front Gen. Haskell's Fears A and B as skirmishers Springfield 
Perryville First Sight of a Battle Field Chaplain Crews preaches his 
First Sermon Walnut Grove The Boys smell Powder First Blood Crab 
Orchard Wild Cat Short Rations First Death A Hard March Camps on 
Green River The Chaplain smells Woolen Another Death Crosses into 
Dixie Two Classes of Vertebrates Capt. Munger's Boy Something about 
Brevets A Hard March Some Boys Fall Out They Fall In Silver 
Springs Sickness and Death March Again The Hermitage Camps near 
Nashville Deaths and Funerals Sickness Experiences Storm Scene- 
Life in Camp. 

HE have given some account of the enlistment and organization 
of the 100th regiment in our Home Record, and of its depar- 
ture from Joliet. As PART FOUR of this work will give a 
full roster and muster roll of the entire regiment, no further detail 
is needed. 

The regiment broke camp at twelve o'clock of Tuesday, Sept. 
2d, 1862, with 39 commissioned officers and 868 enlisted men, 


and took up its line of march for the C., A. & St. L, R. R. depot, 
where a train of twenty cars was waiting to convey them to Spring- 
field. All the city, and thousands from the surrounding country, 
and from all parts of Will county, had assembled to witness their 
departure, as we have elsewhere recorded. The train left the depot 
at 3 p. m., and arrived at Springfield the next morning. Here 
their destination was changed from St. Louis to Louisville, and 
they proceeded on the G. W. R. R. eastward. At Lafayette, Ind., 
the citizens, having been apprized of their approach, had pre- 
pared to give the boys a warm reception. They met them at the 
depot, armed with baskets full of all kinds of eatables and drink- 
ables, with which they assailed the 100th in most gallant style. 
But the boys came off conquerors, devouring everything before 
them, and closing the engagement with three rousing cheers for 
the Hoosier lads and lasses, when the train rushed on for Indian- 

At almost every station, the train was fired upon with apples, 
peaches, flowers, &c., a kind of warfare that pleased the boys 
hugely. They crossed the Ohio at Jeffersonville, and marched 
through Louisville, up Main street, past the Gault House, singing 
" We'll Hang Jeff. Davis on a Sour Apple Tree," and " John 
Brown's Soul," &c. They were warmly welcomed, especially in 
the German quarter of the city, with waving of flags and handker- 
chiefs, and cheers. At one corner a lady made a short speech by 
way of welcome. They passed out about two miles beyond the 
city, and went into camp. 

Here the regiment received arms and accoutrements, and the 
balance of the day was spent in arraying themselves in the full rig 
of the soldier. They were also supplied with sixty rounds of 
ammunition. Louisville was then enjoying a big scare, martial 
law was declared, and some were crying " good Lord," and some 
"good devil," not knowing whether they should fall into the 
hands of Buell or Bragg, who were racing across the state with 
Louisville for their goal. The men, having ridden 500 miles 
without rest, were very tired, and not having yet received regular 
rations, were also hungry. Some pie and cake peddlers made their 
appearance, to the great joy of the boys, and would have soon sold 
their entire stock, had not some wiseacre suggested that the secesh 
had heard of the terrible 100th, and that these peddlers might be 



rebel spies, and their pies and cakes were probably poisoned ! This 
suggestion put an embargo on the pie trade it was so probable ! 

The 1 00th now found themselves placed on duty at once. They 
were to play war no more. At 9 p. m., instead of turning in for 
a good night's rest, they were drawn up in line of battle, pickets 
stationed, and the rest ordered to sleep on their arms. About 
half-past eleven, just as they were getting into a comfortable 
snooze, the call " fall in " was sounded, and they were formed in 
line again, and then marched through the silent city, and out on 
the Beardstown pike, through clouds of choking dust, about four 
miles, when they were ordered to halt, and fix bayonets. This 
looked like business ! Most had never seen a line of battle, or 
torn a cartridge, and if some bit at the wrong end, or put the ball 
down first, let them not be blamed ; they did the best they knew 
then, and they soon learned to do it right, as many a reb found to 
his sorrow. 

The occasion of this preparation was the approach of a regi- 
ment (the 88th) of Indiana boys, returning from the battle of 
Richmond. They were supposed to be the enemy, and it was hard 
to restrain some of the boys from firing into them. Fortunately, 
however, their character became known before the 100th annihi- 
lated them. I think our boys were glad to find that they were 
friends. And if, when the excitement was over, one or two of the 
boys were found up a tree, or behind a fence, it was no doubt in 
order to get a better chance to fight successfully. Was not Fred- 
erick the Great, during his first battle, found shivering in a barn, 
at a safe distance from the field and did he not afterwards become 
the greatest general of the age ! 

After they had recovered from the effects of this encounter, 
they marched two miles further, and rested till daylight, lying 
down in a soft bed of dust. They were aroused early in the morn- 
ing by the market wagons going into Louisville with their meat 
and produce. Some of the captains took the opportunity to buy 
some of the meat for their hungry men. 

At daylight went a few miles farther, and rested through the 
day. As the quartermaster had not been able to procure trans- 
portation, it was hard scratching for rations, but the boys managed 
to satisfy their hunger on fruit and sweet potatoes, which were 


plenty in the adjacent fields. The men slept that night in an open 
clover field, and next day, (the 6th), marched to Camp Yates, 
on the farm of John C. Breckenridge, about four miles from the 

Here the regiment was brigaded with the 79th and 88th Ind. 
and the 73d 111. regiments, under command of Gen. Kirk. Tents 
and clothing were also drawn, and anyone from home would have 
been puzzled to identify his best friend. The regiment was also 
put through the necessary lessons in drill, perfecting themselves in 
the art, which they would now probably very soon be called upon 
to practice in earnest. 

The regiment remained in this camp about a week. Captain 
El wood, of Co. G, was made inspector general of the brigade on 
the 12th. 

On the second day after going into camp, orders were given to 
prepare for inspection, and also a review by General Kirk. The 
regiment at once set about the work of preparation with great zeal, 
and equal ignorance. The guns had been loaded since leaving 
Louisville, and now they must be cleaned up, and got ready for 
inspection, and boots must be blacked and coats brushed, etc. 
About 3 o'clock the colonel ordered the companies to form in 
front of their quarters in ranks of four, that they might be ready 
to move to the appointed place. But the guns were yet loaded. 
Some one, ignorant of, or forgetting the standing rule against such 
a procedure, fired off his gun it was so much easier than to draw 
the charge. The example was contagious ; everybody else followed 
suit, and pop, pop, all down the line go the guns. The old nick 
was to pay at once. The pickets on the distant outposts hearing 
the sound fired off their guns to give the alarm, the long roll was 
sounded, and every body but the innocent 100th thought that 
John Morgan, or Gen. Bragg, or Jeff. Davis, or the devil, or the 
whole confederacy were upon them. The 100th enjoyed the sen- 
sation they had created, but Col. Bartleson was very much morti- 
fied, and Gen. Kirk stormed and swore at the boys, calling them 
an undisciplined mob. The review was postponed for that day, 
and Col. Bartleson ordered to bring his regiment to a better state 
of discipline. 

While at this camp the regiment was presented with a banner 


from the ladies of Joliet. It was accompanied by an eloquent let- 
ter from Judge Parks, to which the colonel sent a suitable reply. 
At the same time the colonel was presented with an elegant 
sword, by the officers of the regiment. 

Sept. 10th, the brigade moved from camp " Dick Yates," to a 
position in the southern suburbs of Louisville, and our regiment 
camped on the place of a Mr. Casseday, a brother of the late G. W. 
Casseday, of Joliet. On Sunday the 14th, the principal part of 
the brigade moved with three days' cooked rations, on a scouting 
expedition on the Beardstown or Shelbyville pike, to look after 
eome rebel cavalry reported near Spring Creek, twelve miles from 
Louisville. They moved slowly along the pike, Gen. Kirk and 
staff at the head of the column, halting occasionally while 
some of the staff stopped to make inquiries. Major Hammond 
was in command of the rear guard. A clumsy, innocent looking 
old market wagon, driven by an old butternut, was allowed by the 
Major to pass along up the line to the head, where it was stopped 
by the General who gave the Major a severe reprimand for allowing 
it to pass. He suspected that it might be a spy going to inform 
the rebels of the approach of the brigade. 

Near the end of the march they crossed a little creek. The 
colonel's horse, which by the way was a little gray mustang be- 
longing to Lieut. Williams, (somewhat noted for his taste in horse 
flesh), seemed to want to drink, so the colonel rode him into the 
stream. When he had got into the middle of the stream the col- 
onel threw the bridle upon the mustang's neck, so that he could 
drink the easier. The mustang it seems wanted a bath more 
than he did a drink, for without giving the colonel any notice, he 
incontinently lay down in the water to the no small amusement 
of the spectators, but to the great damage of the colonel's toilet 
and temper. 

I have heard this freak of the mustang attributed to two 
causes. Some explain it on the supposition that a former owner 
had learned the animal to lie down whenever the bridle was 
thrown upon his neck ; while others insist that the matter is suf- 
ficiently accounted for by the fact that his (then) present owner 
was a zealous Baptist deacon. 

The regiment encamped that night in a partly wooded field 
to the right of the pike. 


On the 15th, it returned to the city, without having captured 
any rebels, and camped at night at the old camp, Casseday. 

On the 1 6th, the brigade was marched down into and around 
the city. The day was excessively hot, the mercury 105 in the 
shade. The men were fully equipped, and as yet, unused to 
marching, and the consequence was that many fell out by the way, 
utterly unable to stand the heat and dust. Some had sunstroke 
and were sent to the hospital. There were no fatal cases in the 
100th, but there were two or three in the other regiments of the 
brigade. The dust was suffocating, rising higher than the tree 
tops, and enveloping everyone. The men were absolutely choked 
by it. The ladies in some portions of the city turned out and 
gave the men water, and presented them fans, and cheered them as 
they dragged through the streets, and when some fell out by the 
way exhausted, held the heads of the fainting and almost dying 
men. I am afraid the boys, many of them, imitated the Eng- 
lish army in Flanders that day, and that curses deep, if not loud 
were hurled at the head of Gen. Nelson, at whose command this 
unnecessary marching was done, and who with his staff sat on the 
verandah of the Gault House, and coolly viewed the demoralized 
troops as they marched by. 

On the 18th, the morning papers announced the surrender of 
Munfordsville to the rebels, and matters began to look serious ; 
and on the 1 9th the troops, the 100th among them, were Ordered 
into the city to work on and man the intrenchments. Non- 
combatants were also required to take the shovel, and assist in the 
work. The darkies were also pressed into the service. And just 
here came in a good joke upon a couple of Joliet boys, which as 
I may not have another chance to get them into history, must be 
told. Fred Woodruff and Dick Willis had gone down to Louis- 
ville to see the boys, had been out to their camp, and were now 
laying around the city loose. Some of the military authorities, 
as the story goes, not knowing that they were from Joliet, and 
thinking from their appearance that they might serve the country 
with the shovel, if they could not with a musket, put them upon 
the intrenchments. But I believe they made such awkward work 
handling the shovel, that they were glad to get rid of them the 
next day. 


On the 20th, the brigade marched out on the Bardstown pike 
nine miles, staying there until the 22d, when it returned to Camp 
Casseday. The next day it was ordered into the city again, and 
placed behind the intrenchments. The excitement was intense. 
Bragg was reported to be close by. Stores were closed, and 
many women and children left the city. But Buell's army came 
in ahead. The difference in the appearance of his army, coming 
in from its long and hasty march from Corinth, all rags and dirt, 
and the fresh rig of Kirk's brigade, was very noticeable, and 
highly suggestive. On the 26th, the regiment was moved to the 
eastern side of the city, and took up quarters in an old rope- 

At this time, Sept. 27th, there was a great excitement in the 
city, caused by the shooting of Gen. Nelson, by Gen. Jeff. C. Davis. 
I am afraid that there was not much mourning over his death by 
the men who made that exhaustive march through and around 

On the first of October the brigade organization was broken 
up, and the 100th was assigned to Gen. Haskell's brigade of Gen. 
Crittenden's corps. Accordingly, the regiment broke camp, packed 
up their impedimenta, sent the sick (about fifty) to the hospitals 
and convalescent barracks, and late in the afternoon started out on 
the Bardstown road to join the brigade, marching until ten o'clock 
at night. They slept in the road that night, and were moving 
again next morning at four o'clock, going to Fern Creek, the place 
where they had been about ten days before. Here they found the 
brigade, consisting of the 26th Ohio, 3d Ky., and 58th Ind., all 
old regiments, and so reduced in numbers that, when in camp, the 
100th occupied nearly as much ground as the three. The brigade 
was commanded by Gen. Haskell, and the division by Gen. T. J. 
Wood. With these regiments and commanders, the 100th wa 
destined to become pretty well acquainted. 

Oct. 2d, the brigade was on the march. Nothing worthy of 
note occurred, except seeing a wounded rebel being taken to the 
rear, which suggested that there was shooting going on somewhere. 
Went into camp just at dark, a short distance southeast of Wash- 
ington. Were in line again at an early hour on the 3d, the 100th 
having the place of rear regiment of the column. A trifling inci- 


dent occurred, showing the distrust with which fresh regiments 
were regarded. Col. Buell, of the 58th Indiana, was in command 
of the rear guard. Presuming that the 100th would be disposed 
to " straggle," he ordered in a loud voice evidently in order that 
the 100th should hear it that the rear guard should " fix bayo- 
nets." Major Hammond, who was riding in the rear of the regi- 
ment, heard the order, and being considerably nettled thereat, as 
an offset, he ordered the rear company of the 100th to " cap their 
guns." Fortunately, however, these two orders did not bring 
about any collision. Colonel Buell, too, grew very amiable and 
friendly, after a little, perhaps desiring to make amends, or per- 
haps molified by the sight of a certain, curious-looking black bottle, 
just then in the custody of the assistant hospital steward, (some- 
times known as " Mit.") The colonel spied the bottle, and not 
suspecting that it was part of the " hospital stores," intimated to 
" Mit " that he would accept an invitation to " smile." " Mit," 
always generous with hospital stores, and very Hand-y in taking 
care of or dispensing them, passed up the bottle, and the colonel 
took a moderate taste. Now, it happened that the colonel was in 
the habit of taking his " straight," and " Mit's " was about one- 
half capsicum. The colonel quickly ' relinquished his hold upon 
the bottle, and of the quantity he had taken into his mouth as well, 
and the smile was changed to tears ! 

The column moved slowly along, having occasionally slight 
artillery duels with the rear guard of the rebels. About six in the 
evening it came to a stream upon the banks of which there were 
some mills, and an elevation of ground upon which the rebels had 
planted some cannon, which occasioned some annoyance and delay. 

Strict orders had been given by the division commander against 
pillaging. But it happened at night, just as the regiment were 
camping, that a stray Kentucky pig somehow got into the way of 
some of the boys of Co. G, and they thoughtlessly knocked him 
over, and proceeded to dress it, anticipating an agreeable addition 
to their supper. Some old soldiers in the brigade happened to 
discover the operation, and thinking that they could perhaps profit 
by the verdancy of the 100th, tried to convince the boys that by 
all rules of military etiquette, the old soldiers of the brigade were 
entitled to all such estrays. This claim was, of course resisted and 


resented by Co. G, and quite a noisy dispute arose. Capt. Mun- 
ger, hearing the noise, came up and inquired into the matter. 
The captain was quite indignant at this attempt to impose upon 
his men, and declared somewhat emphatically that he " would not 
allow any old soldiers, or any old officers, to rob his men." Another 
officer had meanwhile come on the stage, who asked of the captain : 
" Who are you, sir, and what is your command ?" to which Mun- 
ger replied : "I am Capt. Hunger, commanding Co. G of the 100th 
111. Vol. ; who are you, sir, and what is your command ?" Reply 

" I am Capt. , adjutant general of this brigade, and you 

will report yourself at once to your colonel, under arrest." Here 
was a pretty " kettle of fiah ! " The captain, crestfallen, went as 
ordered to Col. Bartleson, and surrendered his sword. The Col. 
had a good laugh over it, and told the captain to go to his quarters, 
and he would get the arrest removed in the morning which was 

Perhaps the curious reader may like to know what became of 
the pig. I am happy to be able to satisfy this laudable curiosity. 
The boys, who had been guilty of procuring his untimely death, 
were ordered to carry him suspended on a pole upon their should- 
ers for some hours, up and down the camp. While undergoing 
their punishment, others of the boys would run up and carve a 
slice from Mr. Pig, which process was repeated so often, that in a 
little while the load was reduced merely to the hind legs, by which 
it had been suspended. This was not the only instance in which 
these old regiments tried to impose upon the green 100th. Along 
about this time the boys lost a good many of their new hats, while 
many in the old regiments were supplied with new ones, which it 
would have puzzled them to account for. 

Oct. 4th, the army was on the move. Marched about twenty- 
five miles. When about three miles from Bardstown, the brigade 
was formed in line of battle. It was supposed that the rebels, whose 
skirmish line was in sight of our advance, were going to make a 
stand here. The 100th was placed in front, and two companies 
were deployed as skirmishers. General Haskell, who, by the way, 
was from Ohio, and a most excellent officer, was a little afraid of 
his new regiment, and was so inconsiderate as to express his fears 
in very imprudent, not to say impudent, language. " Soldiers of 


the 100th," said he, "you are about to go into battle. The 26th 
Ohio is placed behind you, with orders to shoot down any man of 
your regiment that attempts to run." This speech greatly exas- 
perated the boys of the 100th, and the colonel most of all, who 
indignantly told the general that he need have no fears for the 
100th, they were not from Ohio, but from the state of Illinois 
they were " Illini " men I 

Co. A, Captain Bowen, and Co. B, Captain Elwood were on 
the skirmish line under command of Major Hammond, and when 
they got sight of 4 the rebel skirmishers they broke and run for 
them so fast that the major who was mounted had hard work to 
keep up with them. The rebs lit out when they saw the boys 
coming, and there was no further chance to make good the col- 
onel's boast, but it came in time, and Gen Haskell afterwards 
made the amende honorable, when he found at Stone River that 
the greatest trouble was to hold the boys back. But the speech 
always rankled in their minds, and though they afterwards became 
good friends with the 26th Ohio, they never forgot the speech 
oi General Haskell, and on one or two occasions subsequently 
they let him know that they remembered it.* 

Bardstown was found evacuated by the rebels, when our force 
reached it. On the 5th and 6th the army moved on to Spring- 
field, and camped on the fair grounds. On the 7th the force had 
a very tedious march, lasting until nearly morning. The day 
was excessively hot, the dust very deep, and no water could be 
obtained until they reached the " Rolling Fork," upon which they 
encamped. The 100th kept up pretty well until dark, when 
many fell out, and when it arrived at the stream, and went into 
camp, the ranks were badly thinned. The regiment remained in 
this camp until 2 p. m., next day, when it moved on to within two 
miles of Perry ville, where the firing could be heard very plainly, 
and the boys expected to be in it. 

But the "battle of Perry ville" had been fought and won, 
when the 100th reached the field, and the enemy was fast disap- 
pearing from our front. Here the 100th had the first view of a 
battle field. The dead of both sides were still unburied, and the 
wounded were being gathered up, and the men saw what war meant. 
The next day the regiment moved a short distance to the east of 


Perryville, and here in an old frame building a little way from the 
battle field, their venerable and beloved chaplain, preached his 
first sermon as a chaplain. No reporter was present to transmit 
to us a resume of his discourse, but one can easily imagine what 
train of thought would be presented by the surroundings. 

Next day, (the 10th), the brigade was again on the move, and 
at night went into camp in a place which was named Walnut 
Grove, remaining here until the morning of the 12th. Here the 
regiment had a slight foretaste of its future experience a partial 
initiation into the business into which they had entered. 

The notorious raider, John Morgan, was said to be in the 
vicinity, and the boys were warned to keep a sharp lookout. The 
picket line was established not far from camp, and in the edge of 
the timber, a rail fence running along in front, beyond which was 
an open field, and still beyond that, a hollow or ravine. The 
100th being called upon for a detail to go upon the line, detach- 
ments from different companies in charge of Captain El wood were 
sent out, and were on duty until midnight, when they were re- 
lieved by another detail (Co. H), in charge of Lieut. Nelson. 
Nothing of note occurred uutil in the gray of. the morning, when 
an officer, who was supposed to be the inspector of the line, rode 
up to the left of the line, and asked for the officer in charge. 
Lieut. Nelson responded. The officer then gave his orders to the 
lieutenant to keep a sharp lookout, as there were rebels about, 
and they might be attacked about daylight. He also told the 
lieutenant that " we" had some cavalry in front, and if they 
should be driven in, they must be careful and not fire at our own 
men. The officer then rode down the line and disappeared. The 
men were immediately notified to be on the alert, and if attacked to 
rally to the centre of the line, and make as good a fight as they could 
until reinforced. Very soon from over the hill came the sound 
of officers giving commands, as if troops were forming, and in a 
few minutes a company of cavalry came dashing up in front of the 
picket line, and formed in handsome style only a few rods off. 
They presented a handsome appearance, riding splendid horses, 
well accoutered, the men all wearing U. 8. overcoats and hats. 
As soon as they had formed their line, they advanced toward the 
fence, and an officer dismounted and commenced laying down the 


fence. One of our boys caught a glimpse of some " butternut" 
under the U. S. overcoat, and sang out " rebels ! rebels !" But 
the officer still laying down the rails, cried out, " don't fire, don't 
fire, we are friends." Some one fired a gun to arouse the camp, 
and the pickets rallied to the center, and fell back under orders 
toward the main line, and met Captain Goddard coming up, who 
being the ranking officer took command. Believing them to be 
Union cavalry he ordered the men not to fire. Several of our men 
however believed them to be rebels and jumped behind the trees 
to be ready for them. One, Johnny Sarver, who saw the butter- 
nut and was determined not to be fooled, drew a bead on the offi- 
cer and fired, wounding him and killing his horse, a beautiful 
bay. The rebels, for such they were, no longer attempted to con- 
ceal their character, but fired a volley from their carbines at our 
men and turned to run, taking the wounded men along. Our 
boys opened on them, and several saddles were emptied. The 
camp was now all alive, and a battery also opened upon them. 

They proved to be a company of Morgan's cavalry, and the man 
shot by Sarver (and who it was found next day had died) was one 
of Morgan's Majors. One man of our regiment, James S. Connor, 
of Co. H, was slightly wounded. Here then was the first blood 
drawn from the enemy by the 1 00th, and also the first blood shed 
by the regiment in the good cause. The last was not very much 
but enough to say blood! 

This Johnny Sarver, who has the credit of bringing the first 
rebel to grief, was the youngest man in the regiment, in fact a 
mere boy of fifteen, and could only get into the service as a mu- 
sician. But after he got to Louisville, he laid down his fife and 
took a musket, and as we have seen, knew how to use it ; and he 
carried it as bravely as the oldest, up to the terrific charge on 
Kenesaw, June 27th, 1864, in which he was killed. Harry Clay 
King was another brave boy, only a little older, and being about 
the same size, and standing in the ranks beside Sarver, the two 
received the sobriquet of' 1 the pony team," and by this were known 
in the regiment. James S. Connor, who had the honor of shed- 
ding the first blood of the 100th, went through the service after- 
wards unscathed. 

The army advanced slowly, part of the time in line of battle, 


with skirmishing going on in front, and passing through Dan- 
ville, Stamford and Crab Orchard, camped on the night of the 
15th, about five miles beyond the last named place. Here part of 
the brigade, mostly convalescents, were left in camp, while the 
rest of the command continued on to Wild Cat. These continued 
for four or five days up in this wild, mountainous region. The 
command ran short of ration* and forage, and the regiment was 
sent on the 16th to forage. On the 18th, they went beyond Wild 
Cat a few miles. Rations still short. Some of the boys tried the 
experiment of making hulled corn, but they were not very suc- 
cessful. The product did not seem to be healthy, or at least it oc- 
casioned a call on the doctor for remedies. For a few days, the 
boys were a little more hungry than was agreeable. Indeed one 
soldier writing home at the time, says he got so hungry that he 
stole the corn from the mules to stay his own stomach ! We shall 
find in the course of this history that they had to resort to this 
trick again. On the 20th, fortunately, the trains came up with 
rations. On the 22d Bragg having made his escape through 
Cumberland Gap the army started back through Mt. Veruon, 
Crab Orchard, and Stamford. At Crab Orchard on the 25th, 
occurred the first death with the regiment, Robert A. Hughes, Co. 
A. He was from Wilmington. 

At Stamford, the enemy took a new route southwest, through 
Weathersfield and Liberty, camping on the night of the 25th at 
Columbia, having marched at the rate of twenty-two miles a day. 
The day's march, which terminated at Columbia, was a terrible 
one. The 100th was rear guard, following all the wagons. The 
weather was cold and damp, and about 3 p. m. it began to snow, 
making the marching just horrible. The colonel was put under 
arrest for his leniency in allowing the men to straggle and ride in 
the wagons. The four days' severe marching made many in the 
old regiments give out, and told heavily upon the 100th. Many 
got sick, and all footsore. The boys, no doubt, thought of the 
comfortable homes they had left, and felt a little blue. A division 
hospital was established in the town, and 12 sent from the 100th, 
while 171 reported at surgeon's call. Remained here until the 

On the 24th, when the boys had gone into camp about half a 


mile from Green River, occurred a little incident, which might be 
characterized as painfully ludicrous. The men were all very tired. 
Chaplain Crews, who messed with the officers of Co. K, told the 
boys that if they would build a fire, he would go to the river and 
bring the water. Accordingly, he threw off his fine new overcoat, 
and tucking it safely away under a pile of rails, started on his 
kind errand. Meanwhile the boys set themselves to work to build 
the fire, and, by a strange fatality, built it against the pile of rails 
where the chaplain had hid his coat ; and when he got back with 
the water he " smelt woolen," and investigating the matter, found 
his new coat about half consumed ! Philosophy, stoicism, even 
patriotism, could not have sustained a man at such a time ! 
Nothing but grace, and a good deal of it arhich, fortunately, the 
good chaplain had could have kept a man under such circum- 
stances from " slinging words " not found in Webster's unabridged ! 

On the 30th, five of the sick were sent to Lebanon, and five 
returned to the regiment, and one, Jerry Harper, of Co. C, was 
left in charge of a resident physician. He died a few days after, 
Oct. 30th. 

Nov. 1st, they reached Glasgow, camping on the fair grounds. 
Here the regiment received a mail, and learned of the capture of 
the gallant sutlers, Caswell and Bush, who had started from Louis- 
ville with a load of goods, boxes, and mail, for the regiment. But 
John Morgan gathered them in, and the boys had to mourn the 
loss of their letters and good things from home. Here, also, they 
learned that Rosecraus had superseded Buell, which gave general 
satisfaction. The force staid at this place until Nov, 4th. Sixteen 
more of the regiment were sent to the hospital at Cave City. On 
the 4th they marched seven miles to Scottsville, crossing two 
streams, where the bridges had been burned by the rebels the year 
previous. One, the Big Barrow, was the largest stream that had 
been met since leaving the Ohio. Here quite a number of the 
regiment that had been left on the way came up. After another 
day's rest, and a march of twenty-two miles, they passed irom the 
neutral state of Kentucky into the rebel state of Tennessee. No 
great change was perceptible in the physical or moral atmosphere. 

A granite obelisk, on which are the names of Gov. Harris and 


his secretary, and of the engineers, marks the spot. The boys hur- 
rahed for Dixie on crossing the line. 

While passing over the sacred soil of Kentucky, the orders of 
the commander, Buell, had been very strict against foraging, and 
the boys found it very hard work, when tired and hungry, to keep 
their hands off the fruit, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables. One 
time the regiment was passing a fine orchard of fruit, and one of 
the boys of Co. A, a fine soldier, started from the ranks and jumped 
over a fence, bound for the apples. The colonel saw him, and 
ordered Jeff. back. Now, Jeff, was a good soldier, and did not 
mean to be insubordinate, but he did want the apples bad, and he 
did not halt very fast. The colonel drew his revolver, and repeated 
his order, "Take your place in the ranks." It was a solemn 
moment ; Jeff, looked back over his shoulder to see if the colonel was 
in earnest, and, to use his own words, " saw shoot " plainly in the 
eyes of the colonel, and the result was, he did not want the apples 
any more. 

Almost immediately upon the entrance of the regiment upon 
the sacred soil of Kentucky, they had made the acquaintance of 
two classes of vertebrates, which played an important part in the 
war of the rebellion. I mean the mule, and the contraband. I 
wish it distinctly understood that I mean no disrespect to either, 
in thus classing them together. I do so simply because in the 
experience of the 100th, they came together, and because, although 
each deserves a separate chapter in our history, yet the necessities 
of brevity forbid. 

Occasional specimens of both had been seen here at the north 
before the war. Now and then a man had ventured to ride a 
mule, or to drive a span through the streets. And we had had 
frequent glimpses of the contraband, as the naughty abolitionists 
transported them through on the underground railroad ; while, as 
permanent specimens, there was " Uncle John," who lived so long 
in his elegant mansion alongside of banker Woodruff's. We also 
had " Bogus," (sometimes called Levi), of the National Hotel 'bus, 
to show us how even black will fade under certain circumstances. 
But these were fragmentary specimens. In Kentucky, both were 
to be seen in their glory. Kentucky had long been celebrated for 
raising mules and politicians, sending now and then one of them 


to congress. She had also rivaled Virginia in the traffic in " slaves 
and souls of men," rearing them for the cotton states. One of the 
first lessons it became necessary for the boys to learn was how to 
subsist, and how to manage a mule team, and how to keep the 
mules from chewing up at night the wagon and its contents, which 
they had so patiently drawn through the day. Another lesson on 
which they studied long and hard, but which I do not suppose 
this or any other regiment ever learned perfectly, was how to tell 
when a mule was going to kick ; but they never found any diffi- 
culty in telling when a mule had kicked ! Without the mule, I 
do not see how the war could ever have been conducted, as no 
other animal could have endured the labor and deprivation inci- 
dent to the transporting of the impedimenta of an army through a 
country that had already felt the devastating effects of war. Many 
rich experiences, no doubt, could be related in respect to the mule, 
but we cannot give them now. We turn our attention to the con- 
traband, between whom and the mule there were many points 
of resemblance. Neither had any rights which a white man is 
bound to respect. Both had from time immemorial been the sub- 
jects of prejudice and abuse, and both have exhibited the most 
wonderful patience under such abuse, although both have occasion- 
ally been known to kick. Both have a wonderful capacity for 
music, and delight in exhibiting their powers " oft in the stilly 
night." Both came to be recognized at last as important instru- 
mentalities to be employed in the service of the Union, although I 
fear that there are many still left, even here at the north, who are 
not willing that the contraband should have, a fair chance to prove 
his claims to manhood. Some, I suspect, are afraid of being out- 
stripped in the race, if the negro is permitted to enter the lists on 
an equal footing. When the 100th entered the service, the ques- 
tion of what to do with the contraband, had not begun to be solved. 
It was the most perplexing of all the questions of the war. Per- 
haps Gen. Butler never served the country better than when he 
gave it a partial solution, and fixed upon the race a name which is 
a most happy one, inasmuch as it avoids on the one hand the mean 
and contemptible epithet of " nigger," and on the other, does not 
bring him " between the wind and our nobility," and outrage our 
delicate feelings by recognizing him as a man and a brother. It 


was a master stroke, and perhaps the shrewd general had in his 
mind the saying of some old abolitionist, that no man could ever 
again be president who spelled negro with two " g's." 

Well, as I have said, the boys encountered the contraband 
immediately upon their entrance upon actual service in Kentucky. 
And it is something wonderful how quickly many of them forgot 
their former prejudices. The great inalienable right of the slave- 
holder to his " nigger," which had heretofore seemed to some to 
be the corner-stone of our government, vanished into thin air, and 
the darkies were soon welcomed into our camps, and not unfre- 
quently kept, concealed and protected, against the orders of the 
commanding general. And this was not so strange after all, as in 
every slave-holder the boys soon came to recognize an enemy, and 
in the contrabands their only reliable friends. 

Perhaps no one left Joliet with stronger prejudices than the 
Captain ol Co. G. But before the 100th had got half through 
^entucky, these prejudices somehow got worn very thin. So 
much so, that when a good likely boy made his appearance in 
camp, with the story of how his " massa" abused him, and how 
he wanted to " go long" with " massa Linkum's sogers," the offi- 
cers of Co. G, concluded unanimously that they would keep the 
boy, and employ him as their cook and man of all work. So they 
contributed around and got the boy a new rig throughout, the 
captain investing liberally in the enterprise. They felt very 
proud of their colored servant, and put on some airs before the 
other boys, calling their attention to the appearance of the boy, 
after they had got him dressed up. The boy served them well 
for a few days. But one morning when they were congratulating 
themselves upon their good luck in getting so fine a cook, and an- 
ticipating the rasher of bacon " a la Kaintuck," and the hot cof- 
lee, and de hoe cake, etc., Mr. Darkey was not to be found. His 
new clothes had run off with him, and the only thing Co. G had 
to show for their investment was his old rags. I suppose he had 
some Phyllis that he did not like to leave behind, which caused his 
heart to fail him, when the regiment was about to move. The 
Captain got a good many jokes over his luck in " stealing niggers," 
but I suppose he consoled himself with the reflection that the boy 


had at least proved his equality with the white man, in being like 
him, " mighty onsartain." 

Some time later in the war, a chap in the 100th was almost as 
happy in giving a name to the mule, as Gen. Butler was in giving one 
to the darkey. It was at a time when a great many of our officers* 
were being breveted the brevet fever as the boys called it, was 
prevailing alarmingly. I suppose no explanation is necessary as 
to what is meant by.being breveted. It is a kind of fancy title 
by which a man is cheaply rewarded for gallantry or meritorious 
service, without having either the pay or the power of the rank, ex- 
cept when detailed for some special duty. It was however an 
honor much sought after at one time, and those who got it were 
happy, while those who did not get it, were envious. Well, one 
time, when the piazza of a hotel at Nashville was swarming with 
these breveted officers, sporting their shoulder straps, some of them 
double the regulation length, a high private of the 100th, was rid- 
ing his mule along past the hotel, when he spied the breveted gen- 
tlemen. He rode up pretty near the hotel, and commenced bela- 
boring his mule at a terrible rate, swearing at him and exclaiming, 
" Get up here ! get up here! you d n' t brevet-hor8e! you d n brevet- 

After the army had crossed the line into Tennessee, they took 
it for granted that the orders against foraging were no longer in 
force, and the fences, pigs, poultry, etc., suffered. A march of 
sixteen miles on the 8th, brought the army through Gallatin, and 
Sunday they rested three miles beyond the town. On the 10th 
they crossed the Cumberland, marched twelve miles and camped 
on the Lebanon and Nashville pike, about twenty miles from 
Nashville, at Camp Silver Springs, and here the regiment re- 
mained some days. 

The last part of this march was made after dark. Two of 
the boys of Co. G, got so disgusted with marching in the dark, 
and were so tired withal, that they concluded that they would fall 
behind and take a rest for the night, and catch up with the regi- 
ment in the morning. So they dropped out on a favorable oppor- 
tunity, and made their bed under some bushes, and slept as only 
tired soldier boys can sleep, dreaming no doubt of home and its 
delights, until the sun awoke them in the morning. When they 


jumped up and looked around, to their no smill surprise, they 
found themselves in a camp, men and horses all around, some still 
sleeping, and some, like themselves, getting up. Sentinels too are 
standing guard all around the camp. They have a strange look 
who can they be ? certainly not their old comrades of yester- 
day. The mystery is soon solved. The boys are discovered, and 
are soon surrounded by a lot of rebel cavalry men, John Morgan's 
famous rangers. Of course they are prisoners. How they cursed, 
(inwardly) their folly in straggling last night ! But there is no 
help for it. They are now at the disposal, and under the orders 
of men in butternut. The camp is all astir, and after a hasty 
breakfast, of which they are allowed a slender share, they are 
treated to a rapid march of about fifteen miles in the opposite di- 
rection to the one they wished to go. Marching to keep up with 
the cavalry, was worse even than that of the night before. They 
are all uncertain too as to what was to be their fate. Their captors 
took delight in playing upon their fears, and even talked of hang- 
ing them. But after keeping them three days, they parolled them 
and let them go. Not, however, without first effecting quite a 
change in their personal appearance. The rebels compelled them 
to strip off their good clothes, and to accept in exchange a suit of 
the hateful and dirty butternut, confiscating at the same time the 
contents of their pockets. They then made their way back to the 
regiment, sadder and wiser, and, let us hope, better boys. They 
put the best face they could upjn the matter, as they made their 
entree into camp at Silver Springs. The shouts and yells of wel- 
come that went up from the boys on discovering who they were, I 
presume they will never forget. The colonel, however, was some- 
what indignant at their course, and threatened at first that he 
would not respect their parole, but put them in front. He relented, 
however, and let them off. 

This adventure entitled them to an honorable retirement to the 
veteran reserve corps ! It is said that a photograph of them, taken 
while dressed in their new uniform, is still extant, and is the 
admiration of their friends. The Baptist church at Beloit would 
hardly recognize in one of them their eloquent and well-beloved 
pastor but he was one of the boys ! 

While at Silver Springs, the weather was mostly cold and 


rainy, and the men were worn out with their campaign, and a 
large number were sick. Some mornings, 100 to 150 would report 
at surgeon's call. On the 15th, all fit for duty were out on a trip 
attempting to capture a force of the enemy's cavalry. They pur- 
sued them to Lebanon, and then gave up the chase, and returned 
about 9:30 p. m., having traveled twenty-eight miles, part of the 
time on the double-quick. 

Tuesday, the 17th, was a sad day in the regiment, as they 
were called upon to bury two of their number, A. Leonard, of Co. 
E, from Troy, of typhoid pneumonia, and Win. Sutton, of Co. A, 
from Wilton, of typhoid fever. They were buried with military 

The regiment remained at this camp nine days, the longest 
stop which had been made since leaving Louisville. 

On the 19th, it moved eight miles, stopping about an hour 
near the " Hermitage," giving the boye an opportunity to visit one 
of our national shrines, the residence and tomb of "Old Hickory." 
Many expressed the wish that Old Hickory had been in the execu- 
tive chair when the rebellion commenced. Next day crossed Stone 
River, and marched some three or four miles. That afternoon 
the ambulances were sent into Nashville with seventeen of the 
sickest ones of the regiment. It was supposed that the army 
would remain some time at this point, and so the men fixed up 
their camp in good style, setting out evergreens, building chim- 
neys, &c., and receiving a daily mail from Nashville, and enjoying 
the presence of a sutler who had driven in from Louisville. But 
just as they had got nicely fixed up, they moved again on the 26th, 
going to a point about four miles southeast of Nashville, which 
was their camp until the advance on Murfreesboro, the 26th of 

On the 27th, another member died in camp, Amos Gawthrop, 
of Co. H, from Wilton. He had been on detailed duty with the 
battery attached to the brigade, and was sick for some time there, 
and was then sent to the regimental hospital, where he died, mak- 
ing the fourth death with the regiment. The other boys who had 
died on the march, had been buried without coffins, but Co. H, 
determined that Gawthrop should have a coffin. They were camped 
at this time on the land of a Mr. Jones, who lived near the camp, 


and who like a good many others, was a good Union man when our 
army was around, and the boys applied to him for some boards to 
make a coffin. But he refused to give or sell them any. They 
reported the matter to the colonel, who told them to go and help 
themselves. So they stripped off a lot of boards from his fences, 
and made a rude coffin, and wrapping the soldier in his blanket, 
put him into it, and buried him near a brick church, Chaplain 
Crews officiating. This soldier had two brothers in the 100th, 
and another brother in the 4th cavalry, and a half brother also in 
the service. One died of disease, and one was killed at Chicka- 

Co. A also buried a good man in a similar manner next day, 
Wm. Birdenstein, of the town of Reed, whose brother died also 
December 19th. Other deaths had occurred among those who 
had been left behind in hospitals. 

The location of the camp was not a very pleasant one, and the 
weather was most of the time cold and wet, and consequently there 
was a good deal of sickness in the regiment, principally measles 
and lung affections, for which sleeping on the ground could not 
be very good. Several were sent from time to time into the city, 
which was now one great hospital. 

The men all had some interesting experiences in this camp. 
Being comparatively young soldiers, they had not yet learned how 
to make the best of it, had not yet learned all the shifts and 
devices by which an old campaigner knows how to alleviate the 
discomforts of such a life, even under the most untoward circum- 
stances. The 100th was brigaded with old troops, and one might 
naturally suppose that these would stand ready to assist and instruct 
their new comrades. Not a bit of it ! On the contrary, they 
seemed to find great satisfaction- in standing by and witnessing the 
awkwardness and mistakes of the fresh fish. But the 100th soon 
learned all the tricks and devices of the camp, and took their 
revenge by playing the same role with other new-comers ; a curious 
phase of what we call human nature, seen also in college life ; 
when the freshman becomes a soph., he seems to find sweet rerenge 
for the indignities to which he had been subjected, by playing them 
off on his vealy successors. 

On the night of Dec. 1st, the camp had a rough experience. 


It bad rained hard all day, and in the evening there was a teriffic 
thunder-storm, accompanied by very high winds. Imagine how 
unwelcome such a storm must be in cold weather, with nothing 
overhead but cotton cloth, and nothing underneath but the bare 
ground ! 

The two assistant surgeons, Harwood and Woodruff, occupied 
a tent together. About nine o'clock, the ditch which had been 
dug around the tent, for the purpose of carrying oft the water, 
began to overflow, and the water came into the tent. As the beds 
consisted of nothing but straw with the blanket thrown over, they 
soon became uncomfortably moist, and the surgeons had to forsake 
their downy couch and excavate a deeper cut to carry off the water 
not a very agreeable job in the darkness, the wind, and the rain. 
The next tent was occupied by the senior surgeon and his clerk. 
They were no better off, if so well, for in addition to the water, the 
tent pins had got loosened, and the clerk was out trying to drive 
them in the darkness, and he could only see them when a flash of 
lightning lit up the scene momentarily, showing also the senior 
surgeon standing en dishabille in the tent door, and most emphati- 
cally giving directions to his clerk in a composite language, mainly 
English and German, with now and then a word that ought not 
to be in either language. L think the old adage, " Misery loves 
company," was true in this case, and the sub-surgeons drew no 
little satisfaction from the glimpses they caught of the chief, reveal- 
ing the fact that he was in a worse plight than themselves. But 
they got punished for so selfish a feeling, for they had no sooner 
got settled down again before the chimney fire, where they had 
drawn the bed, than, without any warning, down came their tent, 
an irreparable wreck, in the darkness. Hastily gathering up books 
and papers, they had to retreat to the hospital tent, where they sat 
up the balance of the night on the boxes, thoroughly disgusted 
with army life. In the morning they were again comforted to 
find that the rest of the officers had had similar experiences. The 
colonel, for the first time since leaving Louisville, had undressed, 
and was enjoying the unwonted luxury of clean sheets once more, 
when his tent blew down, and he was caught literally sans oulotte 
whatever that means ! 

On the 4th, the division was reviewed by General Rosecrans. 


Life in camp now moved on with but little to interrupt its 
monotony. The regiment took its turn occasionally in going out 
to guard forage trains. The officers and men discussed over their 
coffee and pipes the rumors and speculations that were rife respect- 
ing further movements, and anyone fortunate enough to get news 
from home, shared it with his comrades. Anything to read was a 
godsend. Dime novels and illustrated papers found a ready mar- 
ket, and were devoured most greedily. The Republican and the 
Signal were especially welcome. Not a few, let us hope, read the 
testaments which their mothers had crowded into their carpet- 
bags I And here they remained until after Christmas the last 
Christmas many of them would see ! 




DECEMBER, 1863. 

Signs of Advance Christmas Eve Strikes out for LaVernge On the 
March Camps In Line of Battle LaVernge Advances Captures some 
Rebs Incident Stewart's Creek Sunday Rest Battle Opens How it 
went Incidents Casualties Night New Year's Eve New Year's Day 
Night Again Battle Renewed Incidents Casualties Victory Jan. 3d 
Enemy makes Another Attempt Gives it up Retreats List of Casualties 
Incidents Moves through Murfreesboro and Encamps Visitors from 
Home Accident in Camp Deaths Paymaster Welcome Reviews- 
Changes Camp Fixes up Foraging Incidents A Visit from Joliet Ladies 
Forward again Incidents Foraging Storm Settles at Hillsboro 
Month's Stay Accident Capt. Munger makes a Good Shot Scientific For- 
agingOn the move again Aunt Emma makes a Sensation Over the 
Mountains Incidents Down into the Sequatchie 24th Tenn. Inf. Expe- 
dition Chaplain Resigns A Story on him On the March Peter's Cave 
Crosses the Tennessee Nickajack Cave A Corner Moves on Old Look- 
outIn Chattanooga Out to Chickamauga Creek. 

FEW days before Christmas, the orders received left no doubt 
in the minds of the men that " Old Rosey " was soon to show 
his hand. Sickness had reduced the regiment to 600 men fit 
for duty. On the morning of the 24th, orders came to be ready to 
move at 7:30 next morning. This necessitates turning out at five, 
and plenty of hard work to get ready. But at the set hour the 
tents have been struck, breakfast cooked and eaten, the indispen- 
sible " coffee " made and drank, the wagons packed, and every 


thing ready for a move. Then came orders to issue two days' 
additional rations, and repack the wagons, so that two or three 
should carry all that was indispensible the balance to be sent ta 
Nashville to be stored. This was also done, and the boys lay 
around on the ground, dozing and grumbling, until 3 p. m., when 
they were ordered to pitch tents again, and be ready to move at 
daylight next morning. 

And this was Christmas eve ! Every soldier's thoughts go 
back to the homes they have left behind them, and in many a 
mind, no doubt, the question comes up unbidden : " Shall I ever 
join in the Christmas festivities of the old home again?' 1 Pic- 
tures of Christmas trees in gas- lit parlors and churches, surrounded 
by groups of happy children, and dear, dear friends and kindred, 
pass in panoramic visions througn* the mind, in strange and start- 
ling contrast to the camp, and its groups of soldiery, guns, and 
warlike preparations. A strange contrast, too, in another respect : 
There, they are celebrating the advent of the PRINCE OF PEACE ; 
here, we are about to move forward in fierce and bloody encounter, 
appealing to the God of War. 

, Very timely, a load came in from Nashville, of thirteen boxes 
for the regiment, full of those things which were welcome to the 
soldier. They were quickly opened and contents distributed, and 
many had a taste of Christmas, a reminder that they were not for- 
gotten, though far away. 

Christmas day was passed quietly in the same camp, and OD 
the evening of the 26th, by nine o'clock, the army was finally 
under way. The division in which the 100th was placed took the 
road toward LaVernge and Murfreesboro. The day was rainy 
and the army moved slowly, being stopped occasionally by the 
enemy skirmishing with the advance. The regiment passed 
through the deserted camps of other portions of the array, which 
had preceded them, and five miles out passed the last picket, and 
struck out for LaVernge. Frequent stoppages were made, to allow 
the artillery to shell the woods to drive out any rebels that might 
be lurking in them to pick off the men. As they progress, they 
see the marks left by the artillery upon the trees, barns and fences* 
In the advance, a man is seen upon the roof of a house, waving a 

to and fro, and far away to the right is another doing the 


same thing. These are the signals from one road to another, by 
which the movements of the different columns are guided, and 
which only the proper persons can understand. And thus they 
move on through the day, and towards night several wounded men 
are seen carried back in ambulances. The men look at them, and 
the thought comes up in many minds such may soon be my fate! 

The 100th camped for the night in a wood, in the rain, and 
without any tents, a mile or two from LaVernge. The night was 
quiet. Next morning the men were called up at five o'clock, and 
at daylight are allowed to build fires and cook breakfast. They 
remained ready to march at a moment's notice until nine o'clock. 
One piece of artillery opened on LaVernge, without any response, . 
when the brigade moves out in line of battle, the 58th Indiana 
and 26th Ohio taking the advance, with their skirmishers thrown 
out so as to protect both flanks, and, about forty rods behind, the 
8th Indiana battery, supported by the 3d Ky. on the right, and 
the 100th 111. on the left. As soon as the advance came within 
musket range of the town, they were met by a furious and unex- 
pected discharge of musketry. The rebels were firing on our men 
from their concealment in the houses. The 26th Ohio had some 
twenty killed and wounded. But our force soon drove the enemy 
from the town, and marched on after them on either side of the 
pike. The battle of LaVernge is set down in the histories as a 
skirmish, and such it was, but one of considerable importance 
one of the brilliant ones. The 100th moved half a mile over an 
open field, under a heavy fire without a waver, and "when within 
eighty or one hundred yards, charged with a yell on the double- 
quick, and drove the enemy out of the town. This, too, was the 
first time the regiment had been under fire. When they were 
being halted to re-form their lines, Gen. Haskell complimented 
them on their gallantry, and said : " We are all one now, old 
soldiers and new." 

The march was hard, over rocks, and through dense cedar 
thickets in line of battle. About a mile beyond La Vernge, the 
100th changed places with the 26th Ohio, companies A and B on 
the skirmish line, under Major Hammond. The rebels annoyed 
our advance with a couple pieces of artillery, but as soon as our 
battery opened on them they got out of the way. During their 



advance through the cedar thickets, the boys encountered great 
numbers of rabbits, and somehow they could not resist the temp- 
tation to pop them over, and put them in their haversacks for 
future use. While they were advancing, much of the time on the 
double thick, and driving the rebel cavalry before them, it was 
hard to tell whether they were popping at the rebs or the rabbits, 
and it didn't seem to make much difference with the boys. Gen. 
Haskell scolded them, telling them they would get caught with 
their muskets empty when they wanted to shoot a reb ; but he 
didn't say anything more about keeping them from running to the 
rear, the greatest difficulty he had now, was to hold them back. 
About noon it began to rain, and continued without abatement 
until night. Several shots were fired at the brigade from a bridge 
which the rebels held, but the 3d Kentucky soon dislodged them 
without loss. While halting here the colonel left the regiment to 
get orders from Gen. Haskell, where to go into camp for the 
night. During his absence a squad of twenty or thirty rebel 
cavalry came charging down a lane on the left of the regiment, 
and as eoon as it was discovered that they were rebels, Co. G, 
which had been sent to the flank, without waiting for orders, fired 
a volley into them which brought them to a stand, and they wheeled 
round and threw up their hands in token of surrender. One 
poor fellow however kept on, and was shot in the abdomen, fa- 
tally. As was afterwards ascertained, bis horse was wounded, 
and he was unable to hold him, and keeping on past the 3d 
Kentucky, the horse was killed without further damage to the 
rider, but he had already been mortally wounded. The boys car- 
ried him to an old shed, and took every care of him, greatly re- 
gretting that they had not understood his design to surrender. He 
lived thirty-six hours. He was a large man of the name of Cun- 
ningham, belonging to the 52d Alabama cavalry. 

Major Gen. Crittenden in his report says of this little affair, 
" And the counter charge and capture of twenty-five of the ene- 
my by a company of the new regiment, the 100th Illinois, when 
charged by the enemy's cavalry, are worthy of special notice," 
Gen. Wood also refers to the exploit in his report, mentioning 
the fact also that twelve horses and equipments were taken. 
The adventure supplied the officers of the 100th, with extra 


horses, and made all the boys, especially Co. G, feel pretty good. 

The regiment encamped at Stewart's Creek, where the enemy 
had tried to burn the bridge, but did not succeed. The next day 
was Sunday, and the regiment remained quiet. The enemy's 
cavalry could be seen across the creek, and the skirmish line kept 
up some firing through the day. Monday, the division was not in 
front, but moved slowly along the pike. It was however a brisk 
day in the front, and the noise of artillery and musketry could be 
heard nearly all day, but not much damage was done, not more 
than 150 killed and wounded in the entire army. Late in the 
afternoon the division was thrown into line on the left of the pike 
to support the advance, but nothing was done. The brigade went 
down to the bank of Stone River, and as it was dark, stacked 
arms, and all hands were preparing to camp for the night, when 
a sudden whistle of bullets, and rattle of musketry, gave notice of 
the presence of the enemy, and the regiment moved back and to 
the left, and went into camp. No one was hurt, although some 
of the bullets were imbedded in the rails which the boys were 
gathering for their fires. The whistle of the locomotives in Mur- 
freesboro, about three miles distant, could be plainly heard, 
and the boys wondered whether the rebels were leaving, or 
being reinforced. They found out which it was in due 
time. Next day, (the 30th), the regiment was called up at 
four o'clock, and by daylight had breakfasted, and was in readi- 
ness for anything that might turn up; but the day passed 
quietly with the brigade. The General, (Rosecrans) did not wish 
to bring on an engagement, as McCook's corps was delayed, and 
had not yet come up. While riding over the field, superintend- 
ing the placing of his forces, his chief of staff was instantly killed, 
his head being shot clean off. 

On the evening of the 30th, everything being in readiness, 
orders were given to put out all the fires along the line, and that 
everything should be kept as still and secure as possible, allow- 
ing the men ample time to rest. Johnson's division of MoCook's 
corps was ordered to advance as near as possible, without reveal- 
ing its position, and to lay on their arms through the night, with a 
heavy picket force in advance, and if not attacked by nine o'clock 
next morning to advance upon the enemy. Next day the sun 


rose clear and beautiful upon the last day of 1862 alas ! it 
proved to be the last day of life to many a soldier on either 

The enemy did not wait to be attacked, but opened the ball 
themselves very early, with their usual tactics, attacking Johnson 
on our right, with three divisions, and rushing on with such force 
and rapidity that they were upon him almost as quickly as the 
pickets, to which the enemy had paid no attention. Johnson 
made a desperate resistance, but two of his best batteries were soon 
taken, though bravely defended, the men being bayoneted at their 
posts, and he was obliged to retire before the massive columns of 
the enemy, and his worsted men, though as brave as any who ever 
carried muskets, turned and fled, resistance being unavailing. 
Mean while Davis' division vainly tried to form, and assist in stay- 
ing the progress of the enemy, but they were in a cedar brake, 
where one-half of a regiment, could not seethe other, and the 
terrific yells of the rebels, which could be heard above the roar 
of cannon, so terrified our faltering force on the right, that they 
were driven over two miles, leaving their dead and wounded 
thick upon the field. . 

Thus ill-fared the day upon the right. Let us look now at the 
center, in which the Will county regiment bears a part. About 
nine in the morning, the regiment was ordered to fall in on the 
double quick, which was done promptly, although the men felt, 
notwithstanding the cool and seemingly careless air of their colonel, 
that all was not right. The regiment was formed in a cedar 
grove, and very soon the noise and rattle of the musketry drew 
near, and the wounded began to pass by, leaning upon their fel- 
low soldiers, or carried on stretchers. Regiment after regiment, 
brigade after brigade, and division after division, was seen filing 
by to take their position on the field. Generals, colonels, and 
their adjutants ride along the lines and get their men into posi- 
tion. Wagons are moving rapidly, and bullets are whistling by 
all the time. 

Not long does the 100th remain idle spectators. It has a part 
to play now with the brigade, in the fierce conflict which is to be 
known in history as one of the fiercest and most memorable. They 
move now in one direction, and now in another, and then halt in 


a cornfield where they are are dressed on the color line, and then 
ordered to lie down, lest a rebel battery should get the range and 
open on them. While here, a regiment in sight falls back in dis- 
order, and its colonel seizes the colors and tries to rally them, but 
succeeds only partially. But the eight has no effect upon the 100th ; 
it looks on with indifference. The 3d Ky., being ordered to the right 
of the railroad, their colonel, McKee, meets a glorious death. But 
the major, though twice hit, sticks bravely to the regiment. The 
sound of musketry comes nearer. The 100th is in danger of being 
flanked. It is ordered to change its position to avoid this new 
danger. It comes upon another regiment, which proves to be the 
110th, Col. Casey's. The men exchange cheers as they ascertain 
that two Illinois regiments are together, and feel inspired with 
new strength and courage. This position must be held, for it is 
one of great importance. After a little, a regiment in the rear is 
withdrawn, and the two, 100th and 110th, are left alone. They 
move forward to the edge of a cotton field. The enemy try hard 
to dislodge them, but here they lie, hugging the earth, while they 
are treated to a brisk cannonade, and our own batteries are reply- 
ing over them. What terrific music ! The shrieking of shells, 
the thunder of artillery, the crash in the tree tops overhead ; and 
here they lie, unable to do aught but hold on the most trying 
position in which men can be placed. 

But now the order comes to " fall in," and just as they are 
doing so, a solid shot comes along which takes off the head of Giles 
L. Greenman, of Co. K, and strikes Lieut. Worthingham, of the 
same company, in the breast, killing him instantly. Five poor 
fellows yielded up their lives at this point, and about thirty were 
wounded. The regiment is moved across the railroad, when knap- 
sacks are unslung, and it is formed along the railroad. Mean- 
while the bullets fly thick and fast, and with telling effect upon 
the ranks, and one after another of the men limp by to the rear. 
They lay down on this line. Soon an American flag was seen in 
front, and a regiment marched in by the flank, on the south side 
of the cotton field, and it was, of course, supposed to be one of ours, 
as they had on U. S. overcoats. But soon the boys saw the " but- 
ternut," and gave them a volley. They went over the fence, and 
down the hill, like a lot of sheep. Lieut. Mitchell, of Wilmington, 



here receives the wound which proved mortal three days after. 
The men lie and listen to the grim music of the shot and shell 
flying over their heads, and cutting the cedars, anxiously waiting 
for the result on the field at large. They know that the right 
wing has been discomfited ; they have heard the exultant shouts of 
the rebels while they have driven it from point to point. 

But meanwhile Rosecrans has not been idle. Seeing that the 
fate of the day would depend on the center, he has ordered up all 
the available batteries, and placed them along the railroad, so as to 
cover the only ground upon which the enemy can charge with any 
hope of success, while the brigades of infantry are placed in front 
and rear. The sound of the battle now comes nearer and nearer, 
and louder and louder, until the cedar swamp is enveloped in 
smoke, and over all the noise and tumult of battle, the yells of the 
pursuing rebels are heard as they drive the broken and disordered 
ranks of the right wing in their retreat behind the center corps. 
On come the enemy, flushed with success, through and out of the 
woods, over the open ground, never dreaming of the reception 
they are to meet. One rebel flag after another is seen waving 
defiantly, until they are too many to be counted ; on they come, 
yelling their unearthly yell, expecting to sweep all before them. 
Our forces are silently awaiting them a solemn, ominous silence 
for a few brief moments only, and then a little puff of smoke is 
seen to rise from full fifty pieces of artillery, followed by a roar 
and a shock as of an earthquake; a continuous roar for thirty min- 
utes, and when it ceases, and the smoke rolls off from the field, 
nothing is seen of all that proud array of advancing, and till then 
victorious rebels, but a few scattered battalions plunging pell-mell 
into the cedar thickets, from which they had a little before emerged 
so buoyantly. Our artillery follow up, and fire upon the retreat- 
ing enemy. It was a grand, a glorious sight. Our batteries drove 
them back over nearly the same ground over which they had driven 
the right wing. Scarcely had this advantage been gained, when 
Palmer's division began to shell the woods in the rebel center, and 
fortunately got the range of a battery, supported by two brigades, 
that lay concealed in the woods, killing great numbers of them. 
Irritated at this, the rebel commander ordered a charge across a 
field in plain sight. They came on, a brigade eight rows deep, 


with fixed bayonets in splendid style. But our boys stood their 
ground, and gave them such a reception as made them falter. 
Their officers tried to rally and lead them on again, but our grape 
and canister mowed them down, and a few well-directed volleys of 
musketry finished their repulse. They turned and fled, our men 
pursuing them until getting into range of their artillery, they fell 
back to allow ours to reply, and thus was now kept up an artillery 
duel until darkness closed the scene. 

At dusk, when the regiment fell back, the colonel noticed that 
one man in Co. C did not get up with the rest, and when an officer 
went to see the cause, he was found dead, killed instantly by a 
piece of shell, and so quickly that he had not stirred, and the man 
who lay next to him did not know it. This was John Hopkins, 
of Homer. The regiment lay all night on their arms. After 
dark, a detail went out to the front in command of Lieut. Wil- 
liams, with an ambulance in charge of Surgeon Woodruff, and 
here found the enemy taking care of the dead and wounded, our 
men mingling with them in a friendly manner, both sides taking 
care of and assisting the wounded of each army. 

Here occurred a little incident worth relating. John O'Kief, 
of Co. I, went out with the boys on the battle field, and shortly 
after was heard coming in, and yelling out as he passed the pickets, 
" Don't shoot, don't shoot, it's John O'Kief on a d d good rebel 
horse." He came in riding a very fine horse, with saddle and 
bridle and a large pair of saddle-bags, which seemed to be well 
stuffed. He at once looked up the colonel, and told him that he 
had brought him a fine horse. The colonel inquired where he got 
it. O'Kief replied that he got it on the field, and that it was a 
rebel surgeon's. The colonel's sense of honor would not allow 
him to accept of the present from O'Kief ; but, instead, he ordered 
him to take it back to the surgeon, with the compliments of the 
colonel. O'Kief did not like the colonel's view of the matter, 
but he had no choice but to obey, and accordingly took the animal 
back to the rebel surgeon, who was equally surprised and gratified 
at recovering him, and sent his name, residence and regiment back 
to the colonel, with the assurance that if he, or any of his officers 
or men, should be captured by his command, they should be well 
cared for. But our surgeon at Chickamauga did not get quite so 


generous treatment, as we shall see in due time. But before 
O'Kief returned with the horse, the major of the 100th, whose 
conscience had become somewhat dulled by the cravings of his 
stomach, confiscated the contents of the rebel surgeon's saddle- 
bags, which were found to consist of cold chicken, ham, biscuit, 
&c., <fec., which, with the colonel's aid, rapidly disappeared, 

" like the snow falls In the river, 

A moment white, then gone forever." 

The 100th regiment fared much better than could have been 
expected. Up to this time, only 10 were killed and 30 wounded, 
and nearly as many missing. Some other regiments lost 50 per 
cent, of their men. Six men from each company were detailed for 
pickets. Says one who was of this number : " It was a terrible 
night. The constant groaning of the wounded that lay within a 
few feet of us, the ghastly upturned faces of the dead which lay in 
our path, made the relief which came after our six hours' vigil, 
doubly welcome. And this was our New Year's eve !" 

January 1st, 1863, dawned upon the field of Stone River, as 
well as upon the rest of the world. But what a strange New 
Year to the men of the 100th regiment! To those who had sur- 
vived the carnage of yesterday, how different from any other New 
Year, whose light they had ever hailed ! And how much greater 
the change to those who had gone where years no longer divide 
existence ! 

At 3 o'clock in the morning, the regiment was relieved by 
another, and moved back a little. It had held an advanced and 
exposed position all night, without fire or blankets, and the relief 
was welcome. The men anticipated a breakfast, but no rations 
were issued. Here they lay in the mud all day, but were permit- 
ted to build fires. There was no fighting of any amount done, 
both sides seemed willing to rest. At night the regiment was or- 
dered into a beautiful cedar grove, and anticipated a good night's 
rest ; but the men had scarcely got into a doze, when the order 
came to "fall in," and although so tired and sleepy that they 
could hardly keep their eyes open, or move, yet the boys obeyed 
the unwelcome order, and relieved another regiment, on the other 
side of the railroad, and were once more drawn up in line of bat- 


tie. They can see the rebel picket fires burning brightly, but are 
allowed none themselves. They were in a cornfield where the 
mud was so deep that they could not lie down, and they could 
only rest by leaning upon their muskets. Some, however, became 
so fatigued, that towards morning, they lay down in the mud, 
and the weather growing colder, they could hardly tear their 
blankets from the frozen mud in the morning. It had turned 
very cold, and many of the wounded suffered much, some having 
hands and feet frozen. The morning too was accompanied by a 
wind that seemed to go through the frame, and make every 
one shake as in an ague fit. When the morning haze has cleared 
away, the long lines of the enemy can be seen moving to the right 
and left, some of them mounted, which are conjectured to be artil- 
lery. While the 100th, which has occupied the front all night, is be- 
ing relieved by another regiment, the enemy seeing the move- 
ment open upon them. Getting into place as quickly as possible 
the men lie down, without being very careful to select their beds. 
And now, the thunder rages again, worse if possible than before. 
And here they lie, trying to keep from being seen by the enemy, 
whose sharpshooters are concealed in the cedar thickets. These 
become so annoying that a body of skirmishers are sent out about 
10 o'clock to dislodge them, which they succeed in doing, though 
many a poor fellow falls before their deadly aim. But our men 
did not flinch, and were reinforced. The enemy then direct their 
artillery fire upon them, and they fall back to give our batteries 
an opportunity to reply. And then followed an artillery duel 
between Loomis' Michigan battery, and Stannard's Ohio battery 
on our side, and the rebel batteries. Our regiment is lying in 
the mud between, without any protection. Soon the rebels get 
the range of Stannard's battery, and it is soon put hors du com- 
bat, all the horses being killed, and many of the men. But they 
rally, and draw the guns off by hand. Fifty per cent, of the 
men of the battery are killed or wounded. The Loomis battery 
had guns of longer range, and being further to the rear, and be- 
hind a hill, are not so much exposed, and they keep up the fight. 
The bursting of their shells in the ranks of the enemy could be 
seen to scatter them like autumn leaves. But the enemy got the 
range of the 100th, and solid shot came ricocheting past them. 



Shells bursting, and grape falling thick around, make the place 
hot and uncomfortable. Geo. H. Atkins, of Co. K is killed, his 
right arm being torn from his body. The battle seems to be re- 
newed. From the woods on the right, and in the rear, cheering 
is now heard, and soon a magnificent spectacle is seen. A divis- 
ion bursts from the timber, and sweeps into the open space behind 
the 100th ; with colors flying, horses proudly prancing, the lines 
move steadily and firmly forward. A battery comes dashing 
along with them. An officer with hat off, urges on his men. This 
is Rosseau the game cock of Kentucky, as Prentiss calls him. 
The battery is soon ready for action, and now the fight rages 
fiercely. But it is not long before the enemy is silenced. But 
here in the mud, for by this time the ground has thawed, the 100th 
regiment is obliged to remain, while the forenoon passes away, 
and part of the afternoon, with little fighting except by the sharp- 
shooters on either side. 

While this advantage had been gained in the centre, two 
brigades of VanCIeves' division, crossed Stone River, and sent 
from the main bjdy a small force to reconnoitre, with orders if 
attacked to fall back on the reserve, which was concealed behind 
some brush work. They obeyed their orders, and were met by a 
large rebel force before which they gave way, steadily at first, but 
being hotly pressed by superior numbers, they were forced to re- 
treat behind the reserves, closely followed by the enemy. At this 
juncture the reserve sprang up, and a couple of well directed vol- 
leys checked the rebels and held them back. 

And now the battle rages again, and blood flows freely. The 
rebels outnumber the Union force, but they hold their ground 
until Negley sends them help. When reinforced, they make an- 
other charge which forces the enemy to retire. From the point 
occupied by the 100th, every movement could be seen, both of our 
troops and of the enemy, and alternating feelings of joy and fear 
filled their minds, as the one side or the other, seemed to be get- 
ting the advantage. But soon a man comes riding furiously along 
the ranks in the rear like John Gilpin, hat off, and coat tails 
flying behind him. He shouts a few words which the 100th can- 
not hear, but they know that it is good news, for the boys throw 
up their caps, and give volley on volley of cheers. Soon the 


word reaches our boys, " the enemy is being driven/ 1 and they are 
to follow them. Up they jump to their feet, and are moved over 
to the left. But the fighting has cease;!, and they pass on crossing 
the ford, which they were guarding the other day, and here they 
stumble upon the dead, and hear the groans of the wounded and 
dying, but they are mostly rebels. After various manoeuvres 
they are anchored at last in a hollow, and allowed to rest, and 
build fires for the night. And, despite the groans of the suffer- 
ing, despite the rain now pouring down, the tired men tank down 
to a sound sleep, until the next morning, when they awoke to find 
themselves in a grave yard, the corpses still unburied. The 
slaughter here must have been terrible. The wounded have been 
removed during the night How ghastly the dead men look, their 
faces washed by the rain ! 

Private Bolton who was one of those whose lot it was to go 
upon picket duty on this night writes thus of the scene : 

"The battle field, what a sight was here ! Behind almost every 
tree was the lifeless form of some poor soldier, mostly rebels, and 
strewed over the ground were legs and arms, and mangled bodies, 
masses of flesh and bones, so mutilated that not their own mothers 
could recognize them. Some yet living, having lain out in all the 
rain and cold, no one to care for them, and dying alone amid 
the crowds of dying and dead. The trees were literally full of 
bullet holes. Guns, knapsacks, canteens, blankets and haversacks, 
were scattered all around, and the soil was cut up with the 
tracks of horses and artillery. The whole made a picture on 
which I hope never to look again. 

"Both of these days, Dec. 31st and Jan. 2d, we were constantly 
exposed to the most galling fire, and that we came out with the 
loss of so few men, was greatly owing to the care and judgment 
of our colonel. In the midst of the heaviest fire, when shot and 
shell flew thickest, he would pass up and down the lines ordering 
his men to lie low." 

January 3d, the regiment lay all day behind intrenchments 
without any demonstrations on the part of the enemy. The con- 
tinued rains made the movement of artillery impossible. At even- 


ing, uuder cover of the darkness, they attempted to dislodge the 
pioneers, but they were repulsed with heavy loss, and they 
plunged into the river, making no further demonstrations, and 
that night retreated through Murfreesboro, and the next morning, 
the Union forces were in possession of the town, and the battle 
of Stone River, the seven days' fighting was over. Such was 
the baptismal battle of the Will county regiment. 

The following is the list of casualties in the 100th regiment 
during these seven days. 


Lieut. M. Worthingham, Co. K, Joliet ; Lieut. Charles F. Mitchell, Co. 
A, Wilmington ; Andrew Theil, Co. B, Jackson; John Hopkins, Co. C, 
Homer; Fred'k Rahm, Co. C, Mokena; Geo. W. Hess, musician, Co. D, 
Plainfield; Giles Greenman, Co. K, Twelve Mile Grove; Geo. H. Atkins, 
Co. K, Joliet ; Corp. Peter Wagner, Co. C, Lockport. 


Major Hammond, slightly; Lieut. George Bez, Co. C, Mokena; Lieut. J. 
S McDonald, Co. C, Lockport ; Lieut. John A. Kelly, Co. K ; Sergt. Maj. 
Wm P. Harbottle, Wilmington ; Sergt. Wade McFadden, Co. Co, severely, 
(died Jan. 4th), Wilmington ; Sergt. J. W. Taylor, Co. D, Joliet ; Corp. Johu 
Fellows, Co. D, Plainfield. Co. A Benedict Wenger, slight, Wilmington; 
Alonzo Jones, slight, Wesley; Michael Worthy, slight, Wilmington ; Henry 
Kellogg, slight, Florence ; James Dowling, slight, Wesley ; George Dore, 
slight, Wesley; Constant Bruechet, slight, Reed; John Haines, severely, 
(since died) Wesley. Co. B Wm. Cludas, severely, Joliet; Stephen J. 
Rake, slight, Jackson ; Philip Scheer, slight, Joliet. Co. C Michael Sulli- 
van, Lockport. Co. D Edward Highland, severe, Plainfield ; E. Anglemire. 
DuPage ; Pat. Martin, Plainfield ; Alfred Carter, Plainfield. Co. E Johu 
McDonald, New Lenox; Henry Stolder, (died Jan. 22d), Channahon. Co. 
F Samuel L. Treat, Homer; Selah Spaulding, Homer. Co. H John C. 
Gent, Peotone; Wm. R. More, Wilton; James Sedgwick, Joliet ; Jno. Shoe- 
maker, Joliet. Co. I James Tidball, severe, Reed; Dennis Smith, Wil- 
mington. Co. K Eli Haradon, severe, Green Garden ; William Munday, 
severe, Joliet ; Erastus Rudd, Samuel Haradon, Green Garden ; D. C. Elder- 
kin, Jackson. 

Major Hammond was grazed by a ball. A shell burst over 
Captain Gardner's head, paralyzing him for a few moments, and 
when he recovered, he found the man by his side had lost his head. 

The following is from the official report of Brig. Gon. Haskell, 
commanding the brigade : 

" I should have remarked that the 100th 111. regiment, the other reghnent 
composing my brigade, which was in reserve during the first engagement 
described above, had, under instruction of Gen. Hazen, moved to the front 


on the left of the railroad, and taken up a position at right angles with the 
railroad, where they fought splendidly in all the actions that took place on 
the left of the road. There was no formidable attack upon them, but they 
were almost constantly under fire of greater or less severity, particularly in 
shot and shell, and suffered quite severely in killed and wounded. Lieut. 
Morison Worthingham, of that regiment, was killed, while gallantly sus- 
taining his men, and six other commissioned officers, including Maj. Ham- 
mond, were wounded. Their conduct, from Col. Bartleson down, was such 
as to leave nothing to be desired. Enlisted men, five killed, thirty-three 

Such was Gen. Haskell's official report. He is said to have 
made au unofficial one, to- wit : that " if there was a flock of tur- 
keys the other side of Murfreesboro, and he should tell the 100th 
to take them, they would go through all h 11 to get them." 

Geii. Hazen, commanding the 2d brigade, 2d division of left 
wing, to whose assistance as above noticed the 100th had been, 
sent, says : " I am under many obligations to Col. Bartleson, of 
the 100th, for valuable services." 

Mention has been made of the fact that Major Hammond was 
slightly wounded. A piece was gouged out of the calf *of his leg 
by a shot, which also carried off the tail of his coat. Col. Bartle- 
son told him he had better enlarge the wound with caustic so as to 
produce a respectable eschar, and to preserve the mutilated coat as 
a trophy, and that when he got back home he could run for any 
office and be sure of success. Thus even on the grim field of battle 
the little colonel loved his joke. Well, the major did get a good, 
fat office on his return, but I should be unwilling to say that he 
owed it to his having lost his coat tail. The wound, though not 
serious, I presume was sufficiently severe to satisfy any hankering 
the major had in that direction. As we have seen, it did not unfa- 
vorably affect his appetite. 

A curious instance of fright on the part of the animal creation 
at man's doings was exhibited on the field of Stone River. Tur- 
keys, birds and rabbits were so paralyzed by fright at the terrific 
cannonading and musketry, that they sought the protection of the 
men as they were lying behind their breastworks, the rabbits actu- 
ally creeping under the legs of the men, in their terror. 

The battle of Stone River was one of the bloodiest and fiercest 
engagements of the war. It was the first in which the 100th was 
engaged, but it did its full share, and gave its friends no occasion 


to blush. The victory finally terminated on the side of the Union, 
but the cost was fearful. The field was one vast cemetery. Mur- 
freesboro was converted into one vast hospital. The rebels left 
their wounded to our care. No business was transacted, and 
nothing was done except caring for the wounded of both sides. 

When the right wing of our army was driven back on the 
morning of the 31st of December, the field hospital was for a time 
in the hands of the rebel cavalry, with the surgeons and all their 
attendants, among them Surgeon Heise, Steward Stumph, and 
others of the 100th. The scattering which was made among the 
surgeons and attendants, and the manner in which many of them 
became suddenly invisible is said to have been something wonder- 
ful, if not miraculous. The rebel cavalry did not make a long 
stay, and when they retired, surgeons and attendants were to be 
seen emerging from all conceivable hiding places. It also hap- 
pened that Dr. McArthur, of Joliet, was at this time on a visit to 
his old friend and partner, Dr. Heise, and when the alarm and 
confusion consequent upon the visit of the cavalry occurred, he 
mounted his horse, intending to return to Nashville, being entirely 
satisfied with the glimpse he had got of the elephant. But this 
was not so easily done. The roads were entirely blocked up with 
army teams and the demoralized right wing of the army. He 
tried to go across lots, and is said to have performed some most 
astonishing feats of horsemanship and high and lofty tumbling in 
his hurried efforts to get through. Finding egress impossible, he 
returned to the hospital, now recovered, and rendered valuable 
professional assistance. 

While this was happening, the surgeons who were on the field 
(Drs. Harwood and Woodruff,) were at a loss what to do with the 
wounded, who were fast accumulating on their hands. Finally, in 
company with others of the same division, they were carried across 
the creek to the left, where there was a fair- sized house, all the 
available room of which, as well as the adjoining yard, was soon 
occupied. While busy in attending to the wounded, these sur- 
geons and attendants heard the wild, unearthly yell of the rebels, 
and in a moment they were surrounded by rebel cavalry, who 
ordered the surgeons, ambulances and nurses to fall into line and 
go with them. A few obeyed, but the surgeons, and most of the 


others, kept out of their way as much as possible and attended to 
their business, and soon one of our batteries opened on the rebels 
and they found the place too hot for them to hold, and left. In 
the afternoon the surgeons recrossed the river and sent the wounded 
to the division hospital, which had been recovered, and was again 
in order. 

On the fourth day of the battle, (January 3d), when our 
boys were pretty hungry and rations scarce, a smoke-house 
was discovered between our picket line and that of" the rebs, but 
much nearer the latter. The boys all knew that a southern smoke 
house meant plenty of bacon, and they determined to clean that 
one out, and accordingly they charged, captured the contents, and 
returned with the spoils. But it took some nerve to do this under 
a sharp fire from the rebs, who were not a little astonished at the 
boldness of the exploit, and chagrined at the loss of the bacon. 
One man was hit by a sharpshooter. 

Lieut. Bartlett, also, with the quick eye of a professional, spied 
a cow in the distance, and got permission to go into the butchering 
business. It was soon brought in by the hungry men, slaughtered 
and dressed " seoundum arten" and very soon there was nothing 
left but hoofs, horns and hide. 

After the close of the battle, on the night of the 3d, the 100th 
regiment and the brigade recrossed the river, and camped back of 
the first day's battle field. The river was rising rapidly, and the 
main body of the army was on the north side of the river. Next 
day, the 4th, they heard that Murfreesboro was evacuated ; but 
the division staid at this place until the 7th, lying on the rocks, 
and in the mud, without shelter, and short of rations. Some went 
hunting in the groves, and helped out the scant rations with squir- 
rels and rabbits, and I presume, an occasional pig. They then 
moved to Murfreesboro, camping on the Manchester pike, and the 
next day the wagons came up and tents were pitched. On the 
9th, the camp was again changed to the left of the town, in a low, 
wet place. Everyone was tired out, and many sick, and the Spence 
House, near by, was temporarily used as a hospital. Those who 
were able to work were put upon the building of fortifications 
made with trees and dirt. 

On the 13th, the regiment was gratified with the sight of some 


familiar faces from home, Chas. Weeks, O. W. Stillman, and Otis 
Hardy, of Joliet, and Dr. A. W. Bowen and Franklin Mitchell, 
of Wilmington, who had started on the reception of the news of 
the battle. Mr. Mitchell arrived too late to see his son alive. 
They remained with the regiment three or four days, giving the 
boys the news from home, and carrying back messages from them. 

On the 21st, the brigade was ordered out to guard a forage 
train. After going two or three miles on Liberty Pike, they 
learned that a train of thirty-five wagons from Rosseau's division, 
with a very small guard, had been captured just ahead two or 
three hours before. The brigade started in pursuit, but infantry 
chasing cavalry is a long race, and not often successful, and it was 
not in this instance, and was given up after a few hours, and the 
wagons were filled with forage, and the brigade returned to camp. 

About this time Colonel Bartleson left the regiment for a brief 
visit home. 

On the 22d, Henry Stolder, of Co. E, one of the wounded, 
died at the Spence House. 

On the 25th, the regiment lost three officers by resignation 
Asst. Surg. Harwood, Lieut. Letts, of Co. E, and Lieut. McCon- 
nell, of Co. I, 

On the 28th of January, a fatal accident occurred in the regi- 
ment which cast a greater gloom over the men, than even the greater 
losses by battle. Some of the men were felling a tree which 
stood in camp, which, contrary to all their expectations, fell across 
one of Co. K's tents, in which were four members of the com- 
pany at the time, entirely unsuspicious of what was in store for 
them. John Fitzpatrick was killed instantly, and Meredon Davis 
so badly injured that he died in an hour. Another, Lisle Tan- 
ner, was so severely hurt, that for a long time it was expected 
that he would die, but he ultimately recovered, A committee of 
investigation decided that the choppers were not to blame, as ac- 
cording to all rules of propriety, the tree ought to have fallen in 
any other direction than the one it did. They should have 
brought a verdict of guilty against the tree, and recommended it to 
the mercy of the court ! 

On the 30th, the camp was changed to higher and better 
ground. The regiment now had a rest from everything except 


routine duty, and occasionally taking its turn in going as guard 
to forage trains. 

On the morning of Feb. 8th, they were routed out at 4 a. m., 
and ordered to stand at arms, as the rebels were reported advanc- 
ing, but they did not come. Next day (he guns were laid down, 
and the boys took up spades, working on the forts. The same 
day (9th), Win. Maluffey, of Co. F, died, and on the 12th, James 
Taylor, a fine, bright boy of sixteen years, musician in Co. D, 
also died. Occasionally prisoners are captured, and refugees come 
in frequently. 

On the 18th, the regiment went through a new experience. It 
was one for which they had long been looking. The boys had 
now hcen in the service almost six months, and had as yet received 
no pay, except the moral satisfaction of doing their duty. This is 
all very nice, and not to be despised, but still it would not help in 
buying those little extras which were needed to eke out their regu- 
lar rations. It would not pay the old darkey mammies for doing 
their washing, or buy the tobicco to fill their pipes. Hence the 
appearance of a United States paymaster, with his clean new 
greenbacks, was welcome indeed. No man who could stand up, 
failed to answer to the call to muster for pay. Chaplain Crews 
kindly took home the spare money of the boys, and had a narrow 
escape from capture. The day after, the train was captured by 
rebel guerrillas, and Col. Buell, of the 58th Indiana, was taken 
with $17,000 of the money of his regiment. 

March 19th, there was a grand review of the corps by General 

In order to have the different regiments in the brigade near 
each other, another change was made in the camp about the 25th 
of March. This time the boys fixed up their camp in splendid 
style, laying it out with streets and avenues lined with evergreens. 
They also built awnings of evergreens before their tents, and a 
nic-e chapel for Dominie Crews, their worthy and highly esteemed 
chaplain, to preach in, and kept the grounds nicely policed. The 
regiment went out often with the forage trains, gathering the corn 
from the fields where it was still standing, and the stacks of "fod- 
der," as the corn tops cut while still green, and cured, are called. 
The boys also foraged for themselves as well as for the horses and 



mules, taking hams and shoulders from many a smoke-house, and 
poultry from the yards, leaving many a family short for rations. 
This seemed hard, but the army must be fed, let whoever may 
starve. This is one of the necessities of cruel war. 

In the course of their foraging expeditions, they came across 
some curious samples of the ignorance of the natives, " the poor 
white trash." They found one widow, (and, by-the-way, the 
women all seemed to be widows,) who said she didn't know any 
difference between the armies. She knew that Lincoln was not 
Bragg, and that was all she did know. She said that Bragg had 
got three of her boys, and had run one of them to death. She 
said she meant to go north. She was in one of the northern states 
once, she did not rightly remember which, but thought it was 
Bowling Green ! 

On one of these expeditions, I am sorry to say, two teamsters 
took from a house some silver ware, for which act they were 
severely punished, by order of the colonel, being " bucked and 
gagged," an operation which is said not to be very agreeable. 

Another unpleasant incident of the stay was the robbing of the 
mail bag of the regiment of $300, which some of the boys were 
sending home. The offender was court-martialed and sentenced to 
two years' imprisonment. 

Another man was found sleeping upon his post, and sentenced 
to ten years' imprisonment, while another, for the same offense, was 
sentenced to be shot. These punishments seem to be dispropor- 
tioned to the moral guilt in the several cases two years for rob- 
bery, and ten years and death for falling asleep. But it must be 
remembered that when a sentinel sleeps upon his post, he perils a 
whole army. 

There occurred during this time, also, the hanging of a guer- 
rilla, who had shot a citizen under very atrocious circumstances, 
having, after shooting him, cut out his tongue. He was convicted 
on the testimony of the daughter of the murdered man, who asked 
of Gen. Rosseau the privilege of adjusting the rope about the cul- 
prit's neck. This request, however, the general did not see fit to 

Abut the middle of April, General Wood left the division on 
account of ill-health, but returned before the advance. During 


his absence the division was commanded by General Brennan, and 
brigade and division drills were the order of the day. 

During the stay of the regiment at Murfreesboro, they received 
a visit from some of the Joliet ladies, Mrs. Elwood, Mrs. Bartle- 
son, and Mrs. Heise. I need not say that the sight of crinoline 
was a pleasant one to the eyes, not only of their special friends in 
the regiment, but also to every soldier, reminding them of the 
mothers, wives and sisters left behind them. The boys all vied 
with each other in rendering them every attention. The ladies, in 
return, gave a party to the officers of the regiment. 

About the 28th of April, the " purp tents," as the boys desig- 
nated the little shelter tents, were issued, and they had to resign 
their large ones for little pieces of cloth just large enough to cover 
two. These were very unpopular at first. At the sight of them 
the boys would set up a barking all along the line, which was 
quite amusing. But orders have to be obeyed, and they learned 
in time the wisdom of the order and became reconciled, as in their 
subsequent campaigns, if they had not had these, they would have 
had nothing. 

Gen. Brennan kept the men pretty busy in drill exercises, but 
still there were many hours when the time would hang heavy. 
Many were the resources for relieving the tedium. Some busied 
themselves in the manufacture of pipes from the briar root, which 
grew in the woods, while others carved crosses, shtrfc studs, rings, 
buttons, &c., of the muscle shells, which abounded in the rivers, 
sending them home to their friends. Many of these are still 
sacredly treasured as mementoes of those who are dead and gone ! 

A very popular amusement consisted in getting the young dar- 
kies to sing and dance, and to u bunt" each other, a- la-ram. Bead- 
ing was also a resource to many, and everything that could be 
obtained was eagerly devoured, especially the reports of a famous 
ecclesiastical trial then being conducted with closed doors in Joliet. 
At this time one of the boys was guilty of the following conun- 
drum : 

Ques. To what tribe of Indians does J. W. H. belong? 

An s. Paw-new. 

But the time had come for active work once more, and strange 
as it may seem, when we remember what is involved in an ag- 


gressive, onward movement, the men were glad to pull up stakes, 
and rejoiced at the words " fall in !" 

On the 12th of June Col. Buell took command of the brigade, 
Col. Fyfe leaving. 

On the 24th of June, the " Army of the Cumberland" un- 
coiled itself from its position of repose about Murfreesboro, and 
started out for new fields. The corps in which the 100th was 
placed moved out on the Bradyville Pike. On the first day out 
the regiment was train guard, which is never very pleasant duty, 
and this day was one of almost incessant rain. The route lay 
over a hilly country, presenting scenery of much beauty. The 
regiment camped at night in a clover field, and came down to 
" first principles" i. e. hard tack and coffee, but it was a relief 
to breathe fresh air again. Next day they pass through Brady- 
ville, a little hamlet, in which the only thing noticeable was a two 
story warehouse, and a hearse. Only two citizens were visible. 
Here the pike ended, and they took a mud road, camping at night 
in a cornfield, where the mud was ankle deep. They remained at 
this camp the next day and night, the rain continuing. Palmer's 
division was ahead of ours at work trying to render the roads 
passable for the trains. There was a hard hill, three-fourths of 
a mile long, which was the chief obstacle. The 27th was a day of 
hard work. An early start was made, and the brigade was 
divided into detachments, and put to work on the roads, throwing 
in rails, stones, trees, etc., to fill up the holes, and Wagner's 
brigade acted as reinforcements to the mules. Reliefs for the men 
were stationed at short distances with ropes attached to the 
wagons, and from eighty to one hundred men would seize the 
ropes and pull away. It was a novel, noisy and exciting scene. 
Drivers and men hallooing and swearing, mules straining to their 
utmost. Now and then a wagon gets upset, and out rolls the 
hard-tack, baggage, tents, etc., scattered about in the mud. The 
regiment went about a mile and a half beyond the top and camped. 
It was a desolate looking country with but few inhabitants, and 
they were the ignorant "poor white trash." One woman was 
much surprised at hearing the brass bands play, and inquired if it 
wan't what " you'ns called a pianny." 

The regimental wagons did not come up that night, and all 


were obliged to sleep in the rain without shelter. The next day 
moved on slowly, and went into camp about four miles from 
Manchester, where they should have been two days earlier to 
connect with the rest of the army which had moved on other and 
better roads. On the 30th, moved close to the tosvn. In the after- 
noon Wilder's brigade of mounted infantry, catne in from a trip 
down to Dechard, where they had been tearing up the railroad. 
About noon of July 1st, went into Manchester, and found that the 
army had already moved. Our regiment remained until six 
o'clock, when it marched to Hillsboro, a distance of eight miles, 
going into camp about midnight. Next morning the division 
went to Pelham, nine miles, halted and had dinner, and about 
5 p. m., were ordered back to Hillsboro. This was not pleasant, 
soldiers always hate to take the back track, especially over bad 
roads, and when tired and foot-sore. Marched six miles and camped 
about ten p. m. 

Next morning went on to Hillsboro, where they were again 
ordered back over the same miserable road to Pelham, making 
the trip in about four hours. The next day was the 4th of July, 
and was spent quietly in camp. A national salute was fired at 
sunset. Pelham, where the regiment now was, is a small village 
at the foot of the mountains, east and south of Tullahoma, in a 
beautiful valley. Refugees began to come in from the mountains 
where they had been hiding, some of them for eight or nine 
months. The regiment was now on short rations, especially of 
bread. Fresh meat could be obtained off the country in the shape 
of pork and mutton, of which a good deal was laying around 
loose on the hoof. Of course more or less found its way into 
the soldiers' haversacks. It is said to be terribly demoralizing 
to allow an army to forage, but I think it must be equally so to 
keep an army on hard marching and short rations. 

On the night of the 5th, the boys encountered a hard storm. 
Some of the tents of the line officers were pitched in a gully, 
which was suddenly converted into a stream of water a young 
river in fact and before they had time to beat a retreat every- 
thing was afloat, beds, baggage, etc., which it was no easy matter 
to recover in the rain and darkness. Next day the camp was 
changed to higher ground. Two days rations came up and orders 


to make them last six days, a problem in multiplication which 
the " boys in blue " often had to solve. On the 8th, Harker'8 
brigade and Buell's returned to Hillsboro, leaving the other at 
Pelham. These remained at Hillsboro about a month, in a very 
comfortable camp. There was a large and remarkable spring near 
camp, covering two acres, no bottom had ever been found in the 
center. Here the men enjoyed one luxury to satiety. It was the 
season for blackberries, which grew here in great abundance, large 
and luscious as the famous " Lawton ;" and not only were they a 
luxury, but they were a medicine of far more service to the sick 
than any the doctors could get out of the hospital stores, and the 
men swallowed them without even a wry face. There were regular 
details to pick them. 

But little of interest occurred during the stay. The railroad 
was opened to Manchester, so that they had regular rations, and 
also a mail. It was a good place for the study of natural history. 
The varieties of snakes, lizards, jiggers, and bugs of every shape 
and color was immense, and all were kept in a state of 
irritation and discomfort from their bites, or the fear of them. 

On the 24th, Uncle Sam's representative the most warmly 
loved of all army officers the paymaster visited the army, and 
the 100th drew four months' rations of greenbacks. 

On the 2d of August there was an accident in camp, serious 
and nearly fatal. Just after inspection, one of the regiment was 
cleaning his gun, when it suddenly went off, wounding John 
Shoemaker, of Co. H, in the head, fracturing the skull. The ball 
also passed through several tents, and the hat of a man belonging 
to an adjoining regiment. 

One day part of the regiment went to Manchester as train 
guard. When they were returning, one of the captains had got 
a considerable distance ahead, and thought he would try his pistol, 
and selected as a mark something that looked like a twig on a bush 
by the road side. He popped away and with his usual skill hit 
the mark plump on the center. But it turned out that what he 
had taken for a twig, was the toe of a straggler, who had lain down 
in the bush with his bare and dirty foot resting on a log, and gone 
to sleep. The owner of the toe jumped up and danced round and 
made some fuss. Happily the wound was not serious, and the 


captain dressed it with " greenback " plaster, and made the man 
promise to keep dark, but the joke got out. 

Col. Buell, who was at this time iu command of three regi- 
ments, including the 100th, was exceedingly strict in his discipline 
of the camp. Not only was this true in respect to foraging, but 
also in respect to passing through the lines. Strict orders were 
given to the sentinels to allow no one to pass on any pretense what- 
ever without a pass and countersign, and, after a certain hour, they 
were not to be allowed to pass, even though they had both pass 
and countersign. The colonel was in the habit of visiting a certain 
house two or three miles outside the lines, where he had discov- 
ered some very pretty girls. One night, I presume forgetting the 
orders he had given, or thinking they would not be enforced against 
himself, he overstaid the hour, and on his return was duly halted. 
He dismounted, and gave the countersign all right, but was told 
by Corporal Henry Smith, in charge of the outpost, that he could 
not pass. Now, the colonel had been very strict in holding officers 
to account for the enforcement of his orders, and had made himself 
very unpopular by what seemed to many unnecessary severity. 
Corp. Smith recognized the colonel, but was none the less will- 
ing to carry out his orders. He therefore told the colonel that he 
must lead his horse up and down the beat until he (Smith) was 
relieved by another detail, when he would take him back to the 
lieutenant in charge of the post. Buell protested in vain that he 
was Col. Buell, and swore he would have Smith bucked and gagged 
if he did not allow him to pass. Smith knew his duty, and told 
him he could not pass if he was Gen. Rosecrans himself. And so 
Buell had to pace the sentry's beat under the cocked musket of 
the corporal, until his hour had expired, when he took the colonel 
back to the lieutenant in charge of the post and reported. Col. 
Buell also reported in no very choice or measured terms, but 
found the lieutenant as strict to obey orders as the corporal was, 
and the colonel was told that he must remain and pace the beat 
again until the lieutenant was relieved. The colonel was very 
wroth, and threatened to have the lieutenant court-martialed. 
But after storming awhile his wrath exhausted itself, and he 
changed his tactics, telling the lieutenant he had done right, and 
was to be commended for his obedience to orders. The lieutenant, 


thinking that the colonel had had enough of his own medicine, 
finally let him pass. Nothing was ever heard of the court- martial, 
and Corporal Smith became very popular in the brigade for his 
obedience to orders, and was soon after promoted. 

Another incident of some little interest occurred, while the 
division was stopping at Hillsboro. We have spoken of the 
colonel's habit of visiting outside the lines. This was at a fine 
plantation, owned by a rebel whose name we will call Smith, al- 
though it might have been Jones, or something else. This man 
found it for his interest to be very loyal now, and very polite, es- 
pecially to the officers of the army, and thus he got his family 
and his possfssious protected. Now it happened that he had^ome 
very sweet things in and about his fine mansion. Inside were 
some very pretty girls, while outside there was a fine stand of 
some twenty bee hives, well stocked with honey. Now, I need 
not say that soldiers, whether officers or privates, are very fond 
of sweet things. This would be only to say that they were hu- 
man. But the officers would of course have the inside track with 
the girls, as no others could get the entree of the house. Noth- 
ing therefore was left for the privates, but to go for the next 
sweetest thing, to- wit the honey. So it happened one night, that 
while the brigade commander was playing sweet with the girls in 
the house, some of the privates " confiscated " two or three boxes 
of the old reb's honey. The did the job so carelessly that the loss 
was discovered in the morning, and the old man made his com- 
plaint to the officer, who at once relieved the lieutenant, who had 
charge of the detail, with a severe reprimand. He then ordered 
Lieut. N. to take a new detail, and charged him most emphati- 
cally to allow no foraging threatening to have him cashiered, and 
his men shot, if anything of the kind was done. As the lieuten- 
ant left headquarters with his men, the A. A. A. G., who hap- 
pened to be a well known captain of the 100th, repeated the order 
in a very impressive manner ; but the boys imagined they saw 
in his eye, a slight wink, which they interpreted to mean " do not 
forage but if you must, be sure and not to get caught." Well, the 
lieutenant placed his pickets, and with those who were off' duty, 
bivouacked in the old man's verandah, and the night passed 
quietly. The old man slept without anxiety, on the assurance of 


the officer, who sparked his girls meantime, that all would be right. 
But it happened that in tins detail was a private who was a 
skilled workman, a man of science and experience, and during the 
nigh the carefully removed the tops of some of the hives, emptied 
them of their luscious load, and then replaced them so carefully 
that no traces of the theft were visible. The old man took a look 
in the morning at his bee hives, but everything looked right, and 
he remained in blissful ignorance of his loss. " He that is robbed, 
not knowing it, is not robbed at all." How long this state of 
happy ignorance continued, is not knovvn. But it lasted until the 
100th was well on its way over the Cumberland mountains, and 
the honey was among the things that had been. 

Early on the morning of the 16th of August, orders came to 
get ready to march at once. All was forthwith bustle and work, 
and by nine o'clock everything was ready, and at ten the army 
was again on the move. 

An amusing incident occurred on starting. Since lying at 
Hillsboro, headquarters mtss had rejoiced in the possession of a 
cook of the "cullud" and female "persuasion" a great fat 
negress, who had come into camp from the adjoining country, and 
being really a good cook, had been employed in that capacity. 
She was a great admirer of the a ljutant, pronouncing him the 
" hansummest man she ever sawed." Well, when " Aunt Emma " 
had got mounted on her old mule, with her kettles, pails, coffee 
pots, and other utensils strapped to the saddle, and ail her personal 
paraphernalia as well all nearly covering the mule out of sight, 
her red bandanna coiled over her head a la Turk, and her clothes 
streaming in the wind, and her impedimenta clattering by her side, 
she made a conspicuous, if not a military show. She now mani- 
fested her regard for the adjutant by trotting her old mule up past 
the regiment, an \ taking her position by his side! The expres- 
sion of mingled mirth and vexation on the face of the adjutant, the 
shouts and snickers of the men, and the grieved look of poor old 
Emma as she fell back to the rear on being politely informed that 
that was her position all made, a scene over which the boys have 
had many a laugh then and since. 

The day was extremely hot, and starting on a fast walk, many 
were soon used up, being nearly HIII- struck. At half- past four, 


they were at the foot of the mountain, eleven miles from Hi lls- 
boro. All took a good look at its steep and rugged sides, and 
dreaded the morrow's work, past experience having taught them 
that it would be no easy job to get the train up the mountain. 
The order for the next day was given out : reveille at three, march 
at four o'clock, anJ the men went to bed early to gather strength 
for the task before them. 

The next day more than fulfilled their expectations. The regi- 
ment was marched part way up the mountain, stacked arms, and 
turned in to work again reinforcing the mules, pushing and pull- 
ing at the wagons. The road was full of sharp turns, and the 
ascent at times almost perpendicular. They passed a splendid 
spring part way up the mountain which comes out of the ground, 
flows quite a stream, and after going away down the side, disip- 
pears in a hole in the rock. The wagons had to be partially 
unloaded, and two trips made for each load. The first one was 
not concluded before midnight. The regiment was then allowed 
to rest, and most of them fell asleep in their tracks, when one of 
those strango and unaccountable panics broke out, the origin of 
which, at the time, no one could tell. It started, no one could tell 
why, where, or how, but all at once the men found themselves 
running around in the dark, stumbling over the rocks and each 
other, and for a few moments all was confusion and apprehension 
of something, they knew not what. Some were under the impres- 
sion that the returning teams had run away, and they were in 
danger of being run over. But the scare soon ended, with nobody 
hurt. It was afterwards found that some mule driver ran over a 
soldier sleeping in the road, who started up from a sound sleep, 
half awake, and made such an outcry as to arouse the rest and 
create the panic. 

The ascent was completed by half- past nine o'clock the next 
morning, and a rest was given until one o'clock p. m. In get- 
ting up the mountain, the boys lost and had to throw away 
much of their baggage. Headquarters mess lost their provision 
box. The colonel lost his favorite camp chair. The adjutant 
and major lost their cots, and all, their tents. About the 
seventh day rations began to give out, and the boys were put 
on three-fourths allowance ; but they would not stay put, and 


occasionally a gun was heard to go off, and soon after two soldiers 
would be seen coming into camp, the one in front with a pig on 
his shoulder, and the other behind him with fixed bayonet, as if 
taking him to the provost. But, somehow or other, they faileil to 
report, and the pig disappeared very mysteriously, and headquar- 
ters did not inquire very closely into the adilition to their supper. 

They then man bed again about nine miles, going past Tracy 
City. This is a small town of about forty houses, and is noted for 
its coal mine, and a railroad; a branch of the C. & N. R. R. runs 
to it for the coal. 

Next day, the 19th, reveille at three. The regiment was 
detailed to guard supply train, and had to wait for it until nine, 
the rest of the division starting at six. The road was rouj;h, and 
much work was required to help the mules. After a march of fifteen 
miles, they went into camp. Next morning started at daylight 
with the train, and got across the mountain about noon. It took 
thirty-six hours to get up the mountain, one and a hilf miles, and 
the distance across diagonally was twenty or twenty-five miles a 
rugged and wild country, with here and there a log hut. The 
mountain was in fitted with rattlesnakes, huge and venomous j 
some were killed having eleven to thirteen rattles, and three or 
four feet long. They found a fine stream of water on the top of 
the mountain. 

Those having an fyc for beautiful scenery were now amply 
repaid for all the toil of the ascent ami crossing, by the view which 
lay spread out in the valley at the foot of the mountain. A most 
beautiful valley, with cultivated farms and orchards, dwellings, 
<fcc., was below them ; and there also lay encamped that portion of 
the army which had preceded them, the tents looking in the dis- 
tance no bigger than a man's hat. But the descent had yet to be 
made, and not miuh ti-ne can be spared to gratify the eye. Going 
down was not a^ c.-tsv a* rolling off a lojj. Indeed, it wis more 
tedious and dangerous ihan the ascent. The road was very 
crooked, and filled wiih gullies, boulders, &c. Four hours were 
required for the regimental ambulance to get down. The regi- 
ment camped in the valey at the base of the mountain, at a point 
known as *' Thurmrm's," a cluster of only two or thrco houses. 
Our army had captured a lew rebels, and also rescued four or five 


Union men, whom they had condemned to be shot, our cavalry get- 
ting there just in time to save them. 

The valley is one of great beauty and fertility, lying between 
two ranges of the Cumberland mountains, and four or five miles 
in width. Its correct name is said to be Chee-quasoh-ohee, of 
course an Indian name, which has been corrupted by the people 
into "Squatch," "Squash," and most generally "Sequachee." 
The valley is sixty miles long. It is a wonderful peach country, 
and the boys arrived in the height of the season, and indulged 
freely in the luxury. Quite a business is done here in making up 
a good share of the product into peach brandy. Some of the boys 
tried their hand at distilling it, and, I am afraid, at drinking it, 
too. It is said to be a rather rough liquor when new. In this 
valley were also several tanneries which had been busy tanning 
leather for the confederate army. 

Gen. Wood here issued a congratulatory order to his division 
for the splendid manner in which they had accomplished the late 
tedious march. 

The camp of the 100th was pitched in a most beautiful and 
romantic spot. Near by, gushing out from the foot of the moun- 
tain, was a large and beautiful spring, which supplied the division 
with water. Close by was the range of mountains over which 
they had just come, while across the valley was another range of 
about the same height, although not quite so precipitous. A little 
to the northwest was a long and rugged range of rocks, cut up 
with ravines, which in the changes of light and shade during the 
long summer's day, formed most beautiful pictures, needing but 
little aid from the imagination to seem an elevated and fortified 
city, with its walls, battlements, and towers, frowning defiance 
upon the beleaguering hosts below. 

The valley, as we have said, is one of the most fertile in the 
state. Besides the peaches, which seemed to grow spontaneously 
by the roadsides, and even in the timber, were found apples, green 
corn, melons, berries, and chickens, in great abundance. Near the 
base of the eastern range flows a stream of the same name as the 
valley. In this valley the army enjoyed a fortnight's rest, which 
was very grateful after the passage of the mountains. Frequent 
details were sent out to forage for man and mule. The valley was 


also fertile in other respects than those we have named, as will 
appear from the following incident : 

During the stay in the valley, Capt. Nelson was sent out with 
a detail for forage. Crossing the Sequachee Creek, he followed it 
down the valley for a few miles, but on ascertaining that a detail 
from another division was sent out before him, and had left but 
poor picking, he struck off to the left into another valley which 
debouched into the Sequachee. Going up this about five miles, 
the party came into a cultivated clearing, where they found peaches 
growing in abundance by the roadside. While the boys were har- 
vesting these, the captain made his way to a plantation not very 
far off. Here he found a large, two-story double log house, built 
of hewn logs, with great outside chimney stacks at either end, the 
roof and verandas covered with "shakes" all in the usual style 
of a southern well-to-do farmer. Sitting in the porch was an old 
man apparently about sixty years of age, and in the door was a 
pale-faced woman some ten or fifteen years younger. The captain, 
being invited to " have a cheer," entered into conversation with 
the couple. The old man said he had taken no part in the war, 
but was in favor of the old flag. The woman complained of hav- 
ing the " ager.'' The captain gave her some quinine, telling her 
how to take it, and assuring her that it would cure her in a few 
days. She seemed a little afraid of it at first, saying that she never 
" hearn tell " of it before ; she had had a " right smart chance of 
the ager," but she had always "got shut " of it by taking " roots 
and yerbs." But after seeing the captain taste of the powder, and 
being assured of its efficacy, she "allowed" she would try it. 
While this conversation had been going on, a lot of children, of all 
ages, sizes, and sexes, had been gathering around, all of them tow- 
headed, and dressed in the butternut linsey woolsey uniform of the 
country. The captain, supposing that they had gathered in from 
the neighboring plantations to have a look at a live yankee, jocosely 
inquired of the old man if these were all his children, and was 
astonished with a prompt affirmative reply. On giving voice to 
his surprise and incredulity, he was still more astonished by being 
assured that these were not all that they had twenty-four chil- 
dren, all living all born of the same mother, five pair being twins. 
The old man " allowed," morever, that they " mought " have 


more yet ! On the captain's rejoining his men and telling what he 
had seen, he was thought to be romancing, until the sight of the 
old man with his flock coming down through the grass confirmed 
the story. 

When they got back to camp, of course such a phenomenon 
was reported around the camp fires, and many, both officers and 
privates, made old man Oomans a visit, and were introduced to 
the " 24th Tennessee Infantry" as they most appropriately named 
the patriarch's flock. 

This seems a big story, but then we always did get big stories 
from Tennessee ! 

Certainly one of the vices of modern, fashionable society had 
not yet penetrated into this retired region ! 

On the 22d, there were two excitements. The first was occa- 
sioned by an order of Gen. Wood for the selection of 100 men and 
officers from the regiment to go upon a hard and dangerous expe- 
dition. The regiment was formed in line, and a call made for 
volunteers. Many more than the required number stepped forth. 
The strongest were selected, and ordered to get ready at once with 
three days' rations and sixty rounds of ammunition. 

The same number went from the other regiments of the bri- 
gade, making a force of four hundred, in charge of Col. Buell. 
The reported danger and secrecy of the movement, (none but the 
commander knowing its destination or object) made it quite ex- 
citing, both for those who went, and those who remained in camp. 
The next excitement came after dinner just as the boys were dis- 
cussing the one of the morning over their post- prandial pipes. 
An orderly came up in haste, with orders to fall in immediately, as 
a large force of cavalry was advancing, and was only five miles 
distant. Tents were forthwith struck, baggage packed with haste, 
and everything got ready to receive them, and thus the regiment 
remained until evening, and then rebuilt their tents. 

The expedition which went out returned just at night next 
day, well worn out, having traveled fifty-six miles up and down 
the mountains. The object had been to capture a steamboat that 
had run aground on the Tennessee river, and been deserted by 
the crew ; but the rebels had succeeded in getting it off a few 
hours before their arrival. They were within seven miles of Chat- 


tanooga, and brought back a paper of the 20th. On the route, 
which was through a region of much interest, they found mag- 
nificent springs coming out of the sides of the mountain so large 
and copious as to run mills. They had a very hard and fatigu- 
ing trip. Some of the boys got so sleepy marching in the night 
that they actually slept on the march, and lost their guns while 
traveling along. 

Elder Crews left the regiment while it was in the valley, and 
gave the boys his farewell address, August 25th. Before we 
take leave of the chaplain, we must tell one more story of him: 
While the regiment was lying near Pelham, he thought lie 
would take a bath. He selected a spot which seemed secure from 
observation, and was enjoying the luxury, when some soldiers, that 
belonged to another division, and did not know him, came along 
and spied hh gray head in the water. They took him for some 
old codger of the country, and thought they would have some fun 
at his expense. So they commenced throwing sticks at him, and 
ordered him to come out. He remonstrated with them, very 
mildly at first ; but when, instead of desisting, they began to throw 
stones, the chaplain thought that forbearance was no longer a 
grace, and he stepped out and went for them. When they saw 
his elxn, and his well- developed muscles, they wheeled and 
effected a hasty retreat. 

The division remained at Thurrnan's until Sept. 1st, when at 
6:30 a. rn., it again took up the march. The road was exceed- 
ingly dusty, marched twenty miles and camped at 3 o'clock p. in. 
at Jasper, where they stayed until nearly night the next day. 
Near Jasper is a large and interesting cave, called " Petea's Cave." 
This was explored by Scrgt. Holmes and others, to the extent of 
a quarter of a mile. He speaks of it as very beautiful. There 
was a large round room, the dome of which could not be dis- 
cerned with the light they had, but a stream of water came dowu 
from it with a deafening noise, no aperture could be seen. On a 
subsequent visit a passage was found and the cave was explored 
a mile and a half further, and an opening found coming out in 
another part of the mountain. Saltpeter was manufactured here 
by the rebels. 

Just at night, Sept. 2 1, orders came to march to the river seven 


or eight miles distant. It was a very dark night, and their pro- 
gress was slow, reaching the river about midnight. The crossing- 
was made on small flat boats which had been captured a few days 
before. The brigade did not all get over until nearly daylight, 
and camped about a half mile from the river, in the finest crop of 
weeds ever seen, so tall and thick that one tent could not be seen 
from another. This point was known as Shell Mound, from a 
mound near by. A small brick depot was the extent of the town. 
A large cave called Nickijack, was near by in which the rebels 
had manufactured saltpeter quite extensively. It was said by 
Eome of the inhabitants that the cave had been explored for seven 
miles, and others said that it was fourteen in extent. It is second 
only to the Mammoth Cave, both in extent and beauty. Near 
this place also is the place where the states of Georgia, Alabama 
and Tennessee touch each other, and it is marked by a stone monu- 
ment, and one can if he has large feet stand in three states at 
the same time. Many of the boys availed themselves of the op- 

On the afternoon of the 5th, the brigade moved eight miles 
along the railroad. On one side were high rocks, sometimes two 
hundred feet high, and on the other river. On the 6th, went to 
\Vauhatchie, a station on the North Carolina and Trenton railroad, 
in Lookout Valley. On the right lay Lookout mountain, and 
along its ridge could be seen the signal stations of the enemy. 
All sorts of rumors were rife in camp. They were now within 
seven miles of the " Gibraltar of the west," as the rebels regarded 
Chattanooga. A rebel mail and two prisoners were captured 
here. That night, after most of the men had got to sleep they 
were awakened and ordered to move back about two miles, rested 
there until 3:30, when the men were called up again, ordered to 
cook breakfast without fires. This was a hard job to do, but hard 
tack and bacon made the meal. The regiment then stood at arms 
until sunrise, when they were allowed to build fires and have their 
coffee. The position was then changed a little, and the day spent 
waiting. Col. Barker's brigade of the division, during the day 
made a reconnoisance, going about a mile beyond the halting 
place of the previous night, when the enemy opened upon them 
wiih three guns, killing one man, and they returned. Our bri- 


gade remained at the same place. On the 9th it was called up at 
four, and had breakfast. The first order was for the brigade to 
go forward and reconnoitre, but this was changed, and the whole- 
force moved on, news having come from Gen. Wagner, who was* 
opposite the town, that Chattanooga was evacuated. The brigade- 
was on the advance, and the 100th was the second regiment that 
entered the town. The road over the end of the mountain was- 
very narrow and rough, but despite that and the heat and dust, 
the joy of getting possession of this stronghold kept up the spirit 
of the troops. 

The next day the brigade marched out ten miles, meeting some 
deserters, and seeing small bodies of rebel cavalry. On the llth, 
advanced three-quarters of a mile further, where they staid till 
6 p. m., hearing occasional firing; then marched until 11, going a 
little further, and camping on Chickamauga creek. It was a hard 
inarch, reminding the boys of the one which they made before 
Perry vi lie, the dust being very deep, and no water to be had, and 
very dark. Here they found Barker's brigade, which had been 
fkirniishing all the afternoon. This place was known as the Lee 
& Gordon's mills, the house of the proprietors and the mills being 
all of the town. The rebels had tried to destroy the mills and a 
kirgettock of grain in them, but our forces drove them off before 
they could effect their object. 

Here the brigade remained until the memorable 19th of Septem- 




TO MARCH, 1864. 

Chickamauga Preliminaries How the Battle Opened on the 19th How 
the 100th Behaved and Fared Night Casualties Sunday, the 20th No Day 
of Rest Battle Renewed How the 100th Fared Incidents Casualties 
Results Reports Official and Otherwise After the Battle Letters from 
Adjutant Rouse Army in Chattanooga In a Tight Place Gets Hungry 
Holds on Expeditions Starvation Imminent Stealing from the Mules 
Delegation from Will County Prospects Improve Gen. Thomas in Com- 
mandGrant Helps us Out Rations Improve A Snake Story One Story 
Left for Deacon Williams Regiment Moves Out Onward Movement Or- 
chard Knob taken Advance to foot of Mission of Ridge Takes the Works 
at Base Boys Forget to Stop Up the Mountain Rebel Works Taken 
Chickamauga Avenged Pursuit A Response from Libby March to Burn- 
side's Relief Knoxville Regiment Stays up There Various Movements 
Foraging Battle of the Convalescents Advance On Dandridge Retreat 
Camps at London Tedium Time Idle Hours Resources A Plea for To- 
bacc A Compromise Suggested Moves to Athens. 


hSHALL attempt no general description of the great battle on the 

Chickamauga, where its name was justified in proving as it 
did, the " River of Death" to so many brave men, both Union 
and rebel. My only object is to trace the -history of the 100th 
through this, its second great battle. As we have seen, by a series 
of masterly movements on the part of Rosecrans, he had man- 
oevured Bragg out of the stronghold of Chattanooga, and made 


him withdraw to the south or east of Chickamauga Creek, where 
he awaited rein forcemeats from Longstreet, which, unfortunately 
for the army of Rosecrans, came in time and in force sufficient to 
break the Union army into pieces, and to send its broken ranks, 
after a brave resistance, back to Chattanooga ; leaving many a 
brave soldier dead or wounded on the field, and in the hands of 
the enemy. Thanks, however to the masterly generalship of 
Thomas, and the undauntable courage of his command, the enemy 
though victorious at some points, were not after all masters of the 
field, and did not succeed in getting possession of the coveted 
stronghold. In its result, this battle was about equally fatal to 
both rebel and Union armies, and to the reputation of their sev- 
eral commanders. 

In the skirmishing which preceded the battle, the 100th was 
not seriously engaged. Two brigades of Wood's division, Har- 
her's and Buell's, (Wagner's remaining at Chattanooga) marched 
out ten and a half miles to Gordon's Mills which they reached on 
night of the llth, coming upon the ground which had been occu- 
pied the previous night by the corps of the Rev. Rebel Gen. Polk. 
The camp fires of the enemy could be seen across the creek. 

We shall now give the narrative of a member of the regiment : 
"Nothing but occasional picket firing occurred in front of our 
division, until Friday, the 18th, when about noon the rebels made 
a demonstration, our pickets falling back to the creek, and soon 
after a force, seemingly a brigade of four regiments, came out of 
the woods in front of our division, apparently intending to cross the 
creek at the ford near the mill. But our artillery soon made 
them take the cover of the woods again. Subsequent events 
showed that the movement was only designed to mask one on an- 
other part of the line ; the real design being to pass a force down 
to our left, cross the creek, and cut our array off from Chattanooga. 
Part of our forces were therefore moved to our left on the night of 
the 18th to meet them, and on the morning of the 19th, about 
8:30 a. m., an engagement began on our left, continuing through the 
forenoon, and into the afternoon, our division remaining at Gor- 
don's Mills, until about 3 p. m., when it was ordered to move on 
the double quick by the flank to the left to support Davis' divis- 
ion, which was being hard pressed. Our brigade was accordingly 


formed behind the 8th Ind. and 6th Ohio batteries, and com- 
menced to advance in two lines, the 100th 111. and the 26th Ohio 
In front. But almost as soon as they had got into position, the 
troops in front gave way, and came rushing through the lines of 
our division in wild confusion, a battery running over our men 
killing one and wounding several others, and compelling the bri- 
gade to fall back also, across a narrow field to the edge of the 
wood where it reformed. In crossing this field they were under a 
raking fire of the enemy, and suffered considerable loss. The 
regiment having reformed its lines, an aid of Gen. Wood's came to 
Ool. Bartleson, saying. " Colonel, Gen. Wood wants the 100th to 
make a x bayonet charge on the advancing enemy." The word wa3 
given, and the boys responded with a cheer, and charging drove 
the rebels back across the field into the wood where they rallied, 
and our regiment endured a short and murderous fire. The ene- 
my then rallied and made a charge upon our troops in turn, and 
the regiment on the left of the 100th gave way. The 100th main- 
tained its ground until all the troops on both its right and left 
had given way, and were about to be surrounded, and were get- 
ting a sharp fire on either flank as well as in front, when they fell 
back again, leaving many dead and wounded on the field. Again 
our brigade rallied and drove the enemy in turn, and again' re- 
treated, and again rallied. During the engagement, Major Ham- 
mond with a party of volunteers, who promptly responded to his 
call, retook from the enemy three pieces of the 8th Ind. battery, 
and hauled them off by the hand. Every inch of grouud was 
hotly contested until night closed the contest, neither side having 
gained any material advantage. The enemy, however, had been 
foiled in their effort to break through our lines at this point, and 
our brigade held the ground somewhat in advance of its original 
position. It was here that the rebel Gen. Hood, lost his leg, and 
the boys of the 100th claim the honor of doing the job for him." 

Sergt. Garnsey, after the battle of Franklin, had a conversa- 
tion with a rebel officer, (who had been taken prisoner) in refer- 
ence to the Chickamauga battles, and who asked how many bri- 
gades we had at this point. When told that we had but one, he 
was incredulous, and said that they sent in a fresh brigade each 


"Night having come on the brigade was placed in a strong po- 
sition to resist a night attack, aud the tired survivors were permit- 
ted to gain what rest and refreshment was possible, while details 
with Surgeon Woodruff and ambulances, gathered up the dead and 
wounded, as far as they were able ; the enemy firing occasionally 
upon them. 

" The casualties in the 100th had been about seventeen killed, 
one hundred wounded, and twenty-six missing. The captain of 
Co. H found himself with only seven men in his command. Two 
officers of the regiment had been wounded. These were Lt. Col. 
Waterman, who received a flesh wound in the arm, and Lieut. 
Bartlett, of Co. E, who was wounded in the head. Col. Water- 
man and Adjutant Rouse had their horses shot under them. How 
any escaped seemed a wonder to the survivors, as the regiment 
was for three and a half hours in a shower of leaden hail. 

" Next day was the Sabbath, but no day of rest to the armies 
on the Chickamauga. About four o'clock in the morning, the 
division was moved back to a position on the left of Crittenden's 
corps. Early in the day it was ordered to take the place previ- 
ously occupied by Negley's division, about two miles farther to 
the left. The division was formed in two lines, first line deployed 
the second in double column closed in mass. In moving up into 
position, and throwing out skirmishers, the enemy was aroused ; 
and Col. Bartleson conceived the idea of making a charge, with- 
out having received orders to do so. It turned out to be an un- 
fortunate movement. The regiment was led by the Colonel him- 
self in the advance, upon a masked battery, supported by infantry, 
who opened upon them with terrible effect. The regiment was 
compelled to fall back in a somewhat demoralized condition to its 
proper place in the division. But the colonel and some portions 
of the regiment did not fall back, and their fate was for a time un- 
known. The major took command of the regiment. In about 
fifteen minutes after, Col. Buell, the brigade commander, was or- 
dered, either by Wood, commanding the division, or by Critten- 
den corps commander, (neither general would ever admit the fact), 
to move to the left to support Reynold's division. Col. Buell 
hesitated to obey the order, and said to the aid who brought it, 
"Tell the general that my skirmishers are actively engaged, and 


I cannot safely make the move." Very soon the officer returned, 
and gave the orders imperatively. Major Hammond said to Col. 
Buell, that he would be court-martialed before he would obey the 
order. Nevertheless the order was put into execution, and in 
less time than it has taken to write it, the enemy being on the 
alert, saw the movement, charged through the space made vacant, 
attacking our brigade in flank. They captured the 8th Ind. bat- 
tery again, and completely demoralized the brigade, each regiment, 
and in fact, each individual fighting the balance of the day on its 
own hook. This unfortunate movement is spoken of in the history 
of the day as the " fatal gap," and neither division nor corps 
commander would ever father the order. 

"When Col. Bartleson led the charge we have spoken of, and 
meeting such a rebuff the regiment mostly fell back, the colonel 
himself and parts of companies D and F rallied behind a picket 
fence near a log house ; the colonel seeming to think that the po- 
sition could be held. Accordingly they remained for some time 
exchanging shots with the enemy. Here Captain Burrell and 
Sergeant Backus, of Co. D, were wounded. Discovering after a 
little that they were left there alone, and were about to be flanked 
on both sides, and sure to be captured if not killed, most of the 
men fell back to the breastworks, where they expected to find the 
rest of the brigade, but here they found everything on the retreat 
and they followed on with the rest. 

" But for some reason Col. Bartleson and Lieuts. Kenniston 
and Koach did not succeed in making good their escape, and were 
captured with some dozen or more others. The 100th would 
have made as good a fight on this as on the previous day, but 
for the unfortunate manner in which it was handled. When this 
" fatal gap" was made, and the brigade was moving by the flank, 
upon the double quick, the enemy poured into them, in front and 
flank, such a murderous fire of musket balls, grape and canister 
as nothing could withstand. They tried to keep their ranks in 
order, but the regiment spread out wider and wider, and soon all 
organization was lost, and they retired with other troops on the 
right towards Rossville, where they lay on the 21st in position. 
Some, more or less, fell into other organizations, and some reached 
Thomas and Granger's forces and aided in the fight that saved 


the day. Of this number were Sergt. Holmes, of Co. G, and 
Selah Spaulding, of Co. F. John W. Goodenow, also of Co. E 
is said to have fought during the two days' battle in six different 

Thus closed the scene. As is well-known, Thomas, with the 
aid of Granger's reserves, saved the army from utter defeat and 
enabled it to fall back to Chattanooga, and thus the great object 
of the enemy was defeated, though by a narrow chance, and at a 
fearful loss. 

The 100th regiment went into the fight with 315 men, and 
lost of this number, about 165. Every color guard but one, 
(Neal Platt) was killed. A list of casualties is here given. 

Casualties of the 100th in battle on the Chickamauga, Sept. 
19th and 20th, 1873: 


Co. A George Stewart, Alonzo N. Jones, Philip White. Co. B Win. 
B. Burr, Samuel Rodgers, Corporal Justin Steinmetz, John Barrett, Charles 
Sampson, Sergt. Hiram H. Harter. Co. C Theodore Dorkendotf, Henry 
Karch, Thomas R. Parker, Sergt. John Bez, Lewis A. Prosser. Co. E Ser- 
geant Milton J. Smith, Sergt. Stephen M. Spafford, Corp. Chas. P. Spencer, 
Corp. Daniel Linebarger, Giles Dixon, Jr. Co. F Felix Durres, Patrick 
Scanlan. Co. G Gotleib Weideroer, Matthew Bush, Albert Deal, George 
Price. Co. H Corp. L. M. Lyon, Ahas Young. Co. I Geo. Irish, Francis 
P. Kelly. Co. K Sergt. E. S. Miner, J. B. Morey, Amos B. Davis, Sergeant 
H. W. Morford. 


Lieut. Col. A. N. Waterman, flesh of arm ; Capt John A. Burrell, Co. D, 
severe ; Lieut. M. N. M. Stewart, Co. A, slight ; Lieut. Anson Patterson, Co. 
E se vere in leg ; Lieut. R. F. Bartlett, Co. E, slight. 


Col. F. A. Bartleson ; Lieut. Jerry Kenniston, Co. H ; Lieut. Samuel 
Koach, Co. D ; Asst. Surgeon H. T. Woodruff. Co. A John Hay, Warren S. 
Noble. Co. B Geo. E. Mclntyre. Co. C Mathias Snyder, supposed killed. 
Co. D Corp. Geo. M, Dake, Rui'us Bolton, John Lyman. Co. F Sidney S. 
Campbell. Co. G Sergt. James J. Harley, supposed to be dead. Co. I 
Wm. R. Jones, John Augustine, Owen Evans, Henry C. Nobles. 


Olivei P. Stumph, hospital steward. Co. B Geo. Mclntyre. Co. C 
Wm. Peters, Anson Dodge, William Newberry, Eugene Sly. Co. D G. W. 
Hill. Co. E George Pickles. Co. G Felix Calkins. Co. H James F. 
Ladieu, John Cotton. Co. K Wm. W. King, Erastus Rudd. 


Co. A Sergt. E. P. Smith, severe ; Corp. Elias Yates, severe ; Francis 
A. Butler, left arm amputated ; Peter Brodie, Edgar C. Buss, William T. 
Burker, Wm. Gundy, William Hawley, Thomas McQueen, H. W. Clark, all 
severe; James H. Preston, James Dowling, LeRoy Jewell, Roger Breuuan, 


Francis J. Fisher, all slightly. Co. B Sergt. Lewis Linebarger, Samuel 
Weinhold, both slight; Sergteant Henry A. Smith. Co. C Sergeant Henry 
M. Starrin, Sergeant Joseph Zeller, Corporal Anson Dodge, (prisoner,) 
Corporal John Hammond, Benjamin Bever, (died), Albert N. Cham- 
berlain, Benoni L. Abbott, all severe. (The two last named are sup- 
posed to have died on the field.) Martin Fishbaugh, slight ; Gothard 
Freehotf, leg; Christian Lang, severe; Daniel Mast, slight; William, 
Peters, slight ; Peter Schmitt, severe ; Augustus W. Welchlin, severe. Co. 
D Sergt. John Fellows, severe; Sergt. Franklin G. Bachus, Peter Peterson, 
Christ. Lookentery ; Russell Hartung, arm ampt. (died); Charles Arnen, 
prisoner, (all severe); Corporal Elias Brown, slight; Aimsa Carter, George 
Kines, Joseph Countryman, Louden Jacobs, all slight. Co. E Corp. Van. 
H. Perkins, mortally ; Corp. Andrew J. Fries, severe, arm amputated; Jas. 
McCune, (died) ; John Maples, Henry Bridge, George A Fabrick, Rich ird. 
F. Smith, Patrick McH ugh; Wm. Reed, (died); Wrn. H Brace, Mahlon W. 
Harrington, both severe. Co. F Sergt James Gleason ; Joseph Butcher, 
severe; George Grange, Edwaid Flannery, John Mallon, John Young. Geo. 
Simpson. Co. G Corp. Chas. H. Snoad, prisoner ; Frank Adams, Enoch 
Dodge, Decatur Goodenow. all slight ; John C. Batteman, leg broke ; Alex. 
Moat, Jeptha Pierson, Wm. Shaw, Joseph W. Tucker, all severely; Frank 
LaFayette, Wm. Barse, L. L. Warren, Wm. Hunt; Joshua Bush, run over 
by cannon. Co. H--Sergt. Chas. H. RusselJ, Wm. B. Connor, Corp. William 
Strunk, John Albright, Isaac J. Jenks : Henry C. King, severe ; Barnett W. 
Henninger, W. C. Morse, George W. Murry, Wash. H. Thomas; William E. 
Temple, severe ; Deratus T. Moore, severe, died Dec. 17, 18(53. Co. I Sergt. 
John Hays, slight; Jerry O'Leary, Henry Parkinson, Wm. Stonerock, Levi 
C. Price, all severely; John Robson, John Mahoney, John H. Butler, Sarn. 
Aspinwall, all slightly. Co. K Francis Green, M. C. Snyder, A. J. Purins?- 
ton, Wm. Munday, Orson Churchill, all slightly; Joseph Sloan, leg broken. 

Albert N. Chamberlain and Benoin L. Abbott, reported miss- 
ing and wounded in the above list, were eeen next day lyin^ dead 
upon the field with others by some of the regiment who had been 
captured, and who were marched over the field on the way to 
Atlanta. But their fate was not certainly known to their friends- 
until about eighteen months afterwards, when these prisoners were 
released. As is well known, the rebels left many of our dead 
unburied, and when our army got possession of the ground, the 
bones were buried. 

Justin Steinmetz, one of the killed of Co. B, was one of the 
bravest and best of the company. He was painfully and mortally 
wounded in the bowels, so that they protruded.. Holding them 
in with one hand, he took one more shot at the enemy with the 
other, and had just laid down his rifle, when another shot hit him 
in the head and mercifully closed his career without further suf- 


Col. Buell, in his official report of the action of the brigade, 
says : " I take pleasure in commending to their superiors, * * 
Lieut. Col. Waterman and Major Hammond, of the 100th 111., for 
their endurance and bravery throughout the entire conflict. In 
Col. Bartleson, of the 100th 111., and Captain Ewing, of the 26th 
Ohio, our country lost two most valuable officers. My personal 
staff, Capt. James G. Elwood, A. A. A. G., * * Lieut. J. C. 
Williams, aide-de-camp, Capt. Gardiner, provost marshal, * * 
were ever efficient and ready, being in the hottest of the fight" 

When the army fell back during the night of the 19th, or 
morning of the 20th, the division hospital, which had been estab- 
lished near Crawfish Springs, and to which the wounded of our 
regiment had been taken in charge of Surgeon Woodruff, fell 
within the advanced lines of the enemy. Such as were slightly 
wounded had been sent into Chattanooga. When the poor, 
wounded boys found that they were to fall prisoners into the hands 
of the rebels, they were downcast. Surgeon Woodruff and Stew- 
ard Stumph, as well as the hospital attendants, assured them that 
they would stand by them, which they did, though at a fearful 
cost to some of them. In the course of the next day the rebels 
came into possession of the hospital, and its contents and attend- 
ants. The manner in which they were treated and disposed of is 
given in a separate narrative of Surgeon Woodruff, and to that the 
reader is referred. We will only say here that there were thirty- 
one wounded men of the 100th in the hospital ; one of these, Van 
L. Perkins, son of Wm. H. Perkins, a long time resident of Joliet, 
died on the 30th. 

Charles E. Spencer, of Troy, who was among the killed on 
the 19th, was one of the best of soldiers. He had stepped out a 
little in front of the line, and falling upon one knee was firing 
rapidly, when he was struck with a ball in the forehead and killed 

Lieut. Williams, of Co. G, who was serving on Col. Buell's 
staff, had his favorite gray mustang shot and killed under him, 
and he himself narrowly escaped being captured, but his legs, al- 
though they are not the longest, served him a good purpose. It 
is said that no fast horse he has ever owned made belter time 
than the Lieut, did toward Chattanooga. 



Gen. Wood, in his official report thus speaks of one member of 
Co. A: "Early in the conflict of Sunday, ray color-bearer was 
wounded. The colors were taken by Samuel Goodrich of Co. A, 
100th regiment, who bore aloft my standard through the day, re- 
maining with me all day." 

Henry C. King (Little Harry) of whom we have spoken as one 
of the " pony team," was severely wounded in both thighs, one shot 
going through the flesh of both legs. While lying on the field, a 
rebel general came along, and noticing his youthful appearance, 
asked him what he was there for, to which he replied. " I am here 
to shoot just such men as you !" 

It has been stated that Col. Bartleson was taken prisoner, but 
for a considerable time it was supposed that he had been killed. 
The report of Gen. Wood, bearing date the 29th, speaks of him 
as probably killed. Parties thought they had seen him fall. One 
man claimed to have seen him in the division hospital, just before 
it fell into the hands of the enemy. During thn period of sus- 
pense in respect to his fate, Col. George P. Buell, who commanded 
the brigade in which the 100th fought, wrote to Hon. J. O. Nor- 
ton, as follows : 

" Colonel Bartleson's conduct was most noble and gallant up 
to the the last moment I saw him. In fact, he was too brave and 
daring for his own good. You may take this consolation to 
your heart that should Col. B. ever fall on the battle-field, he will 
fall as all true men wish to fall, doing his whole duty with his 
face to the enemy. Being the immediate commander of Col. B., 
in the late engagement, and of course a witness of his conduct, I 
have taken the liberty to write you this, believing that these few 
truths will help to ease your pain and calm your grief." 

Col. Bartleson's movement on the 20th, seems to have been an 
imprudent one, although very bold and heroic. Had it been 
successful however, it would have been prudent, and would have 
been approved by his superior officers, and applauded by all. A 
similar movement made on the Atlanta campaign, as we shall see, 
was all right because it was successful. Success like charity, 
covers a multitude of sins, both in military and civil life. 

The 100th regiment, what was left of it, gathered together 
again at Rossville on the 21st, in command of Major Hammond. 


Here oar forces were collected to make a stand and dispute any 
advance of the enemy. But the enemy did not come, and on the 
22d our army fell back toward Chattanooga. All were fearful 
that Rosecrans could not maintain his position, but by the 23d, 
Gen. Wood came round and told the boys that they could hold 
the place in spite of anything that Bragg could bring. 

Sergeant Holmes, of Co. G, gives the following account of the 
closing scene in this day's fight, as it affected our regiment, and 
of the three subsequent days : 

" After marching by the right flank, a short distance, the rebs 
open on us, and send in the bullets as thick as hail stones. The 
boys will not stand it at all, and put for the rear. I stand behind 
a tree a while, and then think if no one else will stay it is no use 
for me, so I put on after the rest, and after going through a corn- 
field, up a hill, I find the major rallying the men at the brow. 
Some stop, but as soon as the bullets begin to whiz, off they go 
again up the hill a little further. Then they rally again and some 
other regiments come up, and we stand and pour it into the var- 
mints. They soon begin to run and we after them, until we get 
to the open field. Then another rebel regiment advances with 
the red flag flying, dressed in our uniform. Some of us open on 
them, and others say, " don't do it, they are our men." While 
paying attention to this regiment, up comes a division on our 
right to flank us, so we have to " skedaddle" again. Up we go 
to another hill, there rally and give it to the rebs; My car- 
tridges give out, and I empty a dead man's into my box. I fire 
away here as long as I can see any rebels to fire at. Then we go 
to the left and fight along with the 21st Ohio awhile. Then I go 
farther to the left, and fall in with Granger's corps, and fight with 
them. I find one of Colt's rifles and lay mine down and take 
that. We fight here until nearly dark, when the rebels give way 
and we are the victors. The ground is covered with the wounded 
and dead. We see some rebels in front, and hallo at them to 
come in, but they will not come, they are afraid to go one way or 
the other. One or two of our men fire at them, and they all run 
but two. These get behind trees. I jump over the breastwork of 
rails and go out toward them, telling them if they don't come in 


and lay down their arms, I will shoot them. On this, they throw 
down their guns, and I take them in and turn them over. Selah 
Spaulding, of Co. F, has been with me all this time, and we start 
off to find some water. We meet Gen. Wood, and he tells us 
there is no water where we are going. We ask him where our 
brigade is. He tells us that they are up in the woods a short dis- 
tance. We go on and find it, but only a few of our regiment 
are with them. Lieut. Ewen and John Brandon are all we 
found of Co. G. We are here but a short time when we are or- 
dered off and march back where it is thought we can find water, 
but we do not stop until we get within four miles of Chattanooga. 
Here we stack our arms, and bivouac for the night. 

"Sept. 21st, Monday, get up, get our breakfast, and get ready 
for a move if there should be any. After a while up comes what 
is left of the old hundreth, in command of the major. We soon 
move back to the front again, upon a hill, and build breastworks, 
and wait for the enemy. They do not come to us, but we hear 
heavy firing on the right. More troops come up after dark, and 
cut down trees and build breastworks. They also mask a bat- 

"Tuesday, Sept. 22d. Last night a little after eleven we were 
called up and moved back toward Chattanooga. When nearly there, 
we stopped, camped and cooked coffee. After daylight moved out 
and built breastworks, and lay all day in line in the trenches. 

Sept. 23d. Last night there was a little scare and we were 
ordered to fall in, but soon lay down again and had a good 
night's sleep. The rebs do not yet come up. We go to work on 
the breastworks, old Gen. Wood comes around and tells us we 
can hold them in spite of anything to-day." 

The following is from the official report of Gen. Crittenden, 
commanding the 21st army corps : 

" With pride I point to the services of Brig. Gen. Wood, and his gallant 
command. The last of my corps ordered to the scene of conflict, they be- 
came engaged almost the very moment of their arrival. Unexpectedly ran 
over by a portion of our troops who were driven back upon them, the bri- 
gade of Col. Buell was thrown into confusion and borne along with the fly- 
ing for a short distance, but were soon and easily rallied by Gen. Wood and 


Col. Buell, and chough the loss had been very heavy, for so short a conflict 
these brave men were led back by their division and brigade commanders to 
the ground from which they had been forced. On Sunday, when our lines 
were broken, Brig. Gen. Wood, with the brigades of Harker and Barns, and 
that part of Col. Buell's brigade not cut off by the enemy, reached Major 
Gen. Thomas, as ordered, and participated in the battle of that day, with 
honor to themselves. Such was the conduct of this, the last part of my com- 
mand, all of which has been published to the country as having disgrace- 
fully fled the field." 

Wishing to give everything which relates to our 100th regi- 
ment in this battle, I copy a few paragraphs from the official re- 
port of Gen. Wood, commanding the division : 

" Seeing no other reserve at hand, and assured that both Harker and 
Carlin were seriously engaged, I determined to hold Buell's brigade in hand 
to meet emergencies. And it was fortunate I did so, for ere long Carlin's 
brigade was swept back out of the woods, across the cornfield^ and iuto the 
woods beyond the field, on the western side of the road, carrying everything 
away with it. When I observed the rush across the cornfield, I was near 
the 100th 111. With a view of checking the advancing and exultant enemy 
I ordered Col. Bartleson, commanding the 100th 111., to fix bayonets and 
charge on the foe. The bayonets were properly fixed, and the regiment had 
Just commenced to advance when it was struck by a crowd of fugitives, and 
swept away in the general melee. The whole of Buell's brigade was thus 
carried off its feet. It was necessary that it should fall back across the nar- 
row field on the western side of the road to the edge of the wood under 
whose cover it rallied. As soon as possible it was formed along the fence, 
separating the field from the woods, and with the aid of a part of Carlin's 
brigade, and a regiment of Wilder's brigade, dismounted, repulsed the ene- 
my. * * * * Buell's brigade was formed just east of the road 
when it was struck by Carlin's brigade, and hence it had to retire about the 
distance of two hundred yards to get the shelter of the woods for reforming. 
But in crossing this narrow space, it suffered terribly ; the killed and 
wounded were thickly strewn on the ground. So soon as the enemy was re- 
pulsed, I addressed myself to forming Col. Buell's brigade, for the purpose 
of advancing to recover the lost ground. I led the brigade back in person 
and reoccupied the ground from which it had been forced." 

This in respect to the 19th. In respect to the 20th, he says : 

"I advanced my command and occupied the position assigned. In 
throwing out my skirmishers to cover my front I aroused the enemy, and 
had quite a sharp affair with him. By a very imprudent advance of his regi- 
ment at this moment, done without an order, Col. Bartleson (moving him- 
self in advance of his troops) was shot from his horse, and either killed or 
very severely wounded ; it was impossible to decide which, on account of 
the proximity of the place where he fell to the enemy's lines. He was an 


accomplished and gallant officer, and a high-toned, pure minded gentleman 
His loss is a serious disadvantage to the regiment and the sarvice." 

The writer received soon after the battle the following letters 
from Adjutant Rouse, which as they explain the situation of our 
regiment during the battle and for a few days after, I give in full. 
I wish also to incorporate in this history some memento of the 
writer, whose fate it was to fall himself subsequently, and whose 
death was so deeply regretted by all who knew him : 

CHATTANOOGA, Sept. 24th, 1863. j 
George H. Woodruff, Esq. 

DEAR SIR : When it became apparent on Sunday that we 
should be compelled to give way before superior numbers, sur- 
geons were selected to remain in our hospitals in charge of such 
of our wounded, as from the severity of their wounds, or want of 
time, could not be sent to the rear. Your son Henry was one of 
the number selected for this important duty, and I suppose that 
communication with him will be temporarily interrupted. He 
had here, as at Stone river, made himself very conspicuous for his 
activity and efficiency. This morning we have nearly completed 
a splendid line of breastworks, forming a continuous circle from 
the Tennessee river on the east to the foot of Lookout mountain 
on the west, a distance of between two and three miles. Close 
along our front lie the enemy, without doubt preparing for an at- 
tack. Thick along the breastworks, confident and determined, 
stand our brave and noble men, ready to meet the shock of battle. 
On Sunday evening and Monday morning all were fearful, but 
on Monday we checked the advance on a line of hills five miles 
south. of Chattanooga. On Monday night we again fell back and 
commenced in earnest to fortify the town, and by Tuesday even- 
ing, had succeeded so well that we began to take courage. Since 
then we have worked night and day, and are now strongly en- 
trenched. You have heard of our losses, and will sorrow with 
us for the suffering and the dead. Our regiment went into the 
fight on Saturday, at 3 o'clock P. M., 313 strong. Before dark 
17 lay dead and 100 were wounded. Our entire loss is believed 
to be 22 enlisted men killed, and five officers and 104 enlisted 


men wounded. The Colonel and Lieut. Kenniston are in the 
hands of the enemy. The Colonel was seen to fall but a few rods 
in front of the advancing rebel line, but it is not known that he 
was even hurt. Twenty-three enlisted men are still missing. I 
will write you again if I learn anything more. We have been 
repulsed, but we are not disheartened." 

Three days later, Sept. 27th, Adjutant Rouse wrote : 

" The impression gains ground that the rebels will not attack 
our entrenchments ; though the hills and valleys along our entire 
front are nightly lit up by the camp fires of the enemy, who were 
promised on the evacuation of this place, that we should be speed- 
ily driven back across the Tennessee or anihilated. They know 
too well the strength of the position, and our fighting qualities to 
make an attack. Rumors are current of a flank movement by the 
rebels, but it is not much feared. The little band of the 100th 
(for such it seems) that is left after their long campaigns, are 
gladly improving such relaxation as the nature of our situation 
will allow. Only ten of the wounded of our regiment remain in 
hospital here; all the rest who were not left in rebel hands having 
been sent North. Dr. Heise and his wife are still here doing all 
that can be done for the boys. Lieut-Col. Waterman is improv- 
ing and will remain here. Maj. Hammond, now in command, is 
a first-rate practical man and a competent officer. I cannot learn 
that communication has been had with the rebel authorities with 
regard to our wounded, who remain in their possession, and I have 
no additional news of Henry. Hospital Steward Stumph and the 
cook and nurse are with him. 

" After the desperate struggle of Saturday, the commanding 
general examined the ground in his rear, and during the night 
formed a new line, which was thought favorable for defense. A 
part of the line near the center was occupied by two brigades of 
our division at 8 A. M. on Sunday morning. Skirmishers were 
immediately thrown out, and as they met with only slight oppo- 
sition, Col. Bartleson ordered his regiment to advance. It did so, 
charging about two hundred yards across an open field, on the 
double-quick, driving the enemy's skirmishers from a road fence 


on the opposite side. The road was quickly passed by the regi- 
ment, which now entered a piece of woods. Proceeding a few 
yards, it was discovered that we were close upon a masked bat- 
tery, supported by infantry. The battery and its supports im- 
mediately opened a deadly and unexpected fire upon us, and the 
main portion of the regiment fell back to its original position. 
Col. Bartleson, however, rallied about two companies behind a 
picket fence on the side of the road mentioned above. Seeing that 
the Colonel and some of the men had not fallen back, and it being 
reported that the colonel was wounded and had fallen from his horse, 
Lieut. Wicks, myself, and four or five men went forward to ascer- 
tain the position of affairs, and if possible, recover the colonel. 
On arriving at the fence we found them posted behind it, and the 
colonel unharmed ; though the enemy were close by in strong 
force, the colonel thought it to be his duty to hold the position as 
long as possible. I remained a few moments, and then went to 
report to Col. Buell, commanding the brigade, who was not as 
yet aware that the whole regiment had not fallen back, and 
therefore there was no prospect of his sending us any assistance. 
When I got back to where the regiment had been lying, I found 
that it had been moved away to the left, and had already got out 
of sight. Heavy volleys of musketry were now heard in the di- 
rection from which I had just come, and turning I saw our men 
beating a hasty retreat, and the rebel line close behind them ad- 
vancing rapidly. Nothing now was left to do but to get out of 
the way as fast as possible. Several of the men who were with 
the colonel behind the fence were known to have fallen before 
they could make good their retreat. Two or three of the men 
saw the colonel leave the fence, and one says that he saw him fall, 
but does not know whether he fell because he was hurt, or on ac- 
count of the roughness of the ground. It was ^but a moment 
before the rebels passed over and occupied the ground, and they 
continued to hold it. I have thus been particular to give you all 
that is known in relation to this painful matter." 

As has been seen, after the two days battle at Chickamauga, 
our forces first fell back to Rossville, and next day to the defenses 
of Chattanooga. Here Rosecrans worked with energy in forti- 


fying his position with three lines of breastworks, and in getting 
forward supplies. The flanks of his army lay on the Tennessee, 
above and below Chattanooga. But Bragg succeeded in cutting 
off his communications by Bridgeport on the south, compelling 
him to get his supplies by mule power half starved at that some 
sixty miles over roads almost impassable. By a bold raid the en- 
emy also damaged the railroad between Stephenson and Nashville, 
capturing the train of the 14th corps, and causing much delay in 
the supplies. 

These operations put our forces at Chattanooga on short ra- 
tions, and it became a serious question whether starvation would 
not effect for the rebels, what they had not been able to do by 
fighting compel us to give up Chattanooga. 

After the battle of Chickamauga, the 100th was transferred to 
Wagner's brigade, very much reduced, both in officers and men. 
Adjutant Rouse was placed upon Wagner's staff, and Sergeant 
Major Home was promoted lieutenant of Co. K, and then adju- 

After the 22d of September, the regiment remained in their 
position near Chattanooga, putting up quarters, working on in- 
trenchments, doing picket duty, etc., etc. the rebel lines being 
but a little distance from ours, and our forces being in daily ex- 
pectation of an attack; which, however, did not come in the 
immediate front of our brigade. On the night of the 24th, there 
was heavy firing farther to the right, which was kept up until 
12 o'clock, making a most splendid display of firing all along 
the line of Palmer's division. Rockets were also sent up which 
added to the display. We now quote from a diary of Sergeant 
Holmes. Under date of Oct. 1st, he writes : 

" It rained nearly all night, we got up to stand at arms at 
5 o'clock. The clouds have passed off, and the air is clear and 
pure. We can see the rebel camps quite plain, and we see a 
force marching to the right, for what purpose we do not know. 
I am detailed to go with a party to pile up brush in front of 
our breastworks to frustrate the enemy if they should attack us. 
We also stretch a wire along in front, so that they will be thrown 
down if they should come up in the dark. Several of our own 


men, myself included, forgetting about it, have got several, falls 
from it. 

" Oct. 3d, stood at arms from four to six. Orderly Sergeant 
Thomas Bleber and I got a pass to go down town and see 
the wounded boys. Found them in good spirits. L. L. War- 
ren, my messmate, before the battle, was wounded in the leg near 
the ankle. He walks with crutches. John C. Batterman looks 
bad. He was wounded under the right arm, a ball passing 
through his body and coming out near the spine. Frank Lafay- 
ette was wounded in the arm, shattering the bone, but is in 
good spirits. We hear that a long train was burned by the rebs 
in Sequatchie Valley. 

Oct. 5th, some deserters came in to-day. The rebs began to 
throw shell about four o'clock, but they do not reach us. We 
send them some in reply, but cannot tell the effect, but hope they 
will be hard to digest. The cannonading is kept up slowly all 

" Oct. 7th, here we are in sight of the rebels. The two armies 
lie within gun shot all the time. The pickets talk with each 
other and exchange papers. At night we look to the south, and 
there all along on what is called Mission Ridge, we see their camp 
fires. This ridge extends from Lookout Mountain around to the 
Tennessee, forming a kind of far off boundary to the city, I judge 
about four miles distant. The most of the rebel army are on the 
top. But there is a portion on this side, and their pickets extend 
down to within less than a mile from our camp, and about sixty 
rods of our picket line. This evening along comes Ord. Serg't 
Tom Bleber, and says : " Serg't Holmes, report to go to Stephen- 
son right off, don't wait for anything." So I start for brigade 
headquarters, and there find 1st Lieut. Lines, who has charge of 
twelve men and three non corns, from our regiment. There is a 
similar detachment from each regiment in the division. Those 
from our brigade are in command of Captain Potter, of the 26th 
Ohio. The whole are in command of the lieutenant colonel of 
the 26th Ohio. We march down town and report ourselves. 
The colonel reports to corps headquarters, and then takes us over 
the river on a pontoon bridge, where we camp for the night. 

" Thursday, Oct. 8th, get up at five and march at seven. We 


go about a mile, and then halt at the field hospital. I run over 
and look at the boys, and find them all snug and comfortable in 
good tents and beds. The wagons in our train take along all that 
are able to go to Stephenson. L. L. Warren goes along. After 
an hour's halt we go on, taking the road for Waldron's Ridge, by 
way of Anderson's Crossings. But the order is changed, and we 
take the river road. After a march of about seven miles we are 
fired upon by the rebels from across the river. They keep them- 
selves concealed, so that we could get but few shots at them, while 
we are entirely exposed. They killed three and wounded seven 
of our men, and killed and ' wounded twenty mules. This was 
mostly done while we were going over a little bare hill where our 
drivers stopped to lock the wheels. They soon stopped that, and 
let the wheels take care of themselves, and drove down the hill at 
full speed. One driver got his wagon upset. A battalion of the 
pioneer brigade was in camp near. So we left our " casualties" 
with them and went on. After marching some time we took a 
road which leads up Waldron's Ridge, and with some difficulty 
reached the top and found ourselves on " Bob White's farm." We 
came to this same place when we made the expedition from theSe- 
quatchie Valley, to capture the steamboat. Here we encamped for 
the night. 

" Friday, Oct. 9th, started on this morning, road very uneven. 
We are out of rations, so I step out and run on ahead down the 
mountain, and come to the house of a Mr. Knox, and ask them if 
they have anything cooked. The old lady goes to the table and 
breaks off a piece of corn bread. I also got my canteen filled with 
some milk, and pay the woman twenty cents. Went on a short 
distance, and as it was a hot day, I went upon a little hill and 
lay down to sleep. When I woke up the train had all gone by, 
so I hurry on and overtake them about four miles from Jasper. 
After resting a short time, start on for Jasper. Luckily, the sut- 
ler of the 185th Illinois overtakes me, and I ride with him to 
Jasper. Here I go to a bake shop, and buy two pies, and two 
loaves of bread, and eat them, and am still hungry. Going along 
a little further, I find Prince, our old sutler, who is here with a 
stock of goods. I get some cakes and maple sugar. By this time 
the train comes up and the boye empty every bake shop and 


every other eating establishment in the town. I get into a for- 
age wagon and ride to Battle Creek, where we camp for the 

"Saturday, Oct. 10th, on the move again early, and go on to 
Stephenson, which is a small place on the railroad, with a tavern 
and a few dwelling houses. L. L. Warren and the rest of the 
wounded boys are deposited in a Sibley tent, expecting soon to go 
onto Nashville. Found our ex-chaplain and Lieut. Col. Water- 
man here. Col. W. says he expects to be back with the regiment 
soon. He is going on to Nashville to get furloughs for the boys. 
The 13th Wisconsin are guards at this post. Gen, Hooker is here 
with two corps, Slocum's and Howard's. Saw the old gent, a fine 
looking old man. His soldiers, especially the officers, look as 
though they had just come out of a band box, and they carry very 
heavy knapsacks loaded with extra clothing and blankets, purp 
tent, etc., enough to load a mule. We drew three days' rations 
to last six. 

"Sunday, Oct. llth, the train loads up with hard- tack, sow 
belly, coffee, etc., etc., and a little after noon, takes the back track. 
Get to Jasper, about noon of the 12th. We press on, and the rain 
comes on, and we go into camp after dark. 

"October 13th, on our weary way through rain and mud, and 
reach the foot of the mountain on the 14th, about a mile and a 
half further up than where we came over, and go into camp. 
Here we are detained by trains ahead of us. Here we see the re- 
mains of a train burned by the rebels. A brigade of the reserve 
corps are now in camp here, and the rebels keep their distance. 

" Oct. 15th, after the rear train had got up we start on. After a 
while we have to stop for a mountain stream swollen by the rain 
to subside ; so we build fires and camp for the night. 

" Oct. 16th, the stream having run down, we go on to the 
edge of the mountain. Here the view is most splendid. Way 
down below us the trees look like shrubs ; off in the distance is 
the Tennessee river with its many windings, a waving line of sil- 
ver in the landscape ; and there to the right is Old Lookout stand- 
ing out in bold relief against the sky ; farther to the left is the 
city of Chattanooga scattered on the opposite bank of the Tennes- 
see. The road here goes down by the side of the peak, and turns 


short around it and down on the other side. THe descent is very 
difficult. We had two wagons upset while going down. After 
getting down, the road is good and we hurry on. In time we get 
back to the hospital. Here we met Capt. Elwood who has re- 
signed, and is going, as he says, to start for " God's land," (mean- 
ing Joliet !) in the morning. We reach the bank of the river and 
have to wait repairs on the pontoon bridge. Towards night we 
go over. It is not often you see a happier set of fellows than we 
are at getting home. 

"Oct. 19th to 23d. Nothing new, rations getting very short, 
work more or less on breastworks. To-day we here that Rose- 
crans has been relieved and Gen. Thomas placed in command. 
We have lost one good general and got another. 

" Oct. 24th, drew rations of crackers, and we have got to come 
down more yet, for we are not to have a whole cracker at a meal 
only about half. 

" Sunday, Oct. 25th. About half past three we were called 
up, told to pack up and get ready for a march after a hurried 
breakfast, and a very short one. We marched out to the front and 
took Gen. Palmer's old position. He has gone to Shell Mound to 
attack the rebels, and we take their quarters. Draw half rations 
for two days. 

" 26th. Stand at arms this morning. I eat all my rations for 
two days at one meal, and now, so far as I can see, I have to go 
two days without anything more. But Providence will provide 
I never starved yet. I am detailed with three men John Mason, 
Co. G, Sam. Johnson, Co. B, and James Coplantz, Co. K. We 
draw a little beef to-day, and boil it with an ear of corn that Stage 
foraged somewhere, and this, with two biscuits from Lieut. Wil- 
liams, helps us out. 

" Oct. 27th. Good news this morning. Our folks have opened 
a new " cracker line." Last night an expedition floated down the 
river, which was covered with a dense fog, past the rebel pickets, 
without being observed. One of the boats struck against a tree, 
and the rebs took the alarm and fired into them. On this our 
boats rowed to the shore, and routed the rebs, while another body 
of our men gave them fits from another direction. We can cross 
our train now about six miles up the river, and have a good road 


to Bridgeport, anfl get supplies in much quicker time. But I sup- 
pose we shall be short of rations until trains can go there and 
back. Some cannonading over by Lookout. I make out to get 
along to-day with a little parched corn. This evening we draw 
nearly five crackers for two days ! Lieut. Williams knows we are 
hard up, so he gives me something for supper, although he gets 
but two-thirds rations. These are the hardest times we have ever 
seen for rations, but I will 'trust in Providence and keep my pow- 
der dry.' 

" Oct. 28th. Cannonading from Lookout nearly all day. 
Their guns are aimed on our right. We hear of no harm. Oct. 
29th. Considerable fighting last night over by Lookout. I am 
sent down town by the major to be examined for a commission in 
a negro regiment. Drew two days' rations again, getting four hard 
tack, a little sugar, coffee, and a small piece of salt pork. 

" Oct. 30th. Parched corn for breakfast, with coffee. Dinner, 
boiled corn and boiled corn fried. This p. m. drew some beef, 
and have beef and corn boiled together for supper. 

" Sunday, Nov. 1st. The regiment on picket duty. We warm 
over the soup we had last night, saving the cracker and a half for 
dinner. The commissioned officers do not fare much better than 
we do in the matter of rations. After coming off picket duty, 
drew a half cracker about 6 p. m., and feeling eo stomach empty, 
I concluded to go out and hunt for rations. We go up to Wood's 
headquarters, and one of the teamsters gave us a mess of corn, and 
when we got back to camp we find they have drawn rations, one 
day's to last two." 

And so matters seem to have continued, gradually improving 
now in the matter of rations, and nothing occurring of special inter- 
est until Nov. 23d. Deserters came in occasionally. On the 15th, 
the regiment had a visit from the paymaster, and lots of peddlers, 
who were after the boys' money. 

Before going into the movement on Mission Ridge, we will 
pick up a few matters which we have passed over. 

After the battle of Chickamauga, of course there were great 
numbers of wounded to be cared for. Many were left in the hands 
of the enemy, but by an arrangement with the rebel authorities 


those severely wounded were sent into our lines as soon as they 
could be moved. Our county sent a delegation, consisting of Dr. 
Bo wen, of Wilmington, and Elder Crews, of Joliet, to look after 
our own boys. They did not go as idlers or lookers-on. On 
Arriving at Stephenson, and finding no conveyance, they cut them 
each a good stick, and charged over the mountain on foot, a dis- 
tance of forty miles. On arriving at the camp of the 100th, they 
repaired to the hospital, took off their coats, and went to work, 
dressing the wounded, and doing everything in their power to help 
the boys who were suffering in our behalf. On account of the 
critical situation, and of the great scarcity of supplies, the wounded 
who could bear the journey were sent to the rear as fast as pos- 
sible. This was a great undertaking, and entailed much suffering 
upon the poor wounded men. The transportation had to be by 
ambulances over the worst of all possible roads to Stephenson, 
over 50 miles, and no rations were issued to them except a limited 
supply of hardtack. Still, they were patient and uncomplaining. 

The Christian and Sanitary Commissions had their nurses 
speedily at work, and their supplies were forwarded as fast as the 
means of transportation would allow. 

Dr. Bowen, writing from Bridgeport, Oct. 6th, says : 

" Our wounded in Sunday's fight were left on the field in the 
enemy's bands, and not brought in until Saturday. We left with 
them for Nashville on Sunday (all that could be moved) in 200 
ambulances. They will join the railroad at Stephenson, where we 
expect to meet them." 

At this time Hooker had arrived at Bridgeport with his army 
of reinforcements from the Potomac, and the army at Chattanooga 
no longer feared Gen. Bragg but Gen. Hunger was still threat- 
ening them severely. 

On October 19th, Rosecrans was relieved by Gen. Geo. H. 
Thomas, the man who had earned the soubriquet of the " Rock 
of Chickamauga," from the manner in which he had held the 
rebel army in check on the 20th, and saved our army from utter 
defeat. General Grant had also been put in command of the divis- 
ion of the Mississippi, and he telegraphed Thomas to hold Chatta- 
nooga if he starved. Thomas replied that he would, and he did, 


although as we have seen, starvation for some days stared our 
brave boys in the face. 

An incident is said to have occurred here while our boys were 
shut up in Chattanooga which relieved the tedium of the time, and 
which may relieve the tedium of our narrative. As a historian I 
do not vouch for it. I give it as a tradition. Indeed, I should 
not venture to record it at all, if I had not received it from so re- 
liable a source. 

I believe I have somewhere spoken of the innumerable kinds 
of insects and reptiles which our boys encountered in the sunny 
south. There was another kind of grey back, which gave them a 
great deal of trouble, besides the kind that carried muskets. They 
were very plenty, and infested their blankets and clothing, and it 
became a regular exercise to skirmish for them before getting into 
their blankets at night. Besides these, there was a great variety 
of bugs, ticks, scorpions and other insects, some of which were not 
only annoying, but dangerous. In our history of Barnett's bat- 
tery, we give an account of a death of a Will county man, from 
the bite of a scorpion. But the " varmint" most dreaded was the 
rattle snake. Snakes abounded everywhere, and the boys were 
obliged to use great precautions against them. They had an ugly 
way of getting into the tents and houses, without a pass, and coil- 
ing themselves up in odd corners, and even creeping into beds. 

Now, no one had a greater horror of the snake family than the 
senior surgeon of the 100th, (now acting as brigade surgeon). He 
was always on the lookout for them, and I believe he dreaded 
them even more than he did rebel shells. To prevent their getting 
into his bed, he had a way of tucking in the covers all around, and 
when he went to bed, he used to open the top, leaving the sides 
and foot undisturbed, and by a kind of corkscrew movement 
worm himself down into the bed, thus feeling secure against his 
dreaded foes. Now there was at Chattanooga, the surgeon of an 
Indiana regiment of the name of Glick, and the two being thrown 
very much together in the hospitals, became great friends, and oc- 
cupied the same room in one of the old houses at Chattanooga. 
Glick, who, by the way, was a practical joker, seeing our doc- 
tor's dread of snakes, and his manner of heading them off, thought 
he would have a little fun at his friend's expense. So in the doc- 


tor's absence one day, he stuck together a couple of spermaceti 
candles with which the officers were supplied, and opening the 
foot of our surgeon's bed, laid it in just about where his feet would 
hit it when he got well into bed, tucking it all up snug again. He 
told some of the other officers what he had done and asked them 
to be around when the doctor went to bed and see the fun. Well, 
our surgeon came in at the usual hour of night, and being very 
tired, commenced at once to prepare for bed. Glick telegraphed 
in some way to the boys outside and they gathered round peeking 
into the cracks and windows to see the fun. Having disrobed and 
donned his night cap, our surgeon began in his usual way to worm 
him self down into bed ; and just as he got well in and was stretch- 
ing himself out with a grunt of satisfaction, his feet struck the 
extemporized snake ! With a bound that would do credit to a 
first-class acrobat, our doctor leaped from the bed, exclaiming '* a 
snake 1 a snake! oh mine/oote, Glick, a snake! a snake! kill 
him ! kill him ! Ob mine foote ! Glick, kill him ! kill him I" 
Glick sprang to his assistance as earnestly as if he believed that it 
was a snake, and his co- conspirators outside rushed in eager to assist. 
The doctor caught his sword, and some one held the light, while 
Glick, the most courageous, carefully turned down the clothes, and 
presently, the harmless candle was laid bare. Our doctor saw the 
" sell" in a moment, and the reaction was almost too much for his 
nerves, and altogether too much for his English. "Ah Glick, 
Glick ! fun ish fun, and I likes fun, but ah ! Glick, Glick, this ish 
is too d n bad !" It was a scene worthy of the burin of Nast ! It is 
said that the doctor trembles at the sight of a snake, even to this day, 
while the glimpse of a candle throws htm into fits of bad English ! 
There is another story on the surgeon that I have studied long 
upon, in order to devise some way in which to tell it, and not vio- 
late vested rights, but ' I have not been able to effect it, I will 
therefore only allude to it as the time when the doctor got bom- 
barded. This is all that need be said, to raise a grin on the face of 
every survivor of the 100th. If the reader has any curiosity to 
hear the story, let him ask Deacon Williams who has copy- righted 
it and knows how to tell it, and he will do it if you get him in 
the right kind of a crowd. Or, you might ask the doctor yourself, 
but you had better do it some time when he is in his slippers. 



Major Bovven writes under date of Oct. 25th : 

" Our regiment moved out and occupied the front. Consid- 
erable activity seemed to be in other parts of the army. On the 
27th the noise of an engagement could be heard down the river, 
and it was rumored that Hooker was fighting south of Bridgeport, 
and that our forces had taken prisoners, the force of the enemy that 
had been holding the river at the suck, 1,000 in number, and that 
the river is now open within six miles of town. Cannonading is 
also heard down about the base of the mountain and beyond. 
Every five minutes there is to be seen a spiteful puff of smoke 
from Moccasin Point, and presently another is visible between us 
and Lookout Mountain. The first is the smoke from one of our 
guns, and the second from the shell which it drops among scatter- 
ing parties of the enemy as they show themselves on the moun- 
tain's side. And now comes into our camp four companies of the 
31st Indiana, that have been to Stephenson to guard a supply 
train, and it has taken 20 days to make the trip, a distance of 60 
miles as they have to go. With such difficulties has the army to 
be supplied with rations. As a result of this arrival, an orderly 
makes his appearance and asks : " Is this the headquarters of the 
100th Ills?" To which the reply is quickly made : " It is, sir." 
" I am ordered to report to you with two days' rations for 312 
men." " Very good, sir, Orderly, call Q. M. Serg't Garnsey." 
Then the hungry tigers of the 100th set up a shout long and 
hearty, for although there has been no grumbling, it has been 
pretty hard to satisfy a soldier's appetite on half a cracker and 
corn foraged from the poor mules." 

" On the 28th, there has been cannonading all day upon and be- 
yond Lookout mountain. At one time the rebels had a battery 
upon the very top and were firing upon our troops in the valley 
toward Shell Mound. Our guns on Moccasin Point threw their 
shells on to the top of the mountain nine or ten hundred feet high, 
and silenced one of the enemy's guns. About one o'clock to-day 
(28th) we hear the reports of musketry and artillery, and know 
that there is hard fighting going on in a portion of our army, perhaps 
the battle that is to settle the question whether or not we hold Chatta- 
nooga. Next day we learn that the fight was brought on by one 


of our regiments recormoitering running into the enemy's lines, 
and who would not fall back, but stood their ground, were rein- 
forced, and drove a division of the enemy from their breastworks 
and scattered them over the mountain, taking a battery and some 
prisoners of Longstreet's corps. (This secured to us possession of 
Kelly's Ferry and Lookout Valley, and was an important success.) 

"On the 30th, Lieut. Gano, of our regiment, started out on a 
foraging expedition over the river. We have a pontoon bridge 
across the river on the bend opposite the town, which opens up to 
our army a rich valley from which to forage, and also opens up 
communication with Bridgeport. 

" Nov. 5th. Provisions are beginning to arrive freely, and the 
pressure is letting up. The enemy still hold Lookout, but there 
are indications of an attack upon the extreme right by Grant's 
and Hooker's forces. 

"Nov. llth. Have been back in town some days from the 
front, in our old quarters. The paymaster is here. Boats are 
running regularly between Kelly's Ferry (seven miles below) and 
Bridgeport, and rations are now coming in freely. Our commu- 
nications are complete with Hooker's army and we have the inside 
track of Mr. Bragg. Brisk firing is going on between Moccasin 
Point and Lookout. The news from the elections and from the 
sanitary fair at Chicago, has greatly encouraged the boys." 

By Nov. 23d, Grant had completed his dispositions, and all 
was ready for the great movement which was to avenge the failure 
of Chickamauga, and to settle the question of our possession of 
this key to the South. Bragg had requested Grant to remove all 
non-combatants from Chattanooga, as he was about to bombard it. 
But on the morning of the 25th he is somewhat astonished to find 
Sherman with his western boys on his right, Hooker with his vet- 
erans from the Potomac on his left, and Thomas, the rock of 
Chickamauga, on whom he had hurled his legions the 20th of 
Sept. last, only to be beaten back, now posted in his front again. 
But he still trusts in what he deems the impregnable and inaccess- 
able sides of Mission Ridge. Hooker had made his successful de- 
monstration on Lookout, and the news of his victory inspired the 
whole army. 

On the morning of the 23d. an unusual movement being ob- 


served in the rebel camps, orders were given for a division of the 
4th corps to make a reconnoissance in the direction of Orchard 
Knob. Wood's division was selected to be supported by Sheri- 
dan's. (The 100th is now in Sheridan's division). Wood formed 
his men on the slope outside the fortifications, and advanced rap- 
idly. His reconnoissance was quickly turned into a storming 
party, and we carry the Knob, and the works about it at the point 
of the bayonet. This success rendered the enemy's interior line 
of works untenable. 

A strong and important position was secured, and a regiment 
of rebels (the 28th Ala.) and its colors were captured. General 
Wood was ordered to hold the position. Reversing the intrench- 
ments of the rebels he made our position impregnable. 

" Nov. 25th. The morning was clear and cold. Gen. Wag- 
ner came round with the cheering intelligence that Hooker had 
taken Lookout. As our boys were hardly ready to credit the 
good news, Wagner says : " You miserable Suckers, don't you 
think the Yanks can fight as well as you ?" About 3 p. m. there 
is a signal of six guns. Before the echoes have died away in the 
surrounding hills, our corps advance. Mission Ridge is an eleva- 
ted ridge, some six or eight hundred feet high, lying about four 
miles (in front) from Chattanooga, and about one mile from Or- 
chard Knob, with a wooded valley between us and the enemy's 
intrenchments at the base of the ridge. The ridge itself is crowned 
with formidable works, bristling with from 50 to 60 cannon, and 
behind the breastworks are the veteran regiments or the rebel 
army. As soon as our advance commenced, the rebels opened on 
us a terrific fire. Had it been a veritable volcano, a burning 
mountain, it could hardly have surpassed the grandeur of the ter- 
ribleness of the display it now made. But the advance of our 
brave boys was hardly checked. On they go, driving the rebels 
from their rifle-pits at the foot of the mountain. This was the 
point to which they had been ordered, the principal object of the 
movement being to make a diversion in favor of Sherman, who 
was assaulting another portion of the enemy's lines. But the 
brave men of the army of the Cumberland forgot to stop. They 
were just mad enough to disappoint the expectations of Mr. Bragg 
and to go on up the mountain's side, through the storm of fire, 


and gaining point after point, pressed upward, hardly stopping to 
rest, or even to shoot. It must have been a moment of anxious 
suspense to the commanding generals, Grant and Thomas, who 
were watching the movement from Orchard Knob with their 
glasses. But the suspense was not long. From the foot of the 
ridge to the top, it was at least three-fourths of a mile, and very 
steep. Our men fell back once for a little while under the deadly 
fire, but soon go on again and stopped but twice to take a little 
breath in making the ascent, moving rather deliberately until they 
got within about a hundred yards of the enemy, when they rushed 
forward with a yell, and the cry of "revenge for Chickamauga," 
and capturing everything in the rebel works ; the rebels not hav- 
ing time to spike the guns, which were immediately turned upon 
them. Chickamauga was avenged, and the anxious watchers be- 
low saw the stars and stripes floating over the rebel works. This 
achievement is justly regarded as one of the most brilliant of the 
war, or indeed of any war. 

Gen. Thomas, in a circular which he issued after the battle, 
said to Granger commanding the corps, " Please accept my con- 
gratulations on the success of your troops, and convey to them my 
cordial thanks for the brilliant style in which they carried the en- 
emy's works. Their conduct cannot be too highly appreciated." 
Gen. Granger says, " In announcing this distinguished recognition 
of your signal gallantry in carrying, through a terrible storm of 
iron, a mountain crowned with batteries and encircled with rifle- 
pits, I am constrained to express my own admiration of your no- 
ble conduct, and I am proud to tell you that the veteran gen- 
erals from other fields, who witnessed your heroic bearing, place 
your assault and triumph among the most brilliant achievements 
of the war." 

In this battle the 100th was in Sheridan's division, and charged 
the ridge directly in front of Orchard Knob, where the enemy 
first gave way, and were entitled to the credit of capturing some 
of the enemy's guns, but instead of stopping to hand them over 
and get credit for the act, they pursued the rebels all night. 
The officers and the men behaved splendidly and with great de- 
liberation. " Revenge for Chickamauga," was the battle cry. 
We insert here some lines written by Colonel Bartleson in 


Libby Prison, on hearing of these successes his heart and 
thoughts were with his brave boys, although prevented from lead- 
ing them in ( person : 

* " Loudly the bugles are merrily blowing, 
Exulting, the guns beat a gay reveille- 
To-day must the mountain yield to our prowess, 
The traitor flag bow to the flag of the free. 

In the valley where Lookout, grim sentinel, watches, 
Brave hearts in battalions are marshaled, and form ; 

True, and tried in fierce battle, they shun not the combat, 
Discerning the tempest, they heed not the storm. 

The bones of our brothers, by dastards dishonored, 

By dark Chickamauga, lie bleaching and cold, 

By their unburied corses so shamefully treated 

By the love that we bear to their hallowed mold- 
By the bones of these brothers in Freedom's fight fallen, 

By the blood of these comrades in Freedom's fight shed, 
We swear that our valor to-day shall avenge them ; 

The deeds of the living, right the wrongs of the dead. 

Nor ambush, nor thicket, shall avail the base foeman, 
Nor mountain, nor valley, nor rampart, nor glen ; 

We fight to break slavery's vile shackles, 
Accursed of God and detested of men. 

And louder the bugles are merrily blowing, 
Through valley to mountain their hoarse warblings play, 

Shrill shriek the fifes the echoes awaking, 
Grim roll the drums, down the lines, far away. 

And proudly the banners are floating and soaring : 
Proud may they be, though all tattered and torn, 

And they flutter and struggle as if to be free 
And kiss in their rapture, the breeze of the morn. 

Forward and onward, the pageant is moving 
To glory and death to fame and the grave 

They falter they shrink not; their bosoms are swelling, 
For heaven is nerving the hearts of the brave. 

The tumult is ended. The full moon is shining, 
On the mountain side bristling our bayonets gleam ; 

Nor thicket, nor glen hath availed the base foeman, 
Nor mountain, nor rampart, nor covert, nor stream. 

* Taken by permission from his diary in Libby prison. 


All hail to our chieftain ! Entwine him his chaplet ! 
And murmur his praises, far-famed Tennessee ! 

Freedom has triumphed in the carnage of battle, 
On the grim mountain top floats the flag of the Free ! 

The 100th took part in the pursuit of the rebels as far as 
Chickamauga creek, and then returned, and going back over the 
ridge, saw the long lines of dead rebels for whom our men were 
digging trenches, and going down the ridge, came across a number 
of our own dead who had been collected for burial. The regiment 
then returned to camp. 

In these operations before Chattanooga, and on Mission Ridge, 
which resulted so successfully for our cause, and placed Grant at 
the head of our army, the 100th was in front and lost heavily from 
its already thinned ranks. Only one man was however killed, 
Henry Doncaster, of Co. H, from Wilton. 


Captain Rodney S. Bowen, Co. A, severely in flesh of leg ; Privates, Co^ 
A George Strathdee, fracture of left arm ; Norman Kahler, fracture of left 
leg ; Roger Brennan, fracture of left leg ; John Althouse, severely in leg 
and face ; Daniel Davis, slightly in hand ; Henry Kellogg, slightly in arm ; 
Sergeant, Co. B Major E. Searles, flesh of arm ; Privates F. W. Mather, 
flesh in shoulder ; George Morrison, slightly in neck. Co. C Privates 
John F. Dickman, slightly in knee ; Michael Murphy, slightly in shoulder ; 
Plumer Adams, slightly. Co. D Privates George Kines, fracture of left 
leg ; Samuel Shutt, slightly in left knee. Co. E Private Wm. Kennedy 
slightly. Captain Co. F, R. S. McClaughry, slightly in hip and foot ; Pri- 
vates John Bertie, severely in body, (died Nov. 27th); Michael Calahan, 
slightly in knee ; Co. Or Privates James Ricker, flesh in arm ; Edmund 
Goodenow, slightly ; Ira Chapman, flesh in arm ; Joseph Therrin, slightly ; 
Lieutenant Co. H, Samuel G. Nelson, severely in thigh ; Privates Henry 
Benson, severely in bowels, (died, Nov. 27th) ; James Burr, flesh in leg ; 
Henry H. Clark, slightly in hand. Capt. Co. I, Hezeziah Gardner, right leg 
amputated above knee Privates Charles Cooper, flesh wound in thigh; 
James Kinney, flesh in shoulder. Lieutenant Co. K, John A. Kelly, slightly 
in foot Privates Alonzo Rudd, flesh in leg ; Charles Hudson, severely in 
left shoulder. Total one killed ; wounded, officers six, privates twenty- 

Major Hammond was in command, and Captain Bowen acting 
as Major. Bowen was wounded while gloriously discharging his 
duty, and Major Hammond had his horse shot irom under him, 
and was knocked insensible by a fragment of a shell, but recovered 
in a few moments. 

Perhaps some of my readers may remember to have seen in 


our city papers last winter, an item to the effect that the gentle- 
manly clerk of the post office, Major Searles, had submitted to the 
amputation of one of his fingers. Well, it was the same man re- 
ported wounded in the above list. I will say that he was sergeant 
by military rank, and Major by name, although he had been pro- 
moted lieutenant at the time, but had not received his commission. 
He was wounded in the wrist and disabled, but fortunately recov- 
ered without the loss of his hand, but with one finger badly de- 
moralized. This finger he had been trying to keep these ten 
years or more since that memorable fight, but at last got disgusted 
with it, and got the doctor to cut it off, and hence it has become 
my painful duty to write this obituary notice of the departed 
finger. It was a good finger in its day, and had served the coun- 
try well at Stone River, Chickamauga and Mission Ridge, and 
should be gratefully remembered. Requiescat in pace ! 

" Nov. 27th, late at night the regiment received orders to be 
ready to march in the morning at seven, with three days' rations, 
and forty rounds of cartridge. What is up now? It is not for 
soldiers to inquire, and so Saturday, Nov. 28th, a cold and rainy 
day finds us ready to go where the powers that be direct. But we 
do not march until afternoon, then we fall in and march along up 
the river, and on through mud and water long after dark, when we 
come to the Chickamauga, where we stop and build fires, try to 
dry our feet, eat supper and go to sleep. 

"Nov. 29th, called up at 4, and march ten miles before break- 
fast ! Stop and make our coffee, and after a short rest go on at a 
rapid rate. The roads get better and the country appears to be 
a fine one. 

"Nov. 30th, go over Pigeon Ridge, and come into a beautiful 
valley, and now we get an order which tells us that Burnside is 
invested at Knoxville, and we are marching to his relief. We are 
also told that as we are going through a country where the people 
are Union, we must not straggle or pillage. About noon we go 
through a small place called Georgetown, where the Union flag is 
flying, and soon come to the Hiawasse River. Here we stop and 
build fires. The rails have to do it, for although the men are said 
to be loyal, soldiers must have their fire wood. We get some 
cornstalks and make a bed, but do not lie down more than ten 


minutes before the bugle sounds and we start on again, and cross 
the river on flat boats and barges, and go up the bank, stack arms, 
and break for the rails again. Here we find a steamboat, which 
has come up from Chattanooga with rations for us, which we draw 
and go into camp. 

" Dec. 1st. Lay in camp till 2 p. m., and then march. We 
go through a fine country, about 11 miles and camp again. Dec. 
2d, we go through Decatur, a pretty little place. After going on 
a while we come to a large house, the owner of which is a bitter 
rebel. We take his mules and horses from his stables, go into his 
pasture and drive up his sheep and take them along. Then the 
boys go into the house and take his provisions. We load on two 
loads of pork and take it along. We go into camp after a 20- 
mile march and have a good supper. 

" Dec. 3d. March at 6 ; pass Philadelphia, a pretty town, 
mostly sesesh, and take the road to Morgan and go into camp 
within about three miles of the place. 

Dec. 4th. Rations run out and we have to forage, and on the 
5th we go past Robinson's mill to the little Tennessee, which we 
cross near a deserted place called Morgantown ; forage again, and 
so we go on marching, camping and foraging until we reach the 
vicinity of Knoxville, the night of Dec. 7th. 

" Our advance came up with the rear guard of Longstreet at 
Louden, but he raised the siege of Knoxville, and slipped away 
through Bulls gap into Western Virginia. Some fault was found 
with Granger because the corps did not make better time, but I 
guess those who made the march thought they went fast enough. 
It must be remembered that this march had been made by our 
corps after two months of short rations, the exhausting fighting in 
front of Chattanooga, and on Mission Ridge, and the chase after 
the enemy without any rest. The boys were many of them almost 
barefooted and all thinly clad, and much of the time on deficient 
rations. We had left with the expectation of returning soon and 
were allowed no transportation for extra baggage, only one wagon 
to a regiment, and hence were poorly prepared for a winter in 
East Tennessee. But this we soon learn is to be our lot. We 
stay about Knoxville while the force which was here has gone in 
pursuit of Longstreet. 


Dec. 12th. Marched to Louisville 14 miles. We had to 
wade the little river, which made the boys squeal some the water 
was to cold. Went into camp at Louisville at 7. This is a small 
place of about fifty families." 

The 100th was then detailed by Gen. Wagner to take posses- 
sion of the mills at Louisville, and forage the country for provis- 
ions and grain, and to grind the grain for the division. Each day 
a captain and a squad of men were sent out to forage. The com- 
manding officer always charged the detail not to be hard on poor 
people, but at the same time to be sure and not come back empty. 
The captains of the 100th were all humane men and no doubt exe- 
cuted their orders in the most gentle and judicious manner, but I 
guess it would have been " poor picking " after them 1 

After staying here about two weeks the regiment was ordered 
to join the brigade at Blair's cross roads, about 20 miles above 
Knoxville. So we cross the Holston and go back to Knoxville 
and take quarters in an old college. Get supper, draw rations, 
and then are ordered to Jail in again and we march down to the 
railroad, get aboard some cattle cars and go about 20 miles to a 
place called " Strawberry Plains." The night was dark as Egypt. 
The rain poured down in torrents, and it was freezing cold ; and 
no one knew where to find rails and water, those indispensable ar- 
ticles for a soldier's bivouac. At last Capt. Stewart, with Co. A r 
having pressed through the blackness, rain and sleet, found a rail 
fence, and the 100th having made their coffee, lay down in the 
rain once more happy. We left some men in Knoxville with such 
bad shoes that they could not travel. We hear that the rebels have 
been reinforced, and that they mean to take Cumberland Gap, and 
that our corps has been sent down here with Burnside's (now Fos- 
ter's) to prevent them " 

And here, in this delightful region so beautifully named, the 
bare mention of which will call up such delightful reminiscences 
of fruit and flowers in the minds of many a soldier, the brigade 
remained until the 13th of January. Frequent changes were made 
in the camps, as the necessities of wood and forage required. Much 
of the time the rations were very scanty, and had to be supple- 
mented from the country, itself not very flush. The corn had to 
be foraged and ground, many of our boys turning millers. But 


they could run anything, from a sewing machine to a factory. la 
the meanwhile the surgeon of the regiment (Dr. Woodruff) arrived, 
who had been in Libby since Chickamauga, and many of the con- 
valescents had come up. 

By the way, there was quite an interesting episode occurred in 
the history of our boys about the last of December. The conva- 
lescents of the corps (now Granger's) that had been left at Chatta- 
nooga, together with some that had returned to that point from 
their furloughs, including in the number about sixty of the 100th, 
among them Adjutant Rouse, Capts. Bartlett and McDonald, and 
Lieut. Col. Waterman, the latter in command of the detachments 
from seven regiments of Wagner's brigade. They marched from 
Chattanooga on the morning of the 24th of December, working 
their way through mud and rain and storm to rejoin their com- 

On the 28th they were at Charleston, and were moving out of 
the town in front, when they were attacked by a division of 
Wheeler's cavalry, some 5,000 strong. Our convalescents were 
hastily got into position, skirmishers were sent out and opened upon 
the enemy who were dismounted and posted upon the hills, 
which were covered with a second growth of timber, in front of 
our boys, and from which they poured a steady and well directed 
fire. Our forces held them in check a couple of hours until they 
had got their train safely over the river, when the order to charge 
was given, and the convalescents went in with a yell. The rebs 
delivered a heavy fire, and then turned and run, but before they 
could mount their horses, our boys captured one hundred and 
twenty-six men, and six officers, including two colonels and 
the inspector general of Wheeler's staff. The rest took to the 
hills at the top of their speed. The rebel citizens on the way had 
provided a lunch of the best which could be got, in anticipation of 
the visit of Wheeler; but had to take the second table, as prisoners. 
The convalescents joined the brigade on the 12th of January. 

'*Ou the 15th of January, the corps started for the French 
Broad Country, either in hopes of getting better forage, or to feel 
of Longstreet. On the 16th, went into camp a short distance 
from Dandridge, a sleepy old town about the size of Chattanooga. 

"On the 17th, our regiment was called up at four, and ordered 


to fill their cartridge boxes and get breakfast. There was fighting 
at the front yesterday. It is said to be only four miles to Long- 
street's line. We are ordered to stay in camp. In the afternoon 
we hear firing at the front which continues until after dark. We 
are ordered to be ready at a moment's notice. After dark we "fall 
in," supposing that we are to cross the " French Broad," which is 
but a little way off. But we soon find that we are taking the 
same road we had come on. We think we are going back a lit- 
tle to protect the rear, but we keep on without stopping, except for 
a few moments to rest. We keep on, the roads are slippery with 
mud, and rough and uneven with the rocks. It is the worst of 
marching, bad enough in daylight, but in darkness, just horrible. 
The men fall out one after another by the way, unable to keep 
up. We get so sleepy that we can hardly keep awake. And thus 
we go on all night, that is, part of the force, for many fall out, 
and lie down to sleep. Toward daylight we stop and rest awhile, 
and start on again early the 18th, and go on to Strawberry Plains, 
cross the Holston on a new bridge, make a short halt, and 
then go on four miles, go into camp, draw rations, and get sup- 
per, and thus ended the memorable retreat from Dandridge." 

This was one of the most fatiguing marches ever made by the 
100th. The encounter with Longstreet's corps was unexpected. 
It was not supposed that he was so near. But his forces were 
driven through the day, and our army would probably have held 
the advance, but for the discovery made, that for some reason or 
other, through somebody's neglect, the ammunition train had not 
come along, and that on inspection they were found with an average 
of less than twenty rounds, and an immediate retreat was ordered. 
But there is a comical side lo the affair, for it was afterward as- 
certained that Longstreet was also retreating just as hastily in an 
opposite direction, so when the sun of the 19th rose on Dandridge, 
it found the vicinity free from the presence of both armies, except 
a detail of our boys that had been put to work grinding corn in 
the vicinity. These were quite surprised to find themselves in 
possession of the country, and they made their way leisurely back 
to the army without molestation. After various marches the regi- 
ment went to Louden, the 25th of January. 

While encamped at Louden the veteran fever broke out in the 


brigade, and four regiments being eligible went home. Those 
who were left fixed themselves up as comfortably as they could, 
built good brick chimneys to their tents, and remained here until 
the 16th of March, passing the time as best they could. Part of 
the 51st Ind. (the non-veterans) were temporarily attached to the 
100th. When they left to join their old regiment again they 
passed resolutions of thanks for their courteous treatment. While 
at Louden they heard from some of the boys taken prisoners at 
Chickamauga. A man from the 6th Ohio, made his escape from 
the Danville prison, where he saw and knew the two Noble boys 
who were confined there, and he reported them well. The man 
had made his escape from prison, and after getting outside had 
passed himself off as one of Morgan's men, getting passes, rations 
and transportation to Longstreet's front, and when Longstreet fell 
back he straggled out and got into our lines. 

The sojourn of the regiment in East Tennessee during the 
winter of 1863 and 1864 was a tedious one. It was bard work 
to make the time pass profitably and pleasantly. The weather 
was much of the time cold and rainy ; the men were deficient in 
clothing and often the rations were poor and scanty. And al- 
though they had to forage, and to cut and haul their wood, and to 
gather and grind their corn, yet much of the time they were idle. 
It would be strange then if some of them did not find the words 
of good old Dr. Watts true, and if while having a rest from the 
assaults of the rebels, they were not subjected to the attacks of the 
father of the rebellion the chief of rebels. For whether with 
Milton we dignify this personage as 

" The Prince, the chief of many throned powers, 
That led the embattled Seraphims to war," 

or, with Burns, call him 

" Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie," 

of his existence there is little room to doubt, since he leaves the 
evidences of his personality and malicious activity everywhere and 
all along the track of human history. 

I think I find evidences of his presence in East Tennessee at 
this time in the journal of one of the boys where I find frequently 


such entries as these, " Read 'Black Hawk ' or the ' Hunter's 
Scalp;' Read the 'Black Knight' or the 'Wandering Bohe- 
mian ;' Read ' Sweeney Todd ' or the ' Ruffian Barber,'" etc., and 
so on, through a list of similar titles of blood and thunder novels 
of the Sylvanus Cobb school to the number of forty or fifty. I 
know the Christian Commission had their colporteurs at work 
trying to get better reading into the hands of our soldiers, but I 
am afraid they did not penetrate into East Tennessee, or that the 
devil's colporteurs got ahead of them. It is a nice question in 
casuistry whether the reading of such trash was better or worse 
than idleness or card playing. 

One of the great comforts of the soldier while in winter quar- 
ters, as well as when on his campaigns, was his coffee. If the 
boys could get plenty of bacon and hardtack, and rail fences to 
make their fires, and water to make their coffee, they would never 
grumble or sigh for the luxuries of civilized life. 

And then the pipe ! Far be it from me to encourage the use 
of tobacco, but if George Trask, himself, could have seen the com- 
fort which the soldier derived from his pipe, I don't believe he 
could have found it in his heart to deprive him of it at least not 
until the war was over. Surely the army, if anywhere, was just 
the place for tobacco. The active out-door life of the soldier 
would go far to neutralize the subtle nicotine. Mother earth 
would absorb his foul expectorations as kindly as she would his 
blood, and quickly cover up the stain, and utter no reproof. And 
then he was in no company but that of men as dirty as himself. 
No clean, sweet woman, whether mother, sister, wife or sweetheart, 
was there to take offense at his stained mouth, or feel disgusted at 
his tainted breath. 

And I am not sure that I would not be willing now to make 
this compromise with his satanic majesty, viz : that if he would 
keep whisky and its congeners out of this world, he might do his 
worst with tobacco, nasty as it is! 

But better times are in store for the 100th, for on the 16th of 
March it was ordered to Athens, Tennessee. 




A Good Time at Athens Sunday Parades The New Adjutant Sergt. 
Smith Bags, a Reverend Must Leave Again Tender Partings Atlanta 
Campaign Catoosie Springs Rocky Face Under Fire A Good Boy Killed 
About Sergeant Holmes Dalton Under Fire Before Resacca Rebels 
Flanked Gathering of Stars Across the Oostenaula Adairsville Kings- 
ton A Rest Advance Again -In the Front Casualties Capt. Burrell 
Private Jewell Col. Bartleson's Arrives Rebels Flanked Again Ackworth 
Casualties Flanked Again Bishop Polk ; who killed him Rebels With- 
draw Sherman's Flanking Machine A Brilliant Charge Flanked Again 
In Front of Kenesaw Casualty -Saddest Day of All Summary of Cas- 
ualtiesAssault of June '^7 Incidents Casualties Special Mention Back 
in the Rifle-pits Rebels Flanked Again Marietta Smyrna Camp Ground 
Casualties - Vining's Station Rossville Across the Chattahoochee Buck- 
head Cross-roads Peach Tree Creek Fight Casualties On the 22d Gen. 
Thomas' Order Before Atlanta Capt. Stewart Stops his Jaw Adjutant 
Rouse Lieut. Schoonmaker Condition of Regiment Another Flank Move- 
ment Down to Lovejoy Atlanta Ours Incidents Back to Atlanta The 
Boys Wash Up A Sunday's Rest Broken Back to Cha ! tanooga- Various 
Movements On the Old Camp Ground- -Various Marches Stephenson 
Pulaski Fight at Spring Hill Franklin Battle Casualties Back to Nash- 
villeTwo Days' Battle Casualties Chasing Hood Winters at Huntsville 
Goes to Knoxville Beyond Glorious News Effects The Sad News- 
Returns to Nashville Review of 4th Corps by "Old Pap" Homeward 
Bound Receptions Addenda. 

[HE one and a half months sojourn of the regiment at ATHENS, 
Tenn., is regarded by both officers and privates, as the 
brightest period in their army life. Sandwiched between 
the tedious winter at Strawberry Plains and Louden, where cold 
and wet, hunger and j-ickness, tried their patience and endurance, 


and the summer's Atlanta campaign, in which they were almost 
without intermission, under fire ; it was like the oasis in the desert 
the one green spot in their military experience, which still re- 
mains a pleasant memory. There were many things which com- 
bined to render their stay here very agreeble. Athens is one of the 
prettiest towns in East Tennessee, beautifully located on the Knox- 
ville and Chattanooga Railroad ; a county seat of considerable 
educational advantages and culture. The inhabitants moreover 
were generally loyal, and did not turn their backs upon the " boys 
in blue ; " but, on the contrary, opened to them their hearts and 
homes. The boys found here that there was a meaning in the 
term, " Southern hospitality," oi which they had begun to doubt. 
Here they fixed up a nice camp, built a redoubt guarding the rail- 
road, on which they mounted two six pound James rifled guns. They 
had quite a miniature army, for they had for cavalry, half a dozen 
butternut clad scouts, not snowy, but true blue, despite the butter- 
nut. The trains from Chattanooga to Knoxville, stopped half an 
hour for dinner, which gave an opportunity to see a great many 
celebrities, civil and military. Among the rest, was Governor 
Andy Johnson, who made a speech to the boys, although not at 
that time, "swinging around the circle." Gen. Sherman stopped on 
one occasion and inspected the camp, pronouncing it the best kept 
camp he had ever seen. The lamented Major Bowen writing 
home from Athens at that time, playfully says : 

" We are living as well as anybody need. Rations are plenty. 
Butter and eggs from the country abundant. We board at a first- 
class hotel, have a husk mattress to sleep on, and a shingle roof 
over our heads. Is not this gay soldiering? Our mess consists 
of Col. Waterman, eminent for executive ability ; Major Ham- 
mond, eminent for practical knowledge of men and things ; Cap- 
tain Bowen, eminent for poetical and musical ability ; Dr. Wood- 
ruff, the most eminent practitioner attached to the 100th Illinois, 
and Adjutant Home, eminent for subdued and gentlemanly de- 
portment in presence of the ladies, all men of acknowledged valor 
and coolness in battle, and great proficiency in military science." 
Maj. Bowen also describes a wedding party to which the mess was 


The influence of the place and its society was soon manifest 
in the appearance of the regiment. All, the officers and privates, 
began to " slick up," as boys, old or young, will, when there are 
pretty girls about. Boots were blacked, clothes were brushed, 
heads were groomed, paper collars sported, etc., things which the 
boys had almost forgotten how to do. When not on duty they 
were permitted to go down town and form the acquaintance of the 
inhabitants, among whom, as more than one soldier's letter testi- 
fies, were many pretty girls. These letters show also that these 
Athenian damsels found the tender spot in many a soldier's heart. 
Several parties were given to which many were invited, and I 
have no doubt that it became apparent to the Athenians that the 
100th, not only knew how to mount their 

"barbed steeds 

To fight the souls of fearful adversaries," 

but that they could also, 

" caper nimbly in a lady's chamber, 

To the lascivious pleasing of a lute." 

I have heard it said that more than one of the boys came near 
losing his heart, and forgetting the girl he had left behind him. 
Indeed, one member of the regiment was married here. This was 
Charles Styles, of Manhattan, who, though he never surrendered to 
a rebel, struck his colors to a pretty Athenian widow. Poor fel- 
low, as we shall see, his wife was soon a widow again ! 

The feeling of good will seems to have been mutual. The citi- 
zens used to come up to witness the Sunday afternoon dress parades, 
and were so well pleased with the regiment that when a forward 
movement began to be talked of, they presented a petition to the de- 
partment commander, asking that the 100th regiment might be left 
as a permanent guard. I don't know whether the girls signed this 
petition or not, but I have no doubt they prayed for its success. 
The journal of one of the boys, a non-commissioned officer, has 
these and similar entries very often about these days : " Went 

down to see the C girls," and " called on the B girls, 

good union girls !" He also speaks of many (t sad and tender 



partings, and even tears," at leaving. I have no doubt that there 
is even yet in many a woman's heart in Athens, though now mar- 
ried, and surrounded with children perhaps, a tender memory for 
some boy in blue, whose name was then on the roster or muster 
roll of the 100th. However this may be, the boys of the 100th 
have not forgotten those pleasant days, and still speak of them 
with gusto. It is said that Byron's 

" Maid of Athens ! ere we part, 

Give, oh give me back my heart," <fcc., <fcc., 

was a favorite morsel of poetry with them at the time, and was 
often rendered, with slight variations. 

One incident which occurred at one of the Sunday dress pa- 
rades of which I have spoken, I must not omit to record. Offi- 
cers and privates were making their best appearance. The acting 
adjutant, for reasons which I guess were not purely military, was 
especially well got up. A stranger, struck with his distingue 
air, enquired of a street gamin, " Who is that fine looking officer 
with the white gloves ?" To which the boy replied with great en- 
thusiasm, *' oh, that's the feller what hugs our handsome school- 

April 10th, the corps experienced a change of commanders, 
Gen. Granger taking leave and Gen. Howard assuming command. 
Passing through Athens, Gen Howard expressed his satisfaction 
with the way things looked. While at Athens the regiment re- 
ceived a new stand of colors from the U. S. to replace the one 
carried from Louisville, and which had become so demoralized 
by shot and shell, that it could no longer be unfurled. The old 
colors were sent home to Joliet with an eloquent letter, by the 
lieutenant colonel. The new colors were presented at dress parade 
with appropriate remarks. 

Living a few miles from Athens, outside our army lines, was a 
wealthy and influential man of the name of Sullens. He was a 
Presbyterian minister, but a bitter rebel. He showed his faith in 
the Confederacy by his works. He had become notorious for his 
agency in getting union men arrested, and for conveying informa- 
tion to the rebel authorities. He had several brothers in the rebel 
service, one of whom was a major general. Several attempts had 


been made by<the union authorities to arrest him, but hitherto he 
had managed to escape. Col. Waterman, now in command of the 
100th, was called upon to procure, if possible, his arrest. He was 
wanted as a hostage, in order to procure the release of some union 
men held in durance vile by the rebel authorities. 

Col. Waterman selected for this purpose Sergt. (afterwards 
lieutenant) Henry M. Smith, of Co. B, telling him to select his 
own detail, and as many as he wanted. Sergeant Smith accord- 
ingly selected five men to assist him, and after getting posted as 
well as he could, respecting the location, roads, &c., he started out 
with the determination to have the Rev. gentleman if he was at 
home. When within about one mile of the plantation, Smith 
separated his men, sending them out to the right and left, and giv- 
ing them such instructions as would bring them near the house 
from all directions at the same time. After allowing time for the 
movement Smith approached the house, and with his Henry rifle 
loaded and capped, he knocked at the door of the Sullen mansion 
and enquired for his Reverence. Mrs. Sullens had come to the 
door and said that he was at home. He soon made his appearance, 
evidently entirely unsuspicious of the errand on which his caller 
had come. The sergeant soon made his errand known, and told 
him that he must consider himself under arrest, and also assured 
him that any attempt to escape would be both useless and danger- 
ous, as his orders were to bring him dead or alive. He would, of 
course, prefer to take him without any fuss, but go he must. Sul- 
lens and his wife both expressed great surprise at this announce- 
ment, and informed Smith that he was a Presbyterian minister ! 
But this did not strike the sergeant with the awe which they ex- 
pected. Smith had seen a Presbyterian minister before, and was 
himself born a Scotch Irish Presbyterian. He was told that he 
must get ready to go to Knoxville, and if he wanted to take along 
any clothing Mrs. Sullens had better get it ready at once. Find- 
ing the sergeant inexorable Mrs. Sullens poured out upon his head, 
and on the Yankee officers in general, the vials of her indignation 
at such cruel treatment. Mr. Sullens declared his inability to 
walk to the railroad. Smith told him he would call one of his 
horses that he saw plowing in the field. Various pretexts were 
resorted to in order to gain time, until Smith gave them five rain- 


utes to get ready. Mrs. Sullens asked that her husband might 
retire to change his clothes, but the sergeant could not allow him 
to leave the room, whatever changes he made must be done in his 
presence. This called forth fresh torrents of indignation. At 
length finding the sergeant inflexible, and a horse having been 
brought up, his reverence took his departure between two Yankee 
soldiers, with others in front and rear, all armed. In bidding 
Mrs. Sullens good-bye, the sergeant assured her that he would 
take good care of her husband, and would bring back any letter 
he might wish to send from Knoxville. And so Rev. Mr. Sullens 
was conducted to the railroad, put aboard a freight train, and in 
due time delivered over to the provost marshal of Knoxville, who 
was very happy to make his acquaintance. He was held in cus- 
tody for some time, until the release of several prominent union 
men was procured in exchange. 

On Smith's return he took back a letter to Mrs. S., and acted 
as the medium of communication between Mr. Sullens and wife 
for some little time. This, with the kind manner in which her 
husband was treated by the authorities at Knoxville, caused Mrs. 
Sullens to modify somewhat her opinion of Yankee officers, and 
while the regiment stayed at Athens, Smith was freely supplied 
with butter and eggs from the Sullen's plantation. When the regi- 
ment left, it passed by the house ; Smith ran in to bid Mrs. S. good 
bye, when she thanked him most warmly, and gave him a parting 
embrace as hearty as his own mother could have given, and which 
he well remembers. 

On the 25th of April, the 100th regiment was relieved by an 
Indiana one, and it was ordered to bid good-bye to Athens, and 
join the corps at Cleveland, and with many a tender farewell the 
boys obeyed. A Gen. Blizzard, in behalf of the Athenians, made 
the boys a farewell speech. He had previously made a party in 
honor of the regiment. 

At Cleveland, everything was found to indicate the speedy 
opening of the summer campaign, and the next four or five days 
were spent in preparing for it. Extra baggage was packed and 
sent to Chattanooga, and soon after noon of May 3d, the bugle 
sounded, and the army was again on the move in search of the 


armed enemies of the Union, and Athens and all its pleasant asso- 
ciations was left behind, but not soon forgotten. 

Nothing could have been more delightful than the beautiful 
May season, in which the army entered upon the Atlanta cam- 
paign : nothing more beautiful than the region through which they 
were to pass. Such a delightful combination of mountain and 
valley, of forest and meadow, of wild and picturesque scenery, and 
cultivated plantations; of rocky and precipitous bluffs, and 
brightly flowing streams, and murmuring mountain brooks and 
sparkling springs ; of bold and inaccessible peaks, and gentle 
slopes and intervals, with hamlets and towns, nestling among the 
hills, can hardly be found elsewhere. The woods were redolent 
with the odor of the Gelseminum, and wild honey suckle, and 
bright with the bloom of the Laurel and Azalea, and the trees 
festooned with the muscadine and the woodbine. Field and wood 
were in their fullest leaf and richest green ; wild flowers filled all 
the ravines, and clothed the rocky slopes ; while the choicest exotics 
adorned the gardens and lawns of the planter ; and the hum of 
insect life, and the songs of birds added the charm of music to the 
scene. Had their errand been a peaceful one, had they been ar- 
tists searching for studies to adorn the canvas ; or naturalists seek- 
ing for specimens for the cabinet or herbarium, their errand would 
have been in harmony with the season and the scenery. But alas ! 
far otherwise is their errand. This delightful region is now to 
feel the tread of armed men, who can scarcely spare a thought or 
a look upon all its beauty. All this picturesque loveliness is to be 
blighted by the devastating march of army trains, and blasted by 
the misiles of war. For alas ! as in the eden of the long ago, re- 
bellion has here lifted its hydra-head, unholy ambition has lis- 
tened to the tempter, and of all the charms of the region it may 
be said : 

"The trail of the serpent is over them all." 

"Our corps started out on the line of the Cleveland and Dalton 
Railroad, marching about fourteen miles to Red Clay, when we 
again entered Georgia. Next day we left the railroad, marched 
eight miles, halted a couple of hours, then moved half a mile fur- 


ther and went into camp. Soon orders came to move again,, 
which we did, starting about dark and leaving the main road, and 
traveling over fields and through woods where the underbrush was 
very dense. After going two or three miles, we halted again, 
stacked arms, and slept until four next morning. All these move- 
ments made us mistrust that we were not far from the enemy. In 
the morning we found ourselves about three-fourths of a mile 
from Catoosa Springs. This place before the war had been one of 
considerable resort, the Saratoga of the south. It is three and a 
half miles from Ringgold. It was a spot of great natural beauty, 
enhanced by art. There were great numbers, (said to be fifty-two) 
of mineral springs, differing from each other in their properties, 
but all medicinal, and each having its peculiar name, which was 
placed beside it on a little signboard. There was a large hotel,, 
many bathing houses, and summer residences, and artificial lakes. 
In peaceful times it must have been a charming place. All was 
now in a deserted and dilapidated condition. Oar brigade camped 
on a high hill about a mile from the springs. 

%< Here we remained until the afternoon of the 8th, hearing oc- 
casional firing around us. About four p. m. of this day we 
moved a little to the left, and stacked arms near the base of Rocky 
Face Ridge, the northern extremity of which had been carried 
during the forenoon by Barker's brigade of our division, and we 
were moved up to support him if necessary. But all was quiet,, 
and at night we moved back near our late camp. Next morning 
we returned to the foot of the Ridge ; every available article was 
filled with water, and the ascent commenced. It is about one and 
a half miles high, the sides very steep, and we had all we could 
do to get up. When the top was reached we rested, and had 
a splendid view of the surrounding region, and could also get a 
pretty good idea of our relative position with respect to the rest of 
the army. To the right lay Tunnell Hill, the town sur- 
rounded by large parks of wagons, loaded with rations and am- 
munition, and near by, the camps of Thomas, Hooker and others, 
and in the back ground old Lookout towering grandly. To the 
left, and in front we could see part of the rebel line of works, and 
down in the valley Schofield's corps was advancing slowly in 
line of battle. We watched their skirmishers deploy and advance 


cautiously. In our immediate front on a part of the ridge called 
" Buzzard's Roost," Harker's brigade was skirmishing. They had 
driven the enemy back to a fort on the highest point of the ridge, 
and both sides were firing away. Stretcher bearers passed us oc- 
casionally with a wounded man. About 4 p. m. our brigade was 
ordered forward, and moved along the crest of the mountain a 
little way, then filed down and advanced in line of battle along 
the side, which was cut with deep ravines. The men stumbled 
slowly along. The enemy opened a brisk fire, and quite a number 
in the brigade were wounded, but none in our regiment. When 
about to advance some of the pioneer boys asked Gen. Wagner 
what they should do with their axes, shovels, picks, etc. " Throw 
them to the devil" was the general's reply. A few days after, 
when they were wanted the general asked them why they did not 
return and pick them up. The reply was, " We would not go 
to the devil for anything." The general wheeled on his horse 
with a smile, and called them his d d suckers, and the boys 

" About dark we went to the top again, and about ten, orders 
came for the 100th to go to the front. It was very dark, and the 
further we proceeded the steeper the ridge became, and nothing 
but a buzzard would or could roost thereon. Three companies 
went out to the picket line, the rest taking refuge behind some 
stone breastworks. Firing was kept up by the pickets most of the 
night ; and the next day (the 10th) the position was such that the 
boys could not stir from their shelter without being hit. Here 
we lost Sergt. Holmes, of Co. G, of whom we ought to say a word 
or two. 

" Sergt. Holmes was one of our best soldiers, one of the most 
fearless. At Mission Ridge when our regiment was ordered to 
fall back, he remained at the advance, and having a six shooter he 
deliberately stopped beside a stump on which he piled his car- 
tridges, and stayed there loading and firing with deliberation at 
the rebels, plainly visible, and remained in this position without 
harm until the regiment again advanced and drove the enemy, 
when the fruits of his skill as a marksman were seen in a pile of 
dead rebels. And now on Rocky Face Ridge, after he had been re- 
lieved, instead of going back out of harm's way, he thought he 


would do a little fighting on his own hook, and went out with his 
six shooter, and got behind a stump and fired away again. But 
he presently discovered that some of the enemy's sharp-shooters 
were playing the same game with him. He stuck his hat upon 
his ramrod above the stump and it was quickly filled with holes. 
Getting short of ammunition he crept out to a dead rebel and 
emptied his cartridge box and crept back again and sang out " Now 
rebs, I am going to give you some of your own pills." But after 
a while he got careless and a rebel bullet struck him square in the 
forehead, and Sergt. Holmes' fighting days were over. Three 
other men were wounded at this place. Just after dark the regi- 
ment was relieved by the 40th Indiana, and went back to eat 
and rest. That night we had a tremendous storm, and the artil- 
lery of Heaven was exploding at such a rate as to put to shame 
that of man, both union and rebel. Next day our regiment was 
in the reserve. On the 12th we descended the mountain and went 
to a gap at the north of the ridge. Soon after noon there was a 
demonstration made in front by cavalry and infantry, and our 
position was changed a little, and breastworks thrown up. But 
all was quiet, and we camped there that night. 

" The next day we moved around the end of the ridge and 
down the valley east of it where we had seen Scholfield's corps 
three days previous. We found Dalton evacuated, and passed 
through the rebel works which were quite strong. But Sherman 
had flanked them and they had retired. We halted in town for 
an hour, finding it mostly deserted. In the afternoon we moved 
about seven miles, going slowly, as the advance were skirmishing 
more or less all the way. 

" On the 14th we moved in line of battle, our brigade in the 
second line, the enemy slowly falling back to another line of 
works. From 3 p. m. until dark firing was incessant. The ad- 
vance (Harker's brigade) suffered considerably, and there were a 
few casualties in our brigade mostly by shell. Col. Leonard, of 
the 57th Indiana, was mortally wounded. The first line of rebel 
breastworks was finally carried. At night the 100th went to the 
front, remaining until morning when we were relieved and came 
back, cooked breakfast, and then the brigade was moved to the 
left, and took position in part of the breastworks which had been. 


won from the enemy the day before. Two regiments were re- 
quired to hold them, and were relieved every four hours. We had 
two wounded that day, neither of them very severely. That night 
we were aroused by an unusual uproar of cannonading and mus- 
ketry. The enemy made a charge on part of our lines, but were 
speedily repulsed. In the morning (the 16th) the enemy had 
folded their tents and silently stolen away. Here we found in the 
morning some scalps of our boys hung on the bushes, seemingly 
intended to make us think that they had Indian troops and thus 
intimidate us. But this barbarity only enraged our men, some of 
them expressed the vow that they would stay in the army until 
the rebels were whipped if it took twenty years. 

" We took possession of their works which were very strong, and 
several miles in extent, encircling the town of Resacca, with the 
Oostenaula river for a back ground. In fact their works reached 
to Tunnel Hill, 14 miles above. Everything indicated that the 
enemy had suffered severely during the two days previous. The 
army all concentrated in town ; the inhabitants had departed with 
the rebel army. Some commissary stores and forage was captured, 
and a battery and some two or three hundred prisoners. 

" Major Generals Sherman, Thomas, Hooker, Howard, Stan- 
ley, Sickles, and a host of " one-starred generals " were to be seen 
gathered together under the shade of the trees, discussing matters. 
The enemy burned the railroad bridge, but our pioneers were soon 
at work rebuilding. At 3 p. m. we crossed upon a foot-bridge 
that had been built, and we pushed out about five miles, camping 
near Calhoun. 

"On the 17th we moved early, Sherman's brigade in the ad- 
vance ; they skirmished with the enemy all day, but did not meet 
much opposition until 4 p. m., when a brisk fire sprung up, 
lasting till dark, when our brigade relieved them and remained 
on front line all night. In the morning the enemy was again ab- 
sent, and we moved into Adairsville, and waited for the different 
corps to close up and take their respective roads for further ad- 
vance. We rested in the yard in front of a fine residence. The 
country was very beautiful, and everything was in the full bloom 
of summer. Peaches were already as large as hickory nuts, and 
peas large enough to eat, but not one pea probably to a " Yank." 



We moved on lively until dark, and camped in a wheat-field, 
which was not much improved in its prospects for a crop by our 
visit. Here we got a good night's rest which was much needed. 
On the 19th we went on through Kingston, and after passing 
it we heard cannonading and musketry ahead, but we did not 
come under fire. Went into camp after dark, about four miles 
beyond Kingston. Here we remained until the 23d and had a 
chance to rest, which was greatly needed, as our corps had been in 
advance all the way, and all the regiments had been engaged more 
or less. About noon on the 23d we started again, our corps leav- 
ing the main road and going to the right on that and the follow- 
ing day, although making but a few miles each day on account of 
the state of the road, and the number of troops upon it. Wednes- 
day, the 25th, strong symptoms of the presence of the enemy 
again manifest themselves. Hooker's corps had quite a battle from 
4 p. in. until dark. We had been hurried up to their support, 
but it was dark before we were in line. The troops had had noth- 
ing to eat since morning, and were obliged to spend the night wet 
and hungry, leaning against trees and dozing as best they could, 
ready to be called up at any moment. In the morning breast- 
works were thrown up, and about nine o'clock time was given for 
breakfast. At noon our regiment was sent to the front, and two 
companies to the skirmish line, where they remained until ten a. 
m. next day. Although much exposed, only two were slightly 
wounded. While out there the other regiments had been engaged 
in strengthening breastworks and planting more cannon. About 
noon the skirmish line was strengthened and orders given to press 
the enemy. They did so, driving them within their breastworks, 
keeping up a pretty sharp firing until dark. The loss in the bri- 
gade was two killed and 25 wounded. Capt. Burrell, of Co. D, 
and Le Roy Jewell, a private in Co. A, were both instantly killed 
on the 30th of May, and one other slightly injured. Jewell was 
on the picket line and was 1 ying behind a log, but unfortunately 
he had selected a rotten one, and the rebel bullet passed clean 
through it and hit him square in the head. He never knew what 
hurt him. Capt. Burrell hai just been back to the camp in hope 
of seeing Col. Bartleson who was hourly expected, and was in- 
stantly killed on his return to the skirmish line. Col. Bartleson 


arrived a short time after and was most cordially welcomed by the 
rest of the regiment, but poor Burrell and Jewell could offer no 
congratulations ! In Capt. Burrell the regiment lost one of its 
most efficient officers. When Col. Bartleson saw the thinned ranks 
of the regiment, he exclaimed, " My God! boys, is this all there is 
left of you ?" and the tears rolled down his cheeks when told of 
Burrell's and Jewell's death. The regiment remained in this po- 
sition until the 5th or 6th of June. 

" The distance between the rifle pits of the two lines was about 
fifty yards, so that they could talk to each other, and during the 
last few days, the soldiers in them would enter into a truce on 
their own account, agreeing not to fire on each other for a certain 
length of time. 

"About the 5th of June, the enemy did not answer to roll call, 
and we moved on again to near Ackworth, where we remained 
until the 10th. Then we moved on again through rain and mud, 
about five miles, halting till towards evening of the llth, then 
moved another mile and went upon picket line, staying twenty- 
four hours. While there, Peter Docey, of Co. H, was mortally 
wounded. The other regiments meanwhile had built a line of 
works. We staid here until Tuesday forenoon, (14th) when our 
line was pushed forward again a little, and more works built. 
That night the enemy kept up a pretty brisk firing until half past 
two a. m., and at daylight were not visible. We moved into 
their works, staying until noon, and had a chance to examine 
them. Just to the right was a high bald knob which had been 
one of their points of observation, and from which they could see 
all over the country. They had considerable artillery on it, 
among which was the famous Washington battery of New Or- 
leans, three members of which were captured. It was here that 
Bishop, Gen. Leonidas Polk, was killed by a shot from our artil- 
lery. There has been some little discussion recently in the papers 
in relation to this incident, and some dispute as to what battery 
finished the earthly career of this reverend rebel general. But a 
member ol the battery now residing in Joliet, says that battery 
" M " 1st 111. Art. did it, and the prisoners taken the next day, 
said that they had charged his death to battery " M.'' In this 
battery, our county had five representatives. 


" Looking to the front we could see on the right, Lost Mountain, 
and on the left Kenesaw, the rebel lines reaching from one to the 
other, and beyond lay Marietta. Soon after noon we began to 
move forward, and during the afternoon orders came for our bri- 
gade to make a charge. The necessary preparations were made 
knapsacks, blankets, and everything that was not absolutely nec- 
essary, was piled up and left in charge of a guard, and every 
one braced himself up to do his duty. It is a serious moment, 
and though not given to much show of feeling, every soldier can- 
not at such a time but think of the chances that are against him. 
Col. Bartleson, who since his return had been in charge of one 
of the lines of the brigade, asked to be relieved, and came back and 
took his position at the head of the regiment, and told them that 
he should lead them. Great was the satisfaction of the men on 
hearing this, all were ready to follow wherever he might lead 
them. But the enemy slowly gave way before our advance, going 
inside of another line of their works ; and we held the crest of the 
hill, while heavy firing was to be heard on the right, where it was 
said that Hooker and Scholfield were driving the enemy. Our 
division built more works, night came on and no charge was or- 

"During the night, the pioneers strengthened the works, and ar- 
tillery was planted all along the line. This artillery opened 
about 9 a. m. next morning, (16th), and shelled the enemy's 
works for some time, but elicited no response. The remainder of 
the day was tolerably quiet, and we waited, speculating as to what 
was to be the next movement fight or flank. 

"Some of the prisoners taken about this time, were credited with 
saying, that all Sherman had to do was to say, " Attention crea- 
tion, by kingdom's right wheel," and Johnson was flanked. An 
old woman on the road, said that " Johnson could whip you'ns, if 
you'ns did not carry a flanking machine with every regiment;" 
while an Atlanta paper said that, " If Sherman had Johnson 
driven into hell, he would not be satisfied until he had flanked 
him out." 

" That night our line was pushed forward again a little, more 
works built, and next morning, the 17th, the enemy was gone 
from our immediate front, and the direction of our line was 


Changed. That day we were not under fire. The enemy made a 
oharge during the day on Palmer's front, but were repulsed. 

"We went into camp that night with orders to get up at one, 
have breakfast, and be ready to go to the front at two and a half 
o'clock. Even that short time allotted to sleep, was interrupted 
three times in consequence of the breaking out of heavy firing at 
the front. 

"About 3 a. m. of the 18th, the 26th Ohio, 57th Indiana, and 
the 100th Illinois, moved out to the skirmish line. It commenced 
to rain about daylight, and poured down in torrents all the fore- 
noon. During this time a little affair came off, which, though 
small, compared with the heavier engagements, was decidedly bril- 
liant. The regiments mentioned lay about the center of an open 
field, and the enemy was behind a line of works just at the edge 
of a piece of. woods, and on a rise of ground. Firing had been 
pretty lively all the morning, and between nine and ten, those of 
us in the rear were aroused by the increased firing there, and the 
cheering. We jumped to our feet, and saw that our Col. Bartle- 
son was making a charge with his line. It was successful, and 
they gained possession of the first line of works. For a few mo- 
ments it was feared that they could not hold it, on account of lack 
of ammunition, but they were supported by Barker's brigade 
and kept it. They captured about fifty prisoners. The balance 
of the day was spent behind the captured works, the enemy being 
behind their second line. Six members of the regiment were 
wounded during the day. Gen. Harker said it was as splendid a 
specimen of charging as he ever saw." 

Another writer, (an officer of the regiment), thus describes this 
affair : 

" On the morning of the 18th of June, about 3 a. m., the 
100th was ordered to relieve the 3d Kentucky. This order had to 
be executed before daylight, so exposed was the position. About 
9 a. m. the commanders of the 100th Illinois, 57th Indiana, and 
26th Ohio, conceived the idea of carrying the enemy's works in 
our front, and after a brief consultation, the word was given 
" Prepare to charge ! Forward ! double quick, charge 1" and 



never did men respond more beautifully. They carried the first 
line of the rebel works, and held them against several attempts of 
the enemy to retake thetn with heavy columns. 

" When the shouts of victory went up, the noise reached 
Newton, the division commander, who sent for Wagner, the bri- 
gade commander, and wanted to know what was up. Gen. 
Wagner replied that he couldn't tell what his d d tigers were 
about. They were moving without orders, and he would have 
them court martialed. But when they learned of the success of the 
movement they were satisfied. (In war more, even than in civil 
life, perhaps, success covers a multitude of sins.) The affair was 
entirely impromptu, and so sudden and dashing that the rebs 
were taken by surprise. The 100th captured fourteen prisoners 
and one lieutenant." 

"The next morning the enemy's works were again empty in our 
front, and we moved on a little, and on the 20th we were in re- 
serve, and had a chance to rest. During that day we had a 
chance to witness some fine artillery practice between our batteries 
in the valley, and those of the enemy on Kenesaw. Far in the 
rear as we were, one stray bullet found its way to our position, in- 
stantly killing Samuel Aspinwall, (of Co. I) who was lying down 
at the time. Just before dark the firing, which had been pretty 
constant all day, increased, and our brigade started in on the 
double quick to support Stanley, who had made a charge. Not 
being needed they came back, put up shelter and hoped for a 
night's rest. But it was not to be. About nine we were moved 
to the rear of Stanley's again, and twice before midnight were 
roused up to go to his relief, but not being needed, returned. 
Next morning, (21st), moved to the right of our corps, were in 
reserve till about 3 p. m., when the musketry increasing we were 
moved up to the second line of works, and remained there till next 
morning. It then became the turn of our brigade to occupy the 
front line, the 97th Ohio going upon the skirmish line. The 
forenoon was pretty quiet, but afternoon the firing was brisk. 
The enemy opened a battery on us, but battery "M" 1st 111., 
soon silenced them. The skirmish line was then advanced, and 
were sharply engaged, the 97th Ohio losing about ninety men. 


killed and wounded. Towards evening, three companies of the 
100th went to their support, and had one man slightly wounded. 
The pioneers were employed that night in fixing works the bet- 
ter to protect the skirmish line. 

"Our record has now brought us to the 23d day of June, 
emphatically the dies infaustus of the 100th regiment, the day 
when we lost our gallant and well-beloved commander, Col. 
Bartleson. He was on duty as division officer of the day in 
charge of the skirmish line. The forenoon was very quiet, and he 
came into regimental headquarters about one o'clock to dinner, and 
then returned to the line, and soon after the artillery opened for 
a few minutes, then the skirmish line was ordered to advance, one 
brigade going to its support. While directing his line, the col- 
onel was obliged to pass a point which was exposed to the ene- 
my's sharpshooters, and he was hit and killed instantaneously. 
The stretcher bearers of the 57th Ind., (the regiment on the skir- 
mish) seeing him fall went to him at once, and finding him 
dead, carried the body back of a barn near by, and sent us word. 
Our own bearers were immediately sent out after the body and 
brought it in, and the regiment then passed in review by the body 
to take their last hasty look at one they had so loved and honored. 
The body was then carried back to the rear, to a spot which had 
been appropriated as a division cemetery. Generals Harker, 
Newton and Wagner, came up and exhibited much feeling at the 
sight. The body was then sent home with an escort from the 

"There were no other casualties in the regiment that day. The 
lines were advanced to the intended position that evening. We 
remained behind the works the 24th and 25th. On the last 
named day Ransom Smith, of Co. G, was wounded. We here 
give a list of the killed and wounded in the 100th regiment, from 
the commencement of this campaign, May 3d, up to, and including 
June 26th, in order of date. 

May 10th, Sergt. George W. Holmes, Co. G ; May 30th, Capt. John A. 
Burrell, Co. D ; May 30th, private Leroy Jewell, Co. A ; June 20th, private 
Samuel Aspinwall, Co. I ; June 23d, Col. F. A. Bartleson. 



May 9th, private Michael Power, Co. F, slightly in knee ; May 10th, Maj. 
C. M. Hammond, slightly; May 10th, private Dan. Zinnell, Co. I, flesh el- 
bow ; May 10th, private Harry Clark, Co. H, two fingers amputated ; May 
llth, private Sidney Standish, Co C, bruise in side ; May 15th, private Alex. 
Jenks, Co. F, flesh of thigh ; May 15th, private Abram Darling, Co. G, head; 
May 18th, private Michael Calahan, Co. F, hand ; May 14th, Corp'l Gilbert 
Avery, Co. A, flesh hand ; May iilst, private Simon Millard, Co. B, flesh of 
leg ; May 26th, 2d Lieut. E. Gano, Co. A, flesh thigh ; May 26th, private 
George Brandon, Co. F, bruised arm ; May 30th, Sergt. Fred. Mathews, Co. 
B. bruised ; May 30th, private Andrew Johnson, Co. D, bruised hand ; May 
Slat, private James B. Scott, Co. D, bruised side; June 1st, private Orson D. 
Philips, Co. G. head ; June 12th, private Peter H. Dorce, Co. H, left arm am- 
putated ; June 10th, private Justin Taylor, Co. C, bruised arm ; June 15th, 
private Dennis White, Co. K, flesh of leg ; ^June 18th, 1st Lieut. W. N. M. 
Stewart, Co. A, slightly ; June 18th, private Win. S. Griffin, Co. H, bruised 
leg; June 18th, private Michael Smith, Co. C, bruised arm ; June 18th, pri- 
vate George W. Murray, Co. H, foot ; June 18th, private James Connor, Co. 
H, bruise in side ; June 18th, private M. C. Snyder, Co. K, side severely ; 
June 18th, private John Fridley, Co. G, knee ; June 18th, private Wm. Shaw, 
Co. G, concussion ; June 22d, private Oscar D. Keeler, Co. D, flesh thigh ;. 
June 22d, private John C. Lang, Co. D, bruised leg ; June 22d, private Geo. 
Hudson, Co. I, bruised leg ; June 22d, private James T. Douglass, Co. H, 
flesh arm ; June 25th, private Ransom Smith, Co. G, shoulder ; June 25th , 
private Joseph Butcher, Co. F, bruise in arm. 

" We have come now to the memorable "assault on Kenesaw " 
the 27th of June, when our division was moved to the right, and 
made a charge on the enemy's works in front of the line occupied 
by Gen. Stanley's division. Other charges were made in other 
parts of the line, all of which were unsuccessful. But that of 
our division was the severest. Our regiment was in the hottest 
of it. The division charged in solid mass, and found the enemy 
posted behind heavy earthworks with an abattis of brush in front, 
and three rows of sharpened stakes driven in front of their works, 
so that our men could not pass without stopping to pull them out;, 
and to stop while making a charge is almost certain death. With 
grape and canister raking our boys both in flank and front, noth- 
ing but a depression in the ground kept them from being anihi- 
lated. Capt. Bowen and Major Hammond with the colors rallied 
about 150 men just under the hill, after the main part of the di- 
vision had fallen back, and sent for intrenching tools, and would 
have made good their position within 60 yards of the enemy's 
works. But instead of sending them tool?, Gen. Wagner, com- 
manding the brigade, thought it wiser to order the Major to bring; 


the men in. When they got back behind the intrenchments they 
found the rest of the brigade forming their lines, and the belief 
current that the Major, Capt. Bowen, and the men, had been killed, 
and the colors lost, and their return was an agreeable surprise. 
Our color-bearer, Michael Murphy, carried the colors within ten 
steps of the rebel works and brought them safely away again." 

In this charge which was equal in daring and in hopelessness 
to the famous " charge of the 600 ;" and which now at least, in the 
cool distance, seems to have been uncalled for, and made without 
adequate promise of compensating good, and which Gen. Sherman 
labors somewhat in his report to justify, the assaulting column 
suffered so severely as to draw tears even from the eyes of the 
enemy. For, as an eye witness relates, (one of the officers of the 
100th) " The rebels sent our men word that the woods were on 
fire, and we had better come and take care of our killed and 
wounded. Lieut. Bartlett went with a detail of men, and while 
thus engaged conversed with a noble looking captain of the rebel 
army, who, as he looked upon the scene, said, with tears rolling 
down his cheeks, ' This is awful, awful but we had to do it."' 

In this assault, the severest in which the 100th was ever en- 
gaged, the regiment lost three killed and 16 wounded, as in list 
below. Among the valuable lives lost that day was Gen. Barker, 
commanding one of the brigades in our division, a man and an 
officer greatly beloved, not only by his own command, but by all 
who knew him, and who only four days before had shed tears over 
the remains of our colonel. 

The following graphic description of the assault of the 4th 
corps was written immediately after by the correspondent of the 
" Cincinnati Commercial," and is so truthful and interesting that 
I cannot forbear copying it entire. 

" The 4th and 14th corps, the staunch center of the army, 
were called upon to give fresh proof of their valor to-day. These 
two corps, though originally in front of Kenesaw, had been pushed 
by the converging advance of our army to the southward of that 
frowning peak. The noble 4th corps, though by heavy odds the 
heaviest sufferer of the army, was the one of the three from which 
the assault was demanded. The boys were tired of heavy skir- 
mishing ; it had grown tedious, and lost its excitement, and I be- 



lieve when they were apprized that their corps was to furnish two 
or three assaulting columns, they received the intelligence with a 
quick interest nothing more. This thing of killing and being 
killed, had become an every day affair. Eveoy platoon in the 
corps had bled freely since the campaign opened. They felt prob- 
ably, as all veterans must feel, some apprehension, for the result of 
an assault upon a heavily fortified enemy, but none for themselves. 
Early in the gray of the morning, the preparations for the assault 
commenced, the first symptom being an unusually early breakfast. 
There was no evidence in the movement or bearing of the men, 
that they were so soon to essay "the deadly imminent breach;" 
though they must have been conscious that the task laid out for 
them was one which none but men hoping to meet death would 
covet. Between 7 and 8 o'clock the lines were formed. New- 
ton's division, consisting of Generals Wagner, Kimball, and Har- 
ker's brigades, being selected as the storming parties. Kimball's 
being on the left and somewhat retired, to act as a support of the 
other two. Wagner's held the center, and Harker's the right. 
Wood's and Stanley's divisions of the 4th corps furnished supports 
on the flanks of the assaulting brigades, but they were not seriously 
engaged, and their loss is trifling. 


" This splendid brigade, composed of the 40th Ind., 57th Ind., 
97th Ohio, 26th Ohio, 100th Ills., and 28th Kentucky, was thrown 
into columns of regimental divisions, thus giving the brigade 
a front of two companies, and a depth of 30 lines. The advance 
regiment was the 40th Ind., commanded by the fearless Blake. 
The column was formed in good season, and during the brief re- 
spite that ensued before the word " charge " was given, the men 
rested silently in their places, and no one could have guessed from 
their undisturbed faces, that all the latent gallantry of their natures 
could be aroused, and lashed into a fury of heroism during the 
next ten minutes. Here was a man carefully replacing his shoe 
and tucking away the strings j the proposition that " forlorn hopes " 
should be well and tightly shod plainly expressed in his move- 
ments. Letters were torn and crumpled and thrown furtively 
aside. Doubtless miniatures came from their hiding places for a 


moment that morning, but such things are done in the army in 
profound secrecy. The soldier hates a scene, and none more than 
the purely sentimental variety. 

" At half-past eight the men spring to their feet at the word 
fraught with death to many. Thirty consecutive lines of blue 
leaped forward with impetuous strides making their way through 
the scattered trees and underbrush in splendid order. Before 
them on the crest of the ridge was the silent, and to the sight, the 
untenanted convex salient of the enemy's works, for which they 
were aiming. They neared it rapidly, their enthusiasm rising 
with every step, and their hearts rising high as each indistinct ob- 
ject grew plain, as the slopes of the parapet became a mere furrow 
over which it seemed they must go. But the next moment the 
gates of hell opened in their very faces ! A close, concentrating 
blast of musketry swept over the front line, leaving it indented, 
but unwavering ! With the momentum of a mighty river, the 
brigade swept on until but two hundred paces a mere stone's 
throw it looked divided the assailants from the assailed. The 
musketry of the enemy died to a mere pattering muskets must 
be reloaded, and this fact sometimes loses battles. But palisades 
and abattis must be passed ; and with the next rebel volley fired, 
as the fearless 40th Ind. reached a point within a hundred paces of 
their works, came a more awful thunder ! Squarely in the 
teeth of the inspired brigade opened a battery of six guns, belch- 
ing forth grape and canister, every shot ploughing through the 
devoted ranks, and the thick fume of their guns enveloping the in- 
terval of ground over which our brigade must pass. Every ball 
from those guns in filaded sixty men, the column of attack as I 
have already said, being thirty lines deep. The front lines shat- 
tered to pieces, slackened their furious onset, which brought those 
in the rear, jamming up in one confused massof men confused 
but still bent on their fearfully grim and bloody task. It was in- 
tended when the head of the column reached a point within pistol 
shot of the enemy's parapet, to deploy into a column of regiments. 
This was no longer feasible, for organization was lost, and the 
whole column was a tightly closed surging mass of men, ragged 
at the edges but all moving one way toward the enemy I The 
rebel battery fired a second volley, completely shattering Wag- 


ner's column, as a column, the cannon blowing aside every ani- 
mated thing in their front. Masses of men moved to the right 
and the left of the range of the battery still bent upon one object. 
Many struggled up within twenty yards of the enemy's works, 
some penetrated the lines of the palisades, and abattis at their base, 
and a devoted few planted the foot of a color-staff on the slope 
of a parapet ! But the assault had failed failed heroically in less 
time than I have taken to relate it. For nearly an hour portions 
of the brigade held points within fifty yards of the enemy's line, 
but all such were thinned out by the deadly rifle men, who nearly 
secure himself, was at liberty indulge in the uncommon luxury of 
gloating over a foe, before firing with cool, deliberate and unerr- 
ing aim. As the remnants of the brigade started back, long lines 
of rebels swarmed from their trenches, pursuing rapidly with in- 
fernal yells. They soon swarmed back, and faster than they 
emerged, when our reserves opened on them with a withering fire 
of small arms and artillery. The brigade fell back to the line va- 
cated in the morning, leaving over two hundred killed and 
wounded. The proportion of officers lost was larger than the 
average, and here, as elsewhere during the assault, an unusual 
number were hit in the head. Wagner's brigade left winter 
quarters last spring, nearly 2000 strong, but it was reduced to half 
that number, over fifty per cent, having been killed and 
wounded during the campaign. Gen. Wagner fought, where he 
always fights, at the head of his brigade, and his escape from hurt 
is most miraculous. Two or three hours after the assault, his 
men were bustling around their camps, making their coffee, hav- 
ing already exhausted conversation on the great topic which the 
morning had furnished. ' D n the assaults in column,' I heard 
one remark as he punched the blaze under his coffee, ' they make 
a man more afraid of being trampled to death by the rear lines, 
than he is of the enemy, they might do on a marble floor.' 

" His comments would offend Jomini and Monticella, but the 
speaker as a member of one of the advanced regiments in the as- 
saulting column had a clear right to speak his mind." 

Losses in the 100th Illinois in the charge of the 27th : 


John Sarver, Co. H, (this was the boy that drew the first rebel blood in 
the 1st campaign of the 100th); Serg't. Thos. Bleber, Co. Q, and Wm. G. 
Parks, private Co. B. 


Robert White, Co. P, hip, flesh ; Fred. Mathews, Serg't. Co. B, shoulder, 
severe ; Privates John C. Mason, Co. G, right hand ; Alex. King, Co. H, 
left shoulder, slight; John Russell, Co. G, hip flesh; H. G. Lawrence, Co. 
C, head, flesh; Robert Medworth, Co. F, left thigh, flesh ; John Bumgarten, 
Co. E, right shoulder, slight ; Samuel Spangler, Co. G. 


Privates Wm. S. Haines, Co. A ; James Barr, Co. A ; George Wheeler, 
Co. A ; E. Brown, Co. D ; Francis Conroy, Co. H. Corp. Robert Johnson, 
Co. B ; Serg't. John Russel, Co. H. 

lu reference to casualties in the 100th, an officer of the regiment 
says : " Three star soldiers were killed ; to-wit : Sergt. Thomas 
Bleber, Co. G, Wm. G. Parks, of Co. B, and little Johnny Sar- 
ver, of Co. H, who are worthy of more than mention. Sergt. 
Bleber had earned the admiration of the regiment by his bravery 
in battle, and by his honorable bearing in camp. Wm. G. Parks 
was for a while a wagoner, but at his own request had been re- 
turned to the ranks. At Resacca when shot and shell flew 
thickest, a volunteer was called for, to carry orders from the line of 
battle to the picket line. Parks stepped out of the ranks, received 
his orders, put his gun to right shoulder shift, and walked erect, 
and deliberately to the place assigned, while the minie balls were 
flying thickly around him. In the ranks he developed the no- 
blest qualities of the soldier." Of Sarver we have spoken else- 

" After this charge our regiment returned to its position, and re- 
mained until July 3d, with but little worthy of note. Both skir- 
mish lines began to get weary of the incessant exchange of shots, 
and had their little treaties of peace enabling them to get out of 
their cramped rifle pits, stretch themselves, exchange papers, and 
trade off coffee for tobacco. If either side had orders to fire, they 
gave fair notice " Get into your holes yanks," or, " Go home 
Johnny," was the word of warning, on hearing which the pickets 
would creep into their holes again and blaze away. 

" July 3d found the enemy once more withdrawn from our 
front, and we moved into Marietta, a rather nice town where the 
Georgia Military Institute was established. This was the south- 


ern West Point, where men had been educated for the rebellion. 
It consisted of a large building in the form of the letter " E," 
situated on the crest of a hill about a mile from the town. It had 
a beautiful lawn in its front for a parade ground. The view from 
the top of the college building is a magnificent one. Gen. Sher- 
man once visited this place as a commissioner to examine the 
claims of certain Georgians for horses lost in the Florida war. 

" On the 4th we moved to Stanley's left, formed in line again, 
and had some fighting at Smyrna Camp Ground, and two of the 
regiment were wounded. 

" On the 5th we marched slowly in the heat and dust, camping 
near the Chattahoochie river. We saw the rebel pickets on the 
other side and supposed their whole force had crossed, but found 
that we were at the extreme left, and had reached a bend in the 
river, while it receded to the right, and they were still there be- 
hind works. 

" July 6th, Went up a high hill and got a sight of the goal of 
our campaign. The smoke of the foundries at Atlanta was plainly 
visible. On the hill we saw the remains of a man hanging from 
a tree. The flesh was black and dried on the bones and the feet 
had dropped off with the shoes. It was probably the remains of 
a spy. This place was known as Vining's Station. Here it was 
expected that we should get some rest, but picket duty, changing 
camp, &c., prevented our getting settled before the 8th, and at 
day light next morning, orders came for our division to move im- 
mediately, leaving camp standing. So judging that we were going 
but a short distance, perhaps to make a charge, no one took any- 
thing which was not positively needed. But we were marched all 
day through heat and dust, 18 miles to Rossville. There we 
forded the Chattahoochie, which was quite wide. The scene would 
have made a good picture for an illustrated paper. The men took 
off their shoes and pants, and making them into a bundle hung 
them upon their bayonets, and waded over. The river bottom 
was full of small slippery boulders, and frequently some unlucky 
wight would slip and go in all over, bundle, gun, and all, when a 
shout and a roar would go up from the rest of the men. The di- 
vision was across about dark, and took a position on a high hill. 
Next morning lines were established and breastworks commenced. 


Towards evening part of the 16th corps came up and relieved us, 
and on the 1 1th we recrossed to Rossville. This was a very pretty 
little town, and had contained two cotton, and one woolen factories, 
but they had been burned by our cavalry, as one of the necessary 
war measures. By this act some three or four hundred girls had 
been thrown out of employment, and they were sent by our mili- 
tary authorities to Marietta, and afterwards to the north. 

" On the 1 2th we returned to Vining's Station, and next day 
crossed to the south side of the river. 

" On the 18th we again started towards Atlanta, moving three 
or four miles and camping near Buckhead Cross Roads. There 
was considerable skirmishing all day. On the 19th we advanced 
to the north bank of Peach Tree creek. Here the enemy held 
their ground very tenaciously, but on the morning of the 20th 
some of our forces succeeded in getting a footing on the south 
side, and the battle of Peach Tree creek was fought." 

As of other battles, so of this, we attempt no general descrip- 
tion. It was one of great importance and virtually gave us pos- 
session of Atlanta. Hood, who had lately come into command of 
the rebel armies, and was making his maiden fight, had he suc- 
ceeded in breaking through the " gap " after which he was feeling 
in force, the success on his part would have been fatal to Sherman 
and the union army. Happily, however, this was prevented by 
very hard fighting, in which our regiment had its full share. 

" Our corps (4th) lay between Hooker's 20th on its right and 
23d Scholfield's on its left. The 4th corps was in command of 
Howard, the division, of Newton, and the brigade was at this time 
in command of Col. Blake. I state this in order that the reader 
who may see the general descriptions of the engagements will be 
able to know where our Will county regiment was. 

" Our division crossed the creek in the morning of the 20th, 
and comraenceg immediately to throw up temporary works, the 
100th 111. and the 57th Ind. being on the extreme left of the 
skirmish line. About noon the regiment was relieved and ordered 
to bivouac in the rear for refreshment and rest. But they were 
not allowed to rest long. Col. Blake, of the 40th Ind., who was 


now in command of the brigade, told Maj. Hammond (in com- 
mand of the 100th), that it was believed that the rebels were evac- 
uating Atlanta, and it was very desirable that the works of the 
enemy in our front should be charged and carried in order to feel 
of the enemy's strength. The order was given, and with a cheer 
and a bound away went the boys, and drove the rebels from their 
rifle-pits into the woods and out of sight, and the boys of the 100th 
fondly imagined that they had gone into and perhaps through At- 
lanta, and that the 100th would have the honor of being the first 
regiment to enter the city. While we were feeling our way along 
indulging in these anticipations, we were suddenly struck with an 
avalanche of rebels, five lines deep, full of powder and whisky, 
yelling like devils. A retreat was ordered on the double quick, 
and we fell back across the creek where we reformed and were 
soon ready for them. Meanwhile our artillery on the north side 
of the creek opened on them with a murderous fire and drove 
them back. Gen. Thomas who saw the aim of the enemy, sent us 
word to hold the position at all hazards a little longer, and he 
would send us help. No help came, but we held the position. 
Hooker's corps was very heavily engaged at the same time on the 
right of the road, and repeated charges were made on him, and 
also on the rest of our corps ; but the enemy was repulsed each 
time with great loss. In falling back across the creek we lost one 
man captured, Michael Calahan. We also had one man killed in 
the engagement, John Hay, of Co. I. Three men were alsa 
wounded, James Coplantz, of Co. K, slightly ; Martin Fishbaugh, 
of Co. C, and Albert Chamberlain, of Co. C. Capt. Lynd, of Co. 
C, was sunstruck and sent to hospital. Adjt. Home was also sun- 
struck but soon recovered. 

"Corp. Hayes was mortally wounded while he was carrying 
ammunition to the 42d 111., who were about giving away for the 
want of it. He was a brave soldier. During the first part of the 
engagement, while the regiment was across the creek, out of sight, 
Gen. Newton rode up to Gen. Thomas and said, " I have lost the 
100th 111., my best regiment." " Oh, no " says Thomas, " I have 
them over there fighting in splendid style." 

On the 22d, when the left wing of the army under the la- 


mented McPherson, was hotly engaged, the rebels kept up a con - 
tinuous fire from a large fort upon our lines. Solid shot and shell 
flew thick and fast. One shot fell in Co. D, and killed Win. 
Dundore, of Plainfield, and carried away the entire calf of the leg 
of Nelson Platts, of Plainfield. At the same time a shot struck 
in close proximity to " the hole" in which Surgeon Woodruff and 
Charley Jukes, (musician and stretcher bearer), were snugly en- 
sconced, throwing the clay and gravel upon them in such force, 
that they supposed they were hit by the fragments of shell, and 
that their time had verily come. The doctor calls out to Jukes, 
"Charley, I'm killed now, I know I am," to which Jukes replies, 
"So am I, good-bye Doc.!" But after a few moments, not dying 
so fast as they expected, they jumped up and found that they had 
life enough left to fix up poor Platts, and take him from the field 
to the hospital, where his leg was amputated, which resulted in his 
death at Chattanooga, in September following. At the same time 
John C. Lang, of Co. D, received a severe bruise in face and ab- 
domen, and James Murphy of Co. A, was wounded in lower jaw. 
On the 25th inst., Gen. Thomas issued a congratulary order in 
which he said : 

"The major general commanding, congratulates the troops upon the 
brilliant success which has attended the Union arms in the late battles 
and which has been officially reported as follows : " In the battle of the 20th 
inst. in which the 20th corps and one division of the 14th corps was engaged, 
the Union loss in killed, wounded and missing was 1,733. In front of the 
20th corps there was put out of the fight 6,000 rebels ; 563 of the enemy were 
buried by our troops, and the rebels were permitted to bury 250. The 2nd 
division of the 4th army corps, (embracing our 100th) repulsed seven as- 
saults of the enemy with slight loss to the themselves, which must swell the 
rebel loss much beyond the 6,000. Prisoners captured 300 and 7 stands of 

" The army now built substantial works. Heavy artillery was 
brought up and planted along the line, and the tediousness of a 
siege commenced. While we kept behind our works we were 
comparatively safe, but when on the skirmish line, or going any- 
where from behind the works, the risk was great. On the 28th, 
Lieut. Stewart, of Co. A, tried the experiment of stopping a solid 
shot, nearly spent, which was playfully rolling along. The re- 
sult was that he was sent to the hospital for some time, but he ulti- 



mately recovered. Just before the accident, Lieut. Stewart had 
come up to headquarters, and finding the time hanging heavily 
on his hands, had stumped the surgeon to play a game of cards. 
But the surgeon was sleepy, and not inclined just then. Stewart 
commenced to blackguard the medical department, and said he 
should like to know what it was good for, if it was not to furnish 
amusement to the rest of the regiment. The surgeon told him 
that it would not be long before he would be glad enough to avail 
himself of their services, when he wanted an arm or a leg ampu- 
tated. Stewart replied that he shouldn't trouble them, if he 
wanted such a job done, he would get a big nigger with a buck- saw 
to do the job. Just then the spent ball came rolling along where 
the lieutenant was lying, and struck him on the cheek bone, 
literally and figuratively " stopping his jaw " for a while. While 
fixing the lieutenant up for hospital, the surgeon told him that it 
was a judgment upon him for his irreverent treatment of the medi- 
cal department. 

On the 29th, another brave officer of the 100th was wounded, 
George W. Rouse, who went out as adjutant, but was now acting 
as brigade inspector. While on the skirmish line he had his right 
leg crushed by a solid shot, necessitating amputation, from the 
effects of which he died August 3d, another costly sacrifice which 
our county had to make to preserve the Union. 

"On the 5th of August, a " demonstration" was ordered in 
front of our brigade. Co. I, of our regiment, was on the skirmish 
line, and during the attack, Lieut. George Schoonmaker, of Wil- 
mington, another good officer and good man, commanding the 
company, was instantly killed. So, in a week we had lost two 
officers killed, and one severely wounded, and the regiment was 
now reduced to one hundred and fifty men and ten officers present 
for duty. 

" About the 20th of August, it began to be rumored that some 
change in the manner of attack was soon to be made. Thursday 
morning, the 24th, the 100th went to the skirmish line, breaking 
camp, something unusual. Before dark that evening, the artillery 
had been moved out, except one or two pieces, to division front. 
By 8 p. m. the balance of the division was quietly moving out. 
The lOOtli and the other pickets formed a rear guard. We all 


supposed that it was a move to the right, and were surprised to 
find that our course held on for three or four miles, straight for 
the rear, and then began to think we were falling back to the 
Chattahoochie. But before daylight we turned to the right, and 
marched till 6 a. m., then rested an hour. About this time the 
enemy could be seen occupying part of our old works, ancj we 
took position to resist, should they attempt to follow. But they 
were puzzled to understand our change of programme. The 20th 
corps had gone back to the river. The day was very hot, and 
the march was kept up until noon without halting. We camped 
about 4 p. m. On the 27th we rested most of the day, the road 
being occupied by the 14th corps, and the army of the Tennessee. 
About 3 p. m. we started again, passing these troops, we camped 
about 9 in a thick underbrush. It was so dark that candles had 
to be used to establish the line. Next morning we changed posi- 
tion and built works. On the afternoon of the 29th, we moved 
again and threw up more works, stayed until afternoon of the 31st. 
This was the position of the army at this time, the 23d corps on 
our left, 14th on our right, and the army of the Tennessee on the 
right of the 14th. The right wing of our corps rested on the 
Montgomery road near Red Oak. September 1st we moved on 
to the Flint river, and the same day the 23d corps struck the 
Macon railroad about two and a half miles below " Rough and 
Ready," destroying it. The army of the Tennessee had an engage- 
ment near Jonesboro. On the 2d, we struck the railroad about 
two miles below Rough and Ready, 'and commenced tearing it 
up. This was hard work, but being a new experience the men 
went at it with a will. The corps would march its length along 
side of track, stack arms and unsling knapsacks, and with rails 
from the neighboring fences, pry up the track, ties and all, throw 
it bottomside up, knock off the ties and make a bonfire of them, 
and then lay the rails across, so that when heated, they would 
bend with their own weight, or could be bent against a tree, and 
thus be rendered useless until re-rolled. While engaged at this 
the 14th corps and the army of the Tennessee were fighting near 
Jonesboro. About 6 p. m. our corps went to their left, formed 
a line and advanced, and drove the rebs from their works, cap- 
turing ten guns and from three to five hundred prisoners, but it 


was dark before they could do much. Three of the regiment 
were wounded, but only one severe enough to be sent to the hospi- 
tal. Next day we marched on through Jonesboro to near " Love- 
joys," and skirmished all the afternoon. We heard a mighty 
thundering in the direction of Atlanta, which we afterwards learned 
was caused by the explosion of eighty car loads of ammunition 
and the rebel magazines. 

" On the next day Gen. Sherman issued a congratulatory order 
officially announcing that his " flanking machine " was again suc- 
cessful, and that Atlanta, the goal of the campaign was won, 
and occupied by the 20th corps, on the day previous, and that 
the present task was done and well done. 

" We remained here until the 5th, most of the time exchanging 
fire with the enemy. It was an exposed position. Charlie Styles, 
who it will be remembered, was married at Athens just before 
starting out on the campaign, was hit and killed while playing 
his fife in his tent door. Surgeon Woodruff had his horse shot 
while here. This was the most southern point to which the 100th 
went. About 8 p. m. we started back. The night was dark, 
the roads muddy, and the pioneers hard work to make some 
places passable for the artillery. 

" We entered Atlanta on the 8th day of September, and went 
into camp about three miles east of the city. We fixed up a very 
comfortable camp, and all were enjoying a rest, and hoping that 
it might last for some time. Some officers and men had visited 
this city about a year previous as prisoners of war, and were 
pleased to make its acquaintance again under so different circum- 
stances. It was a great treat, after a four month's campaign, 
three at least of which had been under fire, losing many of our 
comrades, and kept upon a constant strain, encountering rocks, 
underbrush, dust, mud and rain, ragged and powder stained, dirty 
and barefooted, it was a treat which can only be appreciated by 
those who have been through a similar experience, to be al- 
lowed once more to clean up, wear clean clothes, and move about 
without being on the " qui vive " against rebel bullets and shells. 
" Sunday morning, Sept. 25th, we were enjoying a most de- 
lightful day, emphatically a day of rest listening to the music of 
the bands, and congratulating ourselves that the campaign was 


over ; when we were astonished by the reception of orders for our 
brigade to prepare to move immediately. 

" Long ere this we had learned that there is no use in a soldier's 
grumbling, or asking for the why and wherefore ; all we have to 
do is to obey orders. So we go into town, load into a train, and 
start for Chattanooga. The trip is quickly made by rail, as now 
we had not to fight our way step by step. We arrived there Mon- 
day noon, camping in town and awaiting orders. About mid- 
night we were ordered out and put on duty as provost guard. 
This was taken as an indication that our brigade was to do garri- 
son duty, which pleased us all. But Tuesday afternoon we were 
relieved by convalescents and ordered to camp on a hill in the 
east part of the town. The troops which had been garrisoning 
Chattanooga had been sent to Huntsville, Tallahassee, and other 
points to guard the railroad from the raids of rebel cavalry, which 
were trying to do what mischief they could in Sherman's rear. 
We were therefore kept moving about lively. 

" Oct. 7th, we went by railroad to Cleveland, thence to Resacca 
and back the next day, and on the night of the 1 1th, we were 
roused about midnight, went to the cars, but did not start out till 
5 a. m., when we ran out as far as Ringgold, bivouacked near the 
town, and started back again between seven and eight p. m. We 
ran off the track in the night, and did not get on again until 11 
o'clock next day, (13th). 

"The 14th was an exciting day. Reports came of the surren- 
der of Daltori by our force there, and the evacuation of Tunnel 
Hill and Ringgold. The troops in Chattanooga were set to work 
on the fortifications. In the afternoon of the 15th we went to 
Ringgold again, and back next night to Chattanooga. We did not 
leave the cars, but drew three days' rations, and about daylight 
started for Bridgeport. On the 18th returned to Chattanooga, 
disembarked, and started off on the march again, camping that 
night on the old Chickaraauga battle field where we had been just 
one year and a month before, and where we had left many a brave 

u On the 19th we marched 15 miles; on the 20th, 12 miles, 
passing through Lafayette. On the 21st we reached Alpine about 
noon, rested two hours, then our brigade moved west to Hender- 


son's Gap in Lookout Range. Next morning we crossed the 
mountain, camping in Mill's valley. The sides of the mountain 
were steep, but the roads were good. The distance across was 12 
miles. We crossed two rivers on the mountain, on one of which 
there was a fine waterfall, and the whole route presented much to 
interest the lover of nature. Mill's Valley we found a very nice 
one, rich in grain, vegetables and cattle, all of which were very 
acceptable, and a grateful variation of our fare. 

" On the afternoon of the 24th we recrossed to the camp of the 
21st, remaining there until the 28th, this time taking two sections 
of artillery, drawn by convalescent horses. The men had often to 
turn to and reinforce them, up and down the mountain. On the 
29th we marched all day, camping about three miles from Tren- 
ton. On the 30th we went up Sand Mountain and nearly across 
it, and on the 31st descended and went to Bridgeport, halted, and 
drew rations. While at Bridgeport, headquarter's mess drew new 
tents, and camped in the dooryard of a large residence, which 
must have been a place of great beauty before the war. The 
yard showed evidences of having been filled with choice shrub- 
bery. A magnificent climbing rose was over the door-way. The 
dining table of the mess was placed upon what had been a fine 
flower bed, and a beautiful peach tree was the hitching post for the 
officers' horses. Some roses and other shrubs remained to mark the 
pathway, and the cook hung his dish-cloth upon a choice rosebush. 
Although the owner is a rebel, we cannot but feel a pang at seeing 
so much that was beautiful thus destroyed. The palings of the 
fence have been taken by the cook to boil the coffee, and the big 
mule teams drive ruthlessly over the garden where some southern 
lady has no doubt expended much time and money. But these 
people have sown to the wind, and must reap the whirlwind ! 

" We then marched five miles toward Stephenson. Nov. 1st 
went on to Stephenson, took the cars about three p. m., and woke 
up next morning in Athens, Ala. Most of the day was occupied 
in drawing clothing, &c., and towards night we moved out about 
two and a half miles and camped. 

" The next day (3d) we started again, reaching Pulaski, Tenn. 
on the 5th. On the way to Pulaski we were obliged to cross the 
Elk river 15 miles south of Pulaski, at a place called Elkton. 


The stream was 200 yards wide, and in the center was mid- sides 
to our horses. This was a cold job for a raw November day, but 
the boys plunged in with a yell, and stepped out with a shout. No 
boy's play, this, as the men had to carry their guns and ammuni- 
tion over their heads, as these must be kept dry whatever else 
might get wet. 

"At Pulaski we fortified our position as though we were to re- 
main through the winter. Hereabouts is a fine, rich cotton coun- 
try, and many northerners had come in here and rented cotton 
plantations, and during the year had raised a fine crop and suc- 
ceeded in getting it to market, without loss from rebel raids. 
Everywhere our army has been followed by an army of speculators, 
ready to make money out of the sufferings of the country, many 
of them caring little which side wins, so that they can get rich. 
We remained at Pulaski until the 22d of November, and in that 
time were visited by one of Uncle Sam's peddlers of greenbacks. 

" Then commenced the falling back to Nashville, rendered nec- 
essary by the operations of Hood. On the 22d we went to Louis- 
ville. Next day quiet. On the 24th we started at 2 a. m., going 
through Columbia, and began to hear the familiar sound of can- 
nonading and musketry behind us. That afternoon and the next 
day we spent in building works, and about 8 p. m. moved about 
one and a half miles to another position near the railroad. On 
the 26th and 27th there was picket firing all day, and about ten 
o'clock of the night of the 27th, we struck tents and fell back 
across Duck river, crossing at midnight, and moved to the Frank- 
lin pike. On the forenoon of the 29th we marched toward Spring 

" When within about two miles of Spring Hill, an orderly 
brought a note to Gen. Stanley, our corps commander, who was 
riding at the head of our regiment. He took a rapid glance at 
the note, and ordered " double quick," to which the 100th re- 
sponded with a will, actually running one and a half miles, 
changing by right flank into line of battle, without even slacking 
their pace; and without halting or wavering to receive the charge 
of the rebel cavalry who were coming on with drawn sabers, and 
yelling like demons. But when within about thirty paces, seeing 
that our lines did not give way, they turned and fled. We pur- 


sued them until we met their infantry skirmishers, when we halted 
and prepared ior defence. Here our division repulsed five charges 
made in quick succession, by the division of the rebel Gen. Clay- 
borne, and maintained our position until 4 o'clock next morning 
when we quietly withdrew towards Franklin. This encounter 
occurred on the farm of a Mr. Peters, the man who killed the 
rebel Gen. Van Dora, of whose attentions to his family he was 

" We arrived at Franklin about noon, the enemy closely follow- 
ing us. Scholfield's corps were then behind a good line of works, 
our division was placed in line in front of them, and some slight 
works thrown up hurriedly. We could see Hood's army march- 
ing over the hills, south of us, and watch them form their lines. 
Then commenced the battle, the enemy charging us in great force 
about four o'clock. We were compelled to leave the first line, 
falling back to the second line of works, and there the battle raged 
till almost nine p. m. The enemy charged the works five times, 
some of them being killed close on them. Gen. Clayborne and 
his horse fell right on our works. The fighting was terrific. We 
were now behind works, and the enemy in the open field ; almost 
the first battle in which the 100th had had this advantage. There 
was a small grove of young locust trees just in front of part of our 
line, every tree of which was cut off by bullets. The enemy with- 
drew, having been repulsed each time. Clayborne's division was 
nearly annihilated. Our list of casualties was again a sad one, 
for we lost one of the most valued of our remaining officers. 
Maj. Rodney S. Bo wen was wounded in the thigh, and was placed 
in the last ambulance that started for Nashville, and died at that 
place three days after. 

" Michael Murphy, our brave color sergeant, Co. C, was shot 
down while planting the colors in the face of the foe, and when 
Murphy fell, Andrew W. Johnson, of Co. D, sprang forward and 
snatched the colors and saved them from capture, for which he 
was made color sergeant. 


Captain S. D. B. Lines, Co. I, bruise in side ; Alfred Parry, Co. G, in. 
hands of enemy; Joshua Bush, Co. G, left hand ; Serg't. William Johnson, 
flesh, right hip; Sergeant Elisha Brown, Co. D, flesh, left shoulder; Mathew 
Boots, Co. D, right ear, slight; Frank E. Hills, finger, slight. Co. F An- 


drew McCord, bruise, side ; George Braudeau, right arm, slight. Co. A 
Serg't. Francis A. Fisher, mortally, and prisoner ; J. W. R. Williams, flesh 
of face ; Burnett Yates, face, slight. Co. K Francis Green, hand, slight ; 
Co. B Martin King, right thigh ; Co. E Stephen Gascoigne, arm. slight. 


Co. G Herman Harder, George Eberhard ; Co. H Alvah Hoyt, George 
W. Murray; Co. I Alvis Kastner; Co. D Samuel Fentrynaan, died, Chas. 
Awlsbrook, James Platt; Co. F Serg't, Amos W. Shaw, Paul Brandeau, 
died ; Co.C August Welchlin. 

Of the missing some afterwards came up. Some of the 
wounded had to be left at Franklin for want of transportation. 

Of this battle of Franklin, some one writes in the papers of 
the time : 

" Our forces abandoning the line of Duck River, fell back to 
Franklin. Thomas was waiting for the arrival of A. J. Smith's 
corps, before giving Hood battle, who had the largest army. Our 
cavalry skirmished with the rebel cavalry all day. Gen. Hatch 
having considerable of a fight Tuesday evening. The rebs tore 
up the railroad tracks at Thompson's station and Spring Hill, but 
as we had fallen back to Franklin this did not hurt us. The 
rebels attacked our army around Franklin in force Wednesday 
morning, Nov. 30th, and the fighting continued with greater or less 
severity through the day, resulting in the repulse of the rebels 
with a loss estimated at 4,000 or 5000 killed, wounded and pris- 
oners. In the assault the enemy showed much bravery, but our 
victory was complete, and the slaughter of the enemy terrible. 
The 23d corps, Gen. Cox, and the 4th corps, Gen. Stanley, bore 
the brunt of the battle and exhibited great valor. Gen. Schol- 
field fought the battle on the plan which had been well digested 
between General Thomas and himself. One rebel brigadier was 
among the captured. Our own loss was about 600 in all. A thou- 
sand prisoners, including one brigadier and 107 other officers, were 
brought into Nashville." 

Official statements make the rebel loss 6,252 ; Union, 2,326. 

After the battle of Franklin, our army under Scholfield fell 
back to Nashville where it effected a junction with A. J. Smith's 
corps, and went within the outer defenses of the city. 

" We started at midnight of the day on which the battle had 
been fought, marching until noon of the next day. As may 



readily be imagined, this was a terrible march after such a hard 
day's fight. So exhausted were the men, that officers on their 
horses, and men on their feet fell asleep while moving. We 
reached Nashville, twenty-five miles from Franklin, and about 
3 p. m. were safe within the outer defenses, the enemy having 
crowded us all the way. The men had to be kept up and forced 
along by the prick of tfie bayonet by the rear guard, to keep 
them from falling into the hands of the enemy, who were closely 
pressing the rear. When witfrin four miles of Nashville they 
were allowed to rest and make coffee for the first time in forty- 
eight hours; and then went into position on the Granny White 
Pike, and threw up breastworks. 

" Gen. Thomas placed his forces in line of battle three miles 
north of Nashville, and the enemy advanced within five miles, the 
space intervening being the scene of more or less skirmishing 
until the battle of Nashville. 

"The next day after our arrival, (the 3d), the enemy was seen 
advancing in two lines of battle, and our boys were ready and 
anxious for them to attack. But our artillery soon drove them to 
their holes literally to their holes, for they had actually com- 
menced to burrow in the ground to protect themselves from the 
cold, and our sharpshooters and parrot guns. Reinforcements 
were constantly concentrating here, and Thomas waited until he 
got a "good ready " before going out to give Hood battle. "Old 
George " was sometimes thought a little " slow," but he had al- 
ways shown himself sure, and honestly entitled to the sobriquet of 
" Old Reliable." The north got impatient. It is said that Grant 
telegraphed to ask why he did not attack Hood, and also that he 
sent Logan to see what was the matter, with authority to super- 
sede him. If so, Logan had the good sense to let him alone. 

"On the llth, we received orders to be ready to move at a mo- 
ment's notice. But that night about three inches of snow fell, 
terminating in rain, after which it froze. This made everything 
so slippery that a movement could not be made with safety, and 
it was postponed. 

" On the 14th, the order " forward " came, and we moved out 
quietly, but boldly for the works of the enemy, and by two o'clock 
p. m. had reached, stormed, and carried them in our front, 


driving the enemy from Montgomery Hill, capturing 10 or 15 
pieces of artillery, and turning them upon the fleeing foe, we 
followed them until darkness closed the engagement. 

"The 100th was then ordered to establish a picket line as near 
as possible to the enemy without coming into collision with them, 
and we rested on our arms. Next morning at daylight we were 
ordered by our brigade commander (Wagner) to pass the enemy's 
skirmish line, and if it gave way to drive them to the Franklin pike 
with a grand right wheel, and press on until we struck them in 
force. Better, livelier, more brilliant skirmishing has been seldom 
seen than that which followed this order. We drove them square 
into their intrenchments on Overalls Hill, bringing our regiment 
entirely to the left of the front of our brigade, without any sup- 
port in our rear or left, and perfectly independent, subject only to 
the orders of the colonel in command, who seemed to feel very 
proud of our exploit. Presently Gen. Wood came up with two 
brigades (one colored) and charged the works. The charge was 
gallantly made, but the position of our enemy was impregnable, 
and Wood had to fall back. A charge on the right was more suc- 
cessful, and the enemy's line was broken, when Thomas' whole 
army moved with a bound, and ere long Hood's entire array was 
one mass of fugitives. As we were pursuing them by column, en 
route, the enemy had opened a battery, one or two miles in front, 
and commenced shelling our troops. One of their shots passed 
directly between the colonel and adjutant who were riding side 
by side, striking the ground near the horses' hind feet, and bound- 
ing with a right ricochet just so as to miss going through the regi- 
ment lengthwise. 

" Our casualties were remarkably few. We lost but one man 
killed, Joseph Butcher, of Co. F, who was a heroic man at all 
times, and this day especially so. Capt. 8. B. D. Lines, of Co. I, 
was wounded on the skirmish line early in the engagement, suffi- 
ciently severe to permit his retiring to the rear, but nothing 
daunted, he remained at the head of his men, cheering them on." 

This was the closing battle of the war in the West the last 
time in which the 100th had to face the enemies of the Union in 
deadly encounter. For a description of it in its general aspects, 


the reader is referred to works of larger scope than ours. Our 
county was still further represented in the battles of Nashville. 
The 88th regiment of infantry bore a conspicuous part in the en- 
gagements of both days, and in this regiment, we had three commis- 
sioned officers and nine enlisted men. The officers being Maj. L. 
P. Holden, and Capt. Edwin A. Stolp, of the town of Frankfort, 
and Lieut. Final H. Morey, of the town of Peotone. Also in the 
72d regiment, which took part both in the battles of Franklin 
and Nashville, we had, first and last, somewhere about 35 men. 

"On the 17th, the 100th joined in the chase after Hood, and 
went to Harpeth river, camping opposite Franklin. Next day 
crossed over to that place. Here we found two of our wounded, 
(Alfred Penny and Herman Harder, of Co. G,) that we had left 
doing well. Two others had died (Francis Fisher, of Co. A, and 
Paul Brandeau, of Co. F,) since the battle. We went into camp 
three miles south of Spring Hill. No others of the missing could 
be found. It rained all the time, and the roads were very bad. 
On the 23d we were at Columbia. On the 25th passed through 
Pulaski, where we left the pike and floundered through the mud. 
On the 28th we were at Lexington, 30 miles from Pulaski, where 
the chase terminated. At Athens, January 5th. Thence we went 
to Huntsville Ala., where we remained almost three months, rest- 
ing from our labors. 

" March 27th we broke camp again, going by rail to Chatta- 
nooga, and thence to Knoxville. April 1st, moved on to Bulls 
Gap, and on the 4th went eight miles farther to Blue Springs, 
where the troops were sent as a support to Stoneman's cavalry in the 
rear of Lee, and were also employed in rebuilding railroad. 

" Here we hear the glorious news of the surrender of Lee. 
The performances of the boys on getting the news of Lee's sur- 
render, and the probable close of the war, baffles description. 
Such a shouting and hurrahing ! Such a fusillading, such a danc- 
ing and cavorting ! Such a * * * * was never 
heard or seen before or since, anywhere. The destruction of hats 
is said to have been enormous, and to have exhausted the resources 
of the Q,. M. department to repair damages. 

" This rejoicing, however, was quickly followed by the news of 


the assassination of LINCOLN, when a marked and sudden change 
came over the spirit of their behavior. Every eye was moist- 
ened with tears, every lip compressed. Vengeance seemed 
for the time stamped upon every countenance, and unlucky 
would it have been for any rebel who had come within their reach. 
The men gathered in little groups and discussed the matter in whis- 
pers. Routine duty was gone through quietly, without noise, 
every man walking as softly as at a funeral. Had each soldier 
received the news of the death of his own father, the effect could 
hardly have been more marked, or the grief more universal. 

"On the 18th we started back, going by rail to Nashville, just 
escaping a catastrophe near Louden. Here we went into camp a 
few miles south of the city, on the Harding Pike, and passed the 
time in drills, reviews, etc. 

" On the 9th of May, the 4th corps was reviewed by General 
Thomas, and on the day following he issued a complimentary 
order to them. 

" The time passed slowly. Every one was anxious to know 
what was to be done with our regiment, whether we should now be 
sent home, or held to serve out the balance of our three years. The 
boys passed the time in playing ball, foot races, and other games. 

" The review of the 4th corps, notwithstanding! ts reduced num- 
bers, was a splendid sight. 12,000 brave men were marshaled 
in their best trim, now for display, and not for deadly strife, and 
for the last time ! " Old Pap" (as the boys with more love than 
reverence, were wont to call Gen. Thomas) never looked better, 
and seemed full as happy as any of us, as he rode his old war- 
horse down the lines, proud of his boys in blue, that had executed 
his orders on so many hardly contested fields. It added interest 
to the occasion, that the review was held on our last battle field, 
the field of his glory, and ours, where the finishing stroke had 
been given to the rebel cause in the west. The city was out in 
holiday attire to witness the scene. 

" On the 13th day of June, we broke camp, and folded tents for 
the last time, and started for home. Arrived at Chicago, Thurs- 
day, June 15th. Had a formal reception by the citizens of Chi- 
cago, and were addressed by Gen. Sherman on the 16th. 

" On the 1st day of July, we received our last rations of hard 


tack and greenbacks from Uncle Sam, and were mustered out, and 
the 100th Illinois, no longer existed as an organized regiment. 
But of course we had a reception in Joliet. Four cars sufficed 
to bring back to Joliet the regiment which on going forth, three 
years before had required a train of twenty cars ! On July 2d, 
Joliet gave the Will county regiment its welcome home those 
who had survived its campaigns and conflicts ; as has been else- 
where described." 


We have given in the preceding pages, a fuller history of the 
100th regiment than of any other organization. The reasons for 
this will be obvious, and will justify us in so doing. It was THE 
WILL, COUNTY REGIMENT, unlike all others, raised entirely from 
this county, and in it all parts of the county were represented. 
For this reason all of our citizens were especially interested in its 
fortunes. The author was also brought into more intimate rela- 
tions with this regiment than with any other one, and has been 
able to collect more records and reminiscences of it than any other. 
Full as the history already is, there are yet a few statements we 
wish to place on record, for which we have not found any appro- 
priate place in the preceding narrative. 

We claim for the 100th regiment as proud a record as was 
made by any in the service. It was full of good men, competent 
for any duty, or any emergency. The details from its ranks were 
numerous. Many were selected as staff officers. Captain El- 
wood's abilities were soon appreciated, and he was almost at the 
outset selected for brigade inspector general. Captain Gardner, 
of Co. I, served as provost marshal and inspector. Captain 
Munger as brigade commissary. Adjutant Rouse also served as 
brigade inspector, and Lieut. Howard, of Co. B, as Provost Mar- 
shal, Lieut. J. C. Williams, of Co. G, as aid to Col.'s Fyle and 
Buell on brigade staff, and roie his gray mustang to good 
purpose. Lieut. Ingraham, of Co. F, served on staff of Gen. 
Negley. Many non-commissioned officers and privates were de- 
tailed as commissary clerks, &c., &c. Dennis Sibley was kept at 
work where his methodical business habits and talents were most 
useful. C. B. Garnsey was lawyer and scribe for the regiment, 
and as commissary sergeant, dealt out the hard tack and bacon 


with an impartial hand. Milton F. Hand pulled the teeth of the 
regiment, and was a most useful assistant in all surgical operations, 
and at some operations that were not surgical. The surgical 
skill of Dr. A. W. Heise, quickly took him from the regiment to 
Division Hospital, and he was placed at Chattanooga in charge of 
the amputating department. Dr. Harwood resigning after Stone 
River, on account of impaired health, the regiment was thence- 
forth in charge of Dr. Woodruff, who was always with the regi- 
ment in the front, and had several narrow escapes, and after the 
resignation of Dr. Heise was made full surgeon. After the battle 
of Chickamauga the regiment had become so reduced in numbers 
that there were more officers than the exigencies of the service re- 
quired, and many consequently resigned and came home between 
that period and the opening of the Atlanta Campaign. Among 
them were Captains Elwood, Barflett, McDonald, and Goddard, 
who had all proved able and brave officers, serving the regiment 
and the country well. But I must stop this, for if I should go 
on with all the special mention that could be made, I should pro- 
tract this history beyond reasonable length. Suffice it to say, that 
if an artisan or engineer of any kind, a clerk, orderly, or staff 
officer was needed in brigade or division, he was most frequently 
selected from the 100th, which fact helped very much to reduce its 

And yet, I must mention one more connected with the regi- 
ment its most worthy chaplain. He was a man of strong physique, 
though considerably advanced in years. His whole heart was in 
the union cause. He was no dilettante chaplain. He cared both 
for the souls and the bodies of the men in his charge, and was in- 
defatigable in his efforts in their behalf, often carrying a sick sol- 
dier's gun, and helping about the labors of the camp, and the 
bivouac and the hospital. His health compelled him to resign 
while the regiment was in the Sequatchie Valley, after about one 
year's service. The good chaplain's loyalty to the cause of the 
union was proverbial. Although a Kentuckian by birth and edu- 
cation, he was no neutral. I have given elsewhere one or two anec- 
dotes of him, and will give one more. While on the march through 
Kentucky, he chanced to be on one occasion at dinner with some 
of the "chivalrous neutrals," where some one spoke contemptu- 


ously of the character of the loyal Kentuckians. The worthy 
chaplain felt the insult, not so much for himself as for the 
class he represented, and deliberately rising from his chair, he 
addressed the person using the offensive language, " Sir, you must 
take that back, or I'll thrash you." The man looked up at the 

towering form and flashing eye of the chaplain, and took it 

back ! This, with one or two anecdotes we have told of him else- 
where, may perhaps suggest the thought, that the chaplain had 
mistaken his calling, and ought to have held the position of a bel- 
ligerent. He would unquestionably have made a good fighter, 
but those who know him, do not need to be told that he 
was, (and still is) an able preacher, and a kind and faithful 
pastor, although he believed in fighting the enemies of the 
Union, and all the boys in the 100th will vouch for his fidelity 
and kindness as an army chaplain. 

In conclusion, let it be said, (without any disparagement to 
others) that the men and officers who clung to the regiment 
through its entire service, were all of them true and tried, physi- 
cally inured to hardship, and unsurpassed in their morale. If 
they performed no brilliant deed of daring or heroism, they did 
what is still better, they clung to the fortunes of the regiment, and 
of the country in its darkest days, and greatest dangers, hazard- 
ing life and limb through three long and weary years ; seeing their 
comrades one after another falling victims to disease and exposure, 
and the accidents of war. Let us not forget the debt we owe 





Organizai ion Efforts of Dr. Dunne and others Personal Notices of 
Officers Tribute to Chaplain The Lockport Guards Tribute to Lockport 
Citizens Personal mention Joliet Company or Casey Guards In camp at 
Chicago The Irishman something like his Flea An incident in which Cap- 
tain O'Marah shows his pluck Getting off for the Front Cairo La Grange 
Cold Water Incidents Captain O'Marah Shows his Pluck Again A visit 
from Van Dorn How Colonel O'Meara received him A Sharp Fight 
VanDorn retires A Batch of Incidents Back to LaGrange Officers hunt- 
ing Quarters A Friendly Call How the Caller Proved Himself an Irish- 
man A Case of Sickness Not Fatal Daughter of the Regiment Begi- 
mentgoes to Lafayette Ordered to Memphis How the 90th was Assaulted 
On Board for Vicksburg Goes up the Yazoo New Brigade Sickness Be- 
fore the Surrender After On to Jackson Lieut. Eddy at Big Black On to 
Jackson Co. C and D open the Fight Continued A big Artillery Duel 
Joe Johnson skedaddles The 90th Thanked Goes into Camp until Septem- 
ber 27th Ordered to Chattanooga via Vicksburg and Memphis Meets its 
old friends at Memphis A loud call from Sherman Rapid March Just in 
Time Thanks of Sherman A Grim Joke of Sherman March Resumed 
On, on, on to Chattanooga Hard Time Wet, Cold, Naked, Dirty, Hungry, 
Saucy Over the Mountains Across the River Goes into Battle Casual- 
ties Incidents Goes to Knoxville Returns A strange Scene Badge of 
the 15th Corps Winter Quarters Atlanta Campaign Casualties Through 
with Sherman Will County Losses in 90th Some Personal Mention Con- 

and organized in the summer of 1862, under the President's 
call for 300,000 which followed the failure of McClellan to 
take Richmond. It was mustered into service in October of that 
year. Its rank and file were mostly Irishmen or Irish- Ameri- 



The country was largely indebted for its organization to the 
efforts of the late Very Rev. D. Dunne, D. D., at the time Catho- 
lic Vicar General of the Diocese of Chicago ; who besides his pa- 
triotic purpose to serve the country of his adoption which he 
deeply and enthusiastically loved was no doubt greatly in- 
fluenced by a desire to disprove the charge, sometimes made, that 
the Irish Catholic element was disloyal. A.nd most nobly as we 
shall see, did this regiment give the lie to all such intimations. He 
was greatly assisted in his efforts by Smith McCleavey, of Chi- 
cago, who became the lieutenant colonel of the regiment, and by 
Patrick O'Marah, of Lockport, who became captain of Co. C. 
These, with others, were indefatigable in their efforts to overcome 
the obstacles to its completion. These obstacles were neither few 
nor small, but need not now be recounted 

Four companies of the 90th were organized in Cook county ; 
one each in Winnebago, Jo Daviess, Boone and LaSalle, and two 
in Will county. 

Governor Yates offered Dr. Dunne a commission as colonel 
of the regiment ; but this honor was of course declined, as incon- 
sistent with his holy office. Besides, it was the understanding and 
determination of those who were most active in organizing the 
Irish Legion, that a practical and experienced military man, who 
should at the same time be of Irish birth or descent, and of the 
Catholic faith, should be selected as its commander. Fortunately, 
through correspondence with Gen. Corcoran and others, a man was 
found that filled the bill. Dr. Dunne retained his interest in the 
regiment, and all its members, to the day of his death, never 
ceasing to look after and pray for them. 

The original colonel of the 90th, was Timothy O'Meara, a na- 
tive of the county of Tipperary, Ireland. He had led a some- 
what adventurous life. He came to this country at an early age, 
and when quite young, entered the regular U. S. service. He 
subsequently entered the Mexican service as a major of cavalry. 
At the beginning of the war he entered the Union service as a 
captain in the 1st Tammany regiment, and was in the ill-starred 
Balls Bluff expedition under the lamented Baker, at which time 
his regiment was cut to pieces, and himself wounded and made 
prisoner. When released, he was offered the command of the 2d 


Tammany regiment, but he preferred to accept that of the Irish 
Legion, which had also been tendered him. 

Col. O'Meara was enthusiastically attached to his chosen pro- 
fession, a most accomplished officer, a man of splendid physique, 
tall and strait as an Indian, and one of the best horsemen and 
handsomest officers in the Union army. Add to this the fact that he 
was brave, patriotic and courteous, and it will seem no wonder that 
the men of the 90th officers and privates loved him, believed in 
and trusted him implicitly ; nor, that they deeply mourned when 
he fell at Mission Ridge, mortally wounded upon the field. 

The lieutenant colonel of the regiment was Smith McCleavey, 
of Chicago, one of the most popular and whole-souled gentlemen, 
who, at a great pecuniary sacrifice had been very active in organ- 
izing the regiment, and now accepted the second place on its ros- 
ter. He served with great acceptance and ability, until compelled 
by serious illness to resign. He was also an Irishman by birth, 
although a protestant in religious belief. 

Owen Stewart, of Chicago, was the original major of the regi- 
ment, subsequently promoted colonel. He was severely wounded 
at Mission Ridge, just as the regiment was forming in line of bat- 
tle. He was struck by a minnie ball which passed through his 
body, just above his hips. Strange to relate he recovered, and 
after a long absence rejoined the regiment and served ably through 
the war. 

Redmond Sheridan, of Chicago, was the quartermaster of the 
regiment, an efficient officer and genial gentleman. He served the 
regiment during its entire existence, except for a brief period, when 
taken prisoner, as we will relate by and by. 

E. S. Davis, adjutant, was a good officer and a good fellow gen- 
erally, and served with honor and ability to the end of the war. 
Although a Yankee, bred and born, he was considered as good an 
Irishman as any in the regiment. 

The 90th was very happy in its medical staff. Dr. Strong, of 
Rockford, was regarded as a surgeon of superior skill and ability, 
one of the best in the 15th A. C., and kind and courteous as well 
as skillful. John B. Davidson, 1st assistant, did not remain 
long with the regiment. 

Dr. Darwin Hinkley, assistant surgeon, (afterwards promoted) 


served the regiment during the war, and was a great favorite with 
the boys. The " Ould Doctor " and his " Queen Anne " are 
still remembered with affection. He was a father to the boys, and 
not a mere functionary. 

The regiment was especially happy in its chaplain, the Rev. 
Thomas Kelly, of Chicago. Although in giving these notices of 
officers who were not Will county men, I am traveling a little out 
of the scope of this work, I will quote without abridgment the 
following tribute to the memory of this faithful chaplain, from a 
Will county officer : 

" Rev. Thomas F. Kelly was the Chaplain of the 90th. Among 
those chaplains who have rendered efficient service to their coun- 
try, the name of this zealous and patriotic priest will long live in 
the memory and affections of all who knew him. That he entered 
the service of the Republic from very decided impressions of 
Christian duty, and from a full conviction that he was specially 
called into this field of service, we think he has given abundant 
proof. The fidelity with which he discharged the various func- 
tions of an army chaplain, make it evident that he was the right 
man in the right place. That such a priest should be both popu- 
lar and useful, is no matter of surprise. This upright and well- 
informed chaplain was highly esteemed by the officers and men of 
the 90th. His presence was hailed everywhere with warm expres- 
sions of delight. In the hospital he may be seen watching the 
sick, administering to their wants, and writing messages of love 
for the loved and absent ones at home. Then watch him as he 
visits from tent to tent, producing by his presence a suppression of 
impiety, and not unfrequently eliciting the willing tear that tells of 
a heart subdued by Christian hope. Behold him bending over 
the prostrate form of the dying soldier on the field of battle after 
the smoke has cleared away, and soothing his last moments with 
the consolations of religion, and preparing his soul for eternity. 
Such were some of the many duties often performed, that en- 
deared Father Tom Kelly to the boys of the 90th. Father Kelly 
was born in Ireland, and was a splendid looking man. He was 
of large size and handsome figure. His fine open countenance 
always wore the glow of health, until stricken with the disease 


that caused his death so soon, and in the vigor of manhood. 
Father Kelly rendered great service in raising the 90th, and took 
a deep interest in the welfare of the regiment during his lifetime. 
He always felt proud of his fighting boys, and never tired of giv- 
ing them good advice, as well as moral and religious instructions, 
that they might be fitted for life hereafter, and prepared to brave 
danger without fear, when the trial came that would cause the 
Christian soldier to do battle to save the life of our glorious Repub- 
lic. He never left the legion until stricken with disease contracted 
in the line of his duty near Yazoo river, Miss. And then only, 
when obliged. After many days journey he reached Chicago, his 
former home, where he lingered a few weeks and died. He left a 
pleasant charge at Bridgeport, Cook county, to enter the service 
of his adopted country ; conscientious, full of Christian chivalry, 
he has fallen ! We are sure he died well. He died in commu- 
nion with his God. He died to save his country." 

In the 90th regiment, Will county had eight commissioned 
officers, and substantially two companies of enlisted men. The 
sergeant major of the regiment and the hospital steward were also 
from Will county. 

Company C, " Lockport Guards," was originally commanded 
by Capt. P. O'Marah, of Lockport, at which place the company 
was enlisted through the active efforts of Capt. O'Marah, Sergt. 
Major Lonergan, Lieut. Casey, Sergt. Dunne, and others. Their 
efforts were heartily seconded by the citizens of Lockport. Capt. 
O'Marah, in reference to the efforts to raise company C, writes : 

" The history of those times cannot be written truthfully with- 
out mentioning the manly and patriotic efforts and valuable ser- 
vices rendered by such citizens as Hon. Geo. Gaylord, Hon. John 
B. Preston, John H. Arnold, John Gregory, Hon. Hiram Norton, 
Frank Gregory, Wra. Good ing, Patrick Fitzpatrick, Joel Man- 
ning, Rev. Michael Harley, L. 8. Parker, Simon Lonergan, and 
many others, who were very active in assisting to organize troops 
to save the nation's life. Will county may well feel proud of such 
citizens ; and surely, the boys who went soldiering in the " Irish 
Legion " from Old Will county, will remember them with pride 
and warm affection." 


Capt. O'Marah commanded company C, until compelled to re- 
sign from loss of health in June, 1864, when James Dunne, who 
entered as sergeant, and had been promoted to 1st lieutenant, took 
command and was made captain in September. He was one of 
the first men to sign the muster roll. Years before he had been 
known as the champion shot of the Desplaines valley, a skill which 
now rendered the country good service. He participated in nearly 
all the battles in which the 90th was engaged, and was a most effi- 
cient officer a strict disciplinarian, but civil and courteous. The 
boys gave him the soubriquet of " Old Shakehead," but they heeded 
those same " shakes," and while there is a survivor of the company 
left, he will not be forgotten. 

James E. Casey, also of Lockport, (and still one of its sub- 
stantial citizens), entered the company as sergeant, and was pro- 
moted 1st sergeant and then 1st lieutenant, and was a most reliable 
and efficient officer, prompt to do his own duty, and determined 
that others should do theirs. 

The sergeant major of the regiment was Thomas E. Lonergan, 
then of Lockport, who served with ability and distinction until 
obliged to resign on account of wounds received at Mission Ridge, 
Nov. 25th, 1863. He was one of the youngest sergeant majors in 
the 15th army corps, and one of the best. 

Captain O'Marah speaks thus of some of the non-commissioned 
officers of Co. C, from Will county : 

" Serg't. John Ryan was a Lockport boy, made a good soldier, 
was wounded at Mission Ridge. 

" Corporal Harry Porter was the steady man of the company, 
the best guide in the regiment, and a first rate good fellow gener- 

" Michael McDonnell was the wild boy of the company, the 
best forager in the regiment never went hungry if he could find 
anything to eat. He was never known to leave behind him any- 
thing he could carry if it was good to eat, except on one occasion, 
and then there was a fight it was a bee- hive. The bees were of 
the rebel kind, and were too many for Mike, and his face and 
hands showed signs the next day of a fearful struggle for the mas- 
tery. He was the most generous and best hearted boy in the 
company, as well as a brave soldier. 


" Corp. Patrick H. Sloan was wagoner, bugler, and man of all 
business for the company. At Mission Ridge his bugle was shot 
to pieces while he was using it. He was a clever man and good 

"Owen Curran, entered the quartermaster's department as 
clerk, and performed his duty faithfully and well, and was mus- 
tered out as corporal." 

Co. C was composed of a greater portion of young men than 
any other in the regiment, many of its members were detailed to 
act as non-commissioned officers and clerks. It was the first one 
of the Will county companies in camp, and was the second one of 
the regiment to be mustered in. It was therefore entitled to 
rank as Co. B, but preferred to be the color company, and most 
gallantly did the boys bear the regimental colors through the 

Much money was spent by the active organizers of Co. C, in 
the way of expenses and extra bounties for men, and by other 
citizens of Lockport, and while in this company, (and also in Co. 
D,) there were some gathered from other localities outside the 
oounty, yet the labpr and expense of their enlistment was borne 
by Will county. 

Company D was raised in Joliet, by Dan O'Connor, its first 
and only captain, assisted by others. John M. Kelly, a son of 
our old and well remembered citizen, Timothy Kelly, was 1st 
lieut., and Peter O. Bryne, 2d lieut. This company was known 
during the period of its incubation, as the " Casey Guards," so 
named from its godfather, Hon. Samuel K. Casey, and who, as 
we have elsewhere said, was a most generous godfather, having 
contributed a thousand dollars by way of bounties in its enlist- 

Near the close of the war, Captain O'Connor was promoted 
major of the regiment. While at camp in Chicago, he was dubbed 
the " Posy Captain," from his habit of wearing a nosegay in his 

As PART FOURTH of this work will give the name, rank and 
military history of every member of the regiment from Will 


county, we must refer the reader to that for further personal de- 

While at Joliet, Co. D was presented with a large and very 
costly silk flag by the ladies of Joliet, Mrs. E. C. Fellows, mak- 
ing the presentation speech. It was an exceedingly beautiful gift, 
and an appropriate one also, notwithstanding the fact that several 
of the Irishmen in this company were Dutchmen. These fought 
as well " under the green " as if " to the manor born." These two 
companies for the 90th, it is worth noticing, were raised in old 
Will, during the same summer in which she sent out an entire 
regiment, the 100th. 

The first event of any importance which happened, was just 
before the regiment left Chicago. As may be imagined, a thou- 
sand Irishmen could not be got together without having some 
restive ones ; and to bring so many men, who had heretofore regu- 
lated their movements by their own sweet will alone, into proper 
regard for the discipline of the camp, was not an easy task. Under 
this restlessness many deserted. In a word, the Irishman was very 
much like the Irishman's flea. An officer had to be sent to the 
city every day to hunt up the missing ones. The captains with 
suitable details had to take their turn at this duty. 

To add to the difficulty of recovering such men, an order from 
the war department had been promulged, allowing the enlistment 
of ten men from each volunteer regiment, for the regular service. 
In this condition of affairs, it came Capt. O'Marah's turn to go on 
this duty. After considerable search he found three men belong- 
ing to Co. D, who had enlisted the day before in the regular ser- 
vice. A good deal of money had been spent on these men, and 
they could not be given up without an effort, at least, to get them. 
The captain demanded of the recruiting officer the release of these 
men, which was insolently refused. Captain O'Marah told 
him that he should take them by force. The officer defied him to 
do so, and ordered five of his assistants to arm and defend the men. 
Captain O'Marah ordered Lieut. Harrington, Sergeant Dunne, 
Richard Delaney, and two others of his detail to take the deserters, 
while he attended personally to the officer in charge. The re- 
sult was, that the deserters were taken, put on the street cars, and 
returned to the camp. 


The recruiting officer preferred charges against Captain 
O'Marah, but before the matter could be tried, the regiment was 
ordered to the field, and it was dropped. It will be easily 
understood, that it was no easy task to get one thousand Irish- 
men all aboard of a railway train, at the same time, and keep 
them there until the train left. This labor was performed by com- 
pany C, and cheerfully done, although they had been on duty all 
night, and the day previous. Some little excitement had been 
created by the burning of a portion pf the camp buildings on the 
eve of their departure. 

The 90th broke camp at Chicago, Nov. 27th, and went to 
the front via Cairo, Columbus and Grand Junction. At Cairo, 
while embarking on the steamer for Columbus, five men of the 
regiment were drowned. The regiment was ordered to LaGrange, 
Tenn., where it was assigned to garrison duty. In a few days it 
was ordered to Coldwater, Miss., four or five miles north from 
Holly Springs, to guard some bridges erected on trussle work, on 
the Mississippi Central Railroad. This was a position of great im- 
portance for a new regiment on account of the vast army under 
Grant, who was at that time making his way to the rear of Vicks- 
burg, and was at that time near Oxford, sixty miles below. The 
supplies for his vast army , had to be brought over these bridges. 
The headquarters of the regiment, with seven companies, was es- 
tablished?at Coldwater. Three companies in charge of Major 
Stewart, were stationed at Hutsonville, three miles north. The 
90th was at this time alone, had not been brigaded, and every 
man felt the responsibility of the charge. As the sequel will show 
they were equal to the position. 

When the regiment was ordered from La Grange to Cold 
Water, it was to "move light," and with only two days' rations. 
Capt. O'Marah was left in charge of the camp and regimental 
property, with instructions as soon as possible to get transportation 
from the commandant of the post at La Grange, sufficient to reach 
the regiment before their two days' rations were exhausted. 
Twenty sick men who were unable to march were left with him, 
and with the assistance of the quartermaster and these, he was to 
guard the camp, send out pickets, and load up the stores, baggage, 
&c. Like all new regiments, the 90th had about double the bag- 



gage which army regulations allowed. There was some delay in 
obtaining transportation. The distance to the railroad station at 
Grand Junction was three and a half miles, and to this point the 
property must be hauled by wagons, through a guerrilla infested 
region. The commandant furnished 13 large army wagons, 
all the drivers of which were negroes except one, who was a large 
powerful soldier belonging to an Ohio regiment. When the wag- 
ons reached camp, it was found that the men were unable to per- 
form the duty of loading up ihe wagons, taking down tents, &c., 
and then unloading them again at Grand Junction, within the 
time required. Fortunately Chaplain Grant, formerly a pastor of 
the Congregational Church at Lockport, 111., was at this time in 
charge of a contraband carap at Grand Junction, and Captain 
O'Marah dispatched a messenger to him for help. He responded 
with 30 contrabands who came and did their work well. Two 
trips were required to transport the stores, &c. By the time the 
wagons were loaded for the second trip it was nearly night, and 
there would be some risk of getting gobbled up. But the effort 
must be made, for by this time the regiment at Cold Water must 
be getting hungry. But the white driver now proved balky. He 
swore that he would not take any risk, and after the teams had 
all got into line, with guard, &c., ready. to start, he drove his team 
out of the line into the woods, and forthwith began to throw his 
load overboard. When ordered by the quartermaster to take his 
place in the line, he swore he would obey no d d Irish officer, 
but would do as he pleased, and if the quartermaster did not get 
out of the way would kill him. Something must be done with 
this man or the whole train would be demoralized, and the prop 
erty must go forward that night. 

Capt. O'Marah was aent for. Now the captain wa.s the owner 
of a large pair of navy pistols, so large that the boys used to call 
them his " section of artillery." He was mounted at the time, and 
forthwith appeared armed upon the scene. He ordered the man 
to take his place with the teams in the line. The man refused to 
obey, with oaths and threats. The captain drew one of his pistols, 
aimed it a little aside of the man's head, and emptied one of the 
barrels, just clipping the ear. This had the desired effect. The 
bully became as docile as a lamb, begged for mercy, and promised 


obedience. When the trains reached the depot at Grand Junction 
he unloaded his wagon with great dispatch, and disappeared. The 
captain had forgotten all about it, when an officer touched him on 
the shoulder and informed him that he was under arrest, and or- 
dered him to repair to the Provost Marshal's office. He did so, 
and there found the driver, wh > had entered a complaint against 
him for shooting with intent to kill. On hearing the captain's 
statement, and the evidence in its support, the captain was at once 
released, and the driver dismissed with a severe reprimand. The 
Provost Marshal was R. F. Farrell, a captain in the 15th Michi- 
gan, and afterwards U. S. Minister at Cadiz, Spain . 

But the driver, not satisfied with what he had done, on his re- 
turn to La Grange made another complaint before the Provost 
Marshal at that place. Now, it happened that Capt. Barrett, of 
Co. K, was staying behind on leave, at the hotel, his wife being 
sick, and the officer who was sent to arrest O'Marah, finding no 
other officer of the 90th there, arrested him. Of course he was 
soon released, when it was found they had got the wrong man. 
But it was considered a good joke on Capt. Barrett. 

The camp stores, rations, &c., reached the regiment at Cold 
Water in time to meet their wants. 

The regiment was at this time armed with the Austrian rifled 
musket, which had been purchased by Gen. Fremont's quartermas- 
ter at St. Louis. These were a very inferior arm, almost as dan- 
gerous to those who carried them as to those against whom they 
were aimed. Many would not go off at all, and those that would 
got heated, and went off prematurely, often taking along a finger, 
a cap- visor, or a piece of an ear. The stocks were of soft wood and 
easily broken ; and the bayonets were also easily broken. In fact 
the ramrod was the only reliable part of the Austrians. 

With such arms was the raw and inexperienced 90th called up- 
on to face the enemy seven times greater in numbers for the 
first time. The celebrated raid of the* rebel General Van Dome, 
in December 1862, will be well remembered by all familiar with 
our war history. Making a circuit around Grant's advancing 
army, he struck the Union lines at Holly Springs on the evening 
of December 19th, 1862, and on the morning of the 20th cap- 
tured the town and nearly all the garrison, destroying the accuran- 


lated government stores, the depot, round house and rolling stock 
of the road. The government supplies were valued at more than 
two and a half millions, all of which was lost on account of the 
inefficiency ot the commander of the post. He made no resist- 
ance. Had he shown the pluck of Col. O'Meara and the 90th, 
or of the force at Davis Mills, he would at least have saved him- 
self from the censure of Gen. Grant, who issued a severe order 
reflecting upon the surrender. 

On the morning of the 20th, the smoke of the burning at 
Holly Springs was seen by the boys at Coldwater, and they knew 
that there was trouble ahead. Col. O'Meara at once ordered all 
the tents of the regiment to be taken down, in order that the ene- 
my could not see his strength, (or rather his weakness); then 
formed the seven companies under his command, in a small ravine 
and awaited the attack. This ravine was nearly midway between 
the railroad and the wagon road, leading from Holly Springs, and 
parallel with both roads. There were two small stockades be- 
tween Coldwater and Holly Springs, with two companies of the 
101st 111., who fell back on the approach of Van Dorn's force. 
They came running down the railroad, and when they reached 
Coldwater, they were halted and put in position as reserve, using the 
railroad as a breast work. Shortly after, a detachment of the 2d 
111. cavalry that had cut its way through Van Dorn's forces, ar- 
rived in time to assist the 90th. Gen. Van Dora had about 7,000 
men, and evidently intended the destruction of all the railroad 
bridges north of Holly Springs. To withstand him there was 
only the forces mentioned above. Add to this the fact that the 
90th had never faced the music of flying bullets, and the prospect 
of a successful defense looked rather slim. 

Van Dorn summoned Col. O'Meara to surrender, and re- 
ceived a polite declination, with the assurance that he should hold 
the place as long as an Irishman lived to defend it. 

Then commenced the attack. Van Dorn formed his forces in 
three columns, and advanced one at a time, for three times in suc- 
cession, and was repulsed handsomely each time. The detach- 
ment of the 2nd 111. cavalry, as well as the 90th, behaved splen- 
didly. The defense was followed up in such a spirited, vigorous, 
and stubborn manner, that Van Dorn withdrew his forces, and 


abandoned the attack at this point. He moved northward, made 
another attack at Davis' Mills, and was again defeated by the 
brave 40th 111., in command of Col. Hicks. 

For their gallant stand on this occasion, the 90th, then only 
twenty days in the field, received the public thanks of Gen. Grant, 
in general order No. 4, and also a splendid national flag. Such 
was the auspicious commencement of a splendid career. 

There were some ludicrous incidents just before the engage- 
ment, which must be chronicled. Lieut. Col. McClevey, while 
riding along the line, saw the rebs advancing, when he gave the 
following order to the 90th : " Get up into rows, boys, they are 
coming again." There was not much " West Point " about that 
order, but it answered for the occasion. The bye's got up into 
' rows ' to some purpose ! 

We have mentioned the fact that Dan. O'Connor's company 
had received a splendid flag from the ladies of Joliet. Dan prized 
this very highly, not only for its intrinsic beauty, but also on ac- 
count of the donors, and he felt quite unwilling to expose it to 
vandal hands, and the risk of being damaged by shot. He had 
therefore ordered it buried. On some one's suggestion that that 
was not the way to preserve his colors, it was unearthed, and 
placed beside the stars and stripes, and so vigorously defended, that 
it came out unscathed. 

While in camp at Coldwater, there were some absurd occur- 
rences, as would be naturally expected from new troops, and es- 
pecially Irish recruits. Some of them we will relate, although the 
parties were not Will county men. 

In company K, (from LaSalle county,) was a little Irishman 
named McFadden. Now nature never intended Mac for a sol- 
dier, and military discipline could do but little to supply the de- 
ficiency. He was a slight, timid creature, with thin lips, and a 
weak piping voice, and a head so hard as to shed orders as a 
duck's back sheds rain. One night Mac was on post on the 
wagon road leading under the long trestle work, and during his 
watch, heard the tramp of approaching horsemen. Now,not with- 
standing reiterated instructions as to his duty as sentry, added 
to the known danger of his position on a lonely road, in the midst 
of an enemy's country, Mac had not conquered his natural aver- 


sion to fire arms, and was standing with a gun loaded indeed, but 
without a cap. Imagine the astonishment of the advancing party, 
(which fortunately was composed of Union men,) at hearing a 
thin, weak voice, from the dark recesses of the trestle work, 
squeak out, " Wait till I cap ! Wait till I cap /" Their sense of 
the ludicrous was irresistably appealed to, and a roar of laughter 
drowned McFadden's weak, but original challenge. Next morn- 
ing Mac was brought before the colonel, to answer for his unsol- 
dierly conduct. His only plea was, " Kernel, when I thought it 
was the inimy, I was as wake as wather, but whin I knew it was 
our own min, I was bould as a lion." The explanation was so 
exhaustive that Mac was sent back to his quarters, feeling him- 
self the hero of the day. 

Later in the history of the 90th Mac. furnished the boys some 
further amusement. Gen. Logan then in command of the corps 
to which the 90th belonged, was riding past the camp with his staff. 
Mac. on sighting him ran out and commenced squeaking " halt ! 
halt !" The general seeing his eagerness, supposed of course that 
he had some very important matter to communicate, and halted 
with his staff, and Mac. at once unburdened his mind as follows : 
" Ginerel, I have tin dollars here, I want ye to sind to me sister, 
and to fix it so that her husband Mike, the spalpeen, bad luck to him, 
will niver know it, at all, at all." Gen. Logan was noted for his 
ready attention to the claims of the humblest private, but just then 
having more important business on hand, he consigned Mac. and 
his " tin dollars " to a warm place, and started on amid the roars 
of his cortege. 

Another incident, the hero of which belonged to company A, 
is worth relating. Major Stewart, who as we have said was in 
command of the three companies at Hutsonville, when returning 
from headquarters at Cold Water, was halted by one of his pick- 
ets. It was dark, and the sentry could but just distinguish a per- 
son approaching on horseback, but could not recognize him. Now 
the major had given much time and labor to the work of instruct- 
ing his rnen in picket duty, and he obeyed the command to halt, 
with a feeling of gratified pride, that his boys were so vigilant. 
This feeling was somewhat modified by what followed. 

Sentry "Halt !" The major halted. Sentry "Dismount!" The 


major dismounted. A pause followed of awful moment to both 
parties. The major wondered what he would be required to do 
next. The sentry was cudgelling his brain to remember what he 
ought to demand. His delay was but a moment. Although he 
could not recall the exact form of the challenge, he was conscious 
of its purport, and sternly determined to have no foolishness, the 
sentry drew his gun to his shoulder, took steady aim at the portly 
figure of his commanding officer and roared out. " Throw your 
hands over your head, and declare your intinshuns !" 

The major hastened to comply before the next step was taken. 

During the Cold Water fight the 90th lost (for a time) its 
brave quartermaster. He was captured by Van Dora's force, in 
a minner worth relating. 

During the skirmishing with the enemy, the military arder of 
the quartermaster impelled him to leave his stores and books with 
a subordinate, while he sallied forth to join the fray. Now, it 
happened that the quartermaster, while he was a man of undoubted 
valor, was, like Zacheus of old, " little of stature." To counter- 
balance this deficiency he had recourse to an expedient somewhat 
like that of his prototype, he mounted a very tall horse. Being 
in lull uniform, and sporting in his hat a long green plume, em- 
blematic of the land of his birth, he presented a novel, if not a 
formidable figure. At the last moment he bethought himself 
that he was not armed. To be sure he was the happy possessor of 
a sword, but past experience had convinced the quartermaster that 
the conflict between his sword and his legs was an irrepressible 
one, and that it was more ornamental than usefnl. Appealing to 
a friend, he was supplied with a small, a very small pistol, and 
with this armament he sallied forth to annihilate the enemy. It 
happened just at this moment that the squads of the 2d 111. cavalry 
were coming in, as we have related, and the quartermaster having 
constituted himself a volunteer aid-de-camp, assigned them their 
positions. While doing so, lie observed another squad, which he 
supposed to belong to the same company, who were halted at the 
edge of a wood some distance, and who seemed to be about to open 
fire upon our troops. Thinking that they were mistaking 
their friends for enemies, he dashed out to them, and explained 
that the troops in their front were union troops, and offered to con- 


duct the squad into our lines. Whereupon one of the troopers he 
was trying so kindly to serve, rode along side of our Q. M., and 
seizing him by the collar, gently lifted him from the horse, saying, 
" come along with us, little fellow, we will take care of you." 
This terminated "Sheridan's ride;" and the only consolation he 
ever got out of the affair, was given him by Col. O'Meara, who 
suggested, that the reason why Van Dorn did not press the assault 
any longer, was undoubtedly the fact that the quartermaster's size 
and equipments had convinced him of the utter helplessness of the 
attack ! 

We will add that Sheridan was parolled, and that several 
months elapsed before he could resume duty. Let it also be re- 
corded to the credit of the brave but unfortunate quartermaster, 
that while he was held a prisoner, be stubbornly and persistently 
refused to reveal the name of his regiment, and the strength of the 
union force, although threatened with death in case of refusal. 

When Gen. Grant fell back, (as he was now compelled to do, 
his supplies being destroyed), to the line of the Charleston and 
Memphis railroad, and transferred his operations against Vicks- 
burg to the river, the 90th was withdrawn from Cold Water, and 
returned to La Grange, and went into their old camp, called 
" Camp Yates," in honor of the Governor of Illinois. This camp 
was located about a mile from town. La Grange is a very pretty 
town, with institutions of learning and many fine residences. Their 
arrival at this place was on a wet, lowery afternoon, in the month 
of December, 1862. Immediately after arriving at the depot, the 
most of the officers went to the hotel to procure quarters, but found 
it full of people. It was kept by a rebel widow lady, who had 
no favors to bestow upon the hated Yankees. Many of the offi- 
cers exhausted their powers of blarney upon her, but to no pur- 
pose. Night was near at hand, and something must be done to 
procure shelter. One of the officers had his wife with him, and 
she must be cared for at all events. So the officers determined to 
take possession of the front parlor by force, and it was accordingly 

After getting possession of the room, and building a good fire, 
they were called upon by a countryman who rejoiced in the some- 
what familiar patronymic of Kelly, claiming to be an Irishman, 



and doing business in town. Besides his name, he produced in sup- 
port of his pretensions two large bottles of gin. This was a strong 
proof that he was all he claimed, and the sight was a welcome 
one to the wet and dry officers. But they were in an enemy's 
country the liquor might be poisoned; and much as their 
mouths watered for " a drap" prudence held them back from a 
compliance with his invitation to take a drink. Here a happy 
thought struck some one. The man should first take a good 
drink himself, and if, after a suitable time, no evil effects were ap- 
parent, then it would be safe to partake. This was acceded to, 
and the man unhesitatingly took a drink sufficiently large to show, 
not only that he was what he claimed to be, but that he wasn't a 
bit afraid of this particular sample. No (unusual) evil effects 
following, without waiting a very long time, the officers took a 
taste. They lived long enough to finish his two bottles, and sev- 
eral more like them, and made up their minds that he was a true 
Irishman, and a good fellow besides. 

Meanwhile Captain Barrett and his wife had been searching the 
town for quarters, and being refused at every place he had tried, 
he left her in the parlor with the officers, and in company with 
Dr. Hinkley, started out to make another effort, as there were im- 
perative reasons why she should be got into comfortable quarters, 
without much longer delay. Before their return Mrs. Barrett was 
taken suddenly and alarmingly ill, and must be cared for at once. 
Captain O'Marah and Lieut. Cunningham determined that she 
should have a room, and the best one the house afforded. They 
found it occupied by a portly gentleman, a rich cotton speculator 
from St. Louis. They explained the urgent necessity that he 
should give up his room to a lady who had been taken seriously 
ill, and invited him to go down stairs and quarter with them* 
Somewhat reluctantly he consented, and the arrangement waa 
made ; and Mrs. Barrett had the room, and a colored girl to wait 
on her, and the dispossessed gentleman took it good humoredly. 
Not many hours after, the doctor, who had in the meantime re- 
turned with Captain Barrett, and accompanied him to the room 
of Mrs. B. came down with the startling announcement of an 
increase in their military family and that a " daughter of the 
regiment" had made her appearance, and that mother and daugh- 



ter were doing well ! The old cotton speculator became very 
much interested and elated over the affair, and claimed of Captain 
Barrett the right to name and adopt the child, inasmuch as it had 
been born in his room, which was gracefully conceded. 

During the remainder of the winter, and the early spring, the 
regiment was engaged in garrison duty at La Grange, and was 
attached to 1st brigade, 1st division, 16th army corps. Nothing 
of much note took place during the time. There were occasional 
skirmishes with small bodies of the enemy, but nothing serious 
occurred. The boys having much leisure time on hand, were 
somewhat at a loss how to occupy it. I presume they behaved 
very much like Irishmen and other soldiers when off duty, some- 
times perhaps a little more so ! 

On the 9th of March, the regiment was ordered to Lafayette, 
a most important post on the Memphis & Charleston railroad, fifty 
miles east of Memphis, where the main turnpike road crosses the 
Wolf River, and where was located the only water tank between 
Memphis and grand junction, the destruction of which would be 
an effectual blockade of the railroad. The rebel guerilla chiefs 
were constantly threatening its destruction, and hardly a night 
passed while the regiment was there, that the pickets were not fired 
upon. None, however, were killed, and but few wounded. The 
90th had relieved a brigade and two companies of artillery. As 
may be readily supposed, the duty on which they were now placed 
was very hard, as well as an important one, in guarding the 
water tank, the bridge across Wolf River, the railroad bridges 
and telegraph wires. 

On the 10th of April, (1863) seven companies under com- 
mand of Col. O'Meara, moved to " Camp Misery," a few miles 
distant; where they remained doing garrison duty until ordered 
south to Vicksburg. Nothing of special interest transpired there. 
Three companies in command of Capt. O'Marah, remained at 
LaFayette to guard that post, until ordered to join the seven com- 
panies at Camp Misery, on the march for Vicksburg via Col- 
lierville and Memphis. While they remained at Lafayette, the 
boys were in the habit of indulging in a swim in Wolf River, at 
the bridge, but were instructed to take their arms with them, and 
to place part on guard, while the rest were in. But after a while 


they got a little careless about the matter, and one day five 
went out without leave, and without arms and were gobbled up> 
and never heard from afterwards. They were none of them from 
Will county. 

On the 4th of June, 1863, Capt. O'Marah was ordered with 
his command to rejoin the regiment (at Camp Misery), which was 
under orders for Vicksburg. On the 6th the regiment took up its 
march for Collierville, which they reached at 11 o'clock at night, 
fagged out by their rapid march. They were ordered to move 
again at 4 a. m. Collierville was the brigade headquarters, and 
here was all the camp and garrison equipage, and the baggage of 
the brigade in one seemingly inextricable mass. This the proper 
officers had to look after and to obtain transportation for in time 
for the march. It was accomplished and the regiment was on the 
move at the appointed hour, and marched twenty-three miles in 
the direction of Memphis. The next day's march would take 
them through the city, for embarkation on the river. 

And now occurred a scene highly illustrative of the peculiar 
character of the Irishman. All know his attachment to the land 
of his birth and to his religion, and hie love for martial glory. 
All, too, know his mercurial temper, and how easily and quietly, 
when driven forth by poverty or oppression from his native land, 
he transfers his affections to the home of his adoption, and how 
quickly he becomes qualified to assume the responsibilities and 
to defend the institutions of his new home. But like the man 
who marries a wife, while he gives all his soul and manhood, and 
all that makes life dear to his new condition, he never forgets his 
" Ould Mither." 

It is well known that the city of Memphis was most bitterly 
secesh. And like all places of importance it had a large propor- 
tion of Irish citizens, who, as would naturally be expected, had 
adopted the views and sympathized with the feelings of the com- 
munity where they had cast their lot. 

The regiment was in camp on the evening of the 7th, about 
two miles outside the city, expecting to embark next day on the 
steamer G. W. Graham, bound for Vicksburg, then considered the 
great slaughter pen for union soldiers. 

Scouts brought word to the 90th that the Irish in Memphis 


were more bitter against union soldiers than the natives themselves, 
and that it would not be safe to march through the city without 
being thoroughly prepared for defence. That portion of the city 
where the Irish citizens mostly resided, was known by the name of 
Pinch, and their line of contemplated march down Poplar street 
to the levee, was directly through Pinch. Some counseled a change 
of route, avoiding this locality, as it was understood that the Irish- 
men were determined to attack the regiment. But better counsels 
prevailed. It was not for the 90th who had met and scattered the 
hosts of Van Dorn, to turn aside for brick-bats and shillalahs in 
the hands of their own countrymen. 

The regiment at three o'clock p. m. every preparation being 
ma de took up its march through the city. Poplar street was 
thronged with men, women and children. The whole city had 
turned out to see the reception which was to be given to the Irish 
Legion by their rebel countrymen, anticipating a lively time. 

Never did the Legion make a better appearance. Its ranks 
full, the guns and swords glistened in the sunlight and the 
army blue was fresh brushed and clean. The officers of the line 
were in new and bright uniform, and the field officers were well 
mounted. All the officers wore green plumes in their hats. The 
stars and stripes, and the green flag as well, floated gaily in the 
breeze. The regiment marched with the regularity of veterans. 
Their alignment on the march was as straight as an arrow. It 
was an imposing sight a sight calculated to awaken admiration, 
touch the Irish love of martial display, and at the same time to 
suggest that such an array it would be wise to let alone. 

In such a trim the 90th reached the thronged street, and took 
its course down the center. A few hisses and groans were heard, 
and many defiant scowls were seen. The band was ordered to 
strike up that grand old Irish air, " Saint Patrick's Day," and to 
continue with " Garry Owen," both of which were rendered with 
great spirit. The effect was magical. The Irish heart was reached 
by these appeals to the eye and ear, and in an instant the whole 
scene was changed. The contemplated assault became a perfect 
ovation. Cheer after cheer went up from those who had come to 
hiss brick-bats were dropped and hats were swung ; the feeling for 
the dear old green flag, and the stars and stripes returned, and wave 


after wave of acclamation followed the regiment down the street. 
Men, women and children closed in behind the boys, and followed 
them to the levee, where the regiment formed a square and stacked 
arms; and now followed even a heartier welcome. The crowd greeted 
the officers and men most warmly, men and women vying with 
each other in their hospitality. Suddenly, as if by magic, baskets 
of nice lunch, hampers of wine, and cases of liquors, appeared upon 
the scene, and were pressed upon officers and men with the utmost 
cordiality. Nor did the good feeling abate until the regiment was 
safely aboard the steamer, and it loosened from her moorings. In- 
deed so overcome were some of the men and some of the officers, 
with the hilarity of the scene and the hospitality shown them, that 
they did not get aboard until the next day. 

On the morning of the llth the Graham laid up for orders at 
the mouth of the Yazoo, and entered the river at 6 a. m. During 
the day, she landed the 90th at Snyder's Bluff, Miss., in the rear 
of Vicksburg, when it was placed on fatigue duty, throwing up 
embankments, digging trenches, etc. 

The division was now in command of Wm. Sooy Smith, and 
had been detached from the 16th army corps and assigned to duty 
with the 9th army corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Parke. It 
was now in the heighth of summer, in one of the hottest parts of 
the south, for it was too far inland to feel the effect of the gulf 
breezes. The heat was so oppressive in the middle of the day, 
that even the negroes could not endure it. No water could be ob- 
tained except from cisterns, and very little of that. Many of the 
ponds were poisoned, and filled with the carcasses of dead animals, 
and the sickly season of the country was fast coming on. It is 
not to be wondered at that many a brave and strong man suc- 
cumbed to disease and died ; while many others were compelled 
to return home with health utterly broken. It was here that the 
beloved chaplain contracted the disease which ended in his death 
a few weeks after returning home. 

The regiment remained doing fatigue duty until the 22d of 
June, when it was ordered to march at noon with three days' ra- 
tions. It remained up all night, and just before daylight of the 
23d moved for the Big Black, expecting to meet and engage the 
enemy, then reported advancing on the rear of Grant's army. 


No enemy, however, was encountered, and the regiment after 
three days' marching returned to its former position. 

After the surrender of Vicksburg, on the same day, at 3 p. 
m., it was ordered to march, and went to Bear Creek, eight 
miles and bivouacked. On the 6th it resumed its march reaching 
the Big Black at 7 p. m., when the enemy was encountered. An 
attempt was made to cross the river the same night, but it was 
found too deep, and it had to be abandoned. Coggswell's battery, 
in command of the senior 1st Lieut. H. G. Eddy, of Lockport, 
was ordered into position and commenced firing at 1 o'clock the 
same night. In the morning the fighting commenced in a skir- 
mish, the enemy occupying one bank and the Union forces the 
the other. A detail of two hundred men from the 90th, in com- 
mand of Captain O'Marah, was ordered to build a floating bridge 
across the river under the protection of our artillery, but on the 
finding of a large scow boat, it was abandoned. The 90th crossed 
the Black on the scow, and at 10 o'clock at night, and bivouacked 
on the other bank. It had rained most of the day, and the men 
were wet, hungry and tired out, and laid on the ground all night 
in this condition. The regiment had moved " light." The 
men had no knapsacks, neither officers or privates had a change 
of clothing. They had also to depend on foraging for^their sup- 
plies, and suffered much from want of food and water. 

It was on this march that the 90th were ordered to burn the 
mansion of Joe Davis, then serving as inspector general on his 
brother's staff. Gen. Joe had left only an hour or two before 
our forces reached his plantation. The house was burned with 
everything in it undisturbed. 

The enemy having fallen back from the Big Black, the march 
was continued, with the expectation that at any time the enemy 
might give battle. The 9th day of July was one of excessive 
and most oppressive heat. Yet the men were pressed on very 
rapidly after the retreating rebels, in order to force them into a 
fight. But there is a limit to the endurance of human muscle, even 
when backed up by strong will, and the men fell out in rapid suc- 
cession, overcome by the heat and fatigue, and after lying on the 
ground and getting a little rested, started on again. At 2 o'clock, 
the regiment was allowed a rest of two hours, in a little grove 


of timber. The boys nearly stripped themselves naked in order 
to get some relief from the overpowering heat. The enemy was 
reported just in advance. Two companies, C and D, were order- 
ed forward as skirmishers, with orders to move rapidly, engage 
the enemy and bring on a battle. After moving forward about 
one mile, the force was halted, Co. C was deployed, and Co. D 
held as a reserve. They had moved only a short distance when 
the enemy opened on them from an ambush. The fire was re- 
turned, and a rapid advance made, the enemy falling back into a 
large cotton field. Then followed one of the sharpest little en- 
gagements between the skirmishers on either side ever witnessed. 
The Will county boys were the victors, and were highly compli- 
mented by brigade and division commanders. 

This skirmish fight opened the battle of Jackson which lasted 
three days, and which terminated in a Union victory, and the 
flight of Johnson and his army. Companies C and D were 
obliged to go on picket duty the same night without rations or 
water. This engagement took place on Lee's plantation within 
four miles of the city of Jackson. 

It is an interesting coincidence, that Lieut. Eddy, of Lock- 
port, fired the first shot at the Big Black, and that Captain 
O'Marah, with Co. C, of Lockport, opened and brought on the 
fight on the 9th of July, at Lee's plantation. 

I shall quote now verbatim from a narrative, supplied by an 
officer of the regiment : 

"On the 10th of July we had^driven the rebel army into Jack- 
son, and closed our lines about them. Here they turned at bay, 
behind their intrenchments, and offered fight. Jackson was 
strongly fortified ; the intrenchments which were of strong earth- 
work, with rifle-pits in front, extended in the shape of a half cir- 
cle around the city, beginning at Pearl river on one side, and end- 
ing at Pearl river on the other side. The fortifications were well 
appointed with various kinds of ordnance, suitable for a long and 
determined defence of the city. The day was extremely warm, 
and the boys of the 90th suffered dreadfully from the terrible heat 
and scarcity of water. The regiment slept on their arms during 


the night, ready for action at a moment's notice. On the llth the 
union forces pressed close in, and shelled the town from every di- 
rection. Here commenced one of the grandest artillery duels 
during the war. Our forces had at Jackson nearly all the artil- 
lery used at Vicksburg, and the rebels had nearly the same num- 
ber in position there. 

" The 90th was advanced to the front within a few hundred 
yards of the rebel works. The reader can readily understand that 
to be under this cross-fire, when both sides were engaged firing as 
rapidly as possible, was one of the most terrific and grand sights 
in modern warfare. It is impossible for one who has never wit- 
nessed such a sight to conceive its magnificence and sublimity, and 
still more impossible for the pen to describe it. One must have 
been where the 90th was to have any adequate conceptions of the 
awful solemnity of the occasion. 

" Our forces continued to press the seige day and night, using 
their artillery freely, when on the morning of the 17th of July, 
the place was found evacuated. 

" On the 14th the 90th was ordered to fall to the rear, and 
there they remained doing fatigue duty night and day, nntil Gen. 
Joe Johnson evacuated Jackson and escaped across Pearl river. 
The 90th was very fortunate in not losing many men in the siege 
at Jackson, and the Will county portion of the regiment was more 
fortunate still, they not losing any." 

For its gallantry in these engagements, the 90th received the 
following acknowledgement from the general in command of the 
division : 


DEAR SIB: I desire to commend you and the gallant regiment you 
command, for your patience and good conduct, and heroism exhibited in the 
advance upon Jackson. Men that will march in their bare feet and fight as 
bravely as the officers and men of the 90th have done, cannot be too highly 
praised. Accept my warmest thanks, and tender them to your command. 

Yours truly, 

Brig. Gen., Commander of 1st Division. 

" Our forces captured a great many prisoners, artillery, and 


ordnance stores at this place. On the 22d of July the 90th marched 
from Jackson via Clinton, for the Big Black, and went into camp 
near Messingers Ford on the 27th of July. Here they remained 
doing a little camp and garrison duty until Sept. 27th. While 
in camp at the Black, some of the officers and men of the 90th 
received leaves of absence for 20 days, to go home and return. 
The camp on the Black was a very unhealthy one, and the boys 
were not sorry when orders came to march for Chattanooga, Tenn.> 
to the relief of the army of the Cumberland. 

"On the 27th of September, 1863, the 90th broke camp on 
the Big Black, and marched to Vicksburg, and embarked on 
the steamer Norman, with the fleet for Memphis, Tenn. The 
boat left Vicksburg with the regiment on board, on the 29th of 
September, and reached Memphis on' the 8th of October. The 
only duty of any importance performed during the passage to 
Memphis by the regiment, was to help wood for the boat, and one 
or two foraging details the 90th were ordered to supply. Of 
course, while the details were absent foraging, the steamer lay up 
to the shore until their return. 

The steamer landed at Memphis at 10 o'clock, on the night of 
the 8th of October, and the 90th remained on board all night. 
The next day they went into camp outside the city about two 
miles, at the same place where they camped before going down 
the river. They were visited by a great many people from Mem- 
phis, mostly Irish, and treated hospitably and kindly as before. 
On Sunday the llth, the regiment took up its line of march, 
moving in front of the (its) 4th division, 15th army corps for 
Chattanooga. A few miles outside of Memphis, on the Memphis 
& Charleston railroad, Gen. Sherman passed the 90th, having 
with him a battalion of the 13th regulars. The railroad train 
moved rapidly toward Collierville. In a short time a telegram, 
was received, ordering the regiment forward as rapidly as possi- 
ble. Chalmers had attacked Collierville, and there was not suffi- 
cient force there to defend the place. Col. Anthony was in com- 
mand with only six companies, 66th Indiana. Company " C " 
was thrown out to the left, and Company " B " to the right as 
skirmishers, with orders to go forward as fast as possible, moving 



parallel with the railroad. Must move fas '.er than double quick, 
if the boys could hold out. 

" It was after 12 o'clock, when they were ordered forward, 
and Collierville was twenty-two miles distant, and fighting had 
already commenced there. They reached Collierville a little be- 
fore 5 o'clock, just in time to take part in the last of the engage- 
ment, and were very highly complimented by Gen. Sherman in 
person, for the rapidity with which they came to his assistance, 
stating at the same time 'that had it not been for their assistance, 
and the near approach of the brigade, Gen. Chalmers would have 
captured the post, as he had sufficient force to do it, besides hav- 
ing artillery, of which we had none. It will be remembered that 
Go's. "C " and "B" were deployed on either side of the railroad, 
with their intervals well opened, and had to continue in this way 
to the end ; therefore they had to pass through woods, thickets, 
over fences, through fields and swamps. And singular to relate, 
only one man gave out in Co. " C" and one or two in Co. " B," 
which showed the powers of endurance they possessed when de- 
termined to perform a duty. There was considerable loss on both 
sides in this engagement. Many of the rebs were found dead on 
the field, that the boys of the 90th knew the summer before; hav- 
ing the oath of allegiance in their pockets. General Sherman 
had a very narrow escape from being captured. His favorite 
mare " Dolly," and some of his clothes were gobbled. His staff 
also lost some personal property. 

" A little incident happened here after the fight, that perhaps 
is worth relating. A big rebel badly wounded in the knee, was 
brought to the post, Dr. Strong of the 90th was in the act of am- 
putating the limb, and had the rebel on a large block, when Gen. 
Sherman came along. Dr. Strong remarked that the man had re- 
ceived a bad lick. 'Yes' remarked the general, ' when you are 
through with him he will want no parole.' This man had at- 
tended a grist mill a short distance from Collierville, and held out 
to the boys of the 90th, when they were there the year before, that 
he had taken the oath of allegiance. The oath was found in his 

" The 90th resumed its march from Collierville, at 2 p. m. the 
next day, and reached Mt. Pleasant, went from Mt. Pleasant to 


Burnsville, where they were paid. From Burnsville to luka. 
During this time the weather was rainy and disagreeable. From 
luka they marched to Eastport, Miss., and crossed the Tennessee 
on gunboat No. 32. Continued moving until they reached Flor- 
ence, Ala., where they halted and mustered for pay. From thence 
they moved, passing over Shoal creek on the covered bridge, and 
via Rogersville, crossed Elk River at this point. The next day 
crossed, (waded) Sugar creek twice. The men were very tired, 
and many sick. Had hardly anything to eat for a few days past, 
but hard-tack and water. Shoes and clothes are wearing out, and 
much dissatisfaction prevailed. 

" It will be well to state here that the 90th was moving light, 
from the time they left the Big Black, and neither officers or pri- 
vates were allowed a change of clothing, and all had to depend 
upon the country for subsistence, more or less, until after the fight 
at Mission Ridge, the march to Knoxville, and the retrograde 
march across the country to Scotsborough, Ala., where they halted 
and went into camp December 26th, 1863. Thus for three months 
it will be seen, the gallant boys of the 90th were without a change 
of clothing, and were dependent on the country more or less for 
food, and often had to endure for days without any. 

" Nov. 4th the regiment reached Gordsville. Moved from 
there the next day, crossed Shoal creek again, passed Bethel, 
raining heavily, roads muddy and marching bad, the men cold and 
hungry, obliged to sleep out without tents or covering. Reached 
Richland creek and halted for the night. Heavy dew and night 
very cold. Moved the next morning, crossing Indian creek, Brad- 
shaw and Swan creeks. Roads very bad and broken. Resumed 
the march the next day, passing through a hilly and mountainous 
country, roads rocky and bad. Reached Fayetteville, Tennessee^ 
crossing the Elk river on the stone bridge, continued on to Win- 
chester and Dechard, crossing the Cumberland mountains and 
moving towards Bridgeport. 

" The road near Bridgeport, Ala., was strewn with dead horses 
and mules. Crossed the Tennessee river on the pontoon bridge at 
Bridgeport and marched toward Trenton, Ga., passing Nigger 
Jack Cave, where the saltpetre works are located, also Castle 
Rock, in Did Co., Ga., and on to near Trenton, halting for the 


purpose of building false carapfires on the mountain-top near 
Trenton, in order to deceive the enemy in regard to strength and 

" Moved from the top of Raccoon mountain, passing Trenton in 
Lookout Valley and on, via the Wanhatche, crossing the Tennes- 
see on the steamer Dunbar on the morning of the 24th, in the face 
of the enemy, and immediately forming in line of battle on the left. 
The 90th assisted in taking one of the mountains that day, and 
helped to haul two pieces of artillery to the top. They held pos- 
session of the mountain and slept on their arms all night. The 
next morning at daylight, they moved down by the left flank, and 
were ordered to the support of the first Missouri battery. The 
rebel fire became so hot and destructive the regiment was with- 
drawn from the support of the battery, and at once formed in line 
of battle on the left of the brigade, and immediately went into ac- 
tion. The 90th continued in action for eight hours and forty-five 
minutes, under the most terrible fire that was possible for the 
enemy to pour upon them. The fire was so deadly that it is won- 
derful how a man escaped. 

"Early in the morning of the 25th, when the fire of the enemy 
became so hot, and after the 1st Missouri battery was ordered out of 
position, the 90th was immediately ordered into line of battle, oc- 
cupying the extreme left of the brigade, near the Tunnel. This 
tunnel ran through the mountain, and was used as a kind of 
magazine, and was well fortified with ordnance of all kinds. A 
double line of skirmishers was thrown out in front, and became 
engaged at once. Lieut. John C. Harrington, Co. " C," com- 
manded the skirmish line. The mountains lapped each other and 
all formed a kind of half circle. The railroad ran through the 
tunnel above mentioned, and its embankment formed a protection 
or breastwork for the enemy, where they had double lines of skir- 
mishers posted. The mountain from base to crown was swarming 
with the enemy. They had rifle intrenchments at the base, and 
midway up the sides. Every tree, log and crag, and everything 
that would afford the least protection to them, was used by the 
enemy's sharpshooters. On the top of the mountain they had 
their heavy works, bristling with cannon and guns of every de- 
scription. The valley beneath afforded no shelter for the Union 


forces, but left them within easy range of the enemy's guns, both 
large and small, and from every direction. 

" Thus it will be seen when the 90th was ordered to advance, 
it was to meet almost certain death. It will also be remembered, 
they were ordered to take the railroad, drive away the enemy who 
was fighting under cover of their own guns on the mountain 
nearly over them, and hold the position until ordered to ad- 
vance again. There was a purpose in this order. It was to get 
possession of the railroad and its embankment, and if possible 
<3rive the enemy out of the tunnel, and by that means force them to 
strengthen their lines at this point, by massing their forces there, 
consequently this would weaken their line at other points, and give 
our forces a better opportunity of attack. It would also draw the 
fire of the enemy and develop their strength at a given point. In 
executing the first order to advance, the 90th moved by the front 
and had to pass through a large corral that had been used as a cat- 
tle pen. This, they were obliged to do in order to keep their 
regiment in the brigade. It was about two acres in extent. A 
square piece, fenced with rails, and staked and ridered on top. 
The 90th was advancing on the double quick, and could not stop 
to let down fences ; therefore, passed through as best they could. 
The 90th took the position and held it. It was at this corral, that 
the brave Col. O'Meara and many others were shot. The ene- 
my's fire was so severe that our skirmishers did not advance far be- 
fore they were ordered back to the regiment. This, many of them, 
were unable to do. About forty of them became isolated and took 
shelter behind a farm house near the base of the mountain. The 
rebels shelled the house, set it on fire, and knocked it to pieces. 
This of course exposed our poor boys. It was here the rebel Gen. 
Cleyburne took about forty of them prisoners. This was done in 
sight of the regiment, while it was in Una of battle fighting to hold 
the position it had already gained. The regiment could render 
them no assistance without breaking from the line, thereby disobey- 
ing orders, losing the position already gained, and with it, per- 
haps, the fortunes of the day at this point. Therefore they were 
obliged to submit to the capture of their gallant comrades without 
being able to go to their rescue. The most of the poor fellows 
taken died at Andersonville afterwards. The 90th acted most 


bravely throughout the whole of this most sanguinary engagement. 
The officers moved forward in front of their respective commands, 
and of course the boys followed in gallant style wherever their 
officers led. It would be unjust to individualize, but to say the 
Will county boys performed their share of duty in the regiment 
during this memorable engagement, is indeed but paying them a 
tame compliment. The 90th was engaged eight hours and forty - 
five minutes, under the most terrible fire that could be showered on 
them from every kind of arm from a squirrel rifle to the heaviest 

" It is indeed a wonder how any escaped the terrible carnage of 
that dreadful day. In this engagement the 90th suffered most of 
all the regiments in the fight, losing nearly fifty per cent, in killed 
and wounded. In the evening the regiment fell back to a little 
point of woods. 

" A duty had now to be performed by those able to move, the 
most sad in a soldier's life. It was to look after the dead and res- 
cue the wounded who were unable to leave the field. The enemy 
was still in possession of most of his stronghold, and had his pick- 
ets out and well posted. 

" Capt. O'Marah, who commanded the regiment after the fall of 
the colonel, ordered a detail to look after the wounded, and accom- 
panied them himself. The colonel was found mortally wounded 
where he had fallen, near the cattle pen, and was conveyed to the 
hospital four and a half miles distant, reaching there just before 
daylight. He had to be carried in a blanket or on a stretcher the 
whole of the way." 

Among the severely wounded was Capt. DAN. O'CONNOR, of 
Joliet, as brave, reckless, and jovial a soul as ever wore a shoulder 
strap. He was terribly wounded, and the following incident 
which is given by an eye witness, illustrates his character and 

" Dan. was left upon the field of battle until its close, when he 
was discovered by some of the stretcher-bearers, and slowly and 
gently conveyed to the field hospital, in an apparently hopeless 
condition. The attention of the nearest surgeon was called to 


him. He happened to be a young assistant of little experience, 
and immature judgment. Now Dan, it must be admitted, was a 
discouraging object to such a disciple of Esculapeus at that moment. 
He had a bullet in his body, another in his head, and one arm 
was broken in two places by balls. Besides he had laid upon the 
field for hours, and was faint from want of food as well as loss of 
blood. The situation was certainly sufficiently discouraging. The 
young surgeon glanced at him, and gave him up at once, and said, 
tf Take him away, he will be dead in an hour." 

" Dan. heard the summary verdict of the surgeon, but was by 
no means disposed to acquiesce. Working his head painfully 
around until his eye took in the flippant and dolorous prophet, 
he faintly but emphatically groaned out, " You're a d liar !" 
And he was, as any one may see, who will go to Wilmington, N. 
C., and interview the gallant major. They will find him as plucky 
and jovial as ever, and still worth a brigade of dead men. May 
his shadow never grow less." 

In this battle also, John O'Brien, still a resident of Joliet, lost 
an arm. 

Thomas E. Lonergan, the sergeant major of the regiment, was 
also put hors du combat during the fight, being disabled by the loss 
of part of his right hand, which led to his honorable discharge. 

" Bragg commenced retreating before daylight on the morning 
of the 26th. The 90th was ordered in pursuit. Marched at six 
o'clock a. m., in the direction of Grayville. 

" Now commenced that dreary march to the relief of General 
Burnside, at Knoxville, Tenn. The 90th moved along the Atlan- 
tic and Chattanooga railroad, tearing up and burning several miles 
of it, and then returned again to Grayville. Nov. 29th was a 
very cold day. The boys suffered, and were nearly famished from 
cold and rapid marching. Marched 30 miles and camped for the 
night at Cleveland, Tenn. Had to carry rails one and a half 
miles to keep from freezing. Resumed the march on the 30th via 
Charleston, Athens, Philadelphia and Morgantown. At Morgan- 
town crossed the Little Tennessee river, and marched to Marys- 
ville within 15 miles of Knoxville. Reached Marysville, leading 


Gen. Sherman's column, on the night of December 25th, and 
camped. Longstreet reported retreating, his troops in a demoral- 
ized condition, the seige raised, and Burnside relieved. 

" On the 7th of December commenced the return movement 
across the country to Scotsborough, in Northern Ala. The 
weather was very cold and rainy. The roads muddy and bad. 
The creeks and rivers swollen and difficult to cross. The regi- 
ment was obliged to depend upon the country for subsistence ; 
the men forced to sleep on the ground without shelter and very 
little covering, their blankets and clothing being nearly worn out. 
The consequence was, the men suffered severely during this whole 
campaign many of them being barefoot and others sick, and all 
suffering more or less for the want of proper care and food. On 
this march the regiment passed the following points, Tilico Val- 
ley, Madisonville, Athens, Charleston, battle ground at Mission 
Ridge, Bridgeport Ala., Stephenson, reaching Scottsboro, Ala., 
December 26th, and camped. At Mission Ridge the 90th camped 
for the night. The next morning before moving, the boys looked 
over the ground where they had fought, and all wondered how 
any escaped the terrible slaughter of that battle. 

" The 90th while at Scottsboro, were four days without shelter, 
waiting for the baggage train to bring up tents, provisions, knap- 
sacks, axes, picks, shovels, etc. During all this time it rained in- 
cessantly night and day, and so heavy, it was with difficulty the 
fires could be kept burning, whereby the half famished boys could 
warm themselves. The 90th remained at Scottsboro only a short 
time, when ordered to Fackler's station on the railroad, seven 
miles distant from Stephenson, Ala. Here they went into winter 
quarters, and were assigned the duty of guarding a portion of the 
railroad, and also the bridges and trestle work over Mud Creek. 
Here the rebels were just across the Tennessee river in strong 
force, and gave considerable annoyance by their constant raids on 
the railroad, and their many attempts to burn the bridges. Fack- 
ler's station is situated in a low swampy locality, and was quite un- 

" The 90th remained at this point until the following spring, 
when they broke camp and moved forward to take part in the 
Atlanta campaign. 


" On the march from Knoxville to their winter quarters, 
many a singular incident occurred. One, I will relate, happened 
at Athens, Tenn. I simply mention this occurrence to show the 
dreadful hardships and privations our soldiers were forced to en- 
dure during this most extraordinary campaign. On the 10th of 
December, the brigade of which the ninetieth formed a part, halted 
to rest. The halt took place in a beautiful pine grove. The day 
was fine, the sun shining splendidly, the first fine day in a long 
time. The brigade was ordered to rest in place, and was formed 
in " echelon " (a French word meaning like the steps of a ladder). 
The brigade consisted of four regiments. They had no sooner 
halted than a scene was enacted, the like of which was never seen 
before, and it is to be hoped will never be witnessed again. Im- 
agine four regiments in line, one formed behind the other, and 
every man on his knees, or sitting, with his coat and shirt off ; 
and many with their pants down, and all busy, taking advantage 
of the time allowed to rest, in destroying the vermin greybacks, 
with which they were literally covered, the torture of which they 
could no longer endure. This was one of the periods in soldier 
life when the sensitive feeling of delicacy was forced to give away 
to the more pressing demand of tortured and suffering nature. 

"On this day the boys captured a fine lot of Linchburg to- 
bacco. This was a God-send. Something they had not seen or 
used for a long time. Each man that used the weed was given his 
share, indulged his appetite, forgot his suffering, and all moved 
on, expecting soon to reach the place where they were to go into 
winter quarters, then rest, clean up, and prepare for coming 

" It was also on this return march from Knoxville, that the 
incident occurred which gave the badge to the X5th army corps. 
This has been frequently related with considerable variation, but 
we will tell it once more in what we believe to be the authentic 

On the march, the Loomis brigade passed through a bivouac 
of the llth army corps. It will be remembered that this corps 
with the 1 2th, had come out from the Potomac army with Gen. 
Hooker. It will also be remembered that the record of the llth 



army corps in the Chancel lorsville fight, had been an unfortunate 
one. Perhaps no stronger contrast could have been found in the 
army, than that presented by the Potomac boys, and the ragged, 
dirty, hungry 90th. 

A soldier of the 90th McGuffy, of Co. G came straggling 
along by the headquarters of Gen. Butterfield. He was thinly and 
poorly clad; one foot was partly covered by an old army shoe, 
the other with an old blanket, tied on with strings, both feet cut and 
bleeding. He was plodding on, intent only upon overtaking his 
regiment, when he was halted by a sentinel in a clean uniform, 
paper collar and trim rig, who said : 

" Halt ! what regiment is that ?" 

MeG. The 90th III. "Irish Legion." 

Sentinel " What corps do you belong to ?" 

McG. "Fifteenth." 

Sentinel "What's the badge of your corps ?" 

MeG. " Badge ! what the blazes is that?" 

Sentinel " What do you wear to distinguish you from other 
troops? Our corps, the llth, wears a crescent a half moon, the 
12th corps wears a star ! what do you wear?" 

McG. had halted, rested his chin upon the muzzle of his gun, 
and was taking a leisurely and contemptuous survey of the sleek 
and well dressed soldiers that were gathering around. Looking 
up at his interlocutor he says : 

" Yes, I know what ye mane now ; moon and stars ! be jab- 
bers ! ye needed them both to show ye the way back from Chan- 
cellorsvilie ; " badge is it !" and then executing a 'round about,' 
and giving his cartridge box a slap, " Thai? 8 the badge of the 15th 
corps, forty rounds of cartridge !" 

The story reached the ears of Gen. Logan, the corps com- 
mander, who thinking it too good to be lost, adopted the " car- 
tridge box with forty rounds," as the badge of the corps. 

On the opening of the Atlanta campaign, the 90th was called 
into active service. As we have passed through this campaign 
several times in detail with other organizations, we shall be con- 
tent with saying that the 90th took its full share in the labors and 
exposures of the campaign. It was in the engagements at Resacca 
on the 13th and 14th 4 of May Dallas, 28th Kenesaw, June 


27th Atlanta, July 19th, 22d, and 28th, and August 3d and 
17th Jonesboro, August 31st Lovejoy, Sept. 2d Rome and 
Gadsden, Ala., Oct. 25th. 

In the fight of August 28th, before Atlanta, we lost Sergeant 
Austin Needham, of Joliet, one of the bravest, as he was also 
one of the brightest and cheeriest lads that ever wore the army 
blue, and a most efficient and reliable officer. 

After a brief rest at Atlanta, it joined in the march to the sea, 
and took a heroic part in the engagements at Jennison's bridge on 
the Ogeechee river, and at Fort McAllister, and Savannah, and at 
Charleston and Columbia, S. C., and at Bentonville, N. C., on the 
northward march. 

At Fort McAllister it especially distinguished itself. The col- 
ors of the 90th were the first planted on the works. 

Our county sustained a loss of nineteen men in this regiment 
during its service three of whom, John Crosby, of Co. C, and 
Austin Joyce and John Casper, of Co. D, died martyrs to the hor- 
rors of Andersonville. Mathew Haley, also of Co. D, of Man- 
hattan, died in Belle Isle prison, Richmond, a victim to the cruelties 
of that place of torment. These were all taken prisoners at 
Mission Ridge, as related in the preceding pages. The aggregate 
loss of the entire regiment was 300. It returned home with only 
221 men, of which number 41 were crippled beyond carrying a 

Before the Atlanta campaign, Captain O'Marah found it neces- 
sary from failing health, (which he has never fully recovered) to 
resign. He had from the first step taken toward raising the regi- 
ment, been one of its most active and efficient officers. The com- 
mander of the brigade addressed him the following letter on his 
leaving on sick furlough. 

SCOTSBORO, ALA., March 5, 1864. J 

DEAR SIR : I cannot permit you to leave my command without an ex- 
pression of my feelings concerning your conduct while serving with me. 
Your fidelity and zeal in the discharge of your duties, and patient endur- 
ance of suffering and fatigue, have often been noticed and highly com- 
mended. But more especially would I refer to your well-known bravery 
the spirit and force with which you repulsed and drove the enemy attacking 


our army when advancing upon Jackson, Miss.; and the heroic courage and 
endurance exhibited by you in the late sanguinary battle of Mission Ridge. 
I am not only deeply indebted to you for your courage in action there, but 
also for your persevering efforts in behalf of the wounded, whereby your 
disabled and suffering Colonel was rescued and relieved. 
I have the honor to be, Captain, 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Col. 26th 111., Commanding Brigade." 

Captain O'Marah had a very narrow escape from drowning 
while in the army. He was returning to Vicksburg from a short 
furlough in September, 1863, on the steamer Robert Campbell, 
when the boat took fire near Milliken's Bend and was burned, and 
fifty out of 100 souls were lost. Capt. O'Marah saved his life by 
swimming ashore, but lost his personal property. 

Captain Dan. O'Connor, who was so fearfully wounded as we 
have described, was promoted major of the regiment. 

A full list of officers and privates from Will county will be 
found in PAET FOUR, of this work, and to that the reader is referred 
for further particulars. 

Imperfect as is our sketch of the Irish Legion, enough has 
been recorded to show that its members nobly vindicated the name 
of Catholic Irishmen, and established for the 90th regiment a rep- 
utation for bravery and loyalty, second to none. And while, as 
we have stated, the regiment was mainly composed of Catholic 
Irishmen, we have seen there were both among its officers and 
privates, a few of another faith, and of different nationality, 
showing in this, as in other regiments, that 

"Although ten thousand altars bear, 
On each, for. Heaven, a different prayer ; 
By light of morn, by setting sun, 
At Freedom's shrine, we must be one/" 




Its Ante- War History Call of Gov. Yates Reorganizes for the War 
Goes to Cairo Its Record in the Three Months' Service Re-organizes for 
Three Years Goes to Fort Holt Armament Attached to Gen. Wallace's 
Brigade In Port Henry An Interesting Relic Goes to Donaldson Battle 
Casualties Reports Press Comments New Guns Goes to Pittsburg 
Landing Battle of Shiloh Incidents Casualties Resignations Goes to 
Corinth Movements Jackson, Tenn. Bolivar Memphis Lake Provi- 
dence Vista Plantation Milliken's Bend Down the River Crosses Port 
Gibson Big Black Rocky Springs Gen. Sherman Thanks the Boys Battle 
of Raymond Jackson, Miss. Champion Hills Vicksburg Capt. Rogers 
Killed Fort Hill Lieut. Hill Wounded Incidents of the Seige Lt. Cooper 
Promoted Fort Hill Blown Up Daring Exploit Surrender Afterwards 
Veteranizes Re- organizes with McPherson's Corps Atlanta Campaign 
Kingston, Ga. Big Shanty Capt. Cooper Wounded Chattahoochie The 
Rebels in Bathing Battle of the 22d of July Incidents Gallantry Dis- 
played Lieut. Ber^ler, of the 20th Seige of Atlanta Jonesboro Returns 
to Chattanooga Battle of Nashville Mustered Out 362 Days of Fighting. 


[HIS famous battery has an ante-war history. It was organ- 
ized originally under the militia laws of the State as early as 
1855, under command of Capt. John Collins, who was com- 
missioned by Joel A. Matteson, then Governor ; Frank Flagg, 
and a Mr. Hoag being his lieutenants. A requisition was made 
upon the Governor for four guns, two of which were sent, but for 
reasons which we will not specify here, failed to reach the company. 
In 1856, the company through the active personal efforts of 
Ed. McAllister, got possession of one gun. The company was then 
re-organized with Ed. McAllister as captain, and had its regular 
drills. This was the year of the active political campaign in which 


Gen. Fremont was the candidate of the Republican party. The 
Plainfield artillery was often called into requisition to speak Re- 
publican thunder at the large mass meetings which were held 
during the campaign. 

During the great senatorial campaign of Douglas and Lincoln 
in 1858, the services of the battery were given to the Republican 
cause. During a meeting in Joliet, while the piece was being 
fired from the brow of the bluff on the west side, two men were 
seriously wounded by the premature discharge of the gun, one 
Wellington Wood, losing an arm, and Newton A. Hill losing part 
of his hand. 

After this, the battery held occasional drills and kept up its 
organization, probably without, any expectation that it would ever 
be called upon to play an important part in real, earnest war. And 
no doubt, to many lookers on, it seemed a useless waste of time 
and money. 

When the call for the three months' volunteers was made by 
the President, Capt. McAllister received a dispatch from Governor 
Yates, asking for the services of the " Plainfield Battery." Capt. 
McAllister responded at once, and re-organized and recruited his 
company for actual service. On the morning of April 19th, 1861, 
he made his appearance at daybreak on the bluff at Joliet, with a 
full compliment of men, and during the day left for Springfield. 
Here they were mustered into the tenth infantry regiment as Co. 
K, and part of Co. I. The roster of officers and ( muster roll 
of men of this battery, during the three months' service will there- 
fore be found in the 10th three months' infantry regiment. The 
battery was immediately sent to Cairo, (stopping at the railroad 
bridge over the Big Muddy for a few days) where it remained 
during the three months' service, aiding in the garrison of that 
important point, and in the blockade of the rivers. As the bat- 
tery had but one 6-pound gun, with which they left Joliet, a por- 
tion of the men were armed with muskets. Here it also kept up 
drill exercise, in which it became so proficient as to carry off the 
palm, at a review of Gen. Prentiss' brigade. 

At the expiration of the three months' service the company 
was practically disbanded, many going home, and some going into 
other organizations. 


Capt. McAllister immediately commenced reorganizing the bat- 
tery for the three years' service, recruiting it from men discharged 
from other organizations, and from various places. The full roster 
of the officers and men from Will county will be found in its 
proper place. It became Battery D, 1st 111. Artillery, but was 
always better known as McAllister's Battery. This organization 
dates from Sept. 2d, 1861. On the 18th it moved across the river 
and was stationed at Fort Holt, on the Kentucky side, with its 
little 6-pound gun, which it had brought from Joliet. There 
was however, other guns in the fort. 

Just before the battle of Belmont, (Nov. 7th, 1861,) Captain 
McAllister was notified that there was six 12-pound bronze guns 
awaiting him at Cairo, with equipments, and was ordered to be in 
readiness to move at any time. But the battery was not called 
upon to participate in the expedition to Belmont. About January 
19th, the battery was outfitted with three 24-pound iron howitzers, 
and February 3d, started with Grant's forces for Fort Henry. It 
was placed in Gen. Wallace's brigade of McClernand's division. 
They were not permitted to try their mettle or their metal at Fort 
Henry, as the work was done by the gun-boats under Commodore 
Foote, but they had the pleasure of camping in the Fort. 

Lieut. Borland sent home to the True Democrat an interesting 
relic from Fort Henry. It was an "Arkansas tooth-pick/' being 
a knife about one foot long, made from an old rasp, and enclosed 
in a leather sheath, on which was rudely printed the words 
" deth to all ablishners." I judge from the spelling that the 
schoolmasters had already been killed off in Arkansas. 

The battery left Fort Henry February llth, and after a tedious 
two days' march through mud and snow, and over a rough and 
hilly country, they came in sight of Fort Donaldson, and at 
dusk on the 13th, went into position on a large hill, in the center 
of the investing army, in plain sight of the camp-fires of the 
enemy. After a plain but substantial supper of hard tack and 
salt pork, they lay down to a soldier's rest in the wet leaves. The 
night was quiet, and at daylight of Thursday, our forces were 
drawn up in line of battle. And soon it commenced in stern but 
magnificent display, all along the lines. One gun in charge of 
Lieut. Borland, was placed a little to one side on the brow of the 


hill, and gave the enemy a morning salute, which was responded 
to, and then the whole battery opened upon them. The battery 
was engaged, and did its full share of work during the three days* 
fighting which ended in the surrender of the fort, suffering almost 
as much from the elements as from the enemy. The Captain him- 
self took charge of No. 1, commanding and sighting it until it 
was disabled. Lieut. Borland commanded and pointed No. 3, 
replacing a shattered wheel, and fighting with great gallantry to 
the close. 

One man was mortally wounded on Saturday, and died the 
day after, and one other man was wounded. The captain in his 
report mentions the loss of one gun, eleven horses, five sets of 
harness, two mules, ten tents, forty knapsacks, sixty five blankets, 
four saddles, twenty canteens and seventy rations ; even a victory 
is expensive ! 

Lieut. Borland was made deaf, and permanently disabled from 
the concussion. He has never entirely recovered from the deafness. 
In fact he is so deaf now that he can't hear anything he does not 
want to ! 

Gen. Wallace commanding the 2d brigade, 1st division, (in 
which was the 20th regiment, and McAllister's battery,) says in his 
official report : 

" McAllister's guns did good service . They were three 24 pound how- 
itzers without caissons, and with a limited supply of ammunition, and 
without its full compliment of men. One of them lost a wheel shot away 
on the 13th, but supplied from their limber. On the 15th, the trail of an- 
other gun was broken, and it was rendered useless. They fired all their 
ammunition, fifty rounds a piece." 

The New York Times correspondent says : 

"Friday morning McAllister's battery took position on an emi- 
nence, and for four hours their heavy 24 pounders were not silent 
for a single instant. During all this time they were exposed to a 
heavy fire from the rebels, who had erected batteries so as to com- 
mand it from three points, two directly in front, and one on the 
right. At one time the attack was made in such overwhelming 
numbers that our line was broken through, and it seemed likely 
to end in the rout of the national forces. It was at this gap that 


McAllister's battery was stationed, and where for a time it fell 
into the hands of the rebels. The battery had only 150 rounds 
of ammunition ; at 10 o'clock these were exhausted, not a single 
shot left. Capt. McAllister in vain endeavored to get a supply 
from the rear a shot from the enemy passed through three of his 
horses ; another tore off the trail of one gun ; a third smashed the 
wheel of another. Just at this time, a heavy force of the enemy 
obtained a cover near him, and opened a fire with musketry at two 
hundred yards. Hitching six horses to the only undamaged gun, 
he endeavored to haul it off, but the weight was so great, and the 
road so bad that it was impossible to get along with it, and it be- 
came hopelessly mired, and was left. The horses were driven off 
with the limbers, and the guns left to their fate. In the course of 
the day a successful charge on our side, reoccupied the ground, and 
recovered the pieces." 

The Joliet Signal says : 

" This battery performed wonders at Donaldson, and officers 
and men acquitted themselves as true heroes, and skillful artiller- 
ists. Capt. McAllister has proved himself a brave and able officer, 
and is entitled to great credit for the imperishable honors won 
by the Plainfield Light Artillery." 

The " Signal " I believe, always made a pet of this battery ! 

On the 6th of March, the battery moved by river to Paducah 
and drew four 24 pound bronze howitzers, which continued to be 
its armament during the service. 

On the 14th, the battery moved by steamboat up the Ten- 
nessee, and arrived at the town of Savannah, where it debarked 
and went into camp. On the 24th it moved again by steamer 
nine miles further up the river to an obscure point known as Pitts- 
burg landing, debarked and moved out about three miles from the 
landing, taking position on the right center of the army. In this 
vicinity it remained until the battle of Shiloh. 

On the morning of April 6th, the battery was ordered to 
harness up, and before the order could be executed, and while the 
officers' mess were just setting down to breakfast, the shot and shell 



commenced flying through the camp. A solid shot swept the 
table clean, to their no small astonishment and disgust. They 
soon discovered that their meant something more than " the top of 
the morning to ye," and that serious work was on hand. In less 
time than I have taken to write it, they had their men, guns, 
horses and everything in position, and were sending forth their 
reply in 24-pound shot and shell. They were engaged in a duel 
with the enemy's battery about one and a half mile distant, which 
lasted from one and a half to two hours, when the rebel battery 
was silenced. 

But in the meantime the rebel infantry were flanking their po- 
sition, and Captain McAllister turned his guns to bear upon the 
flanking column. Our infantry now began to fall back, and Cap- 
tain McAllister was obliged to order the battery to limber to the 
rear. So many horses had been disabled that one gun had to be 
left, and also two caissons, which fell into the hands of the enemy. 
The battery took up a new position, but was compelled soon to 
fall back again, as the infantry were still being driven. About 
half a mile back a new line was formed, and the battery was 
placed in the reserve. After a few hours' fighting, our lines again 
fell back, and the battery was placed in position to check the ene- 
my's advance. After firing a few rounds it was once more com- 
pelled to fall back, leaving another gun for the enemy. This 
brought them within a half mile of the river. Here all the artil- 
lery was placed in one line, supported also by a line of infantry. 
It was now late in the afternoon. The enemy again advanced 
upon this line, and were received with the most terrific fire of shot 
and shell, and musketry, that was ever witnessed. This time the 
enemy was thoroughly repulsed, and night closed the first day's 
battle of Shiloh. 

Our army bivouacked upon the ground in this position while 
the enemy had possession of the tents which our men had left 
in the morning. 

As every reader knows, our army was reorganized and rein- 
forced during the night, and on the morning of the 7th, was pre- 
pared to assume the offensive. We are not attempting a general de- 
scription of the battle, only so far as to show the part played by 
McAllister's battery. 


Early in the day it was ordered into position to shell some 
timber. It was not exposed to the enemy's fire. After this the 
infantry advanced. In front of the battery was a ravine, on the 
opposite side of which was a hill, the top of which was much 
higher than the ground occupied by the battery. On the top of 
this hill the rebels were in line of battle. Infantry advanced 
and engaged them. Here was a long and desperate fight, a most 
terrific fire of musketry for several hours. The hill occupied by 
the rebels was thickly timbered. The battery took no part in this 
engagement, but watched it, so far as it could be seen, with in- 
tense interest. They could catch occasional glimpses of the stars 
and stripes, this time steadily though slowly advancing, and driv- 
ing the enemy over the same ground they had driven the Union 
forces the day before. The enemy were compelled to abandon 
their position, and to fall back about one mile where they formed 
a new line. The battery was now ordered up, and opened upon 
the rebels, keeping up a vigorous fire until their ammunition was 
exhausted. It then fall back to await the return of the caissons 
which had gone for a supply. These soon came up. 

A call now came from Gen. Sherman for McAllister's battery 
to go to his assistance, and to silence a battery which was giving 
him some trouble. The battery accordingly went to his aid, and 
in a very short time silenced the rebel battery, when the enemy 
fell back about a half mile. In this duel, battery D lost two 
horses, but no men were hurt, although the shot and shell flew 
thick and fast. Following up the enemy in their retreat, the bat- 
tery engaged in a second duel with a rebel battery and silenced 
it also, losing two more horses, and having two men slightly 
wounded. The same shot which killed the two horses of the bat- 
tery, also killed Gen. Sherman's horse. Luckily, the general him- 
self was behind a tree ! In this engagement it was exposed to the 
fire of the rebel infantry also. Once more the enemy fell back, 
and battery D limbered to the front again. The enemy had 
placed a battery in position to cover their retreat. But after a 
few well directed shells, this battery was also silenced, and the 
enemy disappeared from sight, and thus closed the battle of Shiloh 
about 4 p. m. 

The battery remained in this position until sun down, and 


then went to their old camp, where they found their tents still 
standing, though sadly riddled with holes. 

During this two days' engagement, Lieut. J. G. Wood was in 
command of the right section, and James A. Borland of the left, 
and Lieut. E. H. Cooper in charge of caissons, and Capt. McAllis- 
ter in command of all. Officers and men behaved with great cool- 
ness and promptitude. Borland and Cooper are especially com- 
mended in the captain's official report. (It should be here noticed 
that Lieut. Mathew Borland was at this time at Donaldson, dis- 
abled). Lieut. Cooper was always on hand with the requisite am- 
munition, and constantly passing from front to rear and from rear 
to front, with coolness and dispatch. One or two incidents are 
worth notice. During the first attack in the morning of the first 
day, while Lieut. Cooper was trying to get his caissons out of the 
way of the enemy who were fast approaching, while our lines were 
falling back, one of the caissons got stuck, and all the horses shot 
except the wheel span. Up rode a rebel officer, sword in hand, 
and cried out, " Surrender, you d d Yankee, surrender." The 
postillion was a burly Dutchman, a detailed man, Fitzburg by 
name, who instead of surrendering brought the butt of his heavy 
whip around the head of the officer exclaiming somewhat pro- 
fanely, "Surrender! Hell!" Just at this juncture a spent minie 
ball struck one of the wheel horses, stinging him so that he gave 
a tremendous spring, and cleared everything from the mud hole, 
never stopping until safe within our lines. 

When the battery went to the aid of Sherman, as has been re- 
lated, after Borland had got his gun into position, loaded and 
primed, he lay down on the trail with his eye on the spot where 
he supposed the enemy's battery to be, which was concealed by a 
ravine. While he was thus holding his fire, an officer rode up, 
and asked somewhat curtly, why he did not fire that gun. The 
lieutenant without looking up to see who had addressed him, kept 

his eye on the spot, and replied, " By G , I command this gun, 

and as I have no powder to waste, I shan't fire until I see some- 
thing to fire at." In a few seconds more, the lieutenant saw the 
rebels run out their guns, when he corrected his aim and gave the 
order to fire, making a most successful shot. It required but a 
few more like it to silence the enemy's guns. When this was 


effected, Lieut. Borland looked around to see who it was that had 
addressed him, and found that it was Gen. Sherman, who expressed 
himself satisfied with the way he saved his powder. 

Gen. Sherman in his official report of the second day's battle 
thus speaks in reference to the battery. 

" Seeing some others (guns) to the rear, I sent one of my staff to bring 
them forward, when by most providential decree, they proved to be two 
24-pound howitzers, belonging to McAllister's Battery, and served as well 
as ever guns could be. * * * * I gave personal direction to the 
24-pound guns, whose well-directed fire first silenced the enemy's guns to 
the left, and after at the Shiloh meeting house." 

Gen. Sherman did not forget the help rendered him by McAl- 
lister's Battery, as we shall have occasion to show hereafter. 
McClernand's report of the battle of Shiloh, says : 

" McAllister's Battery opened from the corner of the field referred to, 
and by a well-directed and effective fire, kept the enemy from crossing it, 
until his battery was nearly surrounded, and his support forced back, when 
after silencing a battery in the woods on the opposite side of the field, he 
withdrew three of his pieces along the south road toward Pittsburg Land- 
ing. The fourth piece was left behind for want of horses to take it off, but 
was recovered next day, In this engagement Capt. McAllister was four 
times slightly wounded, but kept the field. An acting sergeant and seven 
men were severely wounded, and a number of horses killed." 

Gen. McClernand's report mentions the battery four or five 
times again as rendering opportune service during the two days' 
engagement. The battery fired 50 rounds of canister, 152 shrap- 
nell, and 230 shells. Loss wounded, three non-commissioned 
officers and eight privates. Also lost 44 horses, 16 sets of harness, 
and two saddles. The battery remained here until its losses were 

The chief of the artillery of the division, Major Schwartz, hav- 
ing been wounded, Captain McAllister was temporarily assigned 
to the duty. 

April 20th, the battery moved three miles on the road to Cor- 
inth. Lieut. Mathew W. Borland now resigned, it being appa- 
rent that the injuries he received at Donaldson had disqualified him 
for duty. He was an efficient officer, and his loss was much re- 
gretted by the battery. 


April 28th, the battery moved again in the advance toward 
Corinth, encamping about eight miles from the river. From this 
camp Captain McAllister, who had previously tendered his resigna- 
tion, left the battery, much regretted by officers and men. He 
had proved a brave and able commander, always careful of the 
welfare of his men. Lieut. James A. Borland, was left in com- 

May llth, the battery moved four miles farther toward Cor- 
inth. Its position was on the right of the reserve of the army of 
the Tennessee. 

May 29th, the battery moved again four miles farther, en- 
camping about three miles from Corinth, behind works thrown up 
by our troops. 

The battery was not engaged during the seige of Corinth. It 
fired but one gun before Corinth, and this was done by one sec- 
tion while on picket duty. 

June 4th, the division under command of Gen. John A. Logan, 
marched toward Purdy, Tenn., and next day passed through Purdy, 
and June 6th, reached Bethel, where it went into camp, and re- 
mained until the 15th. This was a fine camping ground, as there 
was near the railroad, an abundant spring of fine water, large 
enough to supply the whole army. During the march on Cor- 
inth, the array had suffered much for the want of water, even the 
little that could be obtained was very poor. 

On the 15th, the division again struck tents and marched 
through Montezuma, encamping about three miles beyond. 

On the 16th it marched into Jackson. This is a large and 
pleasant village. While at this place Capt. Henry A. Rogers was 
put in command of the battery. While at Jackson, Serg't Emmet 
F. Hill received his commission as junior 2d lieutenant. The 
battery remained at Jackson until the 17th, when it marched to- 
ward Bolivar, and on the night of the 1st bivouacked on the right 
bank of the Little Hatchie, about one mile from Bolivar. It re- 
mained in the vicinity of Bolivar, until the 9th of October. 

By the last of July, quite a large force had concentrated here, 
expecting an attack from Price and Van Dome. The place was 
fortified, the planters in the vicinity being required to furnish slaves 
to assist. 


Sept. 13th, Gen. Hurlbut's division came up from Memphis. 
Other operations were going on in other parts of the army in the 
vicinity. The battle of luka, was fought Sept 19th. October 4th 
was the battle of Corinth, in which Will county was deeply inter- 
ested and suffered. Oct. 6th Gen. Hurlbut's division marched 
out, and won the brilliant victory of the Hatchie. In this, Will 
<5ounty was represented in Bolton's battery as related elsewhere. 
We will only say here that Lieut. Hill of the Plainfield battery 
had a brother, a sergeant in Bolton's battery, who was at his post 
in the engagement. 

Oct. 9th, one section of McAllister's battery went to LaGrange 
and bivouacked in the yard of the female seminary. This was a 
fine brick building quite a credit to the place, which was a very 
neat and pleasant village. Next day it marched back to Bolivar, 
where the battery remained until Nov. 2d, when it took part in 
Grant's formidable movement into Mississippi. The expedition 
as is well-known, went below Oxford, when Grant was obliged to 
fall back on account of the raid of the enemy in his rear, who de- 
stroyed his stores and communications at Holly Springs. The 
battery marched back into La Grange, and thence to Memphis. 
On the way they had a taste of short rations, and at one time had 
corn issued to them in the ear, with instructions to make " lye 
hominy." Fortunately, however, the battery had two hand mills, 
which some of the boys had " confiscated " on some plantation, 
and they were able to reduce their corn to a cookable condition. 
The battery reached Memphis January 21st. 

Here it remained until Feb. 20th, when it embarked on the 
steamer Forsyth. The steamer left on the 22nd, with the fleet 
bound down, and arrived at Lake Providence, La., on the 23d. 
Here the battery debarked with the division, and encamped about 
four miles from the landing, on the shore of the lake. This is a 
very beautiful sheet of water, clear as crystal, about three- fourths 
of a mile wide, and seventeen miles long, running nearly parallel 
with the river, a few miles from its west bank. It is very deep, 
and said to be unfathomable in some places. It connects with 
bayous which empty into the river below Vicksburg, and a chan- 
nel was being cut through the levee into the lake, with the view 
of getting boats with munitions and supplies below Vicksburg. 


While this experiment which proved a failure, was being tried, 
the battery remained here, employed in idling, drilling, foraging, 
fishing, boat riding, and listening to the music discoursed by the 
bands on the lake, etc., etc., until March 18th, when it embarked 
with the division on the steamer latan, and went up the river five 
miles, debarked and camped on the Louisiana side, on what was 
known as Vista Plantation. Here some of the men instituted a 
novel mode of fishing. The cutting of the levee had raised the 
water in all the sloughs and ditches. As a consequence, the fish 
in large numbers had gone foraging through the ditches in the 
corn fields after worms and grubs. The men would stand across 
a ditch, making a dam with their legs, while another party would 
drive the fish toward them, when they would catch them and 
throw them on the land. 

March 23d, the battery embarked on the steamer, Platte Val- 
ley, and ran down to Eagle Bend, about thirty miles above Vicks- 
burg. On the 25th, it returned to the camp near Vista Planta- 

April 17th, it again embarked on the steamer Universe, and 
went down the river to Milliken's Bend, debarked during the 
night and encamped. 

The battery left Milliken's Bend on the 25th of April 1863, 
commanded by Captain A. H. Rogers, the right section by Lieut. 
G. J. Wood, and the left by Lieut. E. H. Cooper, caissons in 
charge of Lieut. Hill. Five days were occupied in the march to 
Hard Times, passing through almost impenetrable swatnps, with 
intervals of the most beautiful country ever seen. This landing 
is below Grand Gulf, and some forty miles below Vicksburg. 
Here they found a portion of McClernand's corps which was cross- 
ing the river. On the 1st of May, the battery crossed to Barns- 
berry Landing, at 10 a. m. Gens. Grant, McPherson, Logan, 
Dennis, Adjt. Gen. Thomas, Gov. Yates, Congressmen Wash- 
burn, crossing at the same time. It immediately started towards 
Port Gibson, 25 miles distant. They had not gone far when the 
roar of cannon was heard, telling of a battle in progress, and they 
hurried upon the double quick. The day was excessively hot, and 
the enemy had been routed before the battery arrived, although 
the advance of the division was just in time to take a hand in the 


closing scene. Several hundred prisoners had been taken. It 
being sundown, the battery went into camp, within three miles of 
Port Gibson. Under cover of the night, the rebels withdrew their 
forces across the south branch of Bayou Pierre, and burned the 
bridge after them. 

On the 2nd, the battery was put in the first brigade, com- 
manded by Gen. John E. Smith, formerly colonel of the 45th, It 
was put in the advance on the chase. Moved early and passed 
through Port Gibson, and was obliged to make a detour of six or 
eight miles to cross the bayou, the rebels having burned the bridge, 
which made delay, and on the same night reached the north branch 
without opposition. During the day our forces picked up some 
straggling rebs, and on the 3d crossed the main branch on a wire 
suspension bridge, which the rebels had failed to destroy in their 
haste to escape. 

At 9 a. m. our forces came up with the enemy, who had a bat- 
tery of small guns planted on a commanding hill, having a raking 
range of the road, which for a mile was very narrow, and which 
gave our boys a few round shot without however doing any damage. 
Battery D then opened on the enemy, who finding the fight too se- 
rious for them took to their heels again. Some time was now spent 
in reconnoitering, and finding the way clear, our forces advanced 
by different routes toward the Big Black River, pushing the ene- 
my before them up to and across the river. The enemy destroy- 
ing the bridge after them. The battery then went into camp, the 
enemy being on the opposite bank. May 4th, the rebs had the im- 
pudence to drop a shell in the camp, which stirred up the cooking 
arrangements of the boys somewhat promiscuously. The distance 
was such that Battery D's guns could not respond to the salute, but 
DeGolyer's battery gave them as good as they sent. Battery D 
then went up the river bank, and went into position, and gave 
them one shot. Here the army waited two or three days for the 
trains to come up with rations. 

On the 7th moved from the Big Black and encamped at 
Rocky Springs, Miss. Here was found plenty of forage and corn. 
Remained in this camp the 8th. 

On the 9th Gen. Sherman came to the camp and told Capt. 
Rogers that he wanted to see the men of the battery. The " as- 



sembly " was sounded aud the men were soon in line. Gen. Sher- 
man then complimented the men for their services at Shiloh, when 
the battery went to his assistance, as has been related. He told 
the boys that " if he could ever do anything for them he would do 
it that if any man in McAllister's Battery ever wanted a blanket 
to let him know it, and if he had but one he would give him 
half." When he had got through, the boys gave him three hearty 

On the 9th, again on the move toward Jackson, Miss., and 
on the morning of the 12th our forces came up with the enemy, 
three miles south west of Raymond, and 19 miles from Jackson. 
Gen. Logan's division was in the advance. Battery D was in 2d 
brigade and center division, De Golyer's being in the 1st, and in 
the lead. In the early part of the day De Golyer got into a 
sharp duel with a battery of the enemy. The 20th and 45th 111., 
and the 20th, 23d, and 78th Ohio did the infantry fighting, which 
for a couple of hours was hot ; when the rebels were forced to 
give way before our determined boys, although they had much the 
larger force. They fell back towards Raymond, one and a half 
miles, and attempted and partly formed a line of battle. Now 
came the time for the old McAllister Battery to take a hand. It 
was brought to the front into position with our old 20th, and the 
45th for its support. The enemy's position was on the brow of 
the hill, across an open field 1300 or 1400 yards distant, where they 
had a battery with infantry support. The range was a long one 
for the guns of Battery D, and the enemy's guns being rifled, the 
odds were against our boys, but they pitched in with a will, and 
soon managed to dismount one of the enemy's pieces, and set the 
infantry flying. This closed the battle of Raymond. Battery D 
fired 72 rounds, and all the boys acted nobly. Major Stolbrand, 
chief of artillery, stood by and saw the fight, and with the gen- 
erals gave the boys the credit of doing good execution. They then 
entered the town singing 

" Union forever ! Hurrah, boys, hurrah ! 
Down with the traitors, and up with the stars." 

This made the ladies draw their curtains, and they no doubt felt 
very differently from what they did in the morning, when they 


cheered their brave brothers, husbands and lovers on to whip the 
Yankees. The battery went into camp at Raymond, and during 
the night Gen. Sherman came up with his corps. 

On the 13th our forces marched again, Sherman taking the 
right hand road, and McPherson's corps the left. On the morn- 
ing of the 14th Quinby's division was in the lead, and came up 
with the enemy four miles west of Jackson, and formed his lines 
while some of his batteries were engaging the rebels. He was 
soon ready with his infantry, and made one of the most gallant 
charges, across an open field, and in the face of the enemy's artil- 
lery, that any force ever made. He gained the ground and put 
the enemy to flight, and marched into Jackson with colors flying. 
Gen. Sherman also had a fight coming into town at the same time. 
The rebels burned their stores at Jackson, which made a splendid 

On the 15th the division was early on the road to Vicks- 
burg. On the 16th the enemy was again met at Champion Hills. 
Gen. Harvy's division of McClernaud's corps in advance engaged 
them on the left, while the division embracing battery D went into 
line of battle on the right. De Golyer's battery being in the lead 
gave them a few rounds at long range before battery D came up. It 
was then ordered to the front on double quick, (caissons in the rear), 
came up to, and passed the line to the front and right, passed the 
skirmishers, and was halted. But only for a moment ; it was 
again ordered to advance, and take position on a commanding 
hill, 400 yards in advance of the" infantry, without any support, 
not so much as a skirmisher. As the battery came to the top of 
the hill, it received a volley of musketry from the enemy, who 
was also advancing to take possession of the same hill, which com- 
manded the country for many miles around. Capt. Rogers gave 
the command, " action front ;" the bullets came whistling by in 
every direction not a word was spoken; every man was at his 
post. The command was obeyed in a twinkling, although to the 
boys it seemed an age ; the enemy, a whole brigade, lying down 
not more than 75 yards distant. The boys gave them shrapnell for 
the first round fuse time, one second. They rose with a yell, 
bayonets fixed, expecting to take the battery before t it could fire 
again. They did not know the time our boys kept. Capt. Rogers 


ordered the guns double shotted with canister, which was poured 
into the advancing lines of the enemy, with a slaughter that was 
fearful to behold. They wavered and fell back, and the battery 
followed up with such rapidity, with shell and shrapnel], that the 
repulse was complete. During the action Lieut. Cooper's horse 
was twice wounded, and he was dismounting just as the Captain 
came riding up, and at the same time Gen. McPherson rode up, 
saying, "Captain, you will surely lose your battery before support 
reaches you." To which Capt. Rogers replied, " I can't see it, 
there is not secesh enough here to take McAllister's battery." As 
he was speaking he received a slight wound in his leg. The Gen- 
eral replied, " I hope you are right," and galloped off to hurry 
up the supports. After the battery had ceased firing, De Golyer 
came up and gave the retreating rebels four or five rounds, as they 
had got beyond battery D's range. 

Game being now scarce in front, and the enemy making some 
demonstrations on the right, the battery changed front to fire to the 
right, and advanced about 50 yards to the brow of another hill, 
by the time the support came up. There our forces had two bat- 
teries to contend with. Wade's battery and Co. D of the 1st regi- 
ment of Miss, artillery, commanded by Capt. A. B. Rogers. But 
they soon found that they could not compete with the 111. battery 
of the same letter and regimental number, commanded by Capt. 
A. H. Rogers, of Chicago. The Rogers of the Miss, battery was 
killed by one of the shells from battery D, and two of his lieu- 
tenants, and 30 privates. The infantry then passed the battery 
and engaged the rebel infantry contending for the silenced battery, 
which the heroes of Shiloh soon took. All the boys stood to their 
posts, cool and active as usual. The battery fired 236 rounds 
during the engagement. Every man was just where he was 
wanted, and the enemy was co mpletely routed, and the victory of 
Champion Hill was complete. The army moved quickly forward 
in pursuit. Capt. Rogers went to the captured battery and got 
horses to replace those battery D had lost. 

The battery was moved forward two miles to a creek, and 
camped for the night. It received many compliments for the part 
it had taken in the action. " There goes McAllister's skirmishing 


battery that gave the rebels h on the right," and many such 

like remarks the boys overheard in passing. 

The correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial thus notices 
the action of this battery, in his accounts of the battle of Cham- 
pion Hills : 

" Early in the afternoon, a section of Co. D, 111. 1st artillery 
under Capt. Rogers, advanced to close proximity to the rebel lines, 
and opened two 24-pound howitzers to drive the rebels from posi- 
tion, from which they were about to advance upon our men. The 
rebels filed out of the woods in excellent order, and formed in 
front of the battery, and within 300 yards of it. They then 
marched steadily toward the guns and were about to give their 
first volley to our battery men, when a double load of canister 
scattered among them causing at least 50 to fall. Capt. De Go- 
Iyer's 8th Mich, battery also opened on them, and gave them sev- 
eral loads of James rifled shells. The effect of our artillery fire 
was all that could be desired. It broke the ranks of the rebels 
and caused them to fall back in great disorder. I have never wit- 
nessed a more thorough rout than that which the rebels met in 
their attempt to get possession of Capt. Rogers' guns, May 16th, 

OD the 19th of May, the battery arrived within three miles of 
Vicksburg, and had frequent engagements with the enemy, keep- 
ing their guns speaking without much intermission. On the 29th 
of May, Capt. Rogers was killed, a sad day for the battery, for 
although coming to them from another organization, the men all 
loved him, and had confidence in his skill and judgment, as well 
as his patriotism. After sighting a gun, he had jumped upon a 
parapet to witness its effect, and on turning round to give direc- 
tions in reference to the length of fuse, was instantly killed by a 
sharpshooter. The men laid him to rest at Chickasaw Bluffs, 
swearing to avenge his loss. 

The battery went (June 6th, 1863,) into its position in front of 
the rebel Fort Hill, on the Jackson and Vicksburg road, one sec- 
tion on either side, at the point known as the White House, and 
three or four hundred yards from the enemy's works. It was 


protected with breastworks, from behind which, should they expose 
any part of their bodies, they wejre pretty sure to be hit by the 
rebel sharpshooters.. 

On the 17th of June, the rebels having planted a new piece 
where it could not be brought into range through the embrasure of 
Lieut. Hill's gun, his piece was therefore thrown up on top and 
outside of the earthworks, where there was no protection from the 
enemy's sharpshooters, who kept up a continual fire from the top 
of Fort Hill from behind sand bags, the distance being about 200 
yards. Lieut. Hill was ordered to this exposed position by Maj. 
Stalbrand, division chief of artillery, who it is but just to say ex- 
posed himself to the same danger. Lieut. Hill acted as gunner. 
Some good shots were made scattering the rebels' sand bags. They 
worked the piece here about an hour before any one was hit. Then 
George Maag had just said, " They hit me at Shiloh, I wonder if 
they will hit me in the same place again," when he was struck 
while sponging the gun, the ball passing through the lungs. One 
of the men said, " They have not hit you in the same place this 
time." Lieut. Hill assisted in helping him down into the ditch, 
and poor George died the next day. A few minutes after, while 
watching the pointing of his gun, Lieut. Hill was himself hit by 
a musket ball, which entered his head a half inch back of, and a 
fourth inch below his right eye, passing out one half inch in front 
of his left ear. He was immediately taken to a hospital. 

Lieut. Hill thus describes his sensations : 

" I was unconscious about twenty minutes. When I began to 
recover my consciousness, I felt very weak and faint. I knew I 
had been hit by a bullet. I knew where I was and what had hap- 
pened. I thought I was dying, and asked myself, is my spirit 
still with my body. I expected in a few moments at most, I 
should be in the future world. My mind rapidly, but without 
confusion scanned my past life. How swiftly passed the review 
while I calmly waited for the future. This lasted but a few mo- 

When Lieut. Hill was brought to the hospital, the attending 
surgeons said that the man must die ; could not possibly recover, 


and declined to do anything for him, as being of no use. A 
brother of his from Bolton's battery, came over to see him, and he 
was not satisfied to let the matter go so. He went to see General 
Logan about it, who sent over his own surgeon, who dressed the 
wounds, and his brother and a man from battery D was detailed to 
take care of him. He recovered (with the loss of an eye) to the 
great surprise, and perhaps the disgust of the surgeons. 

Lieut. Hill had been a member of the battery when it used to 
play war in Plainfield, and when the war broke out was attend- 
ing a commercial college in the city of New York. Capt. McAl- 
lister sent him, in a playful manner, a summons to appear and 
take his place in the battery. Lieut. Hill obeyed the summons, 
and served in the three months organization, and afterwards in the 
three years' service, in which he entered the battery as quarter- 
master sergeant, and was promoted 2d lieutenant, and then 1st 
lieutenant. Pie was one of the best and most efficient officers and 
the bravest of soldiers. He was honorably discharged Sept. 1 9th, 
1863. He afterwards held the rank of lieutenant in vet. reserve 

This left only Lieut. G. J. Wood and E. H. Cooper as officers 
of the battery. Capt, Sparstrom, of the 2d regiment of artillery, 
was detailed to command the battery. This created great dissatis- 
faction among the boys. They had no particular objection to 
Sparstrom, but they thought they had a right to the promotions 
in the battery, and that they had men competent to fill any of its 
positions. Lieut. Wood resigned at once, and his resignation was 
accepted, leaving Lieut. Cooper alone of the old roster. A peti- 
tion was now started and signed by every member of the battery 
to have Lieut. Cooper commissioned captain. This was presented 
to Maj. Stalbrand, chief of artillery, for his endorsement. He re- 
fused to endorse, and destroyed it instead, saying that " Cooper 
would make as good a 1st lieutenant as there was in the service, 
but he was too young and inexperienced for a captain. Captain 
Sparstrom is an old and experienced Sweedish officer, and I will 
have him transferred to the command." Lieut. Cooper replied 
that he " did not set himself up for a Napoleon ; though circum- 
stances might make him one, and he commanded a battery at 19." 

The lieutenant found that a little strategy would be needed in 



order to get this promotion to which he was fairly entitled, and 
he got another petition, and secured the indorsement of W. T. 
Sherman, and Col. Taylor of the 1st artillery, after giving them a 
full statement of the case. The petition thus strongly ' indorsed, 
was forwarded by a judicious friend to the governor, and he soon 
issued a commission to Lt. Cooper as captain. All of which was 
done inside of three weeks, and the old battery had a commander 
of its own choosing. 

During the siege the boys used to amuse themselves by plug- 
ging up the pipe holes, through which the enemy used to fire on 
our men whenever exposed. Many a brave boy had fallen before 
their deadly aim from these loopholes. The boys got so perfect in 
their gunnery, that they seldom failed to plug up the holes as 
fast as they made their appearance. The rebs then tried the trick 
of raising their hats on a stick, and drawing the fire of our men, 
and then taking their chance to shoot our men. It took a prac- 
ticed eye to tell whether the hat held a stick or a head. So our 
boys, having soon learned the trick, would fire a blank from one 
gun, and when the hat appeared the second time, let fly a shot or 
shell from the other gun. All these, and many other devices and 
tricks, and counter tricks were played during the siege. While 
this was going on, the sappers and miners were burrowing un- 
der ground, like moles, preparing a mine to blow up Fort Hill, 
with the expectation that by this means they could force an en- 
trance into the city. 

In the battery was a man by the name of Whistler. One day 
the rebels opened on our boys with a new kind of mortar, which 
sent over a peculiar long shaped shell, which in its flight made a 
noise which sounded just like calling the name Whistler. Whistler 
heard it, and thought he was called for sure, and came running 
into quarters, saying, " they are after me, they are after me ; don't 
you hear them calling Whistler, Whistler? I am a goner sure." 
The man was in dead earnest, but was soon convinced that it was 
not him in particular, but all of them that they were after. But 
the boys had many a laugh at Whistler's expense. 

On the morning of June 22d (1863), Sergeant Dave Ocker, as 
brave a boy as any among the brave boys of battery D, came up 
to Captain Cooper, saying : 


" Captain, I wish to-morrow morning you would send this 
photograph, and these letters to my mother." 

" Why so, why to-morrow morning, sergeant." 

" Well, Captain, you know I am no coward, and have always 
stood up to the fight with the rest, and never flinched from duty." 

" Yes, sergeant, I know all that, but what is this all about, and 
why are you so solemn-visaged to-day, you are usually the gayest 
of the gay ?" 

" Captain, I have seen the sun rise for the last time on this 
earth. To-morrow morning at this time I shall be cold in death, 
and shall have cut my last fuse." 

Cooper tried to reason him out of this hallucination, as it seemed 
to him, but in vain. Well, about 11 a. m., there was a terrible 
explosion heard, as it were the shock of an earthquake. Fort 
Hill had been blown up, and the infantry was rushing in that di- 
rection, hoping to force their way into the city. But as is well 
known, our forces did not succeed, but on the contrary found 
themselves in a very exposed condition, and lost heavily. The 
sap had not extended far enough and our troops were brought 
into a sort of cul-de-sac, from which there was no egress except 
through the sap, or over an exposed field. The earthwall separa- 
ting the two armies, was not more than ten or twelve feet in thick- 
ness. The enemy being on the higher ground, could extend their 
arms, and sticking the muzzle of their guns over, fire down upon 
our troops, doing us great damage. About 3 o'clock Gen. Logan 
came to Capt. Cooper's section, and asked for twelve volunteers, 
to go to the excavation made in Fort Hill, for the purpose of 
throwing hand grenades. Cooper called for volunteers, but none 
responded. He then asked who would follow him, and all re- 
sponded. Selecting twelve of the number, purposely leaving out 
Ocker, remembering the conversation of the morning. But Ocker 
did not like this seeming slight, and bought off one of the men, 
who had been selected, and took his place. When they, (passing 
through the sap) got to the place, they found that no hand gren- 
ades had been provided. But something must be done. The 
enemy's advantage was great, and our troops were suffering fear- 
fully at their hands. The idea struck Capt. Cooper that he 
might use common shell in place of the grenades. So he sent his 



men back to the battery, with instructions to procure each two 
shrapnell shell, and some port fire, slow match, and a fuse gouge, 
all of which arrived in due form. The captain then directed Ser- 
geant Henderson, who was the largest and strongest man, to hold a 
shell in his hands, with his back to the earthworks, while he (the 
captain) would cut the fuse to five seconds, and circle round with 
the port fire, gradually coming nearer, and when the fuse 
caught, he was to throw it over the works into the enemy. The 
proposition did not strike the mind of the sergeant favorably. He 
did not like the idea of making a cannon of himself, and respect- 
fully declined this strange way of fighting. The captain said, 
11 Well, you may be the gunner, and I will be the gun." So the 
captain took the shell and the serg't fired it, and over it went in 
time to explode in the ranks of the enemy. They kept up this novel 
mode of artillery fighting for some time, and became so expert they 
could cut the fuse at one and three-fourths seconds, and get rid of 
the shell before it exploded. Well, during the afternoon, Dave 
Ocker's premonition of death became verified. He was struck 
with a hand grenade from the enemy in the breast, and mortally 
wounded. Out of this squad of Captain Cooper and twelve men, 
only three returned sound to the battery at night. The rest were 
killed or wounded Henderson, C. L. Pratt and Captain Cooper, 
only came out unscathed. I think among the instances of bravery 
exhibited in the siege and assaults at Vicksburg, none exceeded 

The blowing up of Fort Hill was a failure, but so closely had 
Grant invested the place, and so sorely were the enemy being 
pushed, that escape was hopeless, and July 4th Pemberton sur- 

The capitulation took place just in front of the position of bat- 
tery D, from which every movement of the several generals and 
their staff's could be seen. It was a strange scene. The two prin- 
cipal figures had been lieutenants in the same regiment in Mexico. 
At Monterey and Buena Vista, they had fought on the same side 
with the stars and stripes. Now Pemberton has to surrender to 
his former comrade, a rebel's sword ! 

After the surrender, the battery was stationed at the bluffs of 
Chickasaw Bayou, near a large and beautiful spring. In the 


course of ten or twelve days, the men began to complain of a 
strange sickness, and one after another were sent to the hospital. 
This unaccountable sickness continued to lay up the men until 
all were more or less affected, and an investigation was ordered. 
The result was that a small keg of arsenic was found imbedded in 
the bottom of the spring, and the cause of the sickness was revealed. 
Out of 150 men, 100 at least had been temporarily disabled by 
this fiendish outrage. The battery was moved from this place to 
a point nearer the city, and fixed up quarters for the summer and 
fall. And here the battery remained until December, when it 
veteranized and recruited to its full quota, and re-organized at 
Camp Fry, Chicago, and returned to Vicksburg. Early in the 
spring of 1864 it was ordered to Cairo, to prepare for Sherman's 
Georgia campaign, and left Vicksburg April 5th, 1864, and then 
moved with McPherson's corps to Clifton on the Tennessee, and 
thence marched to Huntsville, and then to Kingston, Georgia, 
where it joined Sherman's army and again commenced active cam- 
paigning and fighting. Their first serious fight on this campaign 
was at Big Shanty, near Kenesaw mountain. And from the com- 
mencement of the operations before Kenesaw, until when, being 
flanked again, the enemy abandoned this position, the battery took 
its full share of work and fighting. In one of these engagements 
Capt. Cooper received a severe wound over the left eye, which put 
him out of the fight for a couple of weeks. He rejoined the bat- 
tery before the fight of Peach Tree Creek. 

The battery was under a continuous fire during the advance on 
Atlanta, most of the time in front, or on the skirmish line. At the 
Chattahoochie River, the cavalry finding it difficult to hold the 
bank of the river, a call was made for a section of the battery ta 
go to their assistance. Lieut. Cunningham was sent with two 
pieces, and masked his guns near the bank of the river. In the 
morning the rebels came down to the river to take a bath, of which 
no doubt they stood in need. They were all unconscious of the 
presence of the guns, and fearlessly they disrobed, and plunged 
into the water in great numbers. Lieut. Cunningham very dis- 
courteously unmasked his guns, and gave them a few rounds of 
canister to their no small astonishment and disgust, and such a 
skedaddling out of a bath was never seen before. In their haste 


many of them did not stop to gather up their clothes, but disap- 
peared over the bank with no other uniform than the one Adam 
wore in Paradise ; and as the lieutenant did not allow the rebs 
to come back after their clothes, there must have been a heavy re- 
quisition that morning on rebel quartermasters for clothing. The 
oavalry and picket line filed down the bank and took posses- 
sion of the rebel bath. 

The battery did not participate in the Peach Tree Creek fight 
(of the 21st), but in that of the 22d it bore a conspicuous part. It 
must be borne in mind that this battery is still in the 3d brigade 
of Leggett's division of the 17th army corps, and the general his- 
tories will show the position and part played by the division. It 
was on this day that the army of the Tennessee lost its youthful 
and brave commander, one of the best men and also one of the 
best officers in the service. But our busineas is with battery D. 
leaving the general history of the battle to works of larger scope, 

The battery was stationed near the extreme left wing of the 
army at what was known as " Bald Knob," its caissons and trans- 
portation being about half a mile in the rear. About one o'clock 
p. ui., the force was attacked in the rear and left, and almost as 
completely surprised as at Shiloh. The 8th Mich, battery, a portion 
of the troops, and one or two other batteries went flying past bat- 
tery D, to the rear and right, leaving it almost alone in possession 
of the hill, supported by the 20th 111., 17th Wis., 20th Ohio, and 
12th Wis. The attack was so sudden and from an unexpected di- 
rection that it became necessary to change fronts, and use the 
Atlanta side of their hastily constructed works. The 20th 111. 
was now on the extreme right, and fighting desperately against 
fearful odds, and were soon mostly killed or captured. On came 
the enemy, a whole division, under Gen. Quimby. The battery had 
just effected its change of front when it became hemmed in almost 
by the enemy. They double shotted their guns, and held their 
fire until the enemy was within a hundred yards. Some men of 
the 17th Wis. had got close up to the breastworks in front of the 
battery, and no effort could make them get out of the way. The 
fire was delayed in the effort to get them to leave, until it could 
be held no longer without allowing the guns to be taken ; and 
Capt. Cooper, with great reluctance, but without any doubt as to 


bis duty, gave the word to " fire." The destruction which fol- 
lowed the discharge, aud the subsequent ones, was terrible. The 
first discharge killed and wounded some of the Wisconsin regi- 
ment, but it could not be helped without a worse calamity. This 
fire with that of the infantry brought the rebels to a stand still, 
and the battery and its supports seemed masters of the field. But 
just here they received a heavy fire from the rear and left. Adju- 
tant Walker was shot in the leg, and soon after Gen. Force was 
shot in the head, who looked up to Capt. Cooper and said : " Tell 
Col. Bryant that he is in command." But Col. Bryant was in 
another part of the field, and Capt. Cooper assumed temporary 
command. At this critical moment a subordinate officer pulled 
out a pocket handkerchief and tied it to a ramrod, and was in the 
act of raising it in token of surrender. Capt. Cooper struck it 
down with his sword, exclaiming " Never ! as long as there is a 
man left," giving it also as his opinion that the volley they had 
just received came from our own men ; and that if a flag could be 
displayed from a point of woods near, they would see it, and cease 
firing on them. ' Instantly Lieut. Bernier, of the 20th 111., 
snatched the flag from the color-bearer of the 17th Wis., and 
mounting the short line of breastworks in the very face of the en- 
emy, ran two or three hundred yards with the flag, in the direc- 
tion suggested. Our forces saw it and ceased their fire. They had 
supposed that the force on the Knob had all been captured. A 
braver, more heroic act than this of Lieut. Bernier was never per- 
formed. He was exposed to the fire of both sides, but escaped as 
by a miracle. 

The enemy rallied and made another charge, but were repulsed 
again by the spartan band. But the ammunition having now been 
exhausted, and the condition and location of the caissons being un- 
known, the battery and its supports fell back to the 2d line. The 
right section was in command of Lieut. Cunningham, and the left 
by Lieut. Pratt, and the caissons by Lieuts. Brock way and Pow- 
ers, whose j udicious movements preserved them from capture, and 
they were found all safe awaiting orders. They had kept track of 
the guns by the sound, having come to know, as it were, their 
voices. The battery fought pretty much on its own hook through 
the day, going where it seemed to be most wanted, changing posi- 


tions twelve times, and being in as many pitched battles. If we 
were to say all that the facts warrant of the action of the men of 
the battery and of the officers, it would seem like fulsome praise. 

During the seige of Atlanta, the battery was under fire every 
day. After the evacuation, it moved on as far as Jonesboro, par- 
ticipating in several fights, and went into camp in the vicinity of 
Jonesboro until Sherman took up his memorable march to the 

Capt. Cooper was put in command of the reserve park of artil- 
lery of the army of the Tennessee, and ordered to report to Gen. 
Steadman at Chattanooga, for transportation to Nashville to join 
Thomas' army. The battery was moved with the rest to Nash- 
ville, where it remained until after the two days' battle at that 
place, in which it participated. It was then ordered to Clarks- 
ville, Tenn., where it remained until the war was over j and was 
mustered out of the service at Chicago, July 28th, 1865. 

Without recapitulating the battles in which it was engaged, we 
content ourselves with the statement that had it fought on three 
days more, it would have done one full year's severe fighting. 

The reader is referred to the roster and muster roll for deaths, 
resignations, and promotions of the men from Will county. 




How and when organized Goes to Cairo Goes to Columbus Island 
No. 10 Fort Pillow Hamburg Landing Corinth Rienzi Ordered to 
Cincinnati Goes to Louisville Battle of Perryville Goes to Nashville- 
Winters at Nashville Moves to Murfreesboro Moves for Chattanooga 
Snouting on the Way Hunting Horses Call on Mrs. Gen. Pillow Lieu- 
tenant Plant faces a Battery Sudden Death at Athens from the Bite of a 
Scorpion, or something worse On to Chattanooga In the Great Battle of 
19th and 20th of September Falls Back with the Army Crosses the River 
Mission Ridge Goes to Knoxville Returns Veteranizes and Recruits 
Returns to the Front Joins the Atlanta Campaign Fights its way to At- 
lantaAfter the Surrender To Florence, Ala., and Back Again On to the 
Sea Lt. Coe killed Northward Battle of Bentonville A Chase for Wash- 
ingtonBuries its Powder and Shells Joins the Grand Parade Goes Home 
and is Mustered Out. 


[HE organization of this battery was commenced at Joliet in 
Oct. 1861, under the name ot the "Joliet Light Artillery/* 
by Capt. Chas. W. Keith. About 100 men of the company 
and three commissioned officers, were residents of Will county. 
Capt. Keith with the men he had recruited went to Springfield, 
and his company was there consolidated with a battery partially 
raised at Peoria and Decatur by Henry B. Plant, Esq., then Supt. 
of a railroad, now a resident of Joliet, and member of the firm 
of Mason & Plant, and who became its 2d lieutenant, and subse- 
quently on the resignation of Capt. Keith, its 1st lieutenant. 

The battery thus constituted was mustered into the U. S. ser- 
vice at Camp Butler, Springfield, and left for Cairo, February 7th, 
1862, at which place, and at Fort Holt, on the opposite side of the 
Ohio, it remained about one month. While here, a detachment 
of the company went on the steamer Brown, with the mortar boats 


in tow, to Fort Donaldson, but did not reach that point until the 
fort had surrendered. On the 8th of March the battery was or- 
dered to Columbus, (with Col. N. B. Buford), which point had 
been evacuated by the rebels. It remained at Columbus under 
Buford until the 15th, when it proceeded down the river to co-op- 
erate with Admiral Foote and Gen. Pope in the reduction of 
Island No. 10. 

This was the only land battery at the north end of the island,, 
and took its position on the Missouri shore within three-fourths of 
a mile of the powerful guns of the enemy. Opening on the enemy 
from this position they quickly drew the fire of the forts on the 
island, and were obliged to change their position, losing one man 
killed, Chas. Howard, of Joliet. This man was the only one 
killed by the fire of the enemy during the seige. 

April 7th, Capt. Keith resigned, and Lieut. Barnett was made 
captain, and the battery was thenceforth popularly known as Bar- 
nett's Battery. 

After the evacuation and surrender of Island No. 10, the bat- 
tery made a trip to Cairo, and back on a steamer in charge of a 
portion of the rebel prisoners taken at the island. It then accom- 
panied the expedition down the river to Fort Pillow, where it ar- 
rived April 14th. 

The overflow of the river made operations impracticable at 
this point, and the battery then moved with the army under com- 
mand of Gen. Pope, via Cairo and Tennessee river, to take part 
in the seige of Corinth, arriving at Hamburg Landing the 24th. 
It took an active part in the seige of Corinth, and in the pursuit 
of the enemy on their retreat, having several smart engagements 
with them at Buckland, Farmington, &c., having two men 
wounded May 30th. The brigade to which they were attached, 
went into summer quarters at Rienzi, Miss., about 18 miles south 
of Corinth. 

On the 6th of September the division to which it belonged, 
was ordered with all speed under command of Gen. Gran ger, to 
Cincinnati, Ohio, to repel the threatened attack of Bragg, who it 
was feared would outstrip Buell in the chase, and invade Ohio. 
They made all haste day and night, unloading their guns from 
cars and steamboats five times in 36 hours, being in constant re- 


ceipt of telegrams to " hurry up." They arrived in the vicinity 
on the 12th, and on the 15th marched through the city of Cincin- 
nati on their way to the front at Covington. They were received 
by the citizens with an ovation, the whole city turning out to pay 
their respects to those they considered their deliverers. 

On the 19th they proceeded by boat to Louisville, where they 
were assigned to Sheridan's division, and on the 1st of Oct. they 
moved out in pursuit of Bragg. Here they were active in pre- 
paring for the defense of Louisville. Oct. 7th, they went (after 
the severe skirmishing which preceded) into the action of Perry- 
ville on the 8th. Here with their two ten-pound parrots they 
opened upon a battery of the enemy that was making a furious 
attack upon one of our brigades, and soon silenced it. It was the 
obstinate resistance to the enemy made by the divisions of Sheri- 
dan and Mitchell on the right, which determined the fortunes of 
the day, and that night the enemy abandoned its attempt and with- 
drew. In this action the battery occupied an advanced position 
in the center, supported by the 26th 111. on the right. They fired 
the opening gun of the battle and continued incessantly until dark, 
firing 614 rounds, and not changing their position, with a loss of 
only four men wounded, and four deafened. The armament of 
the battery consisted of two parot and two James six-pound rifles 
and two twelve-pound smooth bore Napoleons. The two last with 
the detailed men were sent to the rear, and the action was fought 
by the regular men of the battery, and the four other guns. They 
opened the battle under the personal direction of Gen. Sheridan. 
Near the close of the engagement the rebels took a battery from 
McCook's division and turned it upon his lines. Battery I changed 
the direction of their guns and silenced it, thus closing the battle. 
They were highly complimented by Sheridan. 

After the fight the battery moved on to Nashville, reaching 
Crab Orchard Oct. 16th, and the city of Nashville Nov. 1, and 
Mill Creek, six miles south of Nashville, Nov. 22d. During their 
stay at this last point they were sharply engaged with the enemy 
three times without loss. Dec. 10th they were relieved from duty 
in Sheridan's division, and returned to Nashville where they went 
on garrison duty and were attached to Col. Dan. McCook's brigade. 

During the winter Capt. Barnett filled the position of chief of 



artillery and inspector of stock at Nashville. On the 30th of 
June the battery moved to Murfreesboro to repel a threatened at- 
tack upon that place, and remained until July 19th when it re- 
turned to Nashville. Capt. Barnett's position was of great advan- 
tage to the battery, as they got the choicest horses. 

August 20th, it left Nashville with 2d brigade, 2d division of 
reserve corps of Gen. Granger, and proceeded through Franklin, 
Columbia, Pulaski, and Athens to Huntsville, where it arrived 
September 4th. During this march, the mounted men of the 
battery with a few mounted infantry acted as scouts, scouring the 
country, capturing guerillas, foraging and harrassing the enemy. 

The country through which they passed, was one of the finest 
in all the south. It consisted of large cotton plantations, the 
owners of which were among the richest and proudest of the ar- 
istocracy of the confederacy. Here dwelt in splendid mansions, 
surrounded by trees, shrubbery, and flowers, the Polks, the Arm- 
strongs, the Hilliards, the Webbs, and the Pillows. Here they 
had long lived in ease and plenty, protected in the enjoyment of 
the wealth and ease which they derived from the unpaid toil of the 
slave, by the very government they were now seeking to over- 
throw. In the back ground of these mansions were the negro 
huts, barns, gin houses, etc., which formed quite a village on every 
plantation, and stretching out beyond were large fields of the 
staple, which they fondly believed was still king ; and rich pas- 
tures where grazed the cattle and horses which the demands of 
their cherished " cause" had yet left to them. 

The foraging detail was in command of H. B. Plant, and their 
great need at this time was horses. They were accordingly calling 
at all the plantations in search of them. Among others which 
they visited was that of Gen. Gideon J. Pillow, the hero (?) of 
Fort Donaldson. The general of course was absent fighting (or 
running) for the " cause." Some horses were seen in a pasture 
near, and on inquiry of the overseer he said they were all colts, 
none of them fit for artillery horses. But on examination a couple 
were found which the lieutenant thought might answer his pur- 
pose, and therefore concluded to take along, offering as a grim 
joke to give the usual receipt, which carried a promise to pay on 
proof of loyalty. This, however, was declined, as probably of lit- 


tie avail to a man who was a general in the confederate army. 
They then visited the stables but found nothing more except a 
pony, which some of the boys wanted very much to take along 
for the pet of the battery to ride; but the lieutenant declined tak- 
ing anything which would not be directly useful to " Uncle Sam." 
The overseer assured Lieut. Plant these were all the horses left 
upon the place, and he was about leaving when he heard a most 
expressive " whinny " from behind the barn, and on going round, 
and the whinny being repeated, it was responded to by another 
animal, and lo ! coming out from behind the stacks was a span of 
beautiful, sleek, fat, and large blooded horses, all unconscious of 
the fate in store for them. The lieutenant directed a look of 
mingled surprise and inquiry to the overseer, who, somewhat em- 
barrassed, hastened to explain that " these were Mrs. Pillow's 
carriage horses, which of course no one would want, as they were 
old family horses, and of no use except to draw Mrs. Pillow's 
carriage, having never been subjected to more vulgar work. 
Of course no gentleman would think of taking them." But the 
lieutenant couldn't see it in that light. They looked as though 
they could draw Uncle Sam's pop-guns, as well Mrs. Pillow's 
carriage, and he thought he would take them along. And now 
comes from the house a request that the officer in commaud would 
step in and see Mrs. Pillow ; and accordingly the lieutenant was 
ushered into the august presence of the wife of Gen. Pillow, who 
condescended to plead to a yankee officer, in behalf of the " poor 
old carriage horses, that had belonged to the family so long, and 
which had until now been spared by both parties in this 
cruel war; and which "surely no gentleman would take." Lieut. 
Plant heard her patiently, and asked her if she had any protec- 
tion papers, to which she somewhat indignantly replied that her 
husband was a general in the confederate army. He told her he 
must take the horses ; Uncle Samuel was greatly in need of them 
needed them much worse than she did and he thought by their 
appearance they would be very useful, notwithstanding their 
great age. And so at the risk of being considered no gentleman 
by the wife of a rebel, who was engaged in the genteel business of 
trying to overthrow the government that had educated and pro- 
tected him, he took them along. We here state for the consola- 


tion of Mrs. Gen. Gideon J. Pillow, (if she still survives) that 
they served the battery long and well, helping to draw one of its 
guns at Chickamauga and Mission Ridge, and for aught I know, 
on the Atlanta campaign, and the march to the sea. And when 
the rebel general presents his claim against Uncle Sam for those 
horses, he can refer to this history for proof. 

But I must do the young lieutenant the justice to say that this 
was an act of bravery greater than that of facing the cannon's 
mouth, for Mrs. Pillow was supported on this occasion by a 
bevy of young ladies, handsome and well dressed, who looked 
with wonder, scorn and indignation upon the Yankee lieutenant 
who could thus treat a lady ! To face a battery of such eyes 
as were then turned upon him, required some pluck. 

I believe there is a tradition in the battery that the lieutenant 
was not quite so hard hearted, with a young and pretty widow 
that he encountered on another plantation, who claimed to be in 
favor of union, even with yankees ; and who got the lieutenant to 
do pretty much as she wanted him to. In fact he did not confis- 
cate a single hoof. N. B. At this time the lieutenant was " fancy 

While in the vicinity of Athens, Ala., a melancholy incident 
occurred. This was the loss of one man from the company, by an 
accident, George Mather, of Joliet. A scorpion had crawled into 
his boot during the night, and on his drawing it on in the morning 
stung him. The sting of this insect is not usually fatal, although 
extremely painful. But in this case the foot commenced swelling 
immediately and rapidly. His comrades under the direction of 
a surgeon, administered to him copious draughts of whisky, a 
supposed antidote. The poor fellow, being thus stung internally 
as well as externally, died. I think it would take a more than 
average coroner's jury to decide whether it was the sting of the 
scorpion, or of the whisky that killed him. 

In respect to the scorpion, let me say for the information of 
those who are not acquainted with the " varmint" that it belongs 
to the arachnida, the second class of articulates. Perhaps he would 
be better understood if I was to say that he is a kind of elongated 
spider, having his body terminated by a caudal appendage, in 
which there is a curved and very sharp sting, which effuses an 


acrid and poisonous fluid. Like the locust described in the apo- 
oalypee, his power is in his tail. 

After reaching Huntsville, the battery was ordered to proceed 
to Chattanooga, which they did by way of Stephenson, Bridgeport, 
and Lookout Mountain, arriving at Chattanooga, September 13th, 
and marching on the 14th out to Rossville, five miles south. Dur- 
ing the march they averaged 25 miles per day. From the 17th to 
the 20th, the battery occupied various positions protecting Ross- 
ville, and Gen. Thomas' line of communications. After the re- 
treat of McCook's division, they were in the thickest of that terri- 
ble fight on the 20th, when the rebels so desperately attempted to 
dislodge Thomas and Granger. At one time they were almost en- 
tirely unsupported, and repelled an infantry attack with charges 
of double canister which did fearful execution. 

A brigade of regulars which was the support of the battery, 
broke and run as soon as the enemy pressed hard, leaving the bat- 
tery for a time without any support. The 85th Ills, seeing the 
condition of things, and having often been with the battery, asked 
the privilege of supporting them which was granted, and with the 
battery held the position, which was one of great importance to 
our army, enabling it to pass through the mountains, although 
the battery was at the time in the range of three rebel batteries, 
and was charged furiously four times in as many hours. On the 
evening of the 21st, they fell back with the army to Chattanooga, 
and on the 24th were ordered to cross the river and take position 
seven miles above Chattanooga to guard a ford against a strong 
force of the enemy on the opposite side of the river. On the 
27th of Oct. they performed a night march with the force that 
captured Lookout Valley, and Raccoon Heights, and on the 3d of 
Nov. returned to their former position. Nov. 24th they took part 
in the attack on Mission Ridge, and were in the left wing of Sher- 
man's army. In this engagement the battery was in command of 
Lieut. Plant, Capt. Barnett being North. During the fight, while 
the battery was on one side of a swamp called Crawfish swamp, 
just at night, Grant and Sherman were standing near the battery, 
when an officer rode up and asked if he should go back and secure 
quarters for the night. " No," said Grant, "if we do not get pos- 
session of those buildings (pointing to some which the rebels stiJl 


held, on the opposite side of the swamp), then I shall stay at the 
foot of this tree." 

Well, the boys got possession of the houses before dark, and 
Gens. Grant and Sherman, and their staffs, were not obliged to 
stay under the trees. The battery took part in the pursuit after 
the rebel army, going as far as Ringgold, and returning, took part 
in the march to the relief of Knoxville, after which they returned 
to Chattanooga. 

Here the entire battery, numbering 65 men, declared their 
purpose to re-enlist, and on the 8th of January, 1864, they left 
Chattanooga, and arrived at Springfield on the 16th, and received 
a thirty days' furlough. 

The battery rendezvoused at Camp Erwin, Joliet, Feb. 16th, 
and having recruited up to 130 men, left this city for Chatta- 
nooga on the 14th of March, 1864. The battery got back to 
Chattanooga from the return furlough the 18th of March, having 
been absent just two months. During this interval great changes 
had occurred in the condition of the army. It was now fully sup- 
plied with rations, and Sherman was evidently preparing for some 
onward movement. Supplies, ordnance stores, and all the essen- 
tials of such a campaign were being collected. The first few days 
after their return were occupied in getting every man, horse, and 
gun into their proper places, and in drilling the new recruits. 

March 21st, moved out six miles into Lookout Valley. That 
night there was a heavy fall of snow, nearly one foot in depth, 
for which the men were poorly prepared, having but few tents put 
up. On the 26th Lieut. Rich arrived from Springfield with more 

During some of the first days of April, the battery practiced 
target shooting, which was witnessed by some experienced artillery 
officers, who gave the boys the credit of doing some of the best 
shooting they had ever seen. April 9th moved out to Gordon's 
mills, and joined their old command, viz: 2nd division, 14th 
army corps, and April 25th received orders to be ready for busi- 
ness, and on May 2d broke camp and entered upon the Atlanta 

We have pretty full minutes of the movements of the battery 


during this campaign, but we are compelled to condense them to 
a meager sketch. 

The battery was in action May 5th, at Tunnel Hill, when a 
shell exploded within a few feet of Capt. Barnett and Brig. Gen. 
Davis. On the 10th and llth it was hotly engaged, and on the 
12th passed through Snake Creek Gap. On the 15th it was again 
in action, and on the 18th had skirmishes near Rome. On the 
26th arrived near Dallas and had some fighting, and on 27th, 
28th and 30th, was in line of battle. June 7th near Ackworth, 
lost two men captured while foraging. On 15th, 16th and 17th, 
kept up brisk firing. On the 18th shelled the rebs on Kenesaw, 
Gen. Sherman and Palmer superintending the business. Contin- 
ued the shelling on the 21st. 

A correspondent of the Chicago Tribune has this notice of the 
battery at this time. 

" Yesterday afternoon the rebels opened quite an extensive ar- 
tillery fire from a battery placed on the top of Kenesaw mountain; 
but it was soon silenced by battery I, 2d artillery (111.) which did 
some of the best shooting your correspondent has yet seen. The 
sky was dark and cloudy, and as the shells burst over the rebel 
batteries, the flash could be seen, resembling a vivid streak of 
sharp forked lightning. The effect of each shell was to make the 
rebel gunners retire to a place of safety, from which they would 
once in a while run out and fire their pieces. But our boys had 
them in a tight place, and kept up so vigorous a shelling that 
the rebels were obliged to give it up altogether." 

From the 21st to the 27th, the firing was kept up vigorously. 
The battery did its share on the 27th of June, losing two men, 
and kept up active firing until the afternoon of July 2d, when it 
moved to the right, marching till midnight. July 4th, was 
again engaged, and came near getting into a scrape. One of the 
rebel batteries used gun-cotton, which makes but little noise or 
smoke, and battery I being in advance, and to the left of another 
Union battery, the latter supposed the rebel shot came from bat- 
tery " I," and opened on it. The bugler, G. Putney, did not let 
the grass grow under his feet, while he ran back and let them 
know they were hitting their best friends. 


July 5th, the battery advanced again, and soon found the ene- 
my behind another line of works, and commenced shelling, one 
gun being on the skirmish line. The enemy's sharpshooters make 
it pretty warm for our men. Gen. Sherman was up on the skir- 
mish line, standing by one of the guns of battery I. Corp. J. 
Q,. A. King had just fired the piece, and was standing a little one 
side with his hand on his hip, looking over to see the effect of 
his fire, when a ball passed through between (akimbo) and his 
side, and wounded one of Gen. Sherman's orderlies. One of the 
men of the battery called the general's attention to the fact. His 
only reply was that he could not help it. 

Atlanta is now in sight nine and a half miles distant. From 
July 6th to 9th, the boys had a rest, and on the 9th and 10th did 
some firing. On the 16th received new guns, the old ones being 
inspected and condemned. Each gun had fired over twelve hun- 
dred shots on the campaign. On the 17th, crossed the Chattahoo- 
chie, and on the 26th, took position within three miles of Atlanta, 
having had more or less fighting while moving up. Almost con- 
stant firing was then kept up until the 7th of August, when the 
battery built their breastworks within 300 yards of the rebel guns. 
Having changed position and built breastworks several times, the 
boys were pretty well used up, and in building the last works 
they put in a large lot of old rails. They had reason to repent of 
this the next day, when the rebs opened on them pretty lively, 
and making some good shots set the old rails flying about their 
heads " promiscuous," and giving some pretty hard scratches, but 
nothing serious. But they thought they would leave the rails out 
next time, as they did when they rebuilt during the night. Dur- 
ing the night two men were wounded ; hard fighting all day (the 
9th). August 10th, the battery threw shells all day into the rebel 
lines ; one of the men Jack Riley, of Joliet was wounded. 
Poor Jack is dead now, having died since the war ; and here let 
it be said of him, that whatever else he was, or was not, he was a 
good soldier, brave, and always on hand, doing his duty in the 
battery promptly and well. August llth, cannonading kept up 
by the battery all day ; two men were wounded, Metter and 
Olson. August 12th, sent over a few salutes in the morning, and 
in the afternoon the infantry on the picket lines formed a tempo- 


rary truce, and exchanged coffee and sugar for tobacco. Geyer, 
of Joliet, one of the men wounded on the 9th, died this day. 

Skirmishing and firing continued until the 27th, when another 
flank movement was made, and the battery went with the divis- 
ion to Jonesboro, where it had another brisk fight. On the 3d of 
September, the boys got the news of the evacuation of Atlanta. 
The battery had now fired 1,439 rounds to each gun, on the cam- 
paign of four months, and had been in an almost continuous battle 
since May 2d. 

Sept. 28th, the battery received orders to be ready to move in the 
morning, and on the 29th, loaded the guns, etc., into the cars, and 
started for Chattanooga, where it arrived at 11 a. m. the 30th. Oct. 
1st, went by cars to Stephenson, and from there to Huntsville, at 7 p. 
m., where they disembarked from the cars. The rebels demanded 
the su