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UNIVERSITY OF 

ILLINOIS LIBRARY 

AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN 



ILLINOIS 



LIBRARY 

OF THE 
UNIVERSITY of ILLINOIS 





-* [La 1x3 Q <c; PJ. E 



1L 



HISTOEY 



THIRTY-SIXTH REGIMENT 



ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS, 



DURING THE 



WAR OF THE REBELLION, 



L. G. BENNETT AND WM. M. HAIGH. 



AURORA, ILL. ; 

KNICKERBOCKER &> H ODDER, PRINTERS AND BINDERS. 
1876. 



PREFACE. 



In the presentation of our History of the Thirty-Sixth Reg- 
iment, Illinois Volunteers, to the public, we have no apologies 
to offer for what may seem an intrusion, in adding another vol- 
ume to the already overburdened "literature of the war." The 
survivors of the " Old Thirty-Sixth" have long felt the want of 
such a work, for one among many other reasons, to correct the 
errors and to supply the omissions of the general historian. 
They, many years ago, inaugurated measures looking to the col- 
lection of the annals of the Regiment, and their publication. A 
historian was appointed, and committees from each company 
selected to assist in the collection of material, and to collate and 
prepare it for the press. But little progress was made, and as 
the years passed by and the work was not accomplished, or even 
fairly commenced, other appointments were made, but without 
satisfactory results. At the annual reunion of the surviving 
comrades in 1875, another historian was selected, new auxil- 
iary committees created, and an impetus given which promised 
success. The new historian early associated with him the former 
one, and dividing the work between them, the result has been the 
present volume. 

Few persons can comprehend the great labor and difficulties 
attending the preparation of a work of this kind. At the very 
outset, those who were expected to contribute materials were 
scattered over much of the Western Hemisphere, and to reach 



IV. PREFACE. 

them and obtain their contributions was a herculean task. 
Then to sift facts from fiction, and to see that all parties or por- 
tions of the regiment were properly represented, required much 
tact and skill. 

The parties engaged in the preparation of the work have writ- 
ten independently of each other, each taking up a period of 
time and detailing the events within that period, without the aid 
of the other. A difference in style, and other features, will 
enable the reader to readily determine the authorship of differ- 
ent portions of the work, and yet it may be proper to state that 
the first twenty and last seven chapters, as well as the appendix, 
were prepared by Mr. Bennett, while Mr. Haigh wrote the 
remainder embracing a period from October 9th, 1862, to the 
occupation of Columbia, in November, 1864, being more than 
two years of the most eventful portion of the regimental history. 

Our sources of information have been various, and with some 
truth, it may be said, the work is a compilation, as well as an 
original composition. We have drawn largely from journals and 
papers kindly furnished by individual members of the regiment, 
and their number, if for no other reason, is an ample excuse for 
not mentioning each by name. All, however, have our thanks 
for such expressions of their interest and kindly regard. A few 
of the incidents and anecdotes have heretofore been published and 
appropriated by other parties, and they are reproduced here 
only to restore them to their rightful owners. We have like- 
wise had access to most of the official reports of officers under 
whom the 36th had the honor to serve, and have made free use 
of their contents as far as it suited our purpose. Among the 
many histories of events connected with, or growing out of 
the Rebellion, we acknowledge with pleasure the assistance we 
have derived from " Van Home's History of the Army of the 
Cumberland," a work of superior merit, and one we would com- 
mend to those who desire a truthful and unbiased account of the 
events of which it -treats. In making extracts from this, or 
other works, we have aimed to give each due credit, and, where 
this has not been done, it may be regarded as a mistake of types 
or pen, rather than the intention of the writers. 



PREFACE. V. 

The work as now presented is more voluminous than originally 
intended, but we believe it is exceedingly rich in such matter as 
the historian of the future will be rejoiced to find; and, however 
large its dimensions, we are convinced there are yet stores of 
untouched material sufficient for a volume equally large. We 
have aimed to rescue the heroic deeds of the Thirty-Sixth, as 
well as the names of the actors from oblivion, and to erect a 
monument that would perpetuate to all time the brilliant achieve- 
ments of a regiment which, in disinterested patriotism, deeds of 
daring and distinguished services, is second to none. The sta- 
tistics will bear us out in the statement that in proportion to their 
numbers no other regiment in all the armies of the United States 
lost so many killed in battle, or so few from disease, as the 
Thirty-Sixth Illinois. 

With these general remarks, relative to the construction and 
object of the work, we submit it to a generous, reading public, 
making no claim to literary skill or perfection, and yet hoping 
that the perusal of its pages will prove a source of pleasure and 
profit to many. If, through it, we have assisted in the growth 
of true patriotism, inculcated a love of country, or refreshed the 
laurels of both the living or the dead, we are content. 

THE AUTHORS. 

YORKVILLE, ILL., July 20th, 1876. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE. 

Introductory -- Io 

CHAPTER II. 
Camp Hammond, -- -- 1 7 

CHAPTER TIL 
Roster of the Regiment, 38 

CHAPTER IV. 
Ofl for the Wars, .-- - 55 

CHAPTER V. 
Rolla, - 64 

CHAPTER VI. 
Expedition to Houston, - 74 

CHAPTER VII. 

Still at R-olla,. 79 

CHAPTER VIII. 
Rolla to Pea Ridge 99 

CHAPTER IX. 

Bentonville, 1 - 127 

CHAPTER X. 
Pea Ridge, 140 

CHAPTER XI. 
Battle of Pea Ridge First Day, 144 

CHAPTER XII. 
Battle of Pea Ridge Second Day, -.163 

CHAPTER XIII. 
The Pursuit and Battle-field, 169 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Conrad's Expedition Recuperating, -179 

CHAPTER XV. 
From Keitsville to Cape Girardeau, 187 



CONTENTS. VII. 

CHAPTER XVI.. 

PAGE. 

Cape Girardeau to Rienzi, 201 

CHAPTER XVII. 
Rienzi to Louisville, 223 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Advance into Kentucky, 239 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Battle of Perryville, 249 

CHAPTER XX. 

After the Battl e, 276 

CHAPTER XXI. 
Perryville to Nashville, 290 

CHAPTER XXII. 
Battle of Stone River, 316 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
Battle of Stone River, Continued, 387 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
Prison Life in the South, 397 

CHAPTER XXV. 
Murfreesboro, 407 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
Murfreesboro, Continued, 421 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

On to the Tennessee, 436 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 
Battle of Chickamauga, 446 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

Chattanooga, _ _ 484 

CHAPTER XXX. 
Mission Ridge, 516 

CHAPTER XXXI. 
East Tennessee, 536 

CHAPTER XXXII. 
Re-enlistment and Furlough, 548 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

To the Front, 562 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 
Oalton and Resaca, 574 

CHAPTER XXXV. 
Adairsville 587 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 

Dallas, --5Q2 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 
Kenesaw, 603 



VIII. CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

PAGE. 

Atlanta, - 6l2 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 

Atlanta to Columbia, - 621 

CHAPTER XL. 

Spring Hill, 631 

CHAPTER XLI. 

Battle of Franklin --646 

CHAPTER XLII. 
Battle of Nashville, 667 

CHAPTER XLIII. 
Pursuit of Hood, 693 

CHAPTER XLIV. 
Huntsville, East Tennessee and Ne"w Orleans, 74 

CHAPTER XLV. 
Company A Cavalry, 7 2 

CHAPTER XLVI. 

Company B Cavalry, 75 

APPENDIX. 

John A. Porter, 792 

Lieut. Elliott's Narrative, 792 

Fourteen Months in Rebel Prisons, 800 

PORTRAITS. 

Col. N. Greusel, , 

Major Gen. S. R. Curtis, 99 

Major Gen. Franz Sigel 186 

Rev. Wm. M. Haigh, 290 

Gen. Phil. H.Sheridan, 343 

Col. Silas Miller, 434 

Gen. Wm. H. Lytle, ..480 

Lieut. Col. Porter C. Olson 654 

Major Gen. H. Thomas, 667 

Major S. B. Sherer, 750 



H I S T O E Y 



OF THE 



THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 



CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTORY. 

'WENTY YEARS of ceaseless agitation of the 
" Slavery Question," engendered sectional ani- 
mosities, which, intensified with each succeed- 
ing political campaign, and each fresh triumph 
of the anti-slavery party, eventually culmin- 
ated in the election of Abraham Lincoln as 
Chief Magistrate of the Republic. This event served to embit- 
ter the pro-slavery faction beyond the bounds ot reason, and 
was used by them as a pretext for breaking into pieces the gov- 
ernment of which they for a long series of years had held 
absolute control. The result of that election \sashardly known, 
when South Carolina fulminated her Ordinance of Secession 
amidst a wild storm of enthusiasm which swept over the whole 
South. State after State seceded and rapidly wheeled into 
line with Carolina. For months before the inauguration of the 




10 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

incoming administration, the " sacred soil of secessia" echoed 
the tread of armies and the din of preparation. 

Government forts and arsenals were seized, arms distributed 
among the people, debts due Northern creditors repudiated, and 
citizens of the free States forcibly ejected from her borders. 
Outrage succeeded outrage in such rapid succession and unpar- 
alleled audacity, as even a state of savage warfare would scarcely 
justify. Backed by a people eager for the onset, the whole 
South, from the rivers to the gulf, glittered with bayonets and 
glowed with martial fires. 

Those who remained true to the constitution and flag of the 
country, and unshaken in their allegiance to the Republic, were, 
with few exceptions, reserved and silent. Southern conventions 
with their accompaniments of bombast and folly, and Southern 
orators with their frothy gasconade, were heard with supreme 
indifference or profound contempt. For, had not the same 
things been witnessed before ? Had not the same orators often 
deluged the country with denunciation and menace when defeat at 
the polls had only been feared ? Now, when they had suffered a 
crushing defeat at a fair election, which all their mad efforts had 
not been able to prevent, their resolutions and threats were 
regarded as the insane ravings of lunatics, or the harmless 
thunder of disappointed politicians, rather than the deliberate 
action of cool headed, reflecting men. Even their ordinances of 
secession, and the establishment of insurgent governments, were 
common laughing stocks at the North, and regarded rather as a 
stupendous game of intimidation than the preliminary steps to 
rebellion and war. 

With the bombardment and foil of Sumpter, the eyes of the 
nation opened, and indignation flashed through the astonished 
land, arousing the loyal men of the nation from their stupor. 



THE PRESIDENT'S FIRST CALL. 11 

The rebound was tremendous, breaking the calm placidity of the 
people. The whole North quivered with a new emotion. The 
strong lines of party were snapped asunder, and forgetful of 
past political differences, each regarded the other as a fellow 
citizen of one common country, animated with kindred feelings 
and purposes, and disposed to bury personal strifes for the sake 
of home and country. Patriotism, which had so long been 
spurned by politicians and at best regarded as a pleasant myth, 
sprang to life in a single day and blossomed into fruitfulness 
that fruit, a stern resolve to sacrifice position, life and all in 
defence of the Republic. 

Mingling with the doleful reverberations from Sumpter, was 
heard the President's call for seventy-five thousand men, to meet 
and combat the oncoming hosts of rebellion. Before a single 
day had passed the lightnings had flashed back to the Capitol 
that twice that number were ready to march at the tap of the 
drum, and that thousands were then on their way to rescue and 
to save. Never was summons to arms more promptly responded 
to. In a single day the hum of manufactories and of the peace- 
ful occupation of laborers in the fields was drowned by the 
tramp of hurrying thousands thronging to the designated places 
of rendezvous. 

Under that first call for seventy-five thousand men, six regi- 
ments was the quota allotted for Illinois to furnish. In the war 
with Mexico the State had contributed six regiments, every one 
of which returned covered with glory as well as honored scars. 
Each had won laurels distinctively its own, and in order not to 
mingle their achievements with the deeds of other regiments 
bearing the same numbers, and to leave the survivors in undis- 
turbed possession of the glory attached to the numbers of the 
regiments to which their bravery had given eclat, it was thought 



12 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

best to leave these numbers undisturbed. Thus the first regiment 
mustered into service from Illinois in the war to suppress the 
Rebellion, was the Seventh, which heads the list of the one hun- 
dred and seventy regiments of all arms furnished by the State. 

Thousands who sought service in the ranks of these six regi- 
ments were refused. Recruiting offices were closed and eager 
applicants turned away with the comforting assurance that the 
"Rebellion would be over in sixty days." So thought public 
men, and so thought the mass of the people. And yet each day 
the rebellion grew more powerful and more difficult to suppress. 

At length the disaster at Bull Run opened the eyes of the 
people to the magnitude of the contest into which the country 
had been reluctantly drawn, and to the imminent danger which 
imperilled and threatened the existence of the Republic. Fol- 
lowing upon this defeat of the undisciplined militia of the North, 
came a second uprising of the people, and other calls for troops. 
Again the fires of patriotism burned afresh. The enlistment, 
mustering and arming of volunteer regiments went on with 
astonishing celerity, and from these at last was evoked an army 
of soldiers, whose swelling cohorts were crowded to the front and 
hurled upon an over confident and vaunting foe. 

The Fox River Valley was all ablaze with enthusiasm. The 
stalwart sons of its people were eager to grasp their firelocks and 
press forward to the fray. A meeting of parties interested in 
the formation of a "Fox River Regiment" was held at Geneva 
on the 29th day of July, 1861, and preliminary steps taken for 
its organization. Fifteen companies, either complete or in an 
advanced state of formation, were represented and tendered for 
acceptance, twelve of which were selected, including two cav- 
alry companies. The Aurora Beacon and other newspapers in 
the District aided the project by stirring appeals to the patriot- 



BIOGRAPHY OF COL. GREUSEL. 1 

ism of the people. In furtherance of this object Mr. George S. 
Bangs, D. W. Young and others applied to the War Depart- 
ment, as well as to the State authorities, for permission to pro- 
ceed with the organization, which was speedily granted. Major 
Nicholas Greusel, of the Seventh Illinois Volunteers, then on 
duty at Cairo, was designated to take charge of its organization 
and equipment for the field. In compliance with orders from 
Governor Yates, he proceeded to Aurora and assumed the direc- 
tion of all matters pertaining to the enlistment, the discipline, 
the equipment and supplies necessary for so large a body. In 
short, he assumed the entire command and led it to its designated 
field of action. The order assigning him to the command is as 
follows : 

" GENERAL HEADQUARTERS STATE OF ILLINOIS, *) 
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE, V 

SPRINGFIELD, AUG. 14TH, 1861. j 
GENERAL ORDER, No. 139. 

Lieut. Col. N. Greusel, of the 7th Illinois Volunteers, is 
hereby promoted to the Colonelcy of the Fox River Regiment, 
111. Vols., and as such is to be respected and obeyed. 
By order of the Commander in Chief. 

THOMAS L. MATHER, Adjutant General." 

This order was all the commission or authority which any 
officer, except one Lieutenant, received in connection with the 
36th, until after eight months of hard service. 

COL. NICHOLAS GREUSEL was born in Bavaria, Germany, July 
4th, 1817, and was forty-four years of age on assuming the com- 
mand of the Regiment. He received a fair education in French 
and German in the schools in his native city of Blieskastle. The 
Greusels, consisting of father, mother, and nine brothers and sis- 
tors, emigrated to the United States in the summer of 1834. and 
on arriving at the City of New York, strangers and penniless, the 
larger boys were told by their father that they were now in a 



14 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

free country ; that he had nothing more than a parent's blessing 
to bestow, and that they must commence the battle of life 
for themselves, but that in case of sickness or misfortune such a 
home as he might be in possession of should be theirs. 

Without knowing a word of the English language, the future 
to these poor lads looked dark and gloomy. The boy Nicholas 
wandered over the city for hours in search of employment, when, 
after many failures and rebuffs, a lady of benevolent and kindly 
mien admitted him to a sheltering roof and gave him work. 
The lady who at this dark hour proved an angel of mercy to 
him was the mother of Hamilton Fish, once Senator from New 
York, and now President Grant's Secretary of State. 

Here Nicholas remained a year, when the whole family 
removed to the then wilderness territory of Michigan, reach- 
ing Detroit by canal and steamer, November 1st, 1835. At first 
such odd jobs as could be found were resorted to for a livelihood, 
such as driving team, gathering ashes, etc., but in the spring he 
obtained a permanent situation in the firm of Rice, Coffin & Co., 
in the business of lumbering, and remained in their employ for 
eleven years, until the breaking out of the Mexican war. Prior 
to this he had served as Captain of the "Scott Guards," a local 
military company, and subsequently as Major of the "Frontier 
Guards," and was nominally on duty during the "Patriot Rebel- 
lion " in Canada. At the municipal election in Detroit in 1844 
he was elected Alderman of the 4th Ward on the Whig ticket, 
and served in that capacity two years. On the breaking out of 
the Mexican war he recruited a company for service and was 
elected its Captain, being Co. D., 1st Regt. Michigan Vols. 
On setting out for their campaign they marched on foot to 
Springfield, Ohio, thence by rail to Cincinnati, and by steamer to 
New Orleans and Vera Cruz, which place was reached ten days 
after its surrender to General Scott. 



BIOGRAPHY OF COL. G&EtJSEL. 15 

In the march upon the city of Mexico the Michigan Volun- 
teers were attached to the Division of General Bankhead, which 
marched through Cordova and Orizaba some distance south of 
the National Road to the Mexican Capitol. Their progress 
through the country was almost a continuous battle with bands 
of "guerillas" and bodies of Mexican soldiery who swarmed 
from the mountain fastnesses. In their encounters with the 
enemy the Michigan Volunteers acquitted themselves nobly, per- 
forming successfully and well every duty assigned them. 

The war having been brought to a close in the summer of 
1847, the regiment returned home, arriving at Detroit July 12th. 
At the outset Captain Greusel's Company numbered one hun- 
dred and five men, and he returned with eighty-five, having been 
better cared for and in better health than any of the other com- 
panies in the Regiment. Under his economical management 
about $300 Company money was saved, with which he purchased 
new shirts, shoes, blacking, and such articles of clothing and 
accoutrements as were lacking, and when within a few hours' 
ride from Detroit, directed his men to shave, wash, and dress in 
the new outfit provided for them. The other officers were aston- 
tonished and somewhat chagrined to find that his company 
were clean and well dressed while theirs were walking bundles 
of dirty rags. On landing, Col. Williams placed Company D. 
in the advance in marching through the city ; while the news- 
papers were filled with articles eulogistic of Captain Greusel and 
the fine appearance of his veteran company. The day succeeding 
his discharge and muster out of the service, found him back in 
his old position in the lumber yard of Rice, Coffin & Co., attend- 
ing to business as of yore. 

Subsequently he was elected Captain of the City Guards and 
then Lieut. Colonel of the first battalion ; was appointed Super- 



16 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS 

intendent of the City Water Works in 1847, and Inspector Gen 
eral of lumber for the State of Michigan in 1848, which office 
he held two years. An unfortunate investment stripped him of 
the hard earnings of a life time, and he again commenced at the 
lowest round of the ladder of life to win his way to a competency 
and to fame. He next turned his attention to railroading and 
found continuous employment, first upon the Michigan Cen- 
tral and then the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, in 
whose employ the Rebellion found him. A company recruited by 
him at Aurora was among the first to respond to the President's 
call for troops, and on the organization of the Tth Regiment he 
was appointed its Major, where the opening chapter of our story 
finds him. His whole career is replete with incidents of indom- 
itable perseverance, and triumphs over discouragements, indicat- 
ing a determination to accomplish whatever he should undertake. 
It was quite generally conceded that in the appointment of a 
leader, the right man was found for the place. 

EDWARD S. JOSLYN, the Lieut. Colonel of the regiment, at this 
time was about thirty-four years of age. He was born in Nunda, 
Alleghany County, N. Y., but for the last twenty-five years had 
been a resident of Kane and McHenry counties. A lawyer by 
profession, his brilliant talents had won for him a high position 
at the bar. He was among the first who sprang to arms ere the 
thunders from Sumpter had ceased to reverberate through the 
land. He was appointed Captain of Company A of the first 
regiment formed in the State. Fearless and outspoken, none 
who knew him doubted his patriotism or courage. The whole 
regiment was devoted in their attachment to him, and confident 
that in the trials which awaited them he would acquit himself 
with honor and distinction. 




CHAPTER II. 

CAMP HAMMOND. 

T FIRST the point selected for the place of rendez- 
vous was on the east side of Fox River, in a grov 
opposite the village of Montgomery ; but the owner 
of the land, with more selfishness than patriotism, 
would not allow the location of a camp on his prem- 
ises without an exorbitant consideration. Another 
site was selected on the west side of the river, a half mile above 
Montgomery and two miles from Aurora, on high ground overlook- 
ing and adjoining the track of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railroad. A fine spring of clear, cold water near at hand burst 
out from the foot of the bluff, and, with the exception of a forest 
shade, this location was fully as pleasant and far more dry and 
healthful than the proposed camp in the woods, and possessed 
the additional advantage of easy access to the railroad. 

Col. Hammond, the efficient Superintendent of the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy Railroad, took a warm interest in the 
organization and welfare of the regiment from its first inception, 
as was attested by the presentation of a fine flag-staff, from 
which gracefully waved the stars and stripes, doubly consecrated 



18 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

in the affections of the men since the attempt of traitors to 
trample it in the dust. For this, as well as many other favors, 
were both officers and men under obligation to Col. Hammond, 
and it was in his honor that this first encampment was called 
"Camp Hammond," which for many days was a point of absorb- 
ing interest to the good people of Kane and Kendall counties 
and of the surrounding region. 

The Young America Guards arrived upon the ground Satur- 
day, August 18th, 1861, being the first company in camp. 
They were a fine body of athletic men, as ready to grapple with 
the hardships of campaigning as to go to their accustomed duties 
in field or shop. They were commanded by Capt. E. B. Bald- 
win, and their quarters were selected, their tents arranged, and 
were apparently well settled for housekeeping on the arrival of 
the other companies. 

The Bristol Company, from Kendall County, composed of 
recruits from the towns of Bristol and Little Rock, was next in 
the order of its arrival, and went into camp August 20th, Cap- 
tain Baldwin and the Guards forming in line and according the 
men from Kendall County as gallant a reception as the circum- 
stances would allow. This Company, composed almost exclu- 
sively of farmers' sons, was made up of as sterling material as 
ever wielded musket or sabre. The citizens of Bristol and 
neighborhood with commendable zeal turned out as to a political 
mass meeting to escort their boys to camp. Later in the day, 
Captain Pierce's Company from Lisbon, the "Wayne Rifles," 
the " Oswego Rifles," and the "Elgin Guards" put in an appear- 
ance, each preceded by the squeaking of fifes, the clangor of 
drums, the shout and hurrah of citizens, and accompanied by 
little less than a brigade of anxious mothers, staid and sober 
fathers, devoted wives, fidgety sisters and forlorn looking sweet- 
hearts. 



FIRST NIGHT IN CAMP. 19 

But this, like all days, had an end, and as the declining sun 
began to throw a halo of glory over camp and field, painful 
good byes were said, and many a mother's heart throbbed with 
sorrowing yet tender thoughts as she wended her way homeward. 
The men set to work with a will : tents went up as if by magic ; 
a limited number of blankets were distributed ; a meagre sup- 
ply of straw procured for bedding ; and rations, consisting 
of bread, beef, bacon and coffee, were issued to the men, 
who essayed, man fashion, to cook and eat their first meal in 
camp. The way some of the poor fellows went at it was a sight 
so supremely ludicrous as to excite the laughter of anything 
capable of appreciating superlative awkwardness. Some of the 
beef passed through the trying ordeal of cooking, much after 
the manner and as safely as those Israelitish worthies, Sha- 
drach, Meshech and Abednego, passed through the fiery furnace, 
with little of the smell of fire about it, while the huge slices of 
others were shriveled and burned to a crisp ; but whether raw 
or roasted, it finally went the way of all victuals, seasoned with 
some honest growls, but with few expressions of entire satis- 
faction. 

This first night in camp will doubtless long be remembered by 
many. But few of the men had ever before experienced the 
luxury of a couch of straw, or the thrilling pleasure of reclin- 
ing upon the bare bosom of Mother Earth, with a coat, a carpet 
sack or block of wood to serve as a pillow. To some, with whom 
the experiment was wholly new, the long hours of the night 
wore away dull and melancholy. Notwithstanding the scores of 
people in close proximity to them, it seemed lonely with but a 
thin sheet of cotton cloth between them and the great blue sky, 
flecked with stars, arching around and over them. Some were 
thinking of the homes they had just left, and many were the 



20 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

tender thoughts and loving wishes that were wafted thitherward. 
But the few who lay down to quiet rest and pleasant dreams 
were cruelly defrauded out of so laudable a purpose by the many 
who, unrestrained, gave full vent to their joyous hilarity and 
ceaseless mischief, deluging the camp with fun and noises the 
most hideous and unearthly, as if a new Pandemonium had at 
once broken loose. At times, profound silence would reign 
throughout the camp for the lengthened period of a minute and 
a-half, when some "rough" from an obscure corner would give a 
tremendous "Baa!" Another from an adjoining tent would 
respond, then the chorus would be taken up along the line of 
tents from all parts of camp, and in ten seconds from the first 
yelp the whole crowd would be "baaing" with the force of a 
thousand calf power. 

Again the lonely bark of a dog, faintly heard from some dis- 
tant farm-house, would start some human hound or poodle in 
camp to bark response, and then the whole pack would take up 
the refrain until they had barked themselves hoarse. Then there 
were cat voices, sheep voices, turkey gobblings and cock crow- 
ings ad libitum. So it went until daylight. But few slept, 
some laughed a very little, others swore a very great deal, and 
thus the night wore away. 

On the 22d three more companies arrived. In the afternoon, 
Captain Webb, a United States mustering officer, appeared and 
administered the following oath to the companies then in camp : 

" I do solemnly swear that I will bear true allegiance to the 
" United States of America. That I will serve them honestly 
"and faithfully against all enemies and opposers whatever. 
That I will obey the orders of the President of the United 
" States and all officers appointed over me, according to the rules 
"of the Army of the United States, so help me God !" 

Before the oath was administered the men were drawn up in 
line of companies in their respective quarters, and after baring 



TAKING THE OATH. 21 

their heads, each right hand went eagerly up, and at its conclu- 
sion many fervently joined the solemn invocation, " So help me 
God!" It was a grand sight to see company after company 
with hands uplifted to heaven solemnly consecrate themselves to 
the protection and preservation of the country. No cat squalls 
or cock crowing then. This was casting the die in which their 
honor, their all, even life itself was at stake. The company 
from Newark arrived at Aurora in the 4 p. m. train, and were 
deployed in line upon the platform of the railroad station, and 
the same oath administered before proceeding to camp. 

Before the week had expired, every company, comprising ten 
of infantry and two of cavalry, were on the ground diligently 
at work drilling and "preserving rations," which were supplied 
in bountiful abundance, at which all acquired commendable pro- 
ficiency. 

The company from Elgin was particularly admired for the 
soldierly bearing and generally fine appearance of the men. 
Though, as raw material, not excelling many of the others, yet 
they had been upon the parade ground before under the super- 
vision of an officer read up in "Hardee," and were compara- 
tively well drilled, and had already acquired that stiffness of 
vertebra which the others had yet to learn. They were likewise 
partly armed and uniformed, not very uniformly, 'tis true, but 
with enough of the soldier's paraphernalia mingled with " store 
clothes " and citizen's gear to inspire awe and attract attention. 
One or two, whose limbs sported in the ample folds of the red 
legged " Zoo Zoo," were special objects of curiosity. Their 
arms were old fashioned and rusty muskets, a sort of a cross 
between a cannon and liberty pole, that had been plundered from 
the armory of some half disbanded or wholly defunct militia 
company that once had a butterfly existence somewhere within 



22 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

the bounds of Kane County, and which they came lugging into 
camp very much after the fashion a person would carry a fence 
rail or crowbar. These blunderbusses excited intense disgust in 
the minds of the raw recruits, who had been fondly dreaming 
of Sharp's or Henry rifles with sabre bayonets. And it was 
quite generally remarked that if these were a sample of what 
was to be our armament, our arrival in Dixie would be hailed 
with delight by the "Johnnie Rebs," as the only parties who 
would be in any kind of danger would be those who unfortu- 
nately happened to be placed behind them, for it was reported 
and believed by some that those guns would kick further than 
they would shoot, and were infinitely more dangerous to friend 
than foe. 

To insure promptness in the delivery of supplies of food, 
clothing, camp equipage and necessary stores, and to see that 
there was no lack either in quality or quantity, required Colonel 
Greusel's personal attention, and for a few days he was necessa- 
rily absent a part of the time. With no instructions and few 
correct ideas how the thing should be done, the work of arrang- 
ing tents as they should be was only accomplished after infinite 
difficulty and innumerable failures. At first tents were scattered 
promiscuously over the prairie as if shot out of a siege gun or 
pitched together with a hay fork. But the Colonel suddenly 
terminated this unmilitary jumble by referring us to Hardee for 
full instructions in the mysteries of camp arrangement. The 
tents were again taken down and put up as directed by that fas- 
cinating writer, in which position they remained as long as Camp 
Hammond was occupied. It may seem strange that so brilliant 
an idea had not flashed across our benighted understandings at 
an earlier stage of camp life, for some of the companies had 
taken down their tents and re-arranged them at least a half dozen 



FIRST EXPERIENCES IN CAMP. 23 

times before a satisfactory result was obtained. The habitations 
provided were square wall tents, large and airy, and in marked 
contrast to the dog kennels which succeeded their demise. They 
numbered more than one hundred and fifty, and when finally 
arranged presented a romantic appearance, like some well laid 
out rural village, with pointed gables and whitewashed cottages, 
nestling like a flock of swans upon the green prairie. 

The details of camp life were full of interest to the men. 
The new uniforms which the officers began to don, the evolutions 
of a thousand men on drill or parade, the silvery music of the 
band at reveille or tattoo borne upon the stillness of the even- 
ing air, were all calculated to make them fall in love with a 
vocation apparently so full of varied charms. After a time the 
incessant drill, and standing guard beneath a broiling sun or in 
a drenching rain storm, washing greasy dishes, scouring rusty 
knives, cooking and eating stale beef, and at night wallowing 
down to sleep ten in a tent these and a hundred other like 
enjoyments, pretty effectually in after times took the romance out 
of camp life and left it, like many other of the more laborious 
duties, a very plain, drudging and stupid reality. But this was 
not fully realized at Camp Hammond. Only the bright side of 
the picture with its roseate tints were contemplated. Every day 
brought with it some fresh excitement, some pleasant amusement, 
some substantial and touching evidence of the wealth of affec- 
tion lavished upon the men by loving friends or doting parents 
at home. 

One source of fun, however, occurred occasionally from 
attempts to "run the guard." Absences from roll call were not 
unfrequent, and several drunks and disorderlies had been reported 
and disposed of not in accordance with the " statutes of Wil- 
liam and Mary," when stringent orders were issued to allow no 



24 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

soldier to pass out of camp except at the gate near the guard 
tent, and not then without a pass from head-quarters. To enforce 
this order a cordon of guards were placed at short intervals 
around the whole camp, armed and equipped with the guns 
brought from Elgin. Now and then some untamed specimen of 
the genus homo, impatient of restraint, would watch a favorable 
opportunity when the sentinel's back was turned, quietly slip 
down into the gravel pit, and hugging closely its precipitous and 
protecting sides, walk off undiscovered ; or, if discovered and 
called back, instead of heeding the call, would break for some 
cornfield. The sentinel shouted for the " Corporal of the Guard," 
when that important functionary, with two or three privates, 
whose pride and official standing were involved in the result, 
seized their muskets and were away in hot pursuit. Through 
the gravel pit and across the fields went pursuers and pursued, 
until, after a long and exciting chase, they overhauled the culprit, 
and bringing him triumphantly back to camp, dumped him into 
the litter and dirt of the guard tent. Some ran the gauntlet 
successfully, and for a while enjoyed the sweets of stolen liberty. 
The announcement that the guards would be supplied with ball 
cartridges at length put a stop to this species of fun, for those 
disposed to participate in it began to realize that a two ounce 
slug of lead in pursuit of a man was quite a different affair from 
being chased by a heavy-sided, ungainly recruit, depending solely 
upon suppleness of limb and length of breath for success. Some 
of the fellows thus caught were put in charge of a guard, and 
were observed sweeping and otherwise clearing up the parade 
ground, looking very sheepish the while. 

This species of fun being suppressed, Hiram, of Big Rock, 
in lieu of it opened a boxing gymnasium. This, with base ball, 
filled up the intervals between meal time and drill. At night, 



LIFE AT CAMP HAMMOND. 25 

the " Star Spangled Banner/' the "Red, White and Blue," rang 
out clear and sweet from the throats of a glee club made up from 
the members of the Morris Company, who almost every evening 
favored us with well sung and spirited choruses. Thanks for 
music in an encampment of soldiers it is the crucible in which 
a thousand diversities of taste, purpose and ambition are fused 
to man's infinite advantage, harmonizing petty jealousies, assim- 
ilating diverse sentiments, forming and cementing friendships 
which would never have been effected by any other process. 
Besides the glee club, there were plenty of other musical aspir- 
ants who sang in good English and bad English, in Dutch, 
Chinese, and other dialects too numerous to mention. In other 
portions of the camp would be heard the grinding squeal of a 
fiddle, shrill and sharp as a rapier, around which a quadrille 
would be quickly extemporized, and numbers whirled in the 
giddy mazes of the dance. Then came jokes, both fresh and 
stale, and "sells" and stories ad infinitum. 

The utmost cleanliness existed throughout the camp. Liquor 
was prohibited, by order of the Colonel, which will everlastingly 
redound to his honor and credit ; and every precaution was taken 
to insure the health of the men. 

Food was abundant, and in many instances the regular allow- 
ance was increased by contributions from the well stored larders 
and productions from the fields of the large-hearted farmers of 
the country. Scarcely a day passed in which there were not 
heavily laden wagons driven into the quarters, with potatoes, 
squashes, onions, fruits and vegetables, butter, eggs, milk, &c., 
&c. substantial evidences of the generous and patriotic impulses 
of the citizens of the surrounding region. The "Young Amer- 
ica Guards," who were at too great a distance from home to be 
often remembered by their friends, generally had a good time 

3 



26 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

watching with watery mouths all such arrivals ; but not long had 
they to watch and wait, for selfishness was a trait of character 
not often indulged in by the men, and generally all shared equally 
in the good things showered upon us ; in fact, all the companies 
" lived high" while at Camp Hammond. 

The military duties at Camp Hammond were about the same 
each day, excepting that the lines were gradually drawn closer, 
and more strictness and severity of discipline observed. To 
give the details of one day would answer for a week, a month, 
or a whole campaign. At five o'clock a. m., when the first 
blushes of the early morning were stealing up and over the 
heavens, and the eastern sky was glowing with tints of purple 
and gold, and at a time when the aches and pains, the joys and 
sorrows of the men were forgotten in deep and refreshing slum- 
bers, and when each tent was musical with a duet of unearthly 
snores, was sounded the "drummers' call," a signal for the 
drummers to assemble, fifteen minutes thereafter, and perform a 
fife and sheep skin chorus, called reveille, which consisted, sim- 
ply, of a half dozen tunes played up and down the parade ground, 
and along the line of tents. This was the signal for sleepy and 
sleeping soldiers to cease snoring, come out from Dreamland, 
pick the straws from their hair, carefully fold their blankets, don 
their wardrobe and generally awaken to active life. Those 
detailed for that purpose set about preparing breakfast, while, as 
an appetizer, the balance of the Company were divided into 
squads, and under charge of Sergeants, marched to the parade 
ground, and put through all the evolutions laid down by Hardee 
or Hoyle, or prescribed by the U. S. Regulations. When break- 
fast was announced, a double quick to the tables and a charge 
upon the viands smoking from the pot, and the day's work was 
fairly inaugurated. 



DAILY DUTIES IN CAMP. 27 

At six o'clock a. m. was "Police Call," at which every straw, 
chicken bone, hen's feather, quid of tobacco, scrap of paper, 
&c., &c., were gathered up and carried beyond the confines of 
the camp. At seven o'clock was another drum beat, called the 
" Surgeon's Call," at which all the sick, lame and lazy were 
marched to the surgeon's quarters for examination and treatment 
for their varied ailments. At half-past seven o'clock another 
rub-a-dub-dub diffused the information that it was time for drill, 
when at it they went, tramp, tramp, march, march, rush, rush, 
from two to four hours, as if their very salvation was depending 
on it, when seething, sweating and panting they were marched 
to their quarters and allowed a brief interval to cool off. 

At nine o'clock was guard mounting, when the new guards, 
made up of squads detailed for that purpose from each company, 
proceeded to head-quarters, and after being inspected, divided 
into reliefs numbered One, Two and Three, and receiving their 
orders, proceeded to relieve the guards of the previous twenty- 
four hours. The post of each sentinel or guard was numbered, 
and if disorders or violations of military etiquette occurred 
which required regulating, near any particular station, the sen- 
tinel at that post called for the " Corporal of the Guard," add- 
ing the number of the post, which call, after being passed from 
post to post, and repeated by each successive sentinel, reached 
the guard tent, when a Corporal and file of men, known as a 
" Corporal's Guard," seized their arms, rushed to the point of 
danger or from whence the call proceeded. Guard duty became 
not only exceedingly wearisome, but was very generally regarded 
as an intolerable nuisance. 

At twelve o'clock was u Dinner Call," the most welcome and 
the most eagerly responded to of any of the almost innumerable 
calls which were squeaked and pounded out of the bowels of fife 



28 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

and drum. A bevy of country lasses, generally young and 
handsome, were usually on hand to share the noonday meal, but 
none of them were very heavy gormandizers of baked beans, 
fried pork, muddy coffee and bread without butter. " My 
sakes !" says one, "No cream for your coffee? How can you 
drink it? Why does the Government subject its soldiers to such 
privations ?" And when the shocking fact was made known 
that the "boys" were not even provided with ice cream, sponge 
cake, "blancmange," and a hundred other like articles, their 
horror at the "hardships" and "deprivations" to which the 
"poor boys." were subjected, knew no bounds. 

At six o'clock in the afternoon was " Assembly," at the sound 
of which 'each company fell into line, in front of camp. And 
then came the most prominent feature of the day, " Dress 
Parade," when the whole regiment was drawn up in line, number- 
ing at least one thousand men, making a very fine appearance. 
The band played a march and quickstep along the line and back 
again, and then they were marshalled by Adjutant Willis and 
turned over to the Colonel, who put them through a series of post- 
ures and facings ; after which the Orderly Sergeants marched to 
the front and reported. Then the commissioned officers proceeded 
to the center ; faced to the front ; proceeded in line to the Colonel ; 
saluted him ; were either complimented or criticised, and then dis- 
missed ; while the different companies were marched to their quar- 
ters by the Orderlies. 

At nine p. m., while the camp was bubbling over with mirth, 
song and story, and all seemed to be in a furor of discordant con- 
versation and laughter, was heard "Tattoo," the finest effort of 
music during the day, consisting of a wild outburst or medley of 
several pieces played by the full band, which had a peculiarly 
magnificent and exhilarating effect in combination with the dark- 



CORPORAL OF THE GUARD. 29 

ness and solemnities of the night. This was succeeded by roll 
call, and then the men were expected to go to their quarters ; and 
at " taps," which consisted of a few beats of the drum at the head 
of each company quarters, lights were extinguished. The hum of 
voices gradually subsided as one and another retired to rest, clos- 
ing their eyes in brief oblivion of the world, its cares, its toils, 
its joys and sorrows. Thus were the duties incident to camp life 
performed with the regularity and certainty of a clock. 

About the most important personage at Camp Hammond was 
that ubiquitous dignitary known as the " Corporal of the Guard," 
before whom the ordinary "high private" might be considered as 
a mere serf kneeling before his imperial footstool. It was per- 
fectly astonishing how high a little brief authority raised some 
men in their own estimation. When in the course of human 
events these great men condescended to perform their share of 
the duties pertaining to camp, their dignified air and tone of 
authority at once proclaimed a consciousness of their own impor- 
tance. One would think, to see them blustering and domineer- 
ing through camp, that not only the existence of the Regiment, 
but the eternal welfare of the country depended upon them 
alone, and that their creation was the only work of any conse- 
quence performed by an all-wise and beneficent Creator. No 
men in any other position, if they should try a lifetime, could 
succeed so well in making donkeys of themselves. 

At length, after days and weeks of anxious watching and 
weary waiting, the uniforms arrived on the 23d of September. 
"Fall in, men," was the Captain's order, which was quickly 
responded to. Each company being formed in line before that 
officer's tent, the roll was called, and each man in response to 
his name went forward and soon returned with drawers, pants, 
coat and cap hanging on his arm, and looking proud over his 



30 THIKTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

newly acquired treasures. In expectation of the speedy arrival 
of the regulation blue, the men had left their " store clothes " at 
home, and had come to camp with their half worn out toggery, 
thinking there would be a speedy change for other and more 
appropriate costumes ; but a strike among seamstresses or other 
unavoidable circumstances caused delay, until many had become 
fit material for scarecrows, and the whole outfit in the matter of 
clothing had become a burlesque upon neatness and gentility. 
But after these caricature representation of clothes had been 
shucked, and each man had donned a brand new uniform, the 
transformation was so complete that one would scarcely recognize 
his neighbor or bunk-mate; while the piles of scraps, shreds, 
cast-off rags, and the mountains of old hats, caps, boots and 
shoes which graced the grounds were perfectly astonishing. 

The new uniforms fitted admirably, excepting say fifty or sixty 
to a company. Here would be seen a tall, lank, ungainly man, 
as slim as a whipstalk, the unhappy possessor of a pair of 
unmentionables as loose and baggy as a gunny-sack large 
enough for Daniel Lambert, and what was still more remarkable, 
the excess expended in breadth of beam was lacking in length, 
and when once enveloping its ungainly possessor, several inches, 
more or less, of naked legs would be discovered protruding from 
below the voluminous folds of cloth. Some of the shorter ones 
were able to button their waistbands around their necks, and 
then have from six inches to a foot of cloth to spare at the bot- 
toms; but this defect was easily remedied by rolling them up or 
chopping them oft' with a broadaxe. The pockets of some were 
too shallow to hold a jack-knife, while others were so deep as to 
suggest the idea of taking off the pants entirely to enable one 
to reach the bottom, and large enough to hold a blanket, a shirt, 



UNIFORMING THE REGIMENT. 31 

or even a side of bacon, if necessary. Some were so tight as to 
suggest cholera morbus or heaves. 

The coats fitted beautifully, almost as well, in fact, as the 
pants. A third of them were too large around the waist ; as 
many were too small around the chest ; but then these slight 
drawbacks admirably offset each other. The collars of some 
were but a trifle above the small of the wearer's back, while the 
collars of others were several inches above the heads of their 
owners. The sleeves, too, had here and there a fault. Some 
were so tight under the arms as to nearly lift the possessor from 
the ground ; others large enough for a small sized boy to crawl 
through ; as for length, some did not stop until the distance of 
several inches beyond the tips of the fingers had been attained, 
while the career of others terminated at or near the elbows. 
With these trifling exceptions the uniforms fitted admirably, and 
the men were universally pleased as well as proud at the change 
from jeans and satinets to the garb of soldiers of the United 
States of America. 

The early autumn days were soft and mellow, with just enough 
haze to give the sky a dreamy appearance, and the weather was 
generally even tempered. Now and then the rays of the sun 
poured down with a fierceness which rendered the performance 
of camp duties anything but a pleasant recreation. Not always, 
however, were the days bright and the breezes balmy. For 
instance, on the afternoon of September 1st, a rain storm, accom- 
panied with heavy thunder and wind, swept the camp. The 
tents flapped and swayed before the blast and the men expected 
every moment to see their canvas roofs go flying over the prairie, 
but for two hours they stood the test and not a man received a 
wetting. At sunset the dense clouds had passed over and 
gathered in the east, while patches of clear sky betokened that 



32 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

this storm was over. But in the west another black cloud arose 
in heavy masses. The faint gleams of lightning illuminating 
the deep recesses of the clouds, together with the unusual still- 
ness in the air, told of another and severer storm about to burst 
upon us. It came at length, and at midnight the wind was 
shrieking among the tents and the water poured down in resist- 
less fury. The rain drove through the canvas as though it were 
fish nets or mosquito bars, and men awoke from dreams of home 
and other luxuries to find themselves wetter than if they had 
just emerged from the neighboring mill pond. Here and there 
a tent would careen and then tumble in dripping ruins about the 
heads of the amazed inmates, who, in inordinate haste, gathered 
up what could be found of their scattered wardrobe and fled in 
their scanty apparel to other and safer quarters. The wind soon 
was over, but the rain continued to fall in torrents. The poor 
sentinels experienced all its fury. Imagine one in all the loneli- 
ness of such a night, plunging blindly through the savage storm, 
staggering into some muddy rut or hollow and breasting a blast 
of wind nearly sufficient in force to blow an iron siege gun or 
an elephant into space. 

In the morning eight tents were in ruins, others shattered, 
and the ground plastered with mud anywhere from three inches 
to three feet in depth. The Colonel's quarters, as the printer 
would have it, were badly "pied," flattened in the mud and 
bountifully sprinkled with the blackest prairie soil. A detail of 
men took it to the river and attempted to wash it, but that Head- 
quarters tent never after assumed the white and spotless purity 
of its primeval state. Then there were other days, when 

" There was a gloom on the sky, and its shadow 

Lay chill on the morning's pure breast ; 
^ When the sunshine was hid from the meadows, 

And nature with tears was oppressed." 



THE GOOD TREATMENT RECEIVED. 33 

When the clouds would shed their tear drops as if in mourning, 
from morning till night, and during the succeeding hours of 
darkness the unceasing drizzle would continue its sonorous patter 
upon the tent flies. 

The Companies all received superb treatment from their friends 
at home. Almost every day they were the recipients of boun- 
teous favors ; were " wined," dined, and pic-nicked to an extent 
never experienced before. Calico, muslins, ribbons and para- 
sols gleamed like wild flowers hither and thither in ever throng- 
ing numbers to greet their soldier friends. At one time eleven 
passenger coaches, filled to repletion with people from Elgin and 
Woodstock, came down to see and feast their brave boys in the 
tented field, and as a token of their regard and an evidence of 
good sense they brought along huge baskets and boxes of all the 
good things their ingenuity could invent or their pantries yield. 
Truly did they appreciate the fact that the avenue to a soldier's 
heart ran through his stomach, and as the Regimental rhymer 
has it : 

" 'Tis a curious thing that people should cram 
Mutton and beef, chicken and ham, 
Cake, salmon, salad, pickles and dace, 
All through a hole in the front of the face." 

Never went up cheers more hearty and blessings more benign 
than were showered upon the good dames of Elgin when the 
boys caught sight of that dinner. 

The "Young Americas" were also pic-nicked, by the ladies of 
Montgomery and Bristol providing a feast of fat things, in a 
beautiful grove east of the village. The " Guards," and a throng 
of invited guests, fell into line and marched three-quarters of a 
mile to the tables, which were loaded down with every substan- 
tial and delicacy known to the season, presenting a scene of 
magnificence rivaling the famed and fabled feasts of the gods. 



34 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Groups of ladies, the grace, goodness and beauty of the place, 
detailed for that purpose, were at each table to wait on the sol- 
diers, which pleasing duty they did in a style satisfactory in the 
highest degree. After hundreds had filled their inordinate 
capacities almost too full for utterance, there was still enough 
food left to feed as many more. " May heaven strew their paths 
with blessings," was the universal benison accorded these fair 
hostesses, as the men retired with grateful hearts and in good 
order from the contest. 

An unfortunate difference arose between Colonel Greusel and 
Lieut. Walker, of the " Oswego Rifles." This Company was 
among the first upon the ground, and had largely been recruited 
through the efforts of Walker. Its Captain, S. C. Camp, a law- 
yer by profession, was better versed in Blackstone than Hardee, 
and much of the drilling of the men and more laborious duties 
devolved upon Lieut. Walker. An auctioneer by profession, he 
could not readily divest himself of his buying and selling ways 
of life, and his duties were performed in "just a going, gentle- 
men, going going gone " sort of a way, exciting the laugh- 
ter of some and the disgust of others. About this time, 0. B. 
Merrill, a member of the 13th Regiment, then on duty in Mis- 
souri, came to Aurora on a furlough. His brief military exper- 
ience, in the opinion of some, had eminently fitted him for pro- 
motion, and he sought a commission in the Fox River Regiment. 
And here let us remark, what a great pity it is that some plan 
was not devised whereby all enlisted men could be made Briga- 
diers, Colonels, or at least something that wore shoulder straps. 
Such a plan, it must be readily perceived, would have resulted 
in the most delightful harmony and efficiency of an army, beside 
being particularly gratifying to the vanity of a majority of the 
men. 



FIRST LIEUTENANCY OF COMPANY I. 35 

To give Merrill a place among the officers, a vacancy was nec- 
essary, and as in the recruiting of the 36th the offices were 
most eagerly sought after and soonest filled, unfortunately such 
vacancy did not exist. The Surgeon was called upon to decide 
the physical qualifications of candidates for official honors. 
Walker was alone found wanting, and thereupon rejected, when 
Merrill at once succeeded to the position. This arrangement 
was not at all satisfactory to Walker, who strenuously objected 
to being so summarily disposed of; for, however much he 
delighted in auctioneering off the goods, chattels and wares of 
others, the rule when applied to himself was not so delightful, and 
he entered his protest against such a going going gone pro- 
cedure. Walker hastened to Chicago and was examined by 
other medical magnates, who pronounced him physically sound, 
or at least sound enough for the performance of military duty. 

In the meantime Major Brackett had mustered the whole Reg- 
iment and accepted it for service, including 0. B. Merrill as 
Lieutenant of Co. L, and on Walker's return to camp, backed 
by his medical certificate, he found Lieut. Merrill fully installed 
and in the performance of the duties of the much coveted position. 
Walker claimed his position of 1st Lieutenant and demanded 
his reinstatement and recognition as such. The Colonel was in 
a towering rage, and ordered Walker to leave the camp instantly, 
and set about measures to enforce the order ; whereupon Walker, 
thinking discretion the better part of valor, went. We would 
gladly strike this page from our story, but, as an impartial his- 
torian, there is no other resource than to treat the good and bad 
alike. This is our apology for giving details of an occurence 
which, more than all other causes combined, carried with it the 
seeds of acrimony and dissension. 



36 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

It cannot be denied that for one reason or another a great 
many " poor sticks " managed at the outset to get into positions, 
for which they were in a greater or less degree unfitted. Many 
a Company, and Regiment even, made up of most excellent 
material, have been rendered comparatively useless by having at 
its head an inefficient leader. If there was one lesson well 
learned during the first years '-of the war, it was the absolute 
necessity of having men for officers ! Men, in the broad sense 
of the term, who had some respect for themselves as well as for 
others. Men to stand firm, self-possessed, elevated and strength- 
ened by a high sense of honor, of patriotic duty to their country, 
to their subordinates, and to the cause in which they were 
engaged. Imagine a whining incapable, leading a body of men 
upon a desperate bayonet charge ! 

The very first element of success and of discipline is the 
respect of men for their officers, and only true men can thus 
command their respect. Let such a one be found and the rest 
becomes easy, whether he is wanted for a General, a Colonel or 
a Lieutenant. The 13th Regiment, or even West Point with all 
its training in camp or field, could not manufacture first-rate 
officers if the indispensible ingredients of self-respect, honor, 
temperance, manliness and reserved force of character are lack- 
ing. When war and battles are resorted to in the settlement of 
difficulties, it should be no child's play, but the desperate exer- 
cise of all the higher qualities of manhood; for unless troops 
are under the control of true men, defeat is inevitable. 

On the 12th of September Col. Brackett appeared, and in his 
official capacity as United States Mustering Officer, inspected 
and mustered the Regiment as a whole. Each Company in 
single file was slowly marched between a Board of Surgeons, 
and if a limp was detected or a man wore a cadaverous cast of 



A FEW REFUSE TO BE SWORN. 37 

countenance, he was requested to stand aside and afterwards 
subjected to an ante mortem Coroner's inquest, called Medical 
Examination. A few were rejected, and, notwithstanding their 
protestations of general good health and appeals to remain, they 
were obliged to take up their traps and walk. The examination 
over, the oath was administered to the whole Regiment, which 
was for the first time designated the THIRTY-SIXTH, and as such 
was booked for three years' service in the employ of that stu- 
pendous individual, Uncle Sam. 

A few refused to be sworn in and comply with the conditions 
attached to the service ; whereupon Col. Joslyn jerked them out 
of the ranks, and presenting each a note of hand with the toe 
of his boot, sent them howling beyond the confines of camp 
a mode of mustering out not laid down in the books, and calcu- 
lated to awaken a remembrance of so lively an event to the 
latest hours of life. Among these were two Germans from 
Co. E., whose courage oozing out at this supreme moment, they 
refused to take the prescribed oath. They were followed a half 
mile from camp by half a hundred madly excited men and 
remorselessly kicked and hustled about, and as a parting token 
of remembrance a horse whip was unmercifully administered to 
their backs. Their piteous cries for mercy awakened but little 
sympathy from their late and now infuriated comrades. 




CHAPTER III. 



ROSTER OF THE REGIMENT. 

OLLOWING is the Roster of the 36th Regi- 
ment, on its final muster and acceptance into 
the service of the United States, and at the 
period of its departure from Camp Ham- 
mond to Missouri. 



NICHOLAS GREUSEL, 
EDWARD S. JOSLYN, - 
ALONZO H. BARRY, 
GEORGE A. WILLIS, - 
ISAAC N. BUCK, 
DELOS W. YOUNG, 
SIDNEY W. HAWLEY, 
JETHRO A. HATCH, - 
GEORGE G. LYON, - 



Colonel. 

Lieut. Colonel. 

Major. 

Adjutant. 

- Quartermaster. 

Surgeon. 

\st Assistant Surgeon. 

2d Assistant Surgeon. 

- Chaplain. 



COMPANY A. 
MELVIN B. BALDWIN, Captain. 
EDWARD S. CHAPPEL, 1st Lieutenant. 
WILLIAM S. SMITH, 2d Lieutenant. 



ROSTER OF THE REGIMENT. 



39 



ENLISTED MEN, 

George D. Sherman, 1st Sergeant. 
Franklin J. Thwing, Sergeant. 
Alexander C. Lynd, Sergeant. 
Sanford H. Wakeman, Sergeant. 
Alexander Robinson, Sergeant. 
Walter J. Ordway, Corporal. 
Leslie P. Ticknor, Corporal. 
John W. Aldrich, Corporal. 
Benj. D. C. Roland, Corporal. 
Leroy Salisbury, Corporal. 
William H Mitchell, Corporal. 
John S. Long, Corporal. 
Frank B. Perkins Corporal. 
Charles B. Styles, Musician. 
Bray man Loveless, Musician. 
Albert Andrews. 
Bernan N. Adams. 
Charles A. Brown. 
Daniel W. Brown. 
Patrick Brannon. 
Fred. H. Birmaster. 
Christopher P. Baker. 
John B. Burr. 
Elijah Buck. 
Leman Bartholomew. 
John Bluckman. 
Buel M. Chapman 
Charles G. Cox. 
Henry Clayson. 
Alexander Chambers. 
Hugh Duffee. 
Cyrus F. Dean. 
William Dade. 
Freeman S. Dunkler. 
Jeptha C. Dennison. 
Thomas Fenner. 
John Flood. 
John Faulkner. 
Henry Ford. 
Charles H. Gales. 
Patrick Gibbons. 
Moses T. Gibbs. 



COMPANY A. 

Charles A. Holsie. 
James Halberton. 
David F. Jayne. 
George M. Johnson. 
Leverett M. Kelley. 
Frederick Krahan. 
Addison A Keyes. 
George M. Lake. 
James H. Moore. 
Isaac N. Miner. 
Leonard W . Nann. 
Edward Nute. 
John O'Connell. 
Chandler Preston. 
Edmund H. Robinson 
Charles B. Rapp. 
William F. Sylla. 
Michael Seisloff. 
George H. Kimball. 
Romane Kilburn. 
George H. Knowles. 
Peter Little. 
Alex Manahan. 
Tobias Miller. 
Lewis F. Miller. 
Dorus Murus. 
Fenelon J. Nicholas. 
Charles Olesyeski 
George L. Peeler. 
Augustus Ritze. 
Timothy Ring. 
Fred. A Raymond. 
Duportal Sampson. 
Tolmus Stanton. 
Adalbert Shaw. 
Lewis H. Severine. 
Charles L. Themer. 
Milton S. Townsend. 
James M. Vining. 
John A. White. 
Homer H. Wilcox. 
Joseph N. Yerkers. 



40 



THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 



ENLISTED MEN COMPANY A. 



Alonzo S Harpeiiding. 
Louis B. Householder. 
Jeremiah C. Hall. 
Daniel B. Hoxie. 
Alex. F. Henderson. 
Henry Howe. 
John A. Hewett. 
Frank W. Raymond. 

Ninety-nine officers and enlisted men. 



Merrill H. Sabin. 
Clarence H. Truax. 
A. Byron Thomas. 
John B. F. Taylor. 
Arzotus White. 
Ebson J. Wickwire. 
Jeremiah Whitford. 



COMPANY B. 

SILAS MILLER, Captain. 

JOSEPH M. WALKER, \st Lieutenant. 

BENJ. F. CAMPBELL, 2d Lieutenant. 



ENLISTED 

George K Douglas, 1st Sergeant. 
Samuel Hitchcock, Sergeant. 
Abner Field, Sergeant. 
French Brownlee, Sergeant. 
Charles W. Rhodes, Sergeant. 
Win. F. Blakeslee, Corporal. 
Emery D. Haselton, Corporal. 
Thomas Flinn, Corporal. 
William Warner, Corporal. 
Ezra W. Parker, Corporal. 
Owen Hughes, Corporal. 
Jno. H. Gronberg, Corporal. 
Wm H. Dugan, Corporal. 
George Brewer, Musician. 
Willard Pettengill, Musician. 
John F. Lilley, Wagoner. 
Henry Alcott. 
Charles G. Ayers. 
Thomas Boyd. 
Rudolph Brager. 
Christian Brunnemeyer. 
Arba Camp. 
James B. Campbell. 
William L. Campbell. 
Thomas Cowan. 



MEN. 

Nathaniel P. McCutcheon. 
Jno. C. Donnell. 
Frank Dugan. 
Jno. W. Edwards. 
Jno. Eddy. 
Jno. W. Evans. 
Leasonton Galloway. 
Charles M. Harvey. 
Charles G. Hemze. 
David T. Hogue. 
William Jackson. 
Sidney E. Kendall. 
Franklin Leet. 
Robert Logan. 
Elihu Mahew. 
Thomas McConnell. 
Joseph McGee. 
George W. Miller. 
Nathaniel M. Moore. 
William Ott. 
VanWyck Race. 
Henry Reitz. 
George Reitz. 
Daniel B. Roberts. 
William Scheffer. 



ROSTER OP THE REGIMENT. 



41 



Ernst Ansorge. 
George Berger. 
William H. Brandon. 
Oliver F. Brownlee. 
George H. Burns. 
Adam R. Campbell. 
Sylvester Campbell. 
Thomas Clark. 
Daniel Davis. 
Thomas Donnell. 
Robert Drane. 
Carl Eckhart. 
James Eddy. 
Frederick Emde. 
Jno Fife. 

William H. Hartless. 
Frederick Heine. 
Dow Hodges. 
Thomas E. Hornby. 
Jno. H Karle. 
Henry B Latham. 
Henry Levoy. 
Brayton Loyd. 
David McClurg. 

Ninety-eight officers 



ENLISTED MEN, COMPANY B. 

Fritz Stevens. 
William A. Tobey. 
Frank Thompson. 
Charles W. Travis. 
William Waterman. 
Joel J. Wilder. 
Elanthan S. Weeden. 
Fritz Wokersein. 
Jno. Ott. 
Peter Pelican. 
Edward Pierce. 
Jefferson Reed. 
Adam Rietz. 
Henry L. Ribby. 
Charles W. Sears. 
Thomas W. Sedgwick. 
Charles E. Strong. 
Daniel Terry. 
Robert N. Thompson. 
William Van Ohlin. 
Alfred J. West. 
Jacob Winn. 
James H. Woodard. 
Christian Zimmer. 
and enlisted men. 



COMPANY 0. 
ELIAS B. BALDWIN, Captain. 
JAMES B. McNEiL, 1st Lieutenant. 
JOHN M. TURNBULL, 2d Lieutenant. 



ENLISTED 

Jacob Sands, Sergeant. 
John A. Porter, Sergeant. 
Ebenezer A. Crawford, Sergeant. 
Scott Brownlee, Sergeant. 
David S. Irwin, Sergeant. 
George N. Mercer, Corporal. 
David B. Brownlee, Corporal. 
Robert Gilmore, Corporal. 
James J. Wilson, Corporal. 
4 



MEN. 

William M. Gibson. 
Hugh W. Harper. 
William Haitzell. 
Ferdinand Hercher. 
Huston Henderson. 
Oscar Jennie. 
Warren Kintzey. 
Henry H. Lord. 
John W. McCoy. 



42 



THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 



ENLISTED MEN, COMPANY C. 



Jacob A . Pearce, Corporal. 

James M. Pollock, Corporal. 

William Ward, Corporal. 

Wm. Kingsland, Corporal. 

James L. Dryden, Musician. 

Joseph E. Young, Musician. 

Elisha L. Atkins. 

Wm. S. AHen. 

Joseph W. Arthurs. 

Wm. C. Azdel. 

Valentine Angles. 

Wm. T. Arthurs. 

James Armstrong. 

Charles B. Bailey. 

Joseph Baxter. 

Franklin Beck. 

Thomas G. Barton. 

Isaiah Baughman. 

Isaac Carson. 

Isaac N. Carey. 

George Dowell. 

James Davis. 

James Elder. 

William Fisher. 

John Q. Graham, 

Robert Gill more. 

Orlando Hayes. 

John F. Henderson. 

John H. Harris. 

Lafayette Butt. 

Nathaniel T. Baird . 

Daniel P. Baldwin. 

Huston Buchanan. 

John G. Cavis. 

William P. Criswell. 

Enos Constant. 

Harvey P. Donnell. 

Albert Eckelson. 

John B. Edgar. 

Richard Godfrey. 

One hundred and one officers and 



Frank McClanahan. 
Joseph McGregor. 
William C. McElroy. 
Jacob W. Moss. 
Ezra E. Munson. 
George W. Nichols. 
Lafayette M. Pike. 
James Ralston. 
Carvasso Reeder. 
Jacob Stewart. 
Benjamin W. Sawins. 
Hugh Shearer. 
Ethan Keck. 
Thomas Leggett. 
George Monroe. 
Stephen W. Mattison. 
James C. McPherin. 
Jno. K. McMullin. 
William A. Mitchell. 
Ralph Miller. 
George Nelson. 
Samuel Paxton. 
William Patterson 
Walter V. Reeder. 
Orestes A. Spickerman. 
John Shook. 
William Shearer. 
John H. Smith. 
Ezra Schotts. 
Isaac Stewart. 
John P. Tice. 
Henry Waystaff. 
Samuel N. Wilson. 
Ezekiel Wimmer. 
Abraham Stewart. 
William R. Toll. 
George W. Thompson. 
John H. Ward. 
John Wilson. 
Gamble S. Wright, 
enlisted men . 



ROSTER OF THE REGIMENT. 

COMPANY D. 

WILLIAM P. PIERCE, Captain. 
JOHN VAN?ELT, 1st Lieutenant. 
GEORGE D. PARKER, 2d Lieutenant. 



43 



ENLISTED MEN. 



Edward P . Cass, Sergeant. 
Mercelon B. Gaylord, Sergeant. 
Alexander Stickles, Sergeant. 
Joseph C. Thompson, Sergeant. 
Isaac N. Beebe, Sergeant. 
Clinton Lloyd, Corporal. 
David Sutherland, Corporal. 
William T. Maycroft, Corporal. 
William C. Benedict, Corporal. 
John C. Taylor, Corporal. 
William Stewart, Corporal. 
Thomas Dillon, Corporal. 
Andrew L. Scofield, Corporal. 
Henry T. Kellom, Musician. 
Vv illiam P. Birgess, Musician . 
Newton J. Abbott. 
Joseph Apley. 
Sidney M. Abbott. 
Lyndon K. Bannister. 
Henry F. Birch. 
Jacob M. Burgess. 
Joseph Bushnell. 
Rensler Carpenter. 
Seth Darling. 
Clark W. Edwards. 
Nelson Erickson. 
Alfred H. Gaylord. 
Allen M. Alvord. 
Louis P. Boyd. 
James A. Baker. 
Allen Brown. 
Benjamin F. Burgess. 
Charles H. Bissell. 
William B. Cady. 
William Duckworth. 
Oliver Edmond. 



John Menley. 
Miles Murray. 
William T . Pyle. 
John A. Paige. 
Nelson Peck. 
Luther Gates. 
John Graham. 
Thomas Harrop. 
Joseph W. Hinsdale. 
Thomas Jones. 
Peter A. Johnson. 
William C. Knox. 
Charles G. Langdon. 
John Larking. 
Edward Lars. 
John Miller. 
Aaron Mills. 
Ole N. Oleson . 
Francis Phelps. 
William Peck. 
Aspin Peterson. 
Joseph Phipps. 
Joseph A Smith. 
Louis R. Seymour. 
Phillip Stage. 
Charles Seymour. 
Thor. Thorson. 
Samuel Tucker. 
Ezra Taylor. 
George Thumb. 
Thomas Vernon. 
Thomas Welch. 
Chester F. Wright. 
Andrew T, Wilsey. 
John Wilson. 
George W. Raymond. 



44 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

ENLISTED MEN, COMPANY D. 

George Goodwin. Dana Sherrill. 

Willard W. Gifford. Thomas Shaw. 

Remington F. Gilmore. Edward Seymour. 

Eben Gates. Joseph Shaw. 

James Hurst. George S. Tompkins. 

Frank Henning. James Thorp. 

John Hyer. Ole H. Thompson. 

Ole H. Johnson. Garrett G. Vreeland. 

Andrew Johnson. Jno. E. Williams. 

Harvey Kimball. Joseph Whitham. 

William Lloyd. Wright F Washburn. 

James M. Leach. George W. Woods. 

David Mellor. Samuel Young. 
One hundred and one officers and enlisted men. 

COMPANY E. 
CHARLES D. FISH, Captain. 
ALBERT M. HOBBS, list Lieutenant. 
WILLIAM H. CLARK, 2d Lieutenant. 

ENLISTED MEN. 

George S. Bartlett, Sergeant. Charles T. Etchell. 

Lucian F. Heminway, Sergeant. Uriah Foster. 

William Hall, Sergeant. Oscar S. Howe. 

Orson Smith, Sergeant. Judson W. Hanson. 

Robert B. Ralston, Sergeant. James Barrel. 

David G. Cromwell, Corporal. William Hunter . 

Daniel Whitney, Corporal. Joseph Howard. 

Hiram Wagner, Corporal. Henry J. Hodge. 

Stanley Bushnell, Corporal. Peter Johnson. 

William J. Willett, Corporal. Gilbert Ketchum. 

Lyman G. Bennett, Corporal. Elisha E. Lloyd. 

Thomas P. Hill, Corporal. George E. Lownsberry. 

Herbert Dewey, Corporal. George Lanigan. 

Peter Schryver, Musician. Henry Mullen. 

William Todd, Musician. James E. Moss. 

John W. Alston. George W. Matthews. 

James H. Alston. Amos Norton. 

Comfort Brace. Reuben W. Perrin. 

James N. Baird. Oscar Pecoy. 

Georcre W. Beane. Melancton Ross. 

Christopher M. Baker. Charles H. Scofield. 



ROSTER OF THE REGIMENT. 



45 



Henry C. Baxter. 
Frederick Beier. 
Delmar Burnside. 
Eugene Benoit. 
Alfred Bullard. 
James Brown. 
Mat Blu. 
Milton Cornell. 
James Carlin. 
Edgar S. Case. 
Charles W. Doane. 
Aaron Darnell, 
Bradley W. Doane. 
Ira O. Fuller. 
Amasa Gage. 
Henry Haigh. 
Holvar Hanson. 
Erastus Beecher. 
Christ Batterman. 
John Bush. 
John Brace. 
William Burgess. 
Hobert D. Carr. 
Patrick Connor. 
Henry Collman. 
Silas F . Dyer. 
Charles W. Doty. 
Daniel J. Darnell. 
One hundred officers 



ENLISTED MEN, COMPANY E. 

James S. Hatch. 
Henry Hanness. 
Thomas Ives. 
Sylvester M. Jay. 
Augustus Kasten. 
Hamlet Livens. 
James A. Lanigan. 
Silas T. Marlette. 
Edwin J McMullen. 
Nicholas Meehan. 
George Merrill. 
John Pfensteil. 
Cyrus Perry. 
John Ray. 
Walter S Ralston. 
Benjamin Sayers. 
Lewis Schafer. 
Thomas P. Titlow. 
William Woolenweber. 
Joel Wagner. 
Barney Wheeler. 
William W. Zellar. 
Henry Smith. 
Stephen Winans. 
Jacob Wolf. 
Carlton D. Ward. 
Edward R. Zellar. 

and enlisted men. 



COMPANY F. 

PORTER C. OLSON, Captain. 
GEORGE F. STONAX, 1st Lieutenant. 
MARTIN C. WILSON, 2d Lieutenant. 



ENLISTED MEN. 



George G. Biddolph, Sergeant. 
Richard H. Watson, Sergeant. 
George K. Wann, Sergeant. 
LaRue P. Southworth, Sergeant. 
Thomas L. Bowen, Sergeant. 
George W. Mossman, Corporal. 



John Olson. 
James W. Olson. 
Oren H. Price. 
Sweet A. Peterson. 
Peter Phillips. 
William G. Hnggett. 



46 



THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 



ENLISTED MEN, COMPANY F. 



Loren L. Olson, Corporal. 

Bergo Thompson, Corporal. 

Ole O. Brevick, Corporal. 

George Neff, Corporal. 

Michael Boomer, Corporal. 

William Eyebond, Corporal. 

William H. Mossman, Corporal. 

Samuel Brimhall, Musician. 

Norman C. Dean. Musician. 

Erasmus Anderson. 

Michael W. Bastian. 

James R. Biddolph. 

George A. Cummins. 

Stephen C. Cummins. 

William Curtis. 

William H. Cotlew. 

George W. Dessalet. 

Theodore P. French. 

John Green. 

Luther Haskins. 

John J. Hamilton. 

William Browning. 

Lewis E. Beldin. 

Christian Christiansen. 

William Coltrip. 

Aben ChristophersOn. 

Edwin Dopp. 

William H. Eastman. 

James S. Foster. 

Gunner Gunnerson. 

Oscar P. Hobbs. 

William D. Hibbard. 

Raynard Holverson. 

James H. Hall. 

Jno. T. Johnson. 

Canute K. Johnson. 

Ira M. Johnson. 

Ira Larson. 

Christ Lind. 

John Lamb. 

Warren C. Massey. 

Henry J. Metabach. 

Francis A. Mossman. 

One hundred officers and enlisted men. 



John J. Jordan. 
Ferriss Johnson. 
Alfred Johnson 
William E. Jackson. 
Lars Larson. 
Alexander Lipsky. 
Alfred Melton. 
Anton Myer. 
William McClary. 
Nels L. Nelson. 
Lewis Olson . 
Thomas Orstad. 
Canute Phillips. 
William J. Pletch. 
Walter E. Patridge. 
George F. Roots. 
Charles N. Ralph. 
Emra Strait. 
Reuben Sweetland. 
Richard Spraddling. 
Henry M. Seymour. 
James Sifleet. 
Paul Stevenson. 
Alfred Tomlin. 
Thomas Thompson. 
Augustus P. YanOrder. 
Thomas J. Wilson. 
Daniel Warden. 
Charles Wangler. 
John H. Roots. 
Alfred Riggs. 
Frederick W. Sly . 
Cornelius Seward. 
Simeon L. Smith. 
Charles F. Sweetland. 
Benjamin Stevenson. 
John Thompson. 
William Thompson. 
Andrew L. Turner. 
Jno. Howard Whitney. 
Albert H Wulff. 
Henry Waldsmith. 



ROSTER OF THE REGIMENT. 



47 



COMPANY a. 

IRVING W. PARKHURST, Captain. 
ABEL LONGWORTH, 1st Lieutenant. 
ROBERT N. DENNING, 2d Lieutenant. 



ENLISTED MEN. 



Linus J. Austin, Sergeant. 
Jno. A. Dispennet, Sergeant. 
Jno. S. Fairman, Sergeant. 
Herman J. Barstow, Sergeant. 
Thomas W. Chandler, Sergeant. 
Henry J. Ray, Corporal. 
Abiah R. Jordan, Corporal. 
Cyrus S. Brayton, Corporal. 
Edward Collins, Corporal. 
Peter Bradt, Corporal. 
William E. Hunt, Corporal. 
Robert R. Bradshaw, Corporal. 
William Britt Corporal. 
Frank Mallory, Musician. 
Zeroy P. Hotchkiss, Musician. 
Charles A. Browning. 
Peter Buchanan. 
Jesse H . Brown. 
George M. Birdsell. 
David Bardwell. 
Robert Briarly. 
David Boyer. 
Francis M. Bradshaw. 
Dyer O. Clark. 
Isaac Corson. 
Charles H. Chandler. 
Nathaniel G. Curry. 
Jno. Corkins. 
Wallace Ellis. 
William R. Foulk. 
William S. Gibson. 
William Galloway. 
Eber Hulser. 
Joseph Hebert. 
Daniel Hart. 
Edward Hume 



James Halkyard. 
Robert B. Howie. 
George W. Hulse 
William H. Irons. 
Lewis Jones. 
William H. Jones. 
Daniel Kennedy 
Edward Lyons. 
James S Lear. 
Adam Mills. 
Thomas Malcomb. 
Sylvester Meecham. 
Ansel F. Norton. 
Andrew Nevill. 
Charles Pratt. 
Newman Perkins. 
Wilbur F. Roseman . 
Daniel D. Radabaugh. 
James Royds. 
Seth Slyter. 
William F. Severns. 
William Kerns. 
Cyrus E. Libby. 
Charles Land on . 
George W. Moody. 
George B. Munger. 
James Meecham. 
Henry C. Miles. 
Harvey D. Norton. 
Thomas Olson. 
Charles L. Perry. 
Abijah Prouty. 
James Roseman. 
McClure Rowan. 
William Rolley. 
Benjamin Stephens. 



48 



THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 



ENLISTED MEN, COMPANY G. 



Jno. F. Irons. 

Robert Jordan. 

Michael Corcoran. 

William H. Chamberlain. 

Bcriah Clark. 

Daniel Graver. 

Patrick Corkins. 

Lewis B. Dawson. 

Evin Edwards. 

Joseph Fogt. 

William Gould. 

Aquilla Hart. 

Zalmon F. Hulser. 

One hundred and one officers and 



Joseph F. Saunders. 
William M. Stitt. 
Henry Spellman. 
Wilson Small. 
Samuel Sattmarsh. 
Job Whybrow. 
Milton G. Yarnell. 
Alexander M. Stitt. 
Martin Bitterly. 
Franklin Small. 
David M. Vanderstan. 
Asa Winemiller. 
Nicholas Zimmer. 
enlisted men. 



COMPANY H. 
MERRIT L. JOSLYN, Captain. 
ALFRED H. SELLERS, 1st Lieutenant. 
CHARLES F. DYKE, 2d Lieutenant. 



ENLISTED MEN. 



Augustus L. Patterson, Sergeant. 
Morris Briggs, Sergeant. 
Theodore L. Griffin. Sergeant. 
Henry H. Hayde-i, Sergeant. 
Horace N. Chitteuden, Corporal. 
Henry F. Baldwin, Corporal. 
Myron A. Smith, Corporal. 
Oscar H. Ford, Corporal. 
Alvin S. Bunker, Corporal. 
N. B Sherwood, Corporal. 
Myron D. Kent, Corporal. 
Day Elmore, Musician. 
Lillibrun B. Agnew. 
Elijah Adams. 
Kobcrt Archibald. 
Orrin H. Benson 
Samuel Z Carver. 
Jackson Conroe. 
Daniel Clark. 
Charles E. Dygert. 



Edward E. Kapple. 
Wilson Lawson. 
Albert S. Moore. 
James McDargh. 
Harrison Montgomery. 
Henry 0. Murray. 
Orlando W. Nash. 
Jno. Nemire. 
James K. Perkins. 
George D. Greenleaf. 
David Hartman. 
Jno. Holderman. 
Myron Harris. 
Calvin F. Jones. 
George G. Jackson. 
Casius Kimplin. 
Lorenzo D. Keys. 
Ebenezer B. Lamb. 
Robert Morton. 
Thomas Miller. 



ROSTER OF THE REGIMENT. 



49 



ENLISTED MEN, COMPANY H. 



Thomas Finlayson. 

Jno. P. Floyd. 

Jerome C. Ford. 

Jno. G. Fitch. 

Madison W. Gould. 

Benjamin Allen. 

Samuel Archibald. 

Wallace Benson, 

Morris Cain. 

Charles B Crawford. 

William Carl. 

Hovey R. Chittenden. 

Joseph Duggan. 

Washington M. Floyd. 

William W. Floyd. 

Henry B Ford. 

Samuel M. Foster. 

Andrew J. Guiliford. 

Stephen Gates. 

Franklin Griffin. 

William Hutchins. 

James A. Hutchins. 

Charles W. Irish. 

William H. Jones. 

Robert Keys. 

Ninety-three officers and enlisted men. 



Frederick Marcus. 
Cyrus Merrick. 
Andrew Nelson. 
Charles E. Owels. 
Allen Picket. 
Orrin Picket. 
Lorenzo D. Pease. 
Jno. H. Sackett. 
Dennis K. Smith. 
Benjamin H. Sedgwick. 
Gilbert Traves. 
Madison M. Throop. 
Banent Van Ness. 
Jno. H. Ward. 
Julius H. Wilbur. 
Jno. A. Powell. 
Philo E. Robbins. 
Andrew J. Siinonds. 
Frederick Smith. 
Lavern Stanton. 
Charles G. Thomas. 
Cornelius Van Ness. 
David L. Wilcox. 
Jno. C. Wolf. 
David Warnick. 



COMPANY 1. 

SAMUEL C. CAMP, Captain. 
ORVILLE B. MERRILL, 1st Lieutenant. 
WILLIAM F. SUTHERLAND, 2nd Lieutenant. 



ENLISTED MEN. 



Charles F. Case, Sergeant. 
David E. Shaw, Sergeant. 
Abram Wormley, Sergeant. 
Gustave Voss, Sergeant. 
James Ferris, Sergeant. 
Hiram Lowry, Corporal. 
Joseph W. Halstead, Corporak 
Jno. Lonegan, Corporal. , 



Frederick Miller. 
David W. McKay. 
Antoine Miller. 
Lawrence O'Brien. 
Jno. Roth . 
Kimball Smith. 
Benedict Stall. 
Henry Schell. 



50 



THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 



ENLISTED MEN, 

D wight Smith, Corporal. 

B. J. Van Valkenberg, Corporal. 

Andrew Turner, Corporal. 

Orrin Dickey, Corporal. 

Henry Hirse, Corporal. 

Jacob J. Snell, Musician. 

Levi Cowan, Musician. 

George Avery. 

Samuel N. Bartlett. 

Jacob Earth. 

Henry H. Barber. 

Dwight G. Cowan. 

Jno. Cook. 

Jno. H. Denton. 

Andrew Elecker. 

William Freeze. 

George Beck. 

Samuel J. Brownell. 

E. W. Brundage. 

Michael Cligitt, 

William Daley. 

Hobart Doctor. 

Leander A. Ellis 

Ferdinand Gaur. 

Jno. Grinnel. 

William Hinchman. 

Nathan Hunt. 

Coonrod Learnichel. 

Jno. Leuthard. 

Seventy-six officers and enlisted men. 



COMPANY I. 

Frederick Shanget. 
Charles Snyder. 
Elbert M.Saxton. 
Vincent Gentsenberg 
Joseph Hunimell. 
Lewis Ketzel. 
Peter Lannier. 
Samuel Mall. 
Stephen Minard. 
Nicholas Moletor. 
Jno. Nolenburg. 
Lewis Power. 
Martin Rin chart. 
Jno. B. Sage. 
Henry Schroider. 
Benedict Stamphley. 
Frederick Shulingburgh. 
James Scully. 
Nicholas Swickhart. 
Christopher Thake. 
William Varner. 
Peter Wittman. 
Frederick Witzkey. 
Thomas Wild. 
Harvey Tooley. 
Christ Wentz. 
Harvey Webb. 
James Wicks. 



COMPANY K. 

JOHN Q. ADAMS, Captain. 
JAMES FOLEY, 1st Lieutenant. 
AARON C. HOLDEN, 2nd Lieutenant. 



ENLISTED MEN. 



Jno. F. Elliott, Sergeant. 
Eldridge Adams, Sergeant. 
Matthew J. Hammond, Sergeant. 
Roinain A. Smith, Sergeant 



Francis Judd. 
Joseph Levican. 
Abram Long. 
George B. Lenhart 



ROSTER OF THE REGIMENT. 



51 



ENLISTED MEN, 

Charles Hazelhurst, Sergeant. 

Theodore A. Folson, Corporal. 

Robert H. Starr, Corporal. 

David H. Dickenson, Corporal. 

Abratn J. Ketchum, Corporal. 

William B. Giles, Corporal. 

Eugene P. Albro, Corporal. 

Edward Reeder, Corporal. 

Aseph J. Adams, Corporal. 

George W. Hemming way, Musician. 

James Hazelhurst, Musician. 

Henry C. Allen. 

William Adams. 

Seneca Birdsell. 

Peter Burnett. 

Edward Clark. 

James Delany. 

Solomon Emberlin. 

Samuel Grundy. 

Thomas Glove. 

Frederick Hazelhurst. 

Burton Honey. 

James H. Hogue. 

James C. Hogue. 

William C. Hall. 

Allen Burroughs. 

Harrison W. Blank. 

John Clark. 

John P. Clark. 

James Downey. 

John M. Gordon. 

George W. Gates. 

Michael Hillard. 

Daniel Hammond. 

James M. Hogue. 

James Henry Hogue 

John Hodgson. 

George S. Hall. 



COMPANY K. 

Charles Mongerson. 
Jno. C. Minkler. 
Edward H. Mayberry. 
George Monroe. 
Edward J. Millay. 
William S. Moore. 
Emery W. Piatt. 
George R. Pollock. 
Jno. Peterson. 
Benjamin W. Simmons. 
Francis Samson. 
Harlan Sanders. 
Jno. H. Johnson. 
George Lake. 
George G. Lyon. 
Jno. B Lenhart. 
Thomas P. Matteson. 
Thomas Moffett. 
Charles J. Minor. 
Edwin E. Monroe. 
James McCray. 
Samuel H. McCartney. 
Simeon Parsons. 
John Paul. 
Harrison Skinner. 
George M. Scales. 
Charles Steines. 
Henry P. Sype. 
James Stevenson. 
Charles A. Tucker. 
John H. Underwood. 
George W. Vail. 
John F. Weekes. 
Francis Turkesbury. 
Cyrus W. Underwood. 
Paul I. Vanwickland. 
Orrin Wood. 
Sydney O. Wagoner. 



Eighty-seven officers and enlisted men. 



52 



THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

COMPANY A CAVALRY. 

ALBERT JENKS, Captain. 

SAMUEL B. SHERER, 1st Lieutenant. 

AZARIAH C. FERRE, 2nd Lieutenant. 



ENLISTED MEN. 



Albert Collins, 1st Sergeant. 

Francis E. Reynolds, Q. M. Sergeant. 

Fletcher J. Snow, Sergeant. 

James J. Johnson, Sergeant. 

Fred O. White, Sergeant 

Daniel Dynan, Sergeant. 

George Stewart, Corporal 

Jerome B Marlett, Corporal. 

Henry B. Douglas, Corporal. 

George W. Haydom, Corporal. 

James Sirby, Corporal. 

David Hill, jr., Corporal. 

Isaac Rice, Corporal. 

James T. White, Corporal. 

George A. Carson, Farrier. 

James J. Hume, Saddler. 

James Allen. 

Charles Angell. 

Smith D, Avery. 

Simeon Baily. 

James S. Barber. 

Henry Beebe. 

John Beebe. 

Irwin M Benton 

Joseph Burley. 

Caleb B. Beers. 

Hope S. Chapin. 

Able Colyer. 

Joseph Carle. 

Samuel W. Clark. 

Charles O. Dorr. 

Edward F. Dorr. 

George L. Dorr. 

Nathaniel Duff. 

Henry C. Davis. 

Frederick Elderkin. 



Jesse Hollenback. 
Nicholas Hittinger. 
Joseph Ingham. 
Ira Jacobs. 
Oliver H. Judd. 
James M. Kennedy. 
James E. Kirkpatrick. 
William Laws. 
Ole C. Langland. 
Richard Larkin. 
Truman Lillie. 
Christian Logan. 
Joseph R. Loomis. 
George H. McCabe. 
Joseph F. McCroskey. 
James McMullen. 
George W. Moon. 
Allen Mo wry. 
Andrew Nortrip. 
Elias Nortrip. 
Eugene Newell. 
Charles H. Oderkirk. 
Eugene D Odell. 
Aaron Prickett. 
William Pride. 
Joshua Rathbone. 
Patrick W. Rigney. 
Thomas B. Robinson. 
Royal S. Rutherford. 
John A. Radley. 
Orrin Squires. 
Arnold Starbrock. 
Thomas J. Slosson. 
Cassius P. Snook. 
Edward W. Stewart. 
Oliver C. Switzer- 






ROSTER OF THE REGIMENT. 



ENLISTED MEN, 

John W. Everts. 

Robert Frailick. 

Clark L. Furguson. 

William II. Fox. 

George Gunter. 

Martin Glenn. 

Robert Hascall. 

Thomas Hampson. 

Gilbert Heath. 

Chauncy Hollenback. 

Ninety-five officers and privates. 



COMPANY A CAVALRY. 

Lawrence S. Tucker. 
Albert Tubbs. 
Abijah Tarble. 
Harlow M. Tuttle. 
Eleazer Todd. 
John Vangorder. 
Charles Weaver. 
Orrin Y. Whitford. 
(Charles F. Winans. 
Darius D. Williams. 



COMPANY B CAVALRY. 

HENRY A. SMITH, Captain. 
SAMUEL CHAPMAN, 1st Lieutenant. 
JOHN S. DUB AN, 2d Lieutenant. 



ENLISTED MEN. 



Edward M. Barnard, 1st Sergeant. 
Henry C. Paddleford, Sergeant. 
Vernon 0. Wilcox, Sergeant. 
John Lovell, Sergeant. 
George W. Archer, Sergeant. 
John W. Davis, Sergeant. 
John McQueen, Corporal. 
Henry Weightman, Corporal. 
Henry C. Scott, Corporal. 
Nathan Lakin, Corporal. 
William Duncan, Corporal. 
Eugene M. Griggs, Corporal. 
John Baker, Corporal. 
Schuyler Rue, jr., Corporal. 
Wallace S. Clark, Bugler. 
John M. Paddleford, Farrier. 
William Donivan, Blacksmith. 
Russell C. Fowler, Saddler. 
Julius C. Pratt, Wagoner. 
Myron J. Ainick. 
John Archer. 
Henry Ball. 
Nathaniel Brown. 



Charles F. Holmes. 
Charles P. Kennedy. 
John M. Kingsley. 
Christopher Kingsley. 
James Knox. 
Abijah A. Lee. 
Eben Lowder. 
Lloyd T. Lathrop. 
William M. Love. 
William Mehan. 
John Muldoon. 
Eugene Mann. 
Henry Nelson. 
Thomas C. Pennington. 
Peter D. Porchet. 
Marquis L. Perry. 
David Peterson. 
Isaac Peterson. 
William H. Pease. 
Abner A. Pease. 
George Perkins. 
Jeremiah Phelan . 
John D. Pringle. 



54 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

ENLISTED MEN, COMPANY B CAVALRY. 

Mortimer 0. Briggs. George Pettingill. 

Edwin E. Balch. Daniel Rettis. 

Ephriam M. Gardner. Daniel Reynolds. 

Robert Collins. Earl Robinson. 

William J. Christy. Abraham Rumsey. 

George Cox. Henry J. Rogers. 

Robert N. Chrysler. William E. Satterfleld. 

Isaiah B. Curtis. Jnstus J. Stringer. 

Charles Collins. Amos D. Scott. 

George W. Campbell. Abijah L. Strang. 

Charles Cooley. Charles L. Seward. 

Harrison Eaton. Henry M. Sawyer. 

Edwin F. Evarts: James Sheddon. 

John Fraser. Clark Tucker. 

William H. Fletcher. John B. Thompson. 

Patrick Glennon. George M. Winchester. 

Robert Gallagher. Wallace Wettenpaugh. 

John Gilbert. Martin F. Wettinpaugh. 

Norton N. Harger. Noah Walice. 

Oliver Hanagan. John Wagoner. 

Jerry Hickey. Benjamin Weaver. 
Ninety-one officers and privates. 




CHAPTER IV. 

OFF FOR THE WARS. 

[UESDAY, September 24th, the long expected 
and much wished for day of departure from 
Camp Hammond dawned. Before day the 
men were astir, the camp alive and buzzing 
like a huge bee hive. Hurrahs would break 
out from some unexpected quarter, which 
were followed by scattering hurrahs all over camp. Animation 
beamed from every countenance, and soon after sunrise people 
from the country came crowding into the camp by the thousand. 
They came on foot, on horseback, and in every conceivable 
kind of vehicle from a lumber wagon to a chaise. Gaily dressed 
women, fair-faced country lasses, hardy countrymen, over-dressed 
fops and substantial farmers, making up a " tremendous big 
crowd." were on hand, rendering the scene animated and pictu- 
resque beyond description. A larger assemblage never before 
gathered on the banks of the glistening Fox ; and never went 
soldiers to fields of glory bearing kinder wishes for their welfare, 
or more heartfelt adieus at their departure. Eyes unused to 
weeping were dimmed with mistiness, and hearts throbbed heavily 
with painful thoughts as the order was given to strike tents, and 



56 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

in ten minutes the prairie which had been flecked with snowy 
canvass was littered with heaps of straw, old clothes, hats, bun- 
dles of rags, fire places, boards and ruined bunks. 

At 4 P. M. the column was formed, and headed by the band, 
we bade adieu to Camp Hammond forever ; marched to Aurora 
and embarked in a long train of passenger coaches which awaited 
us, and amidst the deafening shout of thousands the train moved 
away. Scarcely a sad face was seen in the regiment, and if 
flashing eyes and loud huzzahs were an index of the feelings 
within, all departed with joy and gladness. On the line of 
railroad our departure had been heralded in advance, and it 
seemed as if the whole population were out, lining the track to 
bid us God speed. Bonfires blazed, guns were fired, and the 
evening air was stirred with shouting as we passed swiftly through 
the villages which dotted the country. At Arlington, in Bureau 
County, where we stopped a few minutes for water, crowds of 
ladies flocked to the train to welcome and shake the hands of 
their gallant defenders. At Galesburg the citizens thronged 
the station, and were profuse in complimenting the fine appear- 
ance of the men. A group of cavalrymen, with Major Barry in 
their midst, while standing on the platform at the depot with 
their overcoats and clean uniforms on, attracted the attention of 
a citizen, who remarked, while looking at the squad, "They have 
a fine looking set of field officers." Whether the Major alone 
appropriated the compliment, or regarded it as a drive at the 
officers, was not ascertained. We reached Quiricy at 3 p. M., 
September 25th, and soon the work of transferring cavalry horses, 
tents and regimental stores to the steamer Warsaw commenced. 
Those of the men not detailed for that purpose found quarters in 
an empty warehouse; many, however, remained in the cars, and 
doubling up like jack-knives, sought repose in the seats. 



RETURN OF COL. MULLIGAN'S MEN. 57 

A thousand or more of Mulligan's men had arrived at Quincy 
from their defeat at Lexington, and each had his story of 
adventures, of hardship and suffering to tell. They were a 
brawny set of Irishmen, who had fought well and deserved much 
of their country, which up to that time had paid them nothing. 
As our destination was Missouri, and the probabilities were that 
we would have the same enemy upon our hands, some pains were 
taken to ascertain the character and numbers of the rebels, and 
the particulars of the late battle at Lexington. 

Previous to September a small force of the 1st Illinois Cavalry 
and a body of Home Guards had been posted at Lexington to pro- 
tect the Union people of that place. This force being menaced by 
superior numbers, Col. Mulligan was dispatched from Jefferson 
City with his regiment as a reinforcement, marching a distance of 
150 miles on foot. Entrenchments were thrown up around the 
Masonic college building, which served as a magazine and store 
house. The Union forces at this time numbered 2500 men. The 
next day the enemy's advance, 6,000 strong, under Gen. Rains, 
made their appearance. Col. Mulligan, finding himself threat- 
ened by a greatly superior force, sent urgently for reinforcements, 
while the command speedily set to work with pick and shovel 
to strengthen their defences. On the 12th of September the 
siege began. By the 17th the enemy were in force and had 
entirely surrounded Mulligan's position with 20,000 men. The 
battle continued night and day with both cannon and musketry, 
but every charge was repulsed with heavy loss to the enemy. At 
length they constructed breast works of hemp bales, from behind 
which they kept up a continuous fire while rolling them towards 
the federal position. Sorties were made upon these works and the 
enemy driven away, but lacking sufficient support to hold them 
the advantages gained were temporary. During one of these 



58 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

charges Col. Mulligan was wounded and Col. White, of the 1st 
Illinois Cavalry, killed. Upon the death of Col. White a panic 
seized the Home Guards, who, without orders, raised a flag of 
truce, which Col. Mulligan caused to be torn down, and the com- 
bat continued. At length the ammunition having given out, and 
the men being completely exhausted, the Home Guards again 
raised a white flag, which this time was not torn down. Terms 
of surrender were agreed upon, the men were paroled and per- 
mitted to proceed to Quincy. Everything except clothing and 
officers' side arms were given up. Col. Mulligan wept when he 
found he must abandon a contest which he had gallantly main- 
tained for eight days. Gen. Price complimented the command 
by saying that "these Irishmen were the hardest set to capture 
he had ever seen," and certainly their looks in this respect did 
not belie them. Many of these men were ready to violate 
their parol, and proceeded to St. Louis with us, persisting in 
their determination to join our command and fight the "rebs" 
on sight. 

The next morning all the men and equipage were transferred 
to the Warsaiv, and as she steamed out into the river, turned her 
prow from the city and went cutting the spray southward, a thous- 
and cheers were interchanged between boat and shore. The 
shrill notes of the band and loud beating of drums echoed from 
the woody banks and from each negro cabin a shout went up 
and a fluttering handkerchief or apron waved us a. kind God 
speed. But two nights' and a day's absence from home had 
afforded ample time for a little of the enthusiasm to cool, and 
when the men began to realize that they were dissevered from old 
familiar land marks, it might be for months possibly, alas, for- 
ever! many faces were measurably lengthened, contrasting 
strangely with the animation of the day before. At night the 



EN ROUTE TO ROLLA. 59 

twinkling stars were suggestive of sad thoughts ; even the notes 
from the band became mournful as a funeral dirge, and its strains 
seemed to echo only tearful and melancholy farewells. Some 
eyes were observed terribly red resulting from the wind, of 
course. 

The trip was made with scarcely a stop, except when stranded 
on a sand bar, where for twenty minutes the men were kept on a 
double quick from bow to stern until the craft worked its way 
over and was again cleaving the waves. No incident worthy of 
record occurred to those on board, but everybody on shore, as we 
rapidly steamed by, came out and gazed at the great steamer 
plowing through the water, crowded with 1,200 soldiers, who 
swarmed from texas to boiler deck. The men were generally in 
good spirits, and but few complained of illness until it became 
known that the sick were to occupy the cabin, when an epidemic 
for state rooms suddenly broke out, and Surgeon Young was 
much surprised at the numbers responding at sick call, all requir- 
ing immediate attention and removal to the cabin. 

Daylight on the morning of the 27th found us safely moored 
at a landing in front of the city of St. Louis. . Col. Greusel 
immediately proceeded to the headquarters of Gen. Fremont, 
reported the arrival of the Regiment, and asked for arms. His 
requisition was at once granted, and at 9 o'clock A. M. the War- 
saw dropped down to the United States Arsenal. Arrived 
within its stone walls, arms and accoutrements were quickly dis- 
tributed. Companies A and B were fortunate in securing Minnie 
and Enfield rifles, while Springfield muskets of an old pattern, 
remodeled, were dealt out to the balance of the Regiment. The 
Colonel was indignant, the men were disappointed, but no amount 
of expostulation could secure different arms, from the simple fact 
that they were not to be had. 



60 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Lieut. Clark, who by unanimous consent had been appointed 
regimental wag, was heard discoursing thus: "Heaven forgive 
"us all our sins if we are to be sent among these rampageous, 
" half horse, half alligator, border ruffians with these old muskets 
"and triangular bayonets. If we are not kicked over the borders 
"at the first discharge it will be through the special interposi- 
tion of a kind Providence. Or it will be through the same 
" merciful influence if we are not all dead in three weeks from 
"lugging so much rusty iron among the black jacks and rocky 
"fastnesses of Missouri. We shall be equally in danger from 
"the muzzles of squirrel rifles and the breeches of our own mug- 
"kets; and caught thus like a rat in a trap between muzzle and 
"breech, what possible earthly chance can there be for us?" 

When the "Wayne Rifles" were humorously requested to 
walk up and take their muskets, with a look of injured innocence 
they peremptorily refused, and left the arsenal grounds in a huff 
and without a single gun. Re-embarked upon the Warsaw we 
steamed back to the city and passed another night upon the boat. 
A train of freight cars were shoved down to the levee to which 
the regimental stores were transferred, and at about 5 P. M. the 
Regiment was marched through the city with rattling drums and 
colors flying, to the depot of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, 
where we embarked for Rolla, then the terminus of the South- 
western Branch. There being no equipments nor sufficient trans- 
portation for the cavalry, they were sent to Benton Barracks, a 
beautiful location north-west of the city limits, where at that time 
10,000 men were under the military instruction of Gen. Curtis, 
who was in command. 

After eight of the infantry companies had taken their places 
in the cars, word came from the railroad officials that, for lack of 
transportation, two of the companies would be obliged to remain 



COL. JOSLYN AND THE RAILROAD OFFICIALS. 61 

in St. Louis until the next day. Preparations were being made 
to proceed in accordance with this arrangement, when Col. Jos- 
lyn, having ascertained that there were cars enough upon the 
tracks, concluded that the two cavalry companies were enough to 
leave at that time, and proceeding to the engine, pulled the pin 
connecting it with the train, and with revolver in hand declared 
the train should not leave St. Louis until cars sufficient for the 
transportation of the infantry were furnished. The altercation 
became rather boisterous, and one of the railroad men threatened 
to thrash him. The Colonel doubted his ability to make the 
threat good, and reiterated the demand for more cars, which, after 
some delay, were forthcoming the plucky Lieut. Colonel of the 
Thirty-sixth coming off victorious in the first campaign in 
Missouri. 

At Franklin we were switched on the South-west Branch, over 
which we ran at little more than cart horse speed, affording 
abundant opportunity to speculate upon the dangers and trials of 
the future and wonder what fate had in reserve for us. The 
South-west Branch cannot easily be forgotten by those who in 
war times had the excruciating pleasure of riding over it. The 
men were penned in box cars like drovers' stock on its way to the 
slaughter pen. Every foot of space was occupied, and 
there was not a square inch of muscle that was not as tender as 
an ulcerated tooth at the termination of that ride. Passing 
through a rough, almost mountainous region, with its frequent 
intervals of steep grades, to a nervous man the speed was pain- 
fully slow; but when the heights were gained, and the down 
grades reached, a rate of speed was at times attained calculated 
to lead to the suspicion that at that rate and over such a track 
we would soon be landed in a country of sultry climate, where 
secession had its birthplace and where, we hoped, it was destined 



62 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

soon to have its burial. Then we would go up, up, winding 
around mountain gorges until one would have to watch the trees 
closely to determine if we moved at all. 

The hills were usually covered with low, scrubby black jack ; 
the soil for the most part poor and thin, and scarcely worth the 
blood already shed in its defense. With an occasional clearing, 
comprising a few acres of sickly weeds, a log cabin with mud 
chimneys entirely outside, with now and then a dilapidated "but- 
ternut;" a smoke begrimmed, dejected woman and a swarm of half- 
clothed urchins, with unkempt, yellow heads protruding through 
the chinks, watching, with a vacant stare, the passing train, served 
to fill up the details of this picture of the region passed through. 
The bulk of native Missourians we saw were long, gaunt men 
and women, put together well enough, perhaps, originally, but now 
quite shaken to pieces with fever and ague, or trembling with 
terror and apprehension, in view of the speedy occupation of the 
country by federal troops and retribution which might at any 
time overtake them for participation in rebellion. As a rule, the 
houses of the country were small, dirty and dilapidated; 
each establishment worthy of its proprietor. Of thrift, comfort, 
and good farming, we saw none; the people barely existed did 
not live. One meets many just such dwellings and just such 
people over the South. Men who lie around loose rather than 
stand erect on God's green earth ; men who seem to have no her- 
itage of ideas or manly aspirations, but manage in a very preca- 
rious way to keep body and soul together. Labor is degrading, 
so of course, they are idle ; a slave or two becoming the "hewers 
of wood, the drawers of water," the scape goat of their master's 
idleness, and the occasional victims of their vindictive wrath. 
Men fresh from the busy scenes of the enterprising North had 
hard work to suppress a feeling of contempt for these, the worst 



ARRIVAL AT ROLLA. 63 

victims of slavery, stigmatized by the haughty slaveholders and bv 
plantation negroes as "poor white trash." The beautiful South 
lies sterile and her people semi-barbarous at the feet of her evil 
genius, Slavery, but will grow young, powerful and strong, and 
occupy a proud position by the side of the sister States of the 
North only after this race of do nothings is gone, when free labor 
comes to touch with new magic the springs of intelligence, enter- 
prise and industry. 

Finally, after surviving the perils of "riding on a rail," and 
after being jolted and pounded in the closely packed box cars 
until every joint from toe to crown was as "stiff as a poker," we 
reached Rolla shortly after noon of September 29th. We pro- 
ceeded to the recently vacated camp of the 13th 111., and pitch- 
ing our tents, were at home again. It required but a short time 
to understand that the pic-nic days of Camp Hammond were 
over, that playing soldier was played out, and that now we were 
to come down to genuine hard work. 




CHAPTER V. 

ROLLA. 

,OLLA, the county seat of Phelps County, Missouri, 
at that time the terminus of the railroad, was an 
insignificant gathering of tumble down shanties, 
built of logs and boards, scattered here and there 
in the brush as though they happened there by 
chance, and might have been very appropriately classed with those 
institutions so common in the South-west, known as "one horse j 
towns." Every other shanty was a whisky shop, from whence I 
proceeded every form of loathsome disease and death which pre- 
vailed to an alarming extent among some of the regiments sta- 
tioned there. The Court House, a large, brick structure, was 1 
used as a hospital. Of its two hundred sick and suffering inmates, 
three-quarters were Missourians, who were not considered in 
their normal condition unless saturated with whisky. One might 
pick up any of those lank, three-story-and-an-attic specimens of 
the genus Missouri, wring him out, and whisky would ooze from | 
every pore. It was apparent that to a greater or less extent their j 
example was contagious among the northern regiments, 
and exerted a powerful influence in persuading many to pat- 
ronize the hospitals and graveyard, as well as those dead falls 



OUR FIRST EXPEDITION. 65 

labelled saloons. This was the main cause of so great a per 
centage of sickness and mortality among those who were sup- 
posed to be acclimated to the country, and to modes of life which 
on the distant frontier much resemble that of a soldier in camp. 
On Col. Greusel devolved the command of the Post. The first 
measure inaugurated by him, and the first expedition in which the 
36th participated, was a demonstration in force against the whisky 
dens. The Colonel commanded the expedition in person, and 
with a detachment from the 36th, headed the charge, seized and 
emptied all the liquors they could find. Very little of the extract 
of corn remained in Rolla at the close of that campaign. 

Previous to the occupation of the town and the establishment 
of a military post at Rolla, trees and brushwood covered the 
slopes and cumbered the streets, or more properly, bridle paths. 
Situated in the midst of a scantily settled country a silent, 
sleepy region, but little troubled with Yankee enterprise or mod- 
ern agricultural improvements, and as a business center scarcely 
producing a ripple upon the dull monotony of the region there 
were no inducements for building. But in time the groves were 
cut down, the land cleared and leveled for parade grounds, and 
the hills denuded of their foliage for purposes of fuel. War, 
with its wonder-working power, wrought a great change in the 
appearance of this sleepy town. White- Availed, canvass villages 
sprang up and crowned the hill sides ; sentries paced up and 
down its once quiet walks; and army wagons, soldiers, mounted 
officers, and orderlies hurrying from camp to camp over rough, 
forest ways, gave it an air of business, activity and bustle, quite 
in contrast with the primitive days of the town. The population 
was largely made up of apple women, mustang ponies, fugitives 
from the outskirts of civilization, mules, contraband negroes, 
with now and then a secessionist not smart enough to run away, 



66 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

and too worthless to be hung. Such was Holla as we found it: 
a conglomeration of military camps, of small traders, attracted 
by the hopes of gain from unsuspecting soldiers, and a "right 
smart sprinkle" of native Missourians, all of which constituted 
the peculiar make up of the place. 

In a few days the 13th Illinois and 4th Iowa Regiments 
returned from a brief and fruitless expedition and encamped in 
close proximity to the 36th, and as the former had been recruited 
in the same region of country with ours, a close intimacy and 
generous rivalry sprang up between them. 

In the meantime drilling proceeded almost incessantly, lasting 
some days from six to nine hours, and such rapid progress was 
made in our military education as to attract the attention of 
officers of other commands. Col. Wyman was a frequent visitor 
and at times conducted the Dress Parades, and the 13th, the 
hitherto crack regiment of the State, betrayed some anxiety 
about retaining their well merited and so far uncontested laurels. 
The severity of the day's drill and other duties required of the 
men had a tendency to send them early to bed, when quiet reigned 
over camp until the little drum major would arouse them to 
activity at five o'clock in the morning. 

Col. Greusel was a strict disciplinarian, and looked sharply 
after the peccadillos of the men. Realizing from former experi- 
ence that it was not the bullet or shell which most menaced the 
lives of soldiers, but that habits of idleness, license and dissipa- 
tion engendered diseases infinitely more fatal than Dahlgren or 
Columbiad ; his orders were stringent in regard to drunkenness, 
frequenting saloons and disreputable houses, and also very definite 
in relation to plundering from citizens. All convicted of diso- 
beying orders were made examples of, and dealt with severely. 
As a result, the general good conduct and exemplary behavior of 



THE MISSOURI PIE-VENDERS. 67 

the men of the 36th was commented on, and led some to suppose 
they were all members in good standing of some orthodox church, 
while their deportment won for them the credit of being gentle- 
men as well as soldiers. One night a corporal while concealed 
in the bushes and darkness near the post of a sentinel, overheard 
the countersign as it was given to a relief, and persuading some 
of his comrades to accompany him, they left camp and raided 
heavily onthe gardens and hen roosts of citizens, and brought 
their ill gotten plunder to their quarters. The affair reached 
the ears of Col. Greusel. Their arrest and speedy court-martial 
followed, resulting in the decrease of the number of corporals in 
that Company, and a corresponding accession to the numbers of 
high privates, while the whole party were sentenced to ten days 
confinement within the vermin-haunted walls of the jail. 

An institution somewhat aboriginal, and yet peculiarly Missou- 
rian, was the pie and cake venders, generally skinny old women, 
who flocked in from the country with immense burdens of ''leather 
apron ' ' pies and black lumps of ginger bread or molasses cake 
a mixture of flour, bacon grease and sorghum molasses the color 
of which suggested tar instead of syrup. The venders of 
these villainous articles would hang about the confines of camp, 
hawking their wares with voices as unmusical and unfeminine as 
horse fiddles. The men of the 36th were liberal patrons of these 
institutions, and at all times groups of soldiers might be found 
gathered around these native hucksters, voraciously devouring 
their conglomerate mixtures. It was absolutely marvelous to 
see the quantities which an average sized thirty-sixer could hold. 
After gorging themselves with pies, hunks of black gingerbread 
enough, one would think, to founder a horse the information 
would be vouchsafed that they had eaten just enough to pro- 
voke an appetite, and then another half dozen pies or cards of 



68 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

cake were purchased to be sandwiched between a course of baked 
beans and hard tack. It was a continued source of wonder how 
men could endure such a surfeit of leather and molasses, beans 
and bacon with which they tormented their digestive organs, and 
survive; and it could only be accounted for on the theory that 
with the change from civil to military life, their stomachs, like 
their costumes, had undergone a wonderful transformation ; per- 
haps were lined with gutta purcha and riveted to a diaphragm of 
boiler iron. Yet they lived; and like Jeshurun of old, waxed 
fat, and would tumble out of their quarters on a keen, frosty 
morning as nimble as crickets, ready for duty at the drop of the 
hat. The demand for this indigestible native pastry was occa- 
sioned by the poor quality of the rations at this time served to 
the troops. Some of the early issues of hard bread w r ere old and 
worm eaten. When soaked in coifee, more or less dead worms 
were found among the dregs. The members of the Band at one 
time had issued to them a barrel of it, infinitely worse than any 
they had hitherto received. They determined to bury it, and the 
whole musical corps of the regiment marched in. solemn proces- 
sion to a spot selected outside of camp, and the rites of sepulture 
were gone through with. Dutch Charley, the bass drummer, 
suggested that an epitaph be written upon the headboard, and on 
being asked what it should be, replied : 

Here lies von mans, his name's hard pred, 
He shmels she pad dot he ish deal. 
Sthranger stheps lightly o'er dish sot, 
Or de vorms vill eat you ups, mein Got ! 

As Rolla at this time was the extreme outpost occupied by 
federal troops, it was the point to which refugees and fugitives, 
fleeing from the relentless conscription of the rebels, came for 
protection and aid. The 25th Missouri, commanded by Col. 
Phelps, was largely composed of this element. They came singly 



UNION REFUGEES FLEEING TO CAMP. 69 

or in squads of from two to fifty ; on foot, on horseback and in 
any and all ways to escape the fury and hate of their enemies. 
Weary and footsore they presented themselves to the pickets and 
from thence wended their toilsome way to the camps. One arrival 
of seventy-five mountaineers from the chert hills of Douglas 
County, on the borders of Arkansas, for a while was the center 
of attraction. To the "boys from America," a queerer conglom- 
eration of human oddities and natural curiosities were scarcely 
ever raked together. No mortal man could picture a more strange, 
ragged and dirty assemblage in the form of human beings. Most 
of them were tall, sallow, cadavarous and leathery fellows, as 
uncouth as was ever represented in David Crockett's comic 
almanac. Others were short and brawny, and stalked through 
the crowd with a reckless, independent swagger. All of them 
were squalid, travel-worn and tattered to the last degree. Talk 
of scarecrows ! Why, the yards of dirty linen hanging out like 
fluttering banners from the rear, and the patches and shreds of 
old coats and garments dangling from their limbs, would be suffi- 
cient to scare the crows and all other "varmints" in terror from 
the country. Some were barefooted, others had an apology for 
shoes that would excite the profoundest contempt from the seediest 
street beggar that ever haunted the gutter for bones. And as for 
hats, words could scarcely do the subject justice. Hunt up all 
the old hats that ever plugged the windows of poverty's dirtiest 
kennels ; select a score or more of the poorest and worst, and an 
approximate idea might be formed of the head-gear of these 
native mountaineers. 

As Union men they had been persecuted, plundered, driven 
from their homes, and hunted like wild animals by hordes of 
secession "blood hounds" from Arkansas and the Southern bor- 
der. Many were caught and hung ; others had their ears cut off, 



70 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

and some were shot down like dogs. For mutual protection they 
finally banded together, determined to die, rather than submit to 
further exactions and barbarities. A party of these men on the 
3d of October encountered two hundred secessionists on Bryant's 
Fork, about two and a-half miles south of Vera Cruz, the county 
seat of Douglas County ; and, after a lively fight of fifteen min- 
utes, the enemy fled, leaving fifteen dead and ten wounded upon 
the field. But one of the Union men was wounded, and he but 
slightly. Two days after, another party of secessionists were met 
and put to flight, leaving one killed and three wounded, while the 
others fled as rapidly as possible to Arkansas. Rumors of the 
return of their enemies in larger force, together with want of pro- 
visions and ammunition, determined them to come to Holla. On 
the way they had encountered a detachment from McBride's 
rebel regiment, and captured them all, including a Lieutenant and 
a dozen privates, who were brought to camp and sent from thence 
to St. Louis for confinement in the Gratiot prison. One of the 
refugees, Samuel Collins, was seventy-five years old. A son 
had been hung by the southern miscreants, and he had been 
forced to live for months in the woods. He had fought with 
Jackson at New Orleans, and was ready again to face the storm 
of shot and shell in defence of the same old flag. He was enrolled 
with the others, and as a member of Phelps' Regiment, mustered 
into the service of the United States. 

Near to and adjoining the camp of the 36th was a battalion of 
Cavalry, called "Kansas Rangers." under the command of Major 
Wood. Nearly the whole of his command were recruited in 
Missouri and from citizens of the State, and why they were called 
" Kansas Rangers " was not satisfactorily explained. Detachments 
from this battalion were constantly scouring the country ; hunting 
out secessionists ; collecting information of their movements ; now 



EXPLOITS OF THE RANGERS. 71 

and then stinging them like wasps and stirring them up right 
lively. Shortly after our arrival, a squad of twenty -five pro- 
ceeded thirty miles to the south-west of Rolla, and quartered 
themselves in a house for the night. A negro quietly informed 
them of the near approach of a company of Confederates, under 
one Freeman, who, aware of their movements and situation, with 
superior numbers was preparing, to surprise and capture them. 
They at once mounted their horses and hurried away in such haste 
as to leave two of their number asleep, and their absence was not 
noticed for some time. Soon after the house was surrounded and 
a volley poured in at the windows. One of the sleeping troopers 
was severely wounded and captured ; but the other, though fired 
upon and having an arm broken and a finger shot away, reached 
his horse and made his escape. At another time a detachment 
from the same battalion scoured the valley of the Big Piney, 
capturing several noted secessionists who were at home on furlough. 

Hearing that one Pitcock, a leader among them, was at home, 
Sergeant Adams with four men was sent across the country to 
arrest him. As they approached the house in the night they were 
greeted with a fusilade from eighteen shot guns, that were handled 
Vy an equal number of brawny " butternuts." So warm a recep- 
tion was not expected. The Rangers, however, pitched in, kicked 
the door from its hinges, and revolvers in hand, charged among 
their dismayed antagonists, and soon that mountain cabin looked 
more like a slaughter pen than the abode of human beings. A 
few escaped, but nine were killed outright and four brought away 
as prisoners. It was said that some were shot after their surren- 
der. Sergeant Adams was quite severely wounded in the breast, 
hcinor the only injured man of the Rangers. The battalion, com- 
posed almost entirely of Missourians men without a particle of 
cowardice or the more redeeming virtue of mercy, each having 



72 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

an old grudge or private wrong to avenge and neglecting no 
opportunity for the speedy settlement of these personal griev- 
ances, was the terror of the country. 

Such occurrences had but slight influence upon the general 
result of the contest, and were of no particular moment to the 
36th. Yet the recital of these adventures served to enliven the 
dull routine of camp duty, and furnished food for conversation 
and material to write about in the hundreds of letters winging 
their way back to the firesides left behind. 

The two Cavalry Companies remained much longer at Benton 
Barracks than was anticipated, on account of there being no arms 
for them at St. Louis. Other cavalry detachments were in pre- 
cisely the same situation, some of which had been waiting months 
for their equipments. Little did the people realize at the com- 
mencement of the war the utter poverty of the nation in the 
essentials for carrying it on. The administration shrunk from 
proclaiming its needs, and struggled on, endeavoring to supply 
deficiencies in the best manner possible, and because of its inabil- 
ity to arm a half million men at once, without a musket in the 
depleted northern arsenals, and without money in the National 
Treasury, it was abused without stint. But while thus waiting, 
the cavalry was not idle. The horses as well as men were famil- 
iarized with the movements so necessary to be learned. 

At length marching orders were received, and on their arrival 
at Rolla the troopers were greeted by the infantry with a hearty 
welcome. They were speedily armed with sabres, breech-loading 
carbines and revolvers. The battalion, with their clean uniforms 
and new armament, made a gallant appearance, and for a time 
the " 36th Riding Company " created a sensation among the 
natives. 

The first death and burial after the Regiment arrived at Rolla 
occurred October 7th, being that of a member of Company B. 



DEATH OF LIEUT. CHAPPEL. 73 

Cavalry, named Logan. The whole Regiment, except those on 
duty, formed in line and followed the body to the grave, where it 
was buried with military honors. 

On the 16th, Lieut. Chappel, of Company A., died, being the 
second death which occurred at Holla. His body was placed in a 
coffin, draped with the National flag, and forwarded to friends at 
Elgin, for burial. The Regiment was drawn up in two lines, in 
open order, extending from camp to the railroad station, between 
which Company A. with reversed arms followed the coffin, which 
was preceded by the band, playing a funeral dirge, the solemn 
cadences of which added a mournful solemnity to the sadness of 
the hour. Captain Baldwin took charge of the body and pro- 
ceeded with it to Elgin. 

On the 10th of October all the troops, except the 36th, the 4th 
Iowa and Phelps' Missourians, left Rolla and marched to the 
south-west, to co-operate with General Fremont in his movement 
from Sedalia upon Springfield. Colonel Dodge, of the 4th Iowa, 
being the senior officer, was placed in command of the post, and 
with characteristic vigor set about placing it in such a condi- 
tion for defense as to render it secure against assault from the 
enemy. Work was resumed on Fort Wyman, which had been 
left for weeks in a half-finished condition. This defensive work, 
situated on a hill three-fourths of a mile south of town, over- 
looked and commanded the surrounding country. It had been 
planned and commenced under the direction of Captain Totten, 
and about half completed by the 13th Illinois. Engineers to 
take charge of the work were detailed from the 36th, for there 
was no trade or profession, but had representatives in its ranks. 
Large details of men were made from each regiment at the post ; 
picks and shovels provided, and the gravel was soon flying in a 
way which insured the speedy completion of the fort and the 
erection of block houses at opposite angles. 

6 




CHAPTER VI. 

H 

EXPEDITION TO HOUSTON. 

N THE meantime a wail of distress came up from 
Texas, Dent and other counties south and west of 
Rolla. Each day bands of fleeing refugees repeated 
their stories of destitution and suffering resulting 
from the depredations of guerrilla bands that 
patrolled the country, enforcing the relentless con- 
scription laws of the Confederate Congress, and plundering the 
.Union people of their sustenance, often adding murder to the 
long catalogue of other crimes, McBride, Freeman and Haw- 
thorn were filling these localities with terror, and sweeping the 
country as with the besom of destruction. Fields were laid 
waste, and swept of cattle, hogs and horses, and the smoke of burn- 
ing houses marked the path of these miscreants. 

An expedition to Houston was resolved upon and Colonel Greu- 
sel put in command. It was made up of detachments from the 
two Cavalry Companies of the 36th, commanded by Lieut. 
Sherer, of Company A ; Companies B and E of the Infantry, 
and two hundred men from the 4th Iowa Infantry, consisting 
altogether of about five hundred men. It was believed that at 
Houston a considerable force of "Bushwhackers" and the odd 



THE FIRST MARCH. 75 

ends of several rebel commands were collected, from whence they 
radiated and ranged over the surrounding country committing 
their depredations and fiendish barbarities. 

At four P. M. all were in readiness ; the men fell into line, each 
with knapsack containing blankets, extra ammunition and three 
or four days' marching rations. The Companies wheeled into 
column ; the drums beat an exhilarating air ; the rattle of sabres, 
the clinking of horses' shoes over the stony road, and the meas- 
ured tread of the infantry as it filed over the hills, presented a 
more warlike aspect than anything the 36th had yet been accus- 
tomed to. Cheer on cheer rent the air. The men, inexperienced 
as they were in campaign life, and eager for a change, were 
wrought up to a high pitch of enthusiasm. The troops marched 
well, and twilight was descending, wrapping glade and moun- 
tain in the garb of night 'ere they had wended their way over 
the hills and were fairly out of sight. After marching eight 
miles, one of the teams gave out, and was taken back to Rolla, 
and a six mule government team sent in its stead, escorted 
by eight men from Company C. The night was intensely dark ; 
dense clouds shut out the starlight and left the command to grope 
its way over a rough unfrequented road that led through a coun- 
try more rough and rugged than the Illinoisians had before 
experienced. Now they went toiling up steep hills seemingly 
interminable ; then plunging down the precipitous slopes of others, 
into some deep and dark ravine. Rough strata of rock cropped 
out at every step, stumps and boulders littered the road, against 
which the men came in rough and unexpected contact, lacerating 
their limbs and bruising their feet. Streams were reached and 
forded, the troopers' horses plashing through . the swift flowing 
water, their iron shoes grinding its pebbly bed, the infantry cau- 
tiously wading through and then marching on in silence, broken 



76 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

only by a savage expletive as some one tumbled over a rock or 
into a hole. After marching twelve miles, mostly in the darkness, 
they bivouacked near the banks of a stream. Pickets were 
thrown out, the horses tied to the black-jacks, and then the men 
sought repose on the cold ground, but wrapped in their blankets. 

At daybreak the next morning the men prepared their coffee, 
cooked a scanty breakfast, and then the column was again in 
motion, but not marching with that precision and order observed 
upon the parade ground. "Rank step and arms at will," was the 
order, and each man took the gait which suited him, provided he 
kept closed up with the company, while his musket described 
every possible angle but the right one. This plodding on through 
a wild, rough country had very little of military romance about 
it. On the contrary, it was downright hard work, especially for 
most of the men detached from the 36th, who were unaccustomed 
to such service. 

Straggling was not allowed, but all sorts of excuses were 
resorted to, to go to the wayside cabins for milk and " garden 
truck." What astonishing spasms of hunger or thirst attack 
soldiers on sight of an attractive farm house, and what sad stories 
of privation they have to tell when once they gain the ear of the 
proprietor or his family. A pretty close observer of all the 
phases of a soldier's life has stated that positively no soldier under 
such circumstances was ever known to have had anything to eat 
for the two previous days, though his haversack may even then 
be crammed to corpulency with "hard tack." And the pleas 
these mousing stragglers put in when caught with plunder are 
sublime in their audacity. 

Major English, of the 4th Iowa, observed a soldier staggering 
along with a great swelling under his blanket which, from every 
indication, he judged to be a dead pig whom he hailed with : 

" Hello, my man, where did you get that pig ?" 



PECULIAR FORAGING PROPENSITIES. 77 

" It isn't a pig, sir, it's tomatoes. You don't know, sir, how 
hard it is to tell pigs from tomatoes in this blasted country." 

The Major re-adjusted his spectacles, took another look, but 
refrained from pressing his inquiries further. 

At each halt during the day the inevitable tin cup was in req- 
uisition, boiling coffee at impromptu camp fires. Nothing seems 
to refresh troops when on a march so much as a cup of coffee. 

At night the command encamped on Crow Creek, within five 
miles of Licking, which place was reached the next day, and 
occupied by the infantry for 'four days, while Col. Greusel with 
the cavalry scouted the neighboring country, capturing some 
noted secessionists and bringing them to camp. The hamlet was 
nearly deserted, as the former residents, who were Union people, 
had been plundered and then driven from their homes, and only 
a few forlorn "war widders," faded damsels and yellow haired, 
dirty faced children now remained. The troops found quarters 
in empty houses, and during the time the place was occupied 
detachments scoured the country and stripped it of "secesh" 
horses, mules, cattle and wheat. 

Col. Greusel with the cavalry proceeded to Houston, chasing 
from thence a squad of ghostly "butternuts," with whom a few 
shots were exchanged, but at too great a distance to be effective. 
On being pressed by the cavalry, they took to the brush and 
escaped. A secession flag was floating from the Court House, 
which was hauled down and the stars and stripes ran up in its 
stead. Notice was given to sympathizers and the aiders and 
abettors of treason that if the flag was hauled down or insulted, 
the troops would return and inflict summary vengeance upon 
those who did it. Fourteen prisoners were captured, including 
an Inspector General, Quarter-Master, Sergeant Major, and an 
Orderly Sergeant, who, on the return of the expedition, were 



78 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

confined within the precincts of Fort Wyman, and with others 
set to work with pick and shovel upon the fortifications. The 
prisoners strenuously objected to being obliged to work, and as 
an ordinary rule prisoners of war are exempt from such service 
to their captors ; but when we take into consideration that these 
men were the authors of much of the distress and suffering 
endured by Union families, followed in many cases by house 
burning and assassination, humanity towards them almost ceased 
to be a virtue. The graves of their victims send forth bloody 
witnesses, and the tears and agony bf widows and orphans who 
owe their grief to these miscreants testify against them, and to 
labor in chains all their days would be an insufficient recompense 
for the fearful consequences to the country of their accursed 
treason. 

On the 6th, Capt. Wood with the cavalry started for Spring 
Valley, thirty miles distant, in pursuit of Col. Freeman, against 
whom the expedition was principally directed. He could not be 
drawn into a battle, and by his perfect knowledge of the country 
eluded all efforts for his capture, and only straggling shots at 
long range were exchanged. The property taken and brought to 
Rolla was valued at $15,000, which was turned over to the Quar- 
ter-Master and Commissary Departments. Among the trophies 
was a drum made from a hollow log, looking much like a north- 
ern bee gum, with sheep skins stretched over either end, and 
when beaten sent forth a lugubrious murmur unlike anything ever 
heard before in connection with military organization, outside the 
jungles of Ethiopia. The flag taken at Houston was a primitive 
affair, displaying artistic skill in its make up about on a par with 
the drum, and covered with cabalistic signs and hieroglyphics 
about as intelligible as Hebrew or Greek to a backwoods Indiana 
Hoosier. This campaign had its advantages in accustoming the 
men to long marches and unceasing vigilance. 




CHAPTER VII. 

STILL AT ROLLA. 

COLONEL WYMAN'S expedition to the south west 
showed results in the long lines of prisoners of 
, war which were sent by him under guard to Rolla. 
The jail and fort were gradually filled with them, 
and guards detailed from the different regiments at 
the post were required to prevent their escape. 
The 36th contributed its share in the entertainment and preserv- 
ation from harm of these highly honored guests. 

Though the 36th did not participate in this campaign, yet a 
short synopsis of the incidents connected with it may not be out 
of place, as they served for many days to keep the men on the 
qui vive, and awakened nearly as intense an interest as if they 
were active participants. 

The first day out from Rolla the expedition marched twenty- 
four miles to the Big Piney, through a drizzling rain storm, over 
mortar-mixed roads neither safe nor agreeable. On the 12th, the 
command went into camp within four miles of Wet Glaze, not 
far from Lebanon, in LaClede County. The pickets were fired 
upon during the night, which apprised Col. Wyman of the near- 
ness of the enemy, and soon after reliable information was 



80 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

obtained of the position and strength of a considerable force. 
Four companies of cavalry under Major Wright, and four com- 
panies of the 13th Infantry, set out at daylight to make the 
attack, while the balance of the command were to follow closely 
in their support. 

Col. Turner, the Confederate commander, took up a position 
at Wet Glaze, on the side of a hill overlooking and commanding 
the road over which our forces were expected to approach, that 
led up through a ravine and along the sinuous windings of a 
range of hills. The whole country was diversified with chert 
ridges, cut by deep ravines and densely covered with bushes and 
scattering black-jack, in every way favorable to the mode of 
"fire and run" bush fighting adopted by the enemy, who, sup- 
posing that their presence was wholly unknown to Wyman, had 
taken their position among the bushes and trees, partly conceal- 
ing them, and awaited our approach. Just then several ambu- 
lances, with some of the convalescents from Springfield, left there 
after the battle of Wilson's Creek, approached, and were com- 
pelled to halt before entering the ravine, and in this position 
remained more than an hour, awaiting the result of the expected 
battle. They were frequently jeered by the secessionists, and 
told that they would soon have another batch of wounded feds to 
carry along with them to Rolla. Such was the condition ot 
affairs, when suddenly two companies of cavalry under Captains 
Switzler and Montgomery, who were in advance, charged over the 
hill and swooped down upon the left flank and rear of the aston- 
ished enemy, and poured a destructive fire from their carbines 
into the now wavering ranks; then charging with their sabres 
they scattered them like chaff before the wind. The cavalry 
pursued, and each singling his man, overtook and sabred him to 
the ground. In a few minutes the fighting was over ; the enemy 



SUCCESSFUL CAVALRY RAID. 81 

throwing away guns and everything that could impede their 
flight, took to the woods and ravines in a perfect rout. They 
were so completely surprised and terrified that but few shots were 
fired by them, and only one of Capt. Montgomery's men was 
wounded. It was a dash a shout a gleam of death from our 
side, and a wild and frightened scamper for life on the part of 
the enemy. When our cavalry and the ambulances met, three 
rousing cheers went up and echoed through the glades. 

The force engaged on our part was the cavalry advance, num- 
bering scarcely one hundred men. The infantry hearing the 
firing, double-quicked to the spot, panting and out of breath, but 
were only in time to assist in gathering up the wrecks that strewed 
the ground. Sixty-three of the enemy's dead were found, thir- 
teen wounded were scattered over the hill side, and forty prison- 
ers captured. 

Many were the incidents of personal daring related to the 
eager, gaping crowds of the 36th which thronged around the 
ambulances and prisoners' escort as they came filing into town. 
One negro with Capt. Montgomery, in the capacity of cook and 
general drudge, fearlessly rode in advance of the command, 
blazing away at the first butternut in sight, and the first of the 
enemy to fall was shot by him. The prisoners were a sorry look- 
ing set of vagabonds, and in their dress and deportment much 
resembled the Douglas County refugees. 

From Wet Glaze, Wyman marched to Linn Creek and cap- 
tured thirty other prisoners, who were likewise brought to Holla 
for safe keeping and to experience the hospitalities of the 36th. 
In retaliation for the plunder of McClurg's store at Linn Creek 
some time previous, the 13th was allowed to confiscate the con- 
tents of stores and shops belonging to active rebels and their 
sympathizers. It is needless to add that the work was thoroughly 
done, and a second visit for that purpose rendered unnecessary. 



82 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

During the absence of the expedition, each day, and nearly 
each hour, came laden with reports of battles lost or won ; of ene- 
mies thronging around in countless thousands, together with hun- 
dreds of other wild reports, too incredible for any but the easily 
gulled to believe. One morning Price was reported within five 
miles of the Post with ten thousand men at his heels, fully bent 
upon its capture and the slaughter of its defenders. And great 
was the astonishment and indignation of the men at the apparent 
apathy and indifference of the officers, who made no call to arms 
and no preparation for defence. During the day this report was 
considerably modified the numbers of the enemy reduced to five 
thousand and their distance twenty miles away. When stripped 
of exaggeration their numbers amounted to twenty furloughed 
or fugitive secessionists, skulking about their homes twenty-five 
miles away. But Wood's cavalry thoroughly scoured that neigh- 
borhood, caught four of the skulkers, brought them prisoners to 
Rolla and forever settled the story of the three black crows. 

There is no community on earth so frequently the sport of 
rumors wild and strange as a camp of raw recruits contiguous to 
an enemy. For stories the wildest, strangest and most unbeliev- 
able, of the near approach of enemies, of army movements, of 
impending battles, &c., &c., commend me to a camp of soldiers 
with little to do. The novice hears of fighting, of victories or 
disasters, in advance of experienced commanders aided by their 
trusty scouts and appliances for gaining information, and acting 
on his implicit belief in the truth of these rumors, his knapsack 
is packed and he sleeps with his sword or musket by his side. 
All this was gone through with a dozen times in the camp of the 
36th. A little experience soon teaches men to get over this, 
until an order to march at a moment's notice or to charge an 
enemy's position is received with entire equanimity. 



FAILURE OF FREMONT'S CAMPAIGN. 83 

News of the capture and occupation of Springfield by Gen. 
Fremont was followed by a requisition for supplies from Holla. 
Most of the cavalry at the Post, including a detachment from 
.Company A, of the 36th, was sent as escort to a large train laden 
with army stores to the front, with Lieut. Col. Joslyn in com- 
mand. Judge Sample Orr, with a long cavalcade of Union refu- 
gees from the southwest, joined the command, hoping under the 
protecting care of the escort to be able to reach their homes and 
remain in peace and safety under the shadow of the stars and 
stripes, borne by Fremont's victorious legions, who, it was reported, 
had swept the country of secessionists, and sent them skurrying in 
inordinate haste and terror to the wilds of Arkansas. 

Fremont's southwestern campaign, from which grand achieve- 
ments were earnestly hoped for and confidently expected by the 
country, proved to be a stupendous failure ; and that officer was 
superseded in the command of the Department by General Hal- 
leek, who signalized his accession to power by relieving Fremont 
from the command of the Army while in full career of triumph, 
placing Gen. Hunter in charge and recalling the expedition. 
The troops which a few days before had marched from Sedalia 
and Holla so sanguine of success, rejoicing that the period of inac- 
tivity was broken and that at length they were to come down to 
work ; that work the sweeping of secession forever beyond the 
borders of Missouri, contributing to the final termination and 
entire overthrow of rebellion, alas, was changed to a dispiriting 
retreat. Not a retreat with shattered ranks, torn by shot, before 
a proud, victorious foe, and as broken wrecks from some disas- 
trous conflict ; but with full ranks, flying banners, unsoiled uni- 
forms, as free from smoke and smell of gunpowder as if at 
home in the North, quietly at work in shop or field. 

Among the troops that returned to Holla from Springfield was 
the splendid 13th 111., with Wyman's Brigade, also the Divisions 



84 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

of Sigel and Asboth. Sigel was regarded as the lion of the hour, 
and his appearance in the camps was the signal for an ovation. 
Small of stature, but lithe and active, his conversation somewhat 
broken, he had not that stolid sluggishness which characterizes 
the average "lager beer " German. Not his dress, nor his quick, 
jerky conversation, revealed the general and superior commander 
so much as a fiery, restless eye, which at once attracts, fascinates 
and pleases. He was a man of battles, accustomed to the roar 
the smoke and carnage of deadly conflict, with a name and fame 
already historic, who considered the putting down of rebellion a 
religious duty. The men were enthusiastic to "fight mit Sigel." 
But enough of adulation ; we shall know him better by and by 
when we have marched with him through the lanes of death. 

Gen. Asboth also visited the camp of the 36th. He appeared 
as rigid and stern as an iron statue. A grim son of War, he had 
not that magnetic influence over men, arousing their enthusiasm, 
like Sigel. Asboth, after a review and dress parade conducted 
by himself, pronounced the 36th the finest appearing and best 
drilled in the manual of arms of any regiment in the service ; a 
compliment of no mean significance when we consider the high 
source from whence it emanated. 

We had now fairly settled down in camp and fully embarked 
in housekeeping, when the wives of Col. Greusel, Capt. Pearce 
and Capt. Baldwin came and took up their abode with us, dis- 
tributing rays of glorious sunshine, and reminding us of social 
life in America. The presence of these truly magnificent women 
was the cause of their husbands being subjects of envy all over 
the regiment. Never before had the men so fully appreciated 
the value of a yard of calico the shimmer of bright eyes, the 
sheen of a tress, or the flutter of a ribbon, as now. To men who 
for weeks had hardly seen a woman's face radiant with smiles 



APPRECIATION OF THE LADIES. 85 

and beaming with intelligence, the presence of these ladies awa- 
kened fresh memories of home and the well remembered associa- 
tions of other days; kindled anew the love for wives, mothers, 
sisters and sweethearts, and endeared every adjunct of femininity 
left behind. The roughest soldier in the ranks was chastened 
into propriety, behaved better, aye, and fought better, from the 
presence of true, loyal and lovely women among them. An influ- 
ence for good pervaded the camp from their being in it. Their 
visits to the hospital and ministrations to the suffering ones gave 
life and hope where else would have been despair and death. 

Mrs. Greusel knew what it is to be the wife of a sol- 
dier, and the patient endurance of long months of separation, 
with the care of children on her hands, while the husband is 
away in his country's service. She had passed through it all 
while her husband was fighting the country's battles on the 
plains of Mexico. Truly the country owes much to its heroic 
daughters as well as to its brave sons. 

Mrs. PearCe was a superb horsewoman, an easy, graceful rider, 
and flashed over the hills and valleys like a ray of light, and often 
alone, as free and fearless as a trooper. 

Pay-day came at last we had begun to despair of ever seeing 
its bright dawning and the regiment was made happy by the 
appearance of Major Kinney with his money bags. That night 
the men retired to their bunks rejoicing in the possession of their 
hard earned shekels. Many thousands of it were sent home to 
gladden the hearts of wives and children, while other thousands 
changed hands by the shuffle of the cards, and by all the tricks 
and devices which camp followers and camp leeches could invent 
to wring the hard earned cash from the pockets of their fellows. 
Not the least in expressions of satisfaction at the appearance 
of this auspicious day was the sutler. He did an enormous busi- 
ness at an enormous profit, and at night his establishment was as 



86 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

empty of eatables and articles of prime necessity as though a rebel 

army corps had gone through it. 

f 
But if pay-day was fraught with blessings to some, it brought 

its curse upon others. I doubt if twelve hundred men can be 
promiscuously brought together, but that some will be found with 
a constitutional thirst for intoxicating liquors. Men who were 
thought to be exemplary in tKeir habits were now found in that 
soggy condition which induces the hugging of telegraph poles in 
the laudable endeavor of steadying the world. Notwithstanding 
stringent orders against its introduction, somehow "tarantula " 
found its way to Rolla. 

A trooper belonging to Company B Cavalry, who had suffered 
for two whole months without a glass of whisky, nay, without so 
much as a smell of it, found means for getting out of camp and 
soon was drunk drunk all over ; he continued so for three days, 
and of course for that period was absent from roll-call. After 
sobering up he returned to camp, reported his absence and the 
cause of it to the Colonel, who reproved him sharply, but as this 
was his first offense he concluded not to punish him, making him 
promise, however, to keep sober in the future. On reporting to 
Capt. Smith for duty, that officer caused his immediate arrest, 
personally assisted in tying his hands, gagging him by passing a 
rope through his mouth, and then jerked the poor fellow about 
the Company quarters until his mouth and tongue were badly 
lacerated and bleeding; then, just for the fun of the thing, 
kicked him brutally as he lay helpless on the ground. This was 
too much for average human nature to endure, and the men inter- 
fered and rescued their comrade from further violence. Ascer- 
taining the extent of his injuries, a simultaneous rush was made 
for the Captain, with the avowed intention of putting an eternal 
quietus to his kicking and gagging propensities. The uproar 



DISMISSAL OF CAPT. SMITH. 87 

caused by these summary proceedings attracted the attention of 
the officer of the day, who called out the camp guard for the Cap- 
tain's protection, but he had to leave camp and sought refuge in 
a house in the outskirts of the town, where he lay concealed dur- 
ing the night and succeeding day. The next night he was secretly 
conducted to Dillon, a station six miles from Rolla, on the rail- 
road, and when the next train passed he went with it to St. Louis. 
He was afterward cashiered and dismissed from the service. 
Such brutality might be appreciated among Camanche savages, 
but the army of the United States, particularly that branch of it 
to which by some unfortunate circumstance he had been attached, 
could very well dispense with his services. He was succeeded in 
the command of the Company by SAMUEL B. SHERER, of 
Aurora. 

The weather during these days of patient waiting at Rolla was 
for the most part delightful. Never was there a more favorable 
time for marching, and that we were to advance very soon was 
taken for granted. Whither and when, were questions which 
ruled the hour. Squads of prisoners, reports of skirmishes and 
occasional mutterings of battle from the south-west, where Fre- 
mont was driving all before him, gave rise to conjectures as to a 
time in the near future when we should receive orders to march 
to our first baptism of blood. Rumors as usual often fixed the 
hour, but day succeeded day and weeks followed in quiet succes- 
sion, and we did not move. It was not for subordinates unac- 
quainted with all the reasons for delay to trouble themselves on 
this point, so we made the best of it, gradually settling down to 
bear with cheerful philosophy the monotony of camp life. 
Abundance of food was served to the men ; Joe, the sutler, was 
always ready to add to the government ration his supplementary 
trash, and the pie and cake women still found a ready market for 



88 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

their leathery wares. So passed September, October and Novem- 
ber ; the hills, fields and woodland basking in glorious sunshine. 
We realized in its rich fulness the appropriateness of the term, 
"The sunny South." 

There were times when the south-west winds would come rush- 
ing through camp rather too briskly for comfort ; when clouds of 
dust would roll up from the parade ground ; hats, shingles and 
clothing hung out to air would be caught in the breeze and go 
skurrying eastward. At such times the principal occupation of 
the men on returning from drill would be to dig the sand and 
gravel from their eyes, the dust from their ears, and with soap 
and towel proceed to remove the strata of Missouri soil which 
masked their faces and was sprinkled in superlative nastiness 
over their clothing and person. 

By the last of November the air became crisp and frosty. 
The winds changed to the north, and men wrapped in their over- 
coats and mufflers went shivering to their posts of duty. The 
skies became overcast with dark, heavy clouds, giving notice of 
the approach of winter. Then came the rain; not in gentle 
showers to lay the dust, usually more refreshing than disagree- 
able, but a cold, driving storm, mixed with sleet, which, aided by 
the wind, sought every nook and cranny about the camp ; through 
every opening into the tents ; penetrating the clothing and cutting 
the faces of such as were compelled by duty to endure it. Canals 
and ditches for drainage purposes were dug and means adopted 
for preventing the deluging of the quarters, or the winds from 
eddying under and through the canvas-walled habitations. The 
weather accomplished what the wishes of the men had failed to 
effect, and the daily drills for a time were suspended. 

For hours the patient cooks sought to work out the difficult 
problem of how to make a fire from green wood, in a puddle and 



COOKING UNDER DIFFICULTIES. 89 

midst the driving rain. Fire and water were brought into fierce 
conflict, fire finally triumphing, and a pale, sickly flame flickered 
up through the dark smoke-wreaths ; not enough for warmth, but 
sufficient to simmer the coffee and soften the beans, which, together 
with hard tack, eaten in the tents, were the luxuries we thrived 
upon. The trails cut through the brush, which by some misno- 
mer were called roads, were changed to quagmires, through which 
the army wagons sent out for wood were with difficulty dragged. 
Little mud holes became miniature lakes. Unless duty impera- 
tively required it, the men remained quietly in camp. A trip to 
the outposts was like an aquatic excursion, better performed by 
web-footed horses and men. 

This season of alternate rain and snow, of " sailing through 
muddy seas," lasted but a few days, when again from a rift in 
the clouds the sun looked smilingly down and greeted us. Such 
was the winter of 1861-2 in Missouri ; alternating from sleet to 
sunshine, from roads as hard as pavements, to seas of plastic 
mud. Without ice and with little snow, and hills not frozen to 
adamant, like the stern-visaged Winter of the North. 

With the abandonment of the southwest and return of the army 
to Rolla, came vast crowds of refugees, fleeing not only from rebel 
outrage, but from starvation and death. Their few remaining 
goods, chattels and effects spared by the plundering hordes of 
Price and the guerrilla bands which everywhere ranged the coun- 
try for spoil, were tumbled promiscuously into dilapidated ox-carts 
or squeaking wagons drawn by jaded oxen or horses, as lean 
and starved as Pharaoh's kine. Each convoy was accompa- 
nied by a pack of lank, wolfish dogs and swarms of ragged, sun- 
burned children on foot, often without shoes. They took their 
sorrowful journey as outcasts from the homes which had sheltered 
them, and with the North Star as their cynosure they fled to the 



90 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

line of the Union armies for protection. Family after family 
thronged to Holla as the " Mecca" of their hopes. The father, 
careworn and dejected, trudged along the dusty road; the moth- 
er, anxious, yet patient ; the children, with a curious mixture of 
wonder and excitement that served to buoy up rather than depress, 
and all in the lowest stages of destitution. Their houses had 
been burned, their cattle driven away, their farms devastated and 
themselves cast out upon a cold and cheerless world. One could not 
contemplate without horror the thousands of families brutally 
driven from their homes, wending their way over the mountain, 
and with blood-stained feet crowding to Holla and begging for the 
bread which their own fellow countrymen in the ranks of seces- 
sion had deprived them of. Many had fathers, sons, or husbands 
in the ranks of the federal army and were now bearing northward 
mute testimonials of their devotion and sacrifices. From this 
heterogeneous mass of human beings Col. Phelps derived many 
recruits, for from the fires of persecution patriots arose, as Christ- 
ians arise from the blood of martyrs. 

There were now about ten thousand men gathered in the vari- 
ous camps in and about Rolla. Each separate regiment or com- 
mand, like the 36th, had little or nothing to do. In the calm, 
beautiful evenings groups of officers would stroll from camp to 
camp to chat with old acquaintances or new found friends, and 
thus pass the hours in the interchange of friendly courtesies. A 
favorite resort at such times was Fort Wyman, which commanded 
a view for many miles over the surrounding country. Far away 
in every direction flashed a thousand camp fires, each tent illu- 
minated, and a little aid from the imagination would change the 
lovely scene to a stately city with its broad avenues, replete with 
life and the hum of business. Then would come the reflection 
that these were not the peaceful residences and happy firesides of 



CAMP FIRE EXPERIENCES. 91 

quiet citizens, but the temporary shelter of those who, far away 
from loved ones, had taken their lives in their hands in defence 
of home and fatherland. 

Near at hand were the sheltering tents and blazing camp-fires 
of Col. Phelps ; southwest along the valley of Beaver Creek, and 
following the sinuosities of its course for miles, the camp-fires of 
Wyrnan, Sigel and Asboth's Divisions presented long avenues of 
flame for before each tent was blazing a pile of black-jack logs- 
vieing with each other in the grandeur of the illumination. The 
exact location of each could be distinctly traced by the bright 
lights marked and reflected from the heavens above. 

At the foot of the hill the 36th and 4th Iowa were located 
nearly under our feet, and one might almost fancy what the men 
were talking about, as around each ripple of flame they were seen 
grouped in conversation, or engaged in various occupations. 
Some, of course, were boiling the inevitable coffee pot, for it mat- 
ters not what the hour, no camp-fire was ever without a soldier 
making coffee ; some are reading, some playing cards and others 
simply keeping warm. 

At the Fort, guards and prisoners were on equal terms of social 
intercourse and sat promiscuously about the fire, smoking pipes 
and telling yarns. One Corporal Baughman, from Phelps' regi- 
ment, was a genius in his odd, Missouri way. Talking of mos- 
quitoes the old fellow remarked, " That reminds me of Arkansaw, 
whar thar's a right smart sprinkle of them kind of varmints thar. 
Thar is whar a man can hold his arm extended in the air for a 
minute and then by suddenly hauling it in, leave a hole in the 
air just the size and shape of his arm." 

And then followed some of his experience as a pioneer in the 
south-west. In the early settlement of Springfield, neighbors, 
like angels' visits, were few and far between. For his first year's 



92 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

provisions he raised a patch of buckwheat, and taking it to a mill 
for grinding, the miller, a South Carolinian, thought he would 
like some, and purchased a quantity for his own use. His wife, 
entirely ignorant of the manner of its preparation, undertook to 
make light bread of it, but after two or three trials and failures, 
threw the stuff away, declaring "old Baughman a fraud and 
cheat," and a candidate for a "licking on sight." 

And this one on Harrison, of the 36th, came out. While on 
duty at the Fort he patronized a Missouri woman for milk. One 
morning he was early after his accustomed ration of the lacteal, 
and found the good dame "pailing the cow." Being a Yankee, 
he could not wait in silence but plied the woman with questions, 
among which was the enquiry if her cow was a good one for milk. 
"Mighty good," was the reply. "She dont give a very peart 
flow now, yet I reckon she gives a right smart sprinkle." 

And Lieut. Pritchard gave a chapter of his experience among 
the "Pukes." At one time on his way from Rolla to Salem, he 
called at a cabin for water. The family were at dinner, and 
when the mother arose to procure a gourd full of the aqua pura 
for the stranger, two stripling girls monopolized the sorghum 
dish, and went for its contents their level best, by dipping their 
corn bread into the molasses and then getting outside of the 
smeared and dripping morsels as greedily and speedily as possi- 
ble. One. not entirely satsified with the share she was able to 
secure, called out to the mother on her return from the spring : 
"Mam ! Mam ! Sal dips twice into the deep to my once in the 
"shaller, and you know lasses is scarce." 

The following was also told and vouched for as a fact : Among 
the secluded hills somewhere in Missouri, one of the "natives" 
had in the course of years, by hard labor and economy, saved up 
his shekels, and in addition to broad acres had an abundance of 



MISSOURI GIRLS DINING OUT. 93 

gold and silver. Business called him to St. Louis, and he took 
his daughters along, who flashed like full blown hollyhocks in 
ribbons and calico. While at dinner at the Planters', a guest at 
the opposite side of the table was observed to dip his bread into 
the syrup dish and proceed to its mastication. One of the daugh- 
ters observing this, plunged her corn bread into the same dish in 
backwoods style, at the same time calling out to her sister:' 
"Sail! Sail! Why dont you wallup yer dodger into the sop? 
" Pap's got as much money as enny on em, I reckon." 

But it is nine o'clock. Tattoo is sounding from bugle, fife, 
drum and horn, and twenty regimental bands take up the refrain 
and a wilderness of sweet sounds and swelling notes come welling 
up like some strong fountain upheaving its wealth of sparkling 
foam and seething waters. Thanks for the regimental bands, and 
thrice grateful for the rich harmonies which come floating up 
from their silvery horns. Then wending our way slowly and 
thoughtfully through the various camps to our quarters, the 
thought impresses itself upon our minds that there is not one in 
all this great camp of many thousands of sleepers, who has not 
left some one to mourn his absence ; not one so poor and mean 
as to be without some tie binding him to others, and liable at any 
time to be broken by the rude touch of war. 

The large army gathered about Rolla did not altogether pine 
in inglorious inaction or rust with idleness. Predatory bands 
followed up the retreat from the south-west, and infested the 
country outside our picket lines. The cavalry were constantly 
on the wing, gathering up stray parties who ventured too near 
our lines, and frequently dealing telling blows, giving the u but- 
ternuts" a foretaste of what was in store for them when once 
the dogs of war were let loose. Wood's Kansas Rangers filled 
them with terror, and Wright, Montgomery, Switzler and Bowen 
haunted them like ghosts of the departed. 



94 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

November 30th, Major Bowen proceeded with a detachment 
from his batallion to Salem, the county seat of Dent County, 
about thirty miles distant. The weather was stormy and the 
roads fearfully muddy, and on his arrival after dark, weary and 
wet, finding no enemy, he quartered his command in the vacant 
houses scattered in various parts of the town. Not appre- 
hending danger, pickets were not posted, as should have been 
done. In the night they were surprised by Col. Freeman and 
Col. Turner's rebel bands ; were fired upon through the windows 
and a number killed and wounded. Bowen soon rallied his ter- 
rified men around the Court House, and after a hotly contested 
engagement repulsed the enemy with some loss. 

Captains Switzer and Montgomery were sent to Bowen's relief, 
and the united commands set out in pursuit of Freeman, pressing 
him so closely down the valley of Currant river that he was 
obliged to leave it for the mountains. Our cavalry continued 
their march some distance beyond until night, and then struck 
across the country to head off their wary, as well as wily, foe. 
Coming to an open country, they descried the enemy's camp-fires 
at a distance, and proceeded in silence until in close proximity 
to their camp, when, at the word of command, a volley from our 
carbines went crashing among the surprised and bewildered 
foe, who started up and fled in every direction, without firing a 
gun. The rebel loss was not known, except in prisoners, fifty of 
whom were taken and graced the triumphant return of the expe- 
dition to Rolla. 

Captain Jenks, with a detachment from Co. A of the 36th cav- 
alry, led an expedition in the direction of Crawford County, and, 
though no collision at arms with the enemy occurred, a large 
number of sympathisers and active secessionists were apprehended, 
brought to Rolla and incarcerated at the Fort, where they enjoyed 
a season of rest from their predatory meanderings. 



CAMP WYMAN FILLED WITH PRISONERS. 95 

Thus were the ranks of copper-bottomed prisoners rapidly 
recruited, until the narrow limits of Fort Wyman could not con- 
tain them. Among them were Lieut. Col. Somers, Captains 
Worsham and Bohannon, together with other officers of lesser 
note. Numbers were sent to St. Louis for confinement in the 
Gratiot prison ; some renounced their faith in secession, express- 
ing a willingness to enlist in the Federal service, and there- 
upon were released, joining some of the Missouri regiments. 
One of the prisoners, a boy eighteen years of age, was visited by 
his mother and sisters, who urged him to renounce secession, 
swear allegiance to the Government of the United States and 
return home with them. Their appeal was in vain. On their 
knees, with streaming eyes and swelling hearts, they implored 
him to give up the heresy of secession, but he, with firmness 
and a self-reliance and composure far beyond his years, declared 
that he would rot in prison before he would take the hated oath 
or violate his obligation to the Confederate Government an 
exhibition of firmness and independence of character which in a 
righteous cause would have been admired and commended. 

The scouting parties which penetrated the enemy's country, 
yielding a rich harvest of prisoners, were almost exclusively com- 
posed of cavalry, while the infantry remained in the camps of 
instruction or in the performance of Post duty, sometimes at 
other stations than Rolla. Capt. Miller, with Company B, in 
the month of December occupied St. Clair, a small station on the 
railroad, fifty miles east of Rolla, holding it as a Post for several 
days ; but guard duty was light, and the troops both at Rolla and 
along the railroad were comparatively idle. As yet the weather 
was too delightful to permit the thought of winter quarters, and 
it was impossible for the troops to divest themselves of the belief 
that to-morrow, or next day, or the day after, they would eer- 



96 THIKTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

tainly move to fields of more exciting interest than the dull routine 
of the camp. this interminable waiting I Nothing so demor- 
alizes men, so dilutes their manhood, so corrodes their patriotism, 
destroys their enthusiasm, steals away their cheerfulness and 
impairs their health, as to pen them up in camp and condemn 
them to weeks and months of listless do-nothingism. Card play- 
ing, at first resorted to as an occasional pastime, eventually degen- 
erates into gambling, out of which grow quarrels and the acqui- 
sition of bad habits not easily overcome. In time the intelligent 
and refined become rough and brutal, a result traced directly to 
the enervating influence of idle hours. Crimination and recrim- 
mination among officers, followed by charges and courts martial, 
are the inevitable fruit of idleness. For those who are constantly 
busy, either physically or mentally, have not time to indulge in 
wrangles, 'or share in the rivalries and jealousies which spring up 
among those ambitious of position and restive under restraint. 

The equanimity of camp was disturbed by the appearance 
of Lieut. Walker of Company I, armed with a commission 
from Gov. Yates and backed by orders from the Depart- 
ment Commander. Walker's friends in the Company greeted 
him warmly, but a hurricane or an earthquake could not have 
produced more consternation to his enemies than his untimely 
apparition among them. Walker promptly reported himself for 
duty, and at dress parades he and Lieut. Merrill stood side 
by side, neither yielding an inch, while Walker's Commission, 
(the only one in the regiment), and orders from Department head- 
quarters secured his person from violence, but could not smother 
the rage and infinite disgust of his enemies. The whole camp 
was in a ferment, and, however much men desired it, it was next 
to impossible to remain in a state of neutrality. Dissensions 
between regimental officers arose in regard to the course to be 



LIEtJT. WALKER PREFERS CHARGES. 97 

pursued towards Walker. Days passed, and still the Colonel 
remained firm and steadfastly refused to officially recognize 
Walker's claims to the position of First Lieutenant. 

This finally culminated in charges preferred by Walker against 
Col. Greusel, Capt. Camp and Lieut. Merrill, the substance of 
which charges were to the effect that Col. Greusel refused to 
recognize the Commission of the Governor of the State of Illi- 
nois; that together with Capt. Camp he had resisted with force 
and arms his reinstatement in his position in the Company. Their 
arrest and suspension from duty soon followed, and Lieut. Walker 
was placed in command of the Company. Shortly after, while 
absent as officer of the day, an effigy was hung in a tree upon 
'which was written, "I've got my posish!" which attracted large 
crowds from every part of the Regiment. Lieut. Col. Jos- 
lyn caused its removal and administered a scathing rebuke to the 
officer of the guard for allowing such an outrage to be perpetrated 
within the confines of the camp. Weeks passed and matters 
remained in statu quo, no commission being appointed to try 
the charges until January, after Gen. Curtis had assumed the 
command of the "Army of the Southwest," when G. M. DODGE, 
Col. 4th Iowa Vol., C. B. HOLLAND, Lieut. Col. 25th Missouri 
Vol., and Major ENGLISH, 4th Iowa Vol., were appointed a Court 
Martial to investigate the charges and try the cases. 

At the time of the organization of the Court the regiment was 
on the march to the southwest and Walker absent in command of 
the Company. Col. Brackett, as mustering officer of the regi- 
ment, was the only witness examined, and testified to the muster 
of Capt. Camp and Lieut. Merrill as officers of the Company, that 
Walker was not present and was not mustered in any position in 
the Company. In five minutes after the case was closed, the offi- 
cers were released from arrest and ordered to the regiment for duty. 



98 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Col. Greusel joined the regiment on the Big Piney Creek and 
assumed command. He was received with a perfect storm of 
cheers from the men and welcomed back to his old position. 
Poor Walker, professing to have had enough of mud and march- 
ing for that campaign, returned forlorn and dejected to Rolla, 
resigned his commission, and ever after from Company I and the 
36th Regiment was going going gone ! 

Though rid of Walker, the Regiment was not rid of dissen- 
sions growing out of his case, that were too deep seated to be 
summarily disposed of, and which for a long time impaired the 
harmonious, half family relations which should exist between 
officers of the same regiment or command. Had Lieut. Merrill 
been as early and as easily disposed of as Walker, he would have 
escaped a humiliating record which for all time must be a blot 
upon his military career. 



LIBRARY 

OF THE 
UNIVERSITY of ILLINOIS 





MAJ.CEN. SAMUEL R.CURTIS. 




CHAPTER VIII. 



ROLLA TO PEA RIDGE. 

. 

ARLY IN January, Brig. Genl. SAMUEL R. 
CURTIS was appointed to the Command of the 
"Army of the South West," and proceeding to 
Rolla assumed directions of military matters 
in that quarter. Gen. Curtis was born in Ohio, 
and at that time was fifty-six years of age. He 
was educated at West Point, from which institution he graduated 
with honor in 1831. After nearly two years' service in the 
infantry branch of the regular army, he resigned his commission, 
studied and practiced law for a while. Having a natural taste 
for engineering, and his acquirements fitting him. for that pro- 
fession, he gave up the practice of law and was for some time 
employed as chief engineer on various public works. At the 
breaking out of the Mexican war he volunteered his services, was 
appointed Colonel, and served under Gen. Taylor throughout his 
campaigns. He was for a time Military Governor of the City of 
Monterey, and in the performance of the duties of this position 
displayed superior tact and rare administrative ability. After 
his return, he resumed the pursuit of engineering, and took an 
active part in many of the public improvements which opened up 



100 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

and served to develop with amazing rapidity the young and grow- 
ing West. 

He removed from Ohio to Iowa, and settled at Keokuk, where 
he -was twice elected to represent his District in Congress. Upon 
the announcement of the fall of Sumpter, which event set the coun- 
try in a fever of excitement, he hastened to Washington, entering 
the city with the renowned 7th New York Regiment, riding 
through Pennsylvania Avenue at its head. He at once tendered 
his services to President Lincoln, which were accepted ; resigning 
his seat in Congress, and armed with the necessary authority he 
proceeded to Iowa and recruited the 2nd Regiment Iowa Volun- 
teers, which was the first in the field from that State. Through his 
exertions and promptness Northern Missouri was protected in its 
loyalty, and all efforts of secessionists to gain a foothold there 
were successfully repelled. He was soon after promoted to the 
rank of Brigadier General and appointed to the command of 
Benton Barracks and the District of St. Louis, under Gen. Fre- 
mont. The raw, undisciplined regiments which were thrown into 
Missouri were thoroughly drilled and rendered efficient troops. 
Under the administration of Gen. Halleck, when sweeping 
changes were made in the commanders of troops operating in his 
department, to Gen. Curtis was assigned the command of the 
forces collected at Rolla, which w r as designated the "Army of 
the South-west." 

Immediately on his assumption of the command a different 
atmosphere pervaded the camps and made itself apparent in the 
administration of military affairs. The men were not long in 
doubt as to the question of an early advance or of continuing to 
moulder in winter quarters at Rolla. A rapid transition from a 
state of aimless expectancy to busy preparation commenced with 
his arrival, pointing unmistakably to a speedy movement upon 



RECONNOITRING THE COUNTRY. 101 

the enemy in force. The condition and wants of each regiment 
with a view to active service was enquired into and all their 
needs supplied. Arms were inspected and put in order, ordi- 
nance stores, provisions and transportation were accumulated in 
lavish abundance. Everything of a superfluous character was 
dispensed with, including the muster out of the Regimental 
bands, a measure, considered by many, of doubtful utility. The 
fine band of. the 36th Avere thus sent home, and henceforth we 
missed their splendid serenades, their musical entertainments, 
and the enlivening influence diffused throughout the camps 
through the stirring airs of martial bands. 

A thorough reconnoissance of the country as far as Lebanon 
was resolved upon, and all the cavalry at Rolla, including Com- 
panies A and B of the 36th, was detailed for that purpose and 
placed under the command of Col. Carr, of the 3rd Illinois Cav- 
alry. The expedition was to start at sunrise of the morning of 
the 29th of December. The 36th was at he appointed rendez- 
vous on time, being the first to report for duty, and was assigned 
to the batallion of Major Morse. Other detachments soon after 
arrived, and forming in line the command was reviewed by Gen. 
CurtiiS, who looked every inch the soldier and high-toned gentle- 
man. Assuming a position in front of the line, he praised the 
unusual fine appearance of the troops, and receiving the usual 
salutations from officers, he gave the command, " By companies 
Right Wheel March," and the expedition was on its way. The 
sun shone brightly on the glistening sabres, the horses were fresh 
and restless, trying the strength of their riders' muscles in main- 
taining their position in the ranks. 

On the second day the 36th Cavalry was detailed as rear guard, 
a position always slow, tiresome arid disagreeable, and on this 
occasion made doubly so on account of bad roads and mules, 



102 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

many of which had never before been harnessed. The trains 
were dragged wjth difficulty over hills and through almost bot- 
tomless ruts, into which the wagons plunged, many being cap- 
sized and broken, while mules were injured and some killed out- 
right. The third day from Rolla the command made better 
progress, passing through Waynesville, crossing the Gasconade 
and camping several miles beyond that stream. 

Various rumors of the movement of rebel bands came to the 
ears of Col. Carr, and he decided to fall back with the main 
command to the Gasconade, but ordered Major Morse with his 
batallion, including the 36th, to scout the country thoroughly. 
A wide extent of country was visited, straggling bands of seces- 
sionists pursued, but none were overtaken. It rained the succeed- 
ing night, but froze as fast as it fell, covering their saddles, their 
blankets and the earth with ice, while the men's clothing was 
completely saturated. During the day, Capt. Lewis with another 
detachment routed a band of fifty confederate soldiers, and cap- 
tured a herd of sixty cattle which was being driven to Price's 
army. 

From this time until the middle of January, when the main 
army arrived from Rolla, the cavalry were engaged in scouting 
the country, reconnoitring the enemy, now and then capturing 
bands of secessionists who were making their way to Price, and 
gaining information that was of infinite service in the sub- 
sequent advance of our army. The school was a severe one, 
but much was gained in habituating the men to campaign life, 
perfecting them in their profession of arms, and, in short, making 
them cool and careful soldiers ; and though this advance was bar- 
ren of achievements at arms, it gave the men an insight into the 
practical affairs of army life, and eminently fitted them for the 
duties and trials of the succeeding campaign. 






MARCHING ORDERS RECEIVED. 103 

To test the condition of the infantry and their military abili- 
ties, the regiment marched many miles over the country and 
through the various camps, fully armed, with knapsacks filled, 
and with all the accoutrements pertaining to a first-class soldier 
of the Republic. A day was thus spent in marching, and on 
the return to camp the men were not entirely unanimous in 
expressions of confidence in their ability to keep up the same 
performance day after day, when, in addition to their gun and 
ammunition, they should be burdened with an amount of dry 
goods and soldiers' gear sufficient to stall a pack mule or burden 
an elephant. 

On the *1 4th of January marching orders were received. The 
keen, frosty air and cutting wind sweeping down from the north 
en used a chill, in contemplation of the weather they were to 
encounter, and the discomforts attendant upon a cold winter's 
march ; but did not abate a whit of the enthusiasm with which 
the order to " Fall in Men " was received and welcomed 
Tents were struck in a trice and packed in the wagons, together 
with other stores. The mass of rubbish which had accumulated 
in camp during the long stay at Rolla was fearful to contemplate. 
Every man was burdened with old letters, keepsakes, trinkets, 
curiosities, extra clothing, blankets, etc.. in number and amount 
sufficient to set up an " ole clo' " dealer in business. After pack- 
ing as many of these as the knapsacks would possibly hold, an 
indiscriminate destruction of the remainder ensued. Letters 
which had extracted a million pleasant emotions, or solaced many 
a lonely, homesick hour and others over which tears had 
been shed, were ruthlessly cast into the fire and the cherished 
writings of many a Jerusha, Julia and Mary Ann helped to swell 
the wreaths of flame from huge bon-fires, their names and mem- 
ories all forgotten in the hurry, the bustle and excitement of prepa- 
ration for the march. Two o'clock came ere tents and baggage 



104 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

were disposed of and the column formed and headed " Dixieward." 
A march of five miles was made, when a halt was ordered, the 
camp formed, tents pitched in the snow, and cold and supperless 
(for the provision wagons had not come up), the men retired to 
sleep off the excitement and fatigue of the day. 

The correspondent of the St. Louis Democrat, in his observa- 
tions on this occasion, which were published in the issue of the 
16th, contained the following notice of the march of the troops 
from Holla : 

"A Brigade composed of four Regiments of Infantry and two 
" batteries under the command of General Osterhaus have moved 
" west from this place. The troops were in excellent spirits and 
" were as follows : The 36th, 35th and 44th Illinois and the 25th 
" Missouri. The splendid appearance of the 36th Illinois, twelve 
" hundred strong, in their march out of town received the unqual- 
" ified and unanimous admiration of the spectators." 

This was not an unmerited compliment. The 36th at that 
time, in discipline, in perfection of drill, soldiery bearing and in 
all the essentials which enter into the make up of a superior com- 
mand, was not equaled by any other regiment or body of men in 
the Army of the Southwest, and we shall see that at a subsequent 
period they maintained the same splendid character as fighters 
that they did as gentlemen and soldiers. 

Reveille was sounded at four o'clock in the morning and after 
a scanty breakfast of bacon and hard tack the march was resumed 
down the valley of Beaver and Little Piney creeks, which were 
forded thirteen times during the day. Fifteen miles were accom- 
plished, when the command halted where former camps had 
existed, from the debris of which, boards and other materials suf- 
ficient to keep them from the frozen ground while sleeping were 
collected, and by the light and warmth of blazing camp-fires they 
passed the night in comparative comfort. 



DISPOSAL OF BAGGAGE ON THE MARCH. 105 

The third and fourth days out from Rolla the weather moder- 
ated somewhat, and frost and snow gave way to mud, thin, sticky, 
Missouri mud, through which the men splashed and plunged, as 
jovial as ducks in a thunder shower, and with little anxiety about 
avoiding it. The first plunge settled the matter, and after their 
feet were once thoroughly wet they traversed the road regardless 
of mud for the rest of the day, out of which they came looking 
more like statues " done in clay " than human beings. High, 
steep hills were encountered, over which the long blue line of men 
curved, waved and threaded their slow and toilsome way. Heavier 
and heavier weighed the knapsacks and accoutrements, more and 
more tedious the marching, and more frequent the halts. These 
halts were usually for the adjustment and lightening of knapsacks, 
and many were the articles, sometimes of intrinsic value, which 
strewed the wayside. Packages of letters, over which the pos- 
sessor would shed a tear or two, and then with many compunc- 
tions of conscience cast away ; extra shirts and half worn-out 
apparel marked the line of march for miles, presenting an appear- 
ance calculated to awaken an impression among those who should 
follow after, that the army was fleeing from the wrath to come, 
rather than wading on to glory. Thus lightened of their bur- 
dens, the men manifested their sense of relief by mirth and song, 
where before was heard the growl of discomfort. Anon came 
the voice of singing : v 

" John Brown's body lies a mouldering in the grave," 

wafted on the air from a choir of marching singers. Thus hour 
after hour they plodded on, through a rough and heavily timbered 
country, with scarcely a single evidence of cultivation until they 
reached the Big Piney. 

The winter storms had raised this rapidly flowing stream, so 
high as to render fording difficult and dangerous. A bridge of 

8 



106 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

wagons was constructed, over which the infantry passed dry 
shod, while the cavalry plunged through the cold, seething water, 
which reached their horses' bodies. Reaching their bivouac for 
the night, arms were stacked, the men went blithely to work gath- 
ering boughs "and leaves for a couch, camp fires were lighted, and 
the evening meal was in process of cooking when the sun looked 
down a good-night glance at parting ; and then sleep was the order 
of the night, which we may well suppose was made a business of. 

Waynesville was reached on the 17th, and the regiment encamped 
near the Big Spring, where the waters of the Roubidoux come 
welling up from deep cavities in the rock at the rate of many 
hundred barrels per minute, sufficient at least, if properly 
improved, to supply valuable mill sites, and furnish water pow- 
er for manufacturing purposes generally. The waters are clear, 
cold and limpid, and have their source far up in Texas County, 
where, after being gathered in a large stream, finally are lost 
in sink-holes and subterranean caverns, and after meandering 
for miles through dark, unknown passages, again break forth 
to the day through rocky crevices, forming this immense spring. 

Here the command remained in camp four days, during which 
time the men limbered up their joints, healed the great blisters 
on their feet, and in the meantime grew as impatient of the ennui 
of resting as they were on their arrival of the fatigue of marching. 

There was not an over supply of army stores brought along 
with the command, but the soldiers, by methods soon acquired 
and practised by all, managed to supply their commissariat by 
other ways than the mode prescribed by the United States Army 
Regulations. In their perambulations about the country, chick- 
ens often mysteriously found their way into haversacks ; and 
wo to the inconsiderate sheep, calf or porker who disported him- 
self within rifle range ! Of course, when discovered, the experienced 



MUTTON AND VEAL IN CAMP. 107 

soldier is never at a loss for excuses, some of which are as droll as 
they are impossible. 

A private, for example, is seen skulking through the brush on 
his way to camp, with a gun on one shoulder and a slaughtered 
sheep on the other. Being detected and obliged to account for 
so unmilitary an accoutrement, with as demure a countenance as 
he would assume at the funeral of a friend, he protests his inno- 
cence of any intentional wrong ; that he was compelled to kill 
the sheep in self defence; that having had permission to leave 
camp a just to fill his canteen," he was met by this pugilistic sheep, 
who, on seeing his federal uniform, charged upon him in great 
fury, and as one or the other had to die, he concluded it might 
just as well be the sheep ; so very reluctantly he was compelled 
to shoot it. The absurdity of his plea very often enables him to 
get off without punishment, and proceeding to his quarters he 
divides his plunder among his comrades and feasts upon delicious 
mutton at the noon-day meal or at the evening camp-fire. 

It was while encamped at Waynesville that privates Cornell and 
Dyer, from Company E, were caught, by the enraged owner 
thereof, in the act of skinning a fat yearling. The boys were 
quite willing to pay almost any price for the animal to get out of 
the predicament in which they found themselves, but an examina- 
tion of their pocket-books revealed the unpleasant fact that they 
had only about half enough money between them to satisfy the 
rapacious demand of the owner. The provost guard was called, 
and they were marched with lugubrious countenances and with 
fear and trembling, into the presence of the Colonel, to whom 
the enormity of their offence was stated. The Colonel appeased 
the citizen's wrath by assuring him that the pay-master was 
expected in a day or two, that when the boys had drawn their 
pay he should be fully recompensed for his calf. But unfortu- 



108 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

nately for the owner of flocks and herds, the pay-master did not 
arrive when expected and sudden marching orders rendered it 
impossible to satisfy the indebtedness. 

The march was resumed, the Gasconade crossed as was the 
Big Piney, on a bridge of army wagons, and after a weary march 
over rough, muddy roads, the command reached Lebanon on the 
24th of January. The 36th marched directly through the pleas- 
antly situated town and encamped on the edge of a prairie a mile 
beyond. 

Meanwhile troops were converging from all points to Lebanon, 
and every day witnessed the arrival of some fresh command. Gen. 
Jeff. C. Davis, with a division from Sedalia, composed mostly of 
Indiana and Ohio troops, marched by way of Linn Creek and 
reached Lebanon on the fourth of February ; Generals Sigel and 
Asboth arrived from Rolla with their divisions on the 6th, leaving 
that Post denuded of troops, except the 13th Illinois. Col. Van- 
devere with his splendid regiment, the 9th Iowa, soon after 
arrived, raising the number of the forces collected there to some 
fifteen thousand men, enough to transform the quiet, sleepy town 
into a busy, thriving city. 

On the arrival of Gen. Curtis, the work of organizing the army 
into Divisions, the assignment of officers to the command of each, 
and the detailing of subordinates for staff duty, was proceeded with, 
and order was evoked from the seeming confusion of military 
commands and priority of rank. Realizing that before offensive 
operations could be attempted with an assurance of success, every 
arm of the service should be made as efficient as it were worthy, the 
splendid material of which the army was composed was classified, 
the position and duties of each defined, and the places so allotted 
that the glories as well as the hardships of future campaigns 
should be borne and shared alike. 



ORGANIZING INTO DIVISIONS. 109 

The First Division was made up of the 36th, the 25th and 44th 
Illinois, the 3d, 12th and 17th Missouri, two battalions of the 
Benton Hussars (cavalry), two companies of the 36th cavalry, the 
4th Missouri Cavalry, Welfley and Hoffman's Batteries , of six 
guns each, under the command of Brig. Gen. (then Colonel) 
Osterhaus. 

The Second Division was composed of the 2d and 15th Mis- 
souri Infantry, the 6th and a batallion of the 4th Missouri Cav- 
alry, and two batteries of six guns each, under the command of 
Brig. Gen. Asboth. 

The Third Division, under the command of Col. Jeff. C. Davis, 
was composed of the 8th, 18th and 22d Indiana, the 37th Illi- 
nois and 9th Missouri Infantry, the 1st Missouri Cavalry, and 
two batteries, one of four and another of six guns. 

The Fourth Division, composed of the 4th and 9th Iowa ; 
35th Illinois and 25th Missouri Infantry ; the 3d Iowa and 3d 
Illinois Cavalry ; two batteries of six guns each and one of four 
guns Bo wen's batallion of cavalry on escort duty was also 
attached to this Division under the command of Col. Carr. 

The second Brigade of the first Division was composed of the 
36th Illinois, the 12th and 17th Missouri Infantry and Welfley's 
Battery, commanded by Col. Greusel, of the 36th. 

Gen. Sigel was second in command, and the First and Second 
Divisions were particularly under his charge. Only a few of 
the regiments were full ; large numbers of sick, and details were 
left at the various posts where they had been formerly stationed 
for garrison duty, and to guard the long line of communication 
from Holla. 

We were now in such close proximity to the enemy's lines that 
collisions between the cavalry patrols of either army were of 
frequent occurence. The head quarters of Gen. Price was at 



110 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Springfield, fifty-five miles distant, to which place bands of 
recruits and detachments of irregular commands were rallying 
in such force as to induce Gen. Curtis to believe that his inten- 
tion was to hold his position and offer battle there. Springfield 
is situated in the midst of a superior agricultural district, and 
by retaining his position there during the fall and winter, he 
had obtained abundant supplies from the granaries of the coun- 
try, had gained a good supply of clothing for his troops, and 
been re inforced by five thousand fresh recruits from various por- 
tions of the State. 

After the organization of the army and assignment of each 
regiment and command to its own proper division and brigade, 
the reviews and drills were frequent, that movements might be 
accomplished with the least possible amount of friction and to 
accustom officers to handle large bodies of men to advantage. 
The weather was as variable as the capricious temper of a luna- 
tic, from heat to cold, rain to snow, but always with more or less 
mud. 

On the 9th, the regiments were paid, the money lightening 
rather than adding additional burdens, and imparting a spirit of 
cheerfulness calculated to sustain them through the trials of the 
coming campaign. All were ready to move at the word of com- 
mand, which came soon thereafter, and daylight on the 10th of 
February found the column in motion, the men of the 36th leav- 
ing camp with a shout and on the double quick. Beyond Leb- 
anon the country was less broken, but previous rains had saturated 
the ground, and in two hours the deep cut roads became quag- 
mires through which artillery and wagon trains were with diffi- 
culty dragged, rendering marching for the foot soldiers anything 
but the agreeable pastime imagination had fondly pictured. The 
crooked roads of the country winding among the woods and hills 



REBELS ENCOUNTERED AND DISPERSED. Ill 

were crowded with troops and heavily loaded trains, which in 
the half fluid condition in which they were found necessitated 
frequent halts. These halts were not bona fide rests, wherein a 
soldier could take his ease and unsling his knapsack for a given 
period ; but uncertain stoppages, which might last three minutes 
or half an hour, and kept every one in a state of expectant 
preparation. Still the consciousness of marching against the 
enemy, who at any time might be encountered, was a solace for 
all the discomforts of the march, and, under the most adverse 
circumstances, the men were always jolly. 

Rebel videttes, like shadowy apparitions flitting through the 
woods, were first seen at Marshfield, but no opposition was made 
to our advance, and few if any shots were exchanged. Some of 
the German troops fired the vacant houses in the outskirts of 
the town, which were consumed. Stringent orders were issued 
against a repetition of such vandalism, and during the remainder 
of the pursuit the way was not marked by the smoke of burning 
buildings by day or lighted by, incendiary fires at night. 

In the evening, rebel pickets in strong force were encountered 
at Pierson's Creek, within ten miles of Springfield, and a lively 
firing with. our advance maintained. The troops were drawn up 
in line of battle, the light mountain howitzers sent to the front, 
and soon the gloom of the twilight hour was illuminated by the 
light of blazing shells winging their weird flight through the air. 
Carefully the line of infantry advanced, guided through the som- 
bre shades of evening by the flash of guns and the music of light 
artillery ; but before the supports could be brought up to render 
efficient aid, a brilliant cavalry charge had scattered the opposing 
forces and sent them in hurried flight towards Springfield, leav- 
ing a few of their dead and dying and a number of prisoners in 
our hands. To effect the charge a high intervening rail fence 



112 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

was removed in the teeth of the enemy's fire, and then with a 
wild hurrah, after them went our boys, through the fields, accom- 
panied with the music of carbines and the rattle of sabres, until 
the last rebel horseman had vanished in the gathering twilight. 
The army lay upon its arms, without blankets or shelter of 
any kind, and shivered the long night through. The firing was 
heard at Springfield, and when the bleeding, panting fugitives 
from Pearson's Creek arrived, the enemy was filled with alarm. 
Price, knowing his position to be untenable, at 9 o'clock p. M. 
gave the order for retreat. He had remained until the last 
moment, expecting reinforcements from Ben. McCulloch's army 
in Arkansas, but not receiving that support he abandoned all 
hope of successful resistance and hurriedly fled towards Arkan- 
sas, leaving Springfield in the night. 

Before daylight of the 13th our army resumed its march in 
line of battle, Companies A and B of the 36th thrown well for- 
ward as skirmishers, the cavalry in rear of infantry. Batteries 
were in readiness, at the first note of conflict, to mingle in the 
fray and hurl their screaming shells upon the ranks of the enemy. 
Reaching the prairie the whole vast line was deployed, and 
moved in battle array toward Springfield. At sight of this the rear 
guard of the enemy disappeared in the direction of Wilson's 
Creek, their leave-taking being more hurried than formal. Soon 
the stars and stripes were floating in triumph from the dome of 
the Court House, no more to be taken thence until the last armed 
foe had surrendered, the sun of peace gilded the whole land, and 
lighted the return of our armies from fields of glory. 

That the enemy's departure was hurried was evidenced by the 
large quantity of stores and camp equipage abandoned by them, 
and which fell into our hands ; as well as from the fact that over 
six hundred of their sick were left in hospital. During this and 



HAZARDOUS CAVALRY SERVICE. 113 

the succeeding day, squads of confederates on their way to join 
the command of Price, and ignorant of the occupation of {Spring- 
field, unwittingly fell into our hands to the number of 400 men, 
including Brig. Gen. Edward Price, the son of the confederate 
commander, and Col. Freeman, the indefatigable partizan who 
had rendered it so lively for our scouts and pickets about Rolla 
during the previous months. 

The service performed by the cavalry in scouting, escort, 
picket and other duties during this campaign was severe, and 
at times extra hazardous. Being almost constantly in the sad- 
dle, men as well as horses were pretty much used up. Particu- 
larly was this the case in the advance upon Springfield, and sub- 
sequent pursuit of the enemy into Arkansas. The cavalry of 
the 36th shared in all the dangers, hardships and fatigue of the 
campaign ; it was the first to enter Springfield and hurry the 
exit of the vanishing rear-guard of Price's undisciplined and 
ragged knights of the shot-gun and chapparel. For a life of 
wild adventure, for examples of fortitude and endurance in storm 
or in sunshine, commend us to the cavalry arm of military 
service. 

A little nocturnal adventure of Sergt. F. 0. White, of Com- 
pany A, with a squad of eight men, detailed from Companies A 
and B, 'might very appropriately be related here, to illustrate the 
miscellaneous, hap -hazard, night and day, duty which the cavalry 
were liable at any time to be called upon to perform. News was 
wanted at Springfield as to the position of Jeff. C. Davis's divis- 
ion, and what (if anything) was going on in front. Sergt. White 
was selected to head the detail in search of the desired informa- 
tion. Though nearly worn out with cold and fatigue, the men 
turned out uncomplainingly and faced the keen northwestern 
blast. The moon shone brightly, but the ground was white with 



114 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

snow and the night intensely cold. Davis's camp was off the 
main road and was missed by the Sergeant, who proceeded eight 
or nine miles and came up with a detachment of the 3d Illinois 
Cavalry in the extreme advance, which had struck the enemy's 
rear, and after a lively skirmish, captured a number of prisoners 
and wagons belonging to the rebel commissary train, and then 
halted to await daylight before continuing the pursuit. The 
desired information having been obtained, Sergt. White returned 
to within a few miles of Springfield, and,in accordance with orders, 
established a picket post near a cabin, where those off duty found 
shelter and rest; private Ingham meanwhile being sent to 
Springfield with such news as had been gained. 

Towards morning a vidette came hurriedly in and whispered 
that " a detachment of secesh were in the hollow not far away." 
An examination revealed a body of twenty-five horsemen, deployed 
as skirmishers, coming directly towards the house where the 
squad had been comfortably quartered. The horses were quickly 
mounted and then three of the men dashed out of the yard and 
broke for Springfield at a rate of speed which it was supposed 
their nearly fagged out steeds could never attain, followed by a 
scattered volley from the now fast approaching squadron. Escape 
being impracticable, Sergt. White formed the remainder of his 
squad for battle, determined, that if necessary, a fight should pre- 
cede a foot-race. The squadron proved to be federal troopers, 
instead of mounted "graybacks," and those who were in chase 
of the three flying 36th boys were, after considerable exertion, 
recalled. One, a Dutchman, strongly insisted upon following 
up the adventure to the point of blood-letting, saying : " Vhy 
dhey no sthops ven I say hollit?" The detachment was from 
the 3d Illinois Cavalry ; one of their number had been shot while 
on picket, and these were looking for the assassins, but in their 



ON THE MARCH IN EARNEST. 115 

search came near massacring the squad from the 36th. A hard 
ride was necessary to reach Springfield in time to prevent the 
three fugitives from spreading a needless alarm through the 
camp. 

No halt, except for a night encampment, was made at 
Springfield, and on the 14th the pursuit of Price com- 
menced. Colonel Carr, with the cavalry, supported by a 
section of light howitzers packed upon the backs of mules, 
which when wanted could be taken from the pack-saddles and 
placed in battery as readily and in as short a period of time as 
an ordinary field battery could be unlimbered and set to work, 
followed down the telegraph road directly in the enemy's rear; 
while the Second Brigade, including the 36th Illinois, together 
with the Divisions of Osterhaus and Asboth, under the command 
of Gen. Sigel, took the right hand road over a rolling prairie 
country via Little York. The direct road to Fayetteville, over 
which the main command advanced, led through a more broken 

and timbered region. 
/ 

Slowly and cautiously the column pressed its way, expecting 
at any moment to encounter the enemy occupying in force some 
strong position, and prepared to dispute our further progress. 
But no hostile force was seen, only stragglers and recruits com- 
ing in to swell the ranks of the now rapidly flying foe, many of 
whom fell into our hands, and were passed under guard to the 
rear. It became evident that Price would no longer dispute our 
progress by making a stand in force for battle. The pursuit on 
the 16th was rapid, the infantry marching thirty miles and over- 
taking the enemy's rear at Crane Creek, where, in considerable 
numbers, they endeavored to delay our advance and gain time 
for their main force to get away. 



116 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

It had been Gen. Curtis' design not to press the enemy too 
closely and hurry his flight, but to enable Sigel to pass his right, 
and gaining the front to cut off further retreat southward. But 
Col. Ellis, who led the advance with cavalry, either mistaking, 
or ignorant of the plans of his commander, commenced a spirited 
engagement. The howitzers were unpacked and mounted, and 
shot after shot plunged into the rebel rear, creating considerable 
disorder; seeing which Col. Ellis ordered a charge, and the 
wavering rebels were sent whirling in rapid retreat towards Cass- 
ville. About a dozen were killed and large numbers of prison- 
ers taken. 

The want of forethought and the inordinate haste of Col. 
Ellis quickened the enemy's march, and thwarted Sigel in his 
design of getting past and cutting off Price's retreat. From 
thence the road over which they passed was strewn with arms, 
clothing, accoutrements and broken down wagons, which, in the 
hurry and confusion, were cast away to facilitate escape. The 
36th, with the division to which it was attached, marched thirty 
miles that day, testing to the utmost the endurance of the men, 
whose spirits were buoyed up by the inspiring boom of howitzers 
firing into the enemy's rear and hurrying their precipitate 
retreat. 

At Flat Creek the cavalry and howitzers again bore down 
heavily upon the retreating column. A few loud words in the 
form of cannon shot were exchanged between the contending 
parties in this interesting foot race, and again the enemy broke 
and fled before the impetuous charges of the federal cavalry. 
Then the swelling tide of war continued to roll down the valley 
of Flat Creek, through the towns of Cassville and Keitsville, 
into and through the narrow gorge of Cross Timbers Hollow, out 
of Missouri into Arkansas, a continuous stream of men and 



IN PURSUIT OP PRICE. 117 

horses, of pursuers and pursued, the advance of the one min- 
gling with the rear of the other in fierce and maddening conflict. 
The long line of pursuers, heralded by the music of cannon and 
carbine in exultant triumph, while broken down wagons, worn 
out horses, saddles, arms, with now and then the pale faces of 
the dead, marked the line of confederate retreat. Thus onward 
surged the battle, met by a counter current of prisoners sent to 
the rear. These, worn out and dejected, contrasted strangely 
with our victorious troops, with flashing eyes and countenances 
expressive of the enthusiasm which animated them. 

While on the march in pursuit of Price down the " Telegraph 
road," the main column passed through the little town of Cass- 
ville. Some of the passing throng broke into a drug store and 
appropriated such of its contents as their needs or inclinations 
suggested. One of the Sergeants of Company A Cavalry, dis- 
covered a package of white powder, which he conceived to be 
saleratus, and at once confiscated it for the use of the Sergeant's 
mess. Not being quite sure of the chemical properties of his 
plunder, he submitted the stuff to comrade Judd who had at 
one time officiated as a druggist's clerk for his opinion. Judd 
pronounced it "saleratus, and no mistake." That night the 
cavalry companies encamped on a hill near Sugar Creek, and 
though tired, were jubilant over the prospect of raised cakes 
for supper, in place of the usual cold water "slap jacks/' The 
fires were soon fiercely blazing, the cakes mixed, and a liberal 
quantity of "saleratus" sprinkled in. 

It was fun to cook pan-cakes in the army : A little flour, salt 
and water, a good fire, a long handled skillet, a little grease, and 
one is ready for business. Warm the pan, pour in the grease, 
douse in the dough, let it sizzle a while, then give it a shake, a 



118 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

twitch and a flop, and over it goes, just as easy as falling off a 
log if one only knows how. 

On this occasion the cakes were soon cooked, and the large- 
hearted, generous Sergeants of Company A cheerfully shared 
their good fortune with Lieuts. Sherer, Ferre and Reynolds, who 
composed the officers' mess. That was a delightful repast, 
heartily eaten and praised by nearly all. One or two of the 
boys, however,- remarked the cakes did not appear much lighter 
than those made without saleratus. Supper over, the men com- 
posing the mess stood around the camp fire talking over the 
events of the day and prospects of the morrow, satisfied with 
their surroundings, and even jolly. In a few moments there was 
a lull in the conversation, the boys were less blithesome and 
more uncomfortable than usual; a deathly pallor was observed in 
the faces of some, which but a moment before were wreathed in 
smiles. Sergeant Snow was seen retreating into the woods, and 
Sergeant White stole silently a-way in another direction, followed 
soon after by Collins, Dynan. Sherer and the balance, and such 
another entertainment, consisting entirely of vomiting, was sel- 
dom ever gotten up on short notice. Oh, the "hee-ups" and 
"hoo-ups," the tears and groans of that sick crowd will very 
likely never be forgotten. It was the event of the campaign in 
the line of gastronomic achievements. It was good bye to sup- 
per and to much of the inner mechanism of the mortal corpor- 
osity. After a time u the show," like all things else, had an 
end, and when the performers were restored to their usual equa- 
nimity, the question was anxiously asked, " What made those 
cakes rise at that particular time? and what made them rise so 
high ? Could it be the saleratus ? and if so, why ?" A quantity 
of the material was taken to Surgeon Young for examination, 
who kindly informed the boys they had been raising their cakes 



FIGHT AT SUGAR CREEK. 119 

with tartar emetic! Ever after Sergt. Judd was known in his 
Company as, "The Apothecary." 

On the 17th our advance reached Sugar Creek and found the 
enemy in a strong position and in battle array crowning the 
bluffs on the south side of the valley. Price, being strengthened 
by reinforcements from Ben. McCulloch's army, determined to 
make a stand here, and endeavor to stem the tide which had 
swept him on its tumultuous waves out of Missouri. When, 
therefore, late in the afternoon, the head of the pursuing column 
struck his rear-guard, instead of a promiscuous throng of terror 
stricken fugitives, they found a well appointed army in battle 
array, supported by batteries of artillery, with solid ranks in 
readiness to give a warm reception to any who should venture 
across the valley with hostile intent. Batteries were brought up, 
and from favorable positions on the northern hills opened upon 
the opposing force with shell, which went wailing over the valley 
into the thickening ranks which blocked the way, prepared to 
dispute our further progress. For an hour brisk cannonading 
was maintained and as fiercely returned ; shot answering shot, 
with no signs of break or waver in the opposing ranks. A 
charge was finally ordered, and Col. Ellis, with detachments 
from the Missouri cavalry regiments and from the Third Illinois, 
dashed across the creek and up the opposite slopes in the face of 
a rattling fire of musketry, charging right into the midst of their 
thronging ranks. Had a meteor fallen among them they could 
not have been more thoroughly startled. Still they fought bravely, 
contesting the ground inch by inch, teaching their fierce assail- 
ants that there were blows to give as well as to receive. Saddles 
were emptied, and the dead and wounded of both assailants and 
assailed lay commingled and scattered over the blood besprinkled 
field. But there was no resisting the impetuous charges of our 



120 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

gallant troopers when once their blood was up, and with carbine 
and sabre they dealt destruction to the now demoralized and dis- 
heartened foe. Their ranks were broken, their artillery in dan- 
ger of being captured, when they hurriedly left the field in a wild, 
tumultuous scamper for Cross Hollow, twelve miles away, where 
McCulloch, with fresh troops, prepared for a renewal of the 
conflict. Our losses in this engagement were fourteen men 
killed, nine wounded, and forty-six horses. Among the wounded 
were Major Bowen, Major McKinney, of Gen. Curtis' staff, and 
Captain Switzler, while fifty-three confederate dead or mortally 
wounded were left upon the field. 

These rapid movements had left the infantry far in the rear, 
and this engagement, amounting to little more than a lively skir- 
mish, was participated in only by the cavalry and light howitzer 
battery. The cannonading was, however, heard distinctly, and 
for a time diverted the attention of the infantry from their weary, 
aching limbs and added a fresh glow to their animated counte- 
nances. Nothing but the excitement and expectancy of battle 
could sustain them in this hurried and fatiguing march. The 
roar of cannon to the front would at any time arouse their droop- 
ing spirits and quicken their lagging pace, as they pressed for- 
ward to the combat momentarily expected and eagerly hoped for. 

In this long, fatiguing race through Missouri, the baggage and 
provision trains were left far in the rear, and with starvation 
now menacing his exhausted command, Gen. Curtis found him- 
self reduced to the necessity of discontinuing the pursuit. 
Accordingly Davis' Division went into camp at Sugar Creek, 
while the Division of Carr proceeded to Cross Hollow. The 
long, slender line of communication with Rolla, liable at any 
time to be broken, necessitated heavy details for its protection. 
At frequent intervals stations were established and garrisons 



SUBSISTING ON THE COUNTRY. 121 

left to hold and occupy the country. Supplies being nearly 
exhausted, subsisting off the country became a matter of nec- 
essity, which in a thinly populated region rendered this a rather 
doubtful resource. Foraging expeditions rapidly gathered the 
grain stored in the granaries; mills were set to grinding it. A 
wide range of country was occupied, extending from the Wai- 
Eagle Mills on White River west to beyond Bentonville, pre- 
senting a front of sixty miles in extent, which, unless sufficient 
previous notice was given to afford time for rapid concentration, 
was liable at any time to be penetrated and broken. 

Our cavalry advanced to Fayetteville, and found the town a 
mass of smoking ruins burned by. the orders of Ben. McCul- 
loch, one of the confederate generals. Fayetteville had been the 
last stronghold of the opponents of secession in Arkansas. 
When South Carolina seceded, the act was nowhere more severely 
reprobated than in north-western Arkansas. From first to last 
a majority of th'e citizens had steadily and persistently opposed 
secession. Their opposition to the insane measures of Southern 
leaders was so pronounced as to excite McCulloch's fiercest indig- 
nation, and on his way northward to re-inforce Price, he declared 
that, should he be compelled to return, he would burn as he 
went. He kept faith with his threat. After their discomfiture 
at Sugar Creek, and as the whole confederate army was retreat- 
ing precipitately through the town to the Boston Mountains, the 
Arkansas College, the Fayetteville Female Seminary, a large 
steam flouring mill, four brick warehouses, the Court House and 
numerous private residences, were fired and sacrificed to his rage. 
North-western Arkansas will long remember the irascible Texan, 
not for the brilliancy of his genius, but for the brightness of his 
fires. 

Gen. Curtis, with Carr's Division, established his headquar- 
ters at Cross Hollow on the 22nd, within eighteen miles of Fay- 



122 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

etteville, from which position he watched his rapidly accumulat- 
ing enemy, prepared to strike such blows as opportunities might 
offer or circumstances justify. This position in itself was natur- 
ally strong, and offered peculiar facilities for defence against a 
direct attack ; but it could be easily turned, and in such case 
would be practically worthless. 

Jeff. C. Davis remained at Sugar Creek in charge of the 
remaining stores and army transportation. To that point the 
trains came with such stores as could be hauled over the long 
road from Rolla. Col. Vandevere, with the 9th Iowa and a 
detachment of cavalry, proceeded to the War Eagle Mills, situ- 
ated on White River, forty -two miles east of Sugar Creek. These 
mills were run night and day in the manufacture of flour for the 
use of the army. 

Sigel, with the Divisions of Asboth and Osterhaus, encamped 
first at Osage Springs, near Cross Hollow, and subsequently at 
McKissock's farm, four miles west of Bentonville, subsistence in 
a great measure being obtained from the granaries and corn cribs 
found in the country. 

While the troops were thus eking out a precarious existence, 
" living off the country " on scanty gleanings from fields where 
Price and McCulloch had previously reaped an ample harvest, an 
important seizure of confederate flour and salt was effected by 
Corporal Bennett, of Company E of the 36th, at Neutonia, in 
Missouri. He had been on duty in the topographical office at 
Department Headquarters, and was not relieved and allowed to 
proceed to the regiment until it was far on its way to Arkansas. 
Hastening through Missouri to join his command, he was 
requested by Lieut. Col. Holland, commanding the post at Cass- 
ville, to lead a party to Neutonia to capture stores, which Price, 
in his inordinate haste, had allowed to remain under the watch- 
ful surveillance of sympathizing citizens. Detachments from the 



CAPTURE OF FLOUR AND SALT. 123 

garrison at Cassville were scattered over the country guarding 
mills and points which were of interest to hold, until there was 
not a commissioned officer or a dozen men remaining for duty at 
the post, and no one whatever with whom he could entrust such 
an undertaking. 

Private Edwards, of Company D, also on his way to join the com- 
mand, was induced to accompany the expedition, which, with a 
squad of a dozen "Home Guards," constituted the escort for the 
train of ten wagons, which reached Neutonia in one day from 
Cassville, a distance of forty miles. These wagons with eleven 
others pressed from citizens, were loaded with flour and salt, 
amounting to more than thirty tons, and in two days thereafter 
the whole was brought in safety to Cassville. This helped mate- 
rially to relieve the pressing needs of the army. 

It now became apparent that the rumors which for some days 
had been afloat in the air, that we were environed with swarms 
of mounted confederates, who secretly ranged the country to pick 
up stragglers, attack unsupported detachments and watch the 
movements of the federal army, were strictly true. 

A mounted Texan regiment, eluding the vigilance of patrols, 
gained the rear of our army, and on the night of the 25th of 
February attacked the post at Keitsville, which was garrisoned 
by a squadron of the 1st Missouri Cavalry under the command 
of Capt. Montgomery. It was a complete surprise. But one or 
two pickets were out, and they were stationed at points too far 
distant to give the alarm. The first intimation of the presence 
of a hostile force in their midst, was the loud report of musketry 
and the crash of balls, as volley after volley was poured into the 
buildings among the sleeping men. A half dozen were killed 
and a number wounded at the first discharge. The men, thus 
suddenly aroused from their slumbers, hastily seized their arms, 



124 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

and, without waiting to clothe themselves, returned the enemy's 
fire. The night was dark, and the position of the contending 
parties could be determined only by the flash of fire arms. 
Montgomery, finding the avenues of escape cut off, fought bravely 
and with telling effect, and a number of the Texans were made 
to bite the dust. The first panic over, the troopers, from sheltered 
positions within the buildings, saluted the enemy with so galling 
a fire that they finally withdrew, taking with them seventy of 
Montgomery's horses. 

His command was badly demoralized, and as soon as the enemy 
departed and the way was clear, those who had horses hastily 
mounted them and made all speed for safer quarters ; others, 
trusting to the agility of the natural man, made their way on 
foot. All night long the panting fugitives came trooping into 
Cassville, singly or by twos, without hats or coats and many 
without shoes. A commissary train on its way to Sugar Creek 
was encamped for the night within a mile of Keitsville. They 
were aroused by the heavy discharges of musketry, and hastily 
harnessing their teams to the wagons, went thundering over the 
rocky road to Cassville. 

Couriers and squads of troops passing to and from the differ- 
ent posts were often waylaid and fired upon from the brush. The 
whole country in the rear of the federal army was filled with 
roving bands of reckless men, so that communication with those 
places occupied by troops was what insurance brokers would deem 
"extra hazardous." 

An artillery man was captured by Texan Rangers in the imme- 
diate vicinity of a picket station, and almost within the confines 
of camp. No patrol or movement of troops could be made with- 
out coming in sight of, and sometimes in contact with, these roving 
knights of the shot gun, dressed in a garb that vied with the soil 



RETRIBUTION AT BENTONVILLE. 125 

in color. The business of dispersing these well nigh ubiquitous 
denizens of the woods mainly devolved upon the cavalry, but 
from their imperfect knowledge of the country they seldom met 
with success. 

Prior to these events, a portion of the town of Bentonville, 
the county seat of Benton County, Arkansas, was burned by a 
detachment of the Benton Hussars. The town had frequently 
been visited by troops, both of cavalry and infantry, and a part 
of the time occupied as a post. Apparently a kindly feeling 
existed between the citizens and soldiers, and intercourse between 
them was uninterrupted. Their property was protected from 
injury, their persons from violence and insult, and nothing for 
some time occurred that betrayed the duplicity of the people. 
On this occasion liquor was set out, of which the Huzzars drank 
rather freely, but no disturbance resulted or other incident to mar 
the convivial occasion, or to reveal the intense hatred of the citi- 
zens toward their "federal invaders." Soon after mounting 
their horses and departing for camp, one of their number was 
seized with a sudden spasm of thirstiness which could not be 
appeased without liquor, and he announced his intention of return- 
ing for another drink. His comrades could not dissuade him 
from his purpose, and he left them with the intention of soon 
returning, but this was the last they ever saw of him alive. Not 
rejoining them when expected, the detachment returned to town, 
but could learn nothing of the whereabouts of their associate. 
A search was instituted, and after some time his mutilated remains 
were found in a vault, his skull cleft with a blow from an axe 
which had been buried in his quivering brain. Just enough 
liquor had been drank to arouse all the vengeful feelings within 
the breasts of the Huzzars. The proprietor of the drinking 
establishment was shot, his building fired, and the torch applied 



126 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

to a number of the business houses in the heart of the town, 
which, together with their contents, were consumed. A swift 
and terrible retribution for an outrage as unprovoked as it was 
criminal. But such is war a kaleidoscope of horrors, of brutal 
atrocities and fiendish barbarities. 

A rumor, with sufficient foundation for belief in its truth, was 
afloat through the camps, to the effect that a large confederate 
force was passing up into Missouri by the "line road," which ran 
along the borders of Arkansas and the Indian Territory, with a 
view to cutting off our communications with Springfield and 
Holla. To ascertain its truth, as well as to menace and skirmish 
with any such force, Major Conrad, of the 3rd Missouri Cav- 
alry, was placed in command of an expedition of five hundred 
men, including six companies of infantry, a squadron of cavalry, 
and two guns from Welfley's battery, with orders to reconnoitre 
the country, and if an enemy was encountered, to ascertain their 
strength and intentions and report the result of his observations 
as soon as practicable. Among the infantry detailed with this 
expedition was Company F of the 36th. The command left the 
camp near Bentonville on the morning of the 5th of March. 
The adventures, long marches and hair-breadth escapes of this 
detachment will hereafter be fully related. 




CHAPTER IX. 

BENTONVILLE. 

RICE continued his retreat to the Boston Moun- 
tains, occupying a strong position fifteen miles 
south of Fayetteville, where, being joined and 
strengthened by the army of Ben. McCulloch, 
composed of Texans, Louisianans and Arkansans, 
he awaited the approach and invited the attack 
of Curtis. For some days it was known that the enemy was 
concentrating a large force in these mountain fastnesses, prepar- 
atory to swooping down upon the handful of federals menacing 
them, and with one fell blow terminate the campaign and decide 
the fate of Missouri and the South-west. A force of two thou- 
sand Indians from the scattered tribes inhabiting the territory 
west of Arkansas, composed principally of Creeks, Cherokees 
and Chocktaws, commanded by Albert Pike who, as a reward 
for his labors in attaching the Indians to the Confederate cause, 
was commissioned a Brigadier General joined the forces of Price 
and McCulloch, and were by them armed and became a part of 
the army, which was now in numbers assuming formidable pro- 
portions. Both Price and McCulloch held separate commands, 
and generally, unless occasion required their combined action, 



128 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

were independent of each other. A bitter feud had for some 
time existed between them, and to such an extent were these 
personal differences indulged, that the Confederate authorities were 
apprehensive that individual enmities might be carried so far as 
to imperil the bright prospects of success which they confidently 
believed were now about to be realized. 

To guard against misunderstandings which were at any time 
liable to break out between these two commanders, Gen. Earl 
Van Dorn was designated as Commander-in- Chief, and immedi- 
ately proceeded to the camp in the Boston Mountains and assumed 
control of the forces gathered there. Several fresh batallions 
from the East came with this commander, which raised the num- 
ber of the Confederate forces to about twenty-five thousand men. 
Van Dorn arrived at the camp March 2nd, and on the 4th his 
columns were in motion. 

Gen. Curtis was apprised of this change of commanders, and 
well aware that he had nothing to hope from any differences which 
might arise from diversity of opinions among officers, and that stub- 
born fighting would alone decide the issues between the opposing 
forces. The Confederate advance was so rapid through a broken, 
mountainous and sparsely settled country, well calculated to con- 
ceal their movements, as nearly to surprise the federal com- 
mander, and required the utmost dispatch to concentrate our 
widely scattered forces. On the 5th a foraging party was driven 
back in hot haste, with loss of wagons and horses, simultaneous 
with the arrival of a trusty scout, who reported the near approach 
of the enemy in force, and that his advance guard was even then 
menacing our outlying pickets. An express 'was sent to Col. 
Vandevere at the War Eagle Mills, near White River, to march 
his detachment of nine hundred men at once to Sugar Creek. 
The march of forty-two miles was accomplished in fifteen hours, 
arriving in time to participate in the battle of the 7th. 



A MIDNIGHT START. 129 

Sigel's Division was fourteen miles away in camp near Benton- 
ville, and to him also the nearness of the enemy was made known 
by the timely arrival of scouts, as well as a dispatch and orders 
from Cross Hollow, directing him to march at once for Sugar 
Creek. This dispatch was brought by the hands of George 
B. Raymond, a private in Company D of the 36th Illinois, who 
at that time was acting Orderly for Gen. Curtis. It was known 
that nearly every road and by-path was picketed by confederates 
thrown out from their advance, and that such a trip was attended 
with danger and difficulty, requiring presence of mind and nerve 
to accomplish successfully. A citizen, on whose fidelity the Gen- 
eral could rely, and who knew the country perfectly, was sent 
with Raymond. They set out in the darkness, threading their 
way through the long forest aisles, frequently within sight of the 
enemy's camp fires, and were rapidly approaching Sigel's camp 
where, they were first hailed and then fired upon by a rebel picket, 
when the guide fell, shot dead, from his horse. Raymond dashed 
into the adjoining thicket, and making a wide detour, reached 
camp and delivered his message. Orders were issued at once to 
the various regiments and commands to prepare at midnight, to 
march at two o'clock A. M. The men, who had quite generally 
retired to rest, could not conjecture the cause for so untimely a 
movement. Some supposed it was for the purpose of accustom- 
ing them to sudden emergencies and night marching; while oth- 
ers, with an air of mystery, remarked, "there's something up," 
but what that something was, the rank and file of the army had 
no means of knowing. It was not their province to ask ques- 
tions, but to obey orders. 

The sharp notes of a bugle sounding clear and shrill upon the 
midnight air proclaimed the hour, and soon the various camps 
were instinct with life and busy with preparations for moving. 



130 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS -VOLUNTEERS. 

Tents were struck and stowed away in the baggage wagons. 
Men gathered around the camp fires to cook a scanty breakfast 
or brew their cup of coffee, all of which in due time was drank 
or eaten, fulfilling its inevitable destiny of fortifying the inner 
man against the chilling blasts which came sweeping in gusts 
through the camp and sighing a mournful requiem among the 
leafless forest trees. 

The 36th was ready to march at the prescribed hour of two, 
but the narrow roads were cumbered with artillery and army 
wagons, each in the way of the other, and mingled in what 
appeared hopeless and inextricable confusion. The column was 
finally formed and for an hour vainly essayed to march, at the 
end of which period the rear companies were yet within the con- 
fines of the camp we were vainly endeavoring to leave. The 
night was intensely dark. The wind increased to a gale, bring- 
ing on its wings icy snowflakes, which pierced and chilled the 
men to the bone. Then came an order to break ranks and wait 
for the appearance of daylight, which order was obeyed with 
alarcity, and soon great piles of rails and logs were fiercely blaz- 
ing, while around each pyramid of flame the benumbed and shiv- 
ering men gathered with their blankets wrapped around them, 
and speculated as to the reason for so unwonted and at the pres- 
ent time seemingly so unreasonable a movement. 

At length the opaline tints of morning began to tinge the east- 
ern sky. Then we were up, and after many a vexatious halt, 
were away for good, the column headed to the north and east, 
and after it was once fully drawn out we proceeded without fur- 
ther hinderance. The sun was just peeping over the horizon as 
we passed through the half ruined town of Bentonville. Away 
across the prairie, to our right and south of town, a mile or more 
away, dense masses of men were observed in motion, but the 



MISFORTUNE TO COMPANY B. 131 

haze of the early morning so shrouded them in its misty sheen 
that it was quite difficult to determine if they were friends or 
foes. Few thought or cared anything about it. Gen. Sigel, 
with a group of officers, was observed intently watching through 
his field glass the gathering hosts that were deploying upon and 
darkening the prairie with their advancing squadrons. The 36th, 
together with the whole column, composed of alternate bodies of 
infantry, cavalry and artillery, marched slowly but steadily and 
in perfect order through the town and entered the woods and 
thickets beyond, which arched and shadowed the road to Sugar 
Creek, in blissful ignorance that within the tangled recesses of 
the forest there lurked a concealed but dangerous foe. 

An accident to the regimental ammunition wagon, in a narrow 
part of the road about a mile from Bentonville, caused a short 
delay. Company B was left to repair damages and guard its 
valued stores, while the balance of the regiment marched on. 
The rear files had but just passed and disappeared around an 
angle in the crooked road, when five hundred Confederate cavalry 
burst suddenly from the thicket, surprised the guards and arrested 
Company B in its work of repairing the wagon. They swarmed 
around like hornets and summoned the men to surrender. They 
were surrounded; help nowhere appeared; resistance seemed 
impossible, and to be shot down and die like dogs not to be 
thought of. Very reluctantly they stacked their arms and sur- 
rendered. 

Just then the 12th Missouri came up, and encountering the 
enemy poured a sharp and destructive fire into their ranks, scat- 
tering and driving them back into the thickets from whence they 
came, recapturing the wagon and carrying away its contents in 
safety. While the attention of the enemy was diverted by the 
lively firing from the 12th Missouri, many of their prisoners 



132 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

escaped, and making their way through the woods joined the 
column as it was descending a ravine into the valley of Sugar 
Creek. 

We heard the heavy booming of artillery at Bentonville, the 
rattle of musketry resounding through the forest in our rear, and 
from file to file the word was passed, " Sigel is practicing with his 
guns on the prairie." He was, indeed ! his target, human beings, 
that went down beneath his hurtling shot. Few, if any, supposed 
that the incessant roar of artillery, awakening answering echoes 
from the hills, valleys and surrounding forests, were voices from 
the impending conflict, telling of the desperate struggle of Sigel 
in cutting his way through the swarming enemy, or that the music 
from his cannon was the reveille ushering in a day of battle, car- 
nage and blood. 

We had just passed over the ground. We had seen no enemy 
or indications of a hostile force so near at hand, and it required 
other assurances than the booming of cannon to convince us that 
a fierce battle was then pending but a short mile away in our rear. 

Whije pressing forward in this state of doubt and uncertainty, 
some of the men from Company B. who had escaped, came up, 
without hats or coats, in a perfect ooze of prespiration and fever 
of excitement, and told of the fighting at Bentonville, "that their 
Company had been cut to pieces, and they alone had escaped to 
tell the tale. ' ' No announcement could have been more startling. 
Then the appearance of a few wounded stragglers from the 12th 
Missouri, pale, faint and bleeding, whose injuries being slight, 
permitted them to walk until their wounds could be bandaged and 
ambulances found for their transportation. These, together with 
the continuous uproar of guns, and smoke clouds leaping in sud- 
den gusts or rising lazily up over the trees, was all we could see 
of the pending strife, but was sufficient to remove all doubts. 



EAGER FOR THE CONFLICT. 133 

Nowhere was there a single symptom of panic among our officers 
and men. The only thought which found expression in words 
was, " When shall we, too, mingle in the conflict, witness its hor- 
rors, share its vicissitudes and glories?" 

Col. Greusel was a mile or more in advance, at the head of his 
brigade, ignorant of the turmoil of battle in his rear; and with- 
out orders or information that the regiment was needed, Lieut. 
Col. Joslyn would not halt or turn back the column. We moved 
lazily along down a ravine in the outlying hills, into and across 
the valley, the men indignant that we were not faced about and 
allowed to share the golden harvest of glory being gathered by 
Sigel's batallions in the rear. Capt. Miller was furious at the 
misfortune which had overtaken his Company and left him with 
but a shadowy remnant of his command. 

The rapid riding of aids to the front soon brought Col. Greusel 
back, and when he thundered out the order, " About Face ! 
Double Quick! March!" it was received with cheer upon cheer, 
and instantly the column was in motion, retracing its steps. The 
men were never more jubilant, urging each other forward to what 
was supposed to be their first pitched battle. It may not be out 
of place to make the passing remark that this enthusiasm of 
unfledged warriors, like the measles, chicken pox and other kin- 
dred diseases, is not apt to attack a man violently more than once. 
It is not true, as a rule, that after a battle or two men grow care- 
less as to its perils or regardless of its possibilities. The experi- 
ence of those who have stood unflinchingly the storm of a dozen 
battles attests the contrary. Familiarity with the tragic scenes 
of battle usually gives men self-reliance and coolness, and renders 
them less liable to panic ; but at the same time it tempers their 
former eagerness and causes them to regard a battle as about the 
most serious business in which they can engage. 



134 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

The music of artillery became more audible, and the mingling 
patter of musketry more distinct as we approached the hills bor- 
dering the southern confines of the valley, and over the tree tops 
we could see smoke wreaths from bursting shell and hear their 
wailing through the air. Now and then stray rebel shot fell and 
ricocheted in close proximity to the moving column. It soon 
became apparent that the tide of battle was moving toward us, 
and that its turbulent waves- would dash its spray of balls over 
the ground we then occupied. A halt was ordered, skirmishers 
thrown out, and the regiment formed in line of battle, partially 
protected behind the banks of a shallow ravine. The different 
regiments composing the brigade turned off from the road into 
the fields or thick underbrush on either hand, and in this position 
the men rested on their arms until the gathering storm should 
burst upon them. 

Soon the regiments and squadrons participating in the engage- 
ment filed down the ravine into the valley, and slowly marching 
along the road in perfect order, passed the position occupied by the 
36th. Then came the artillery with its smoke begrimmed cannon- 
eers, and Generals Asboth and Sigel as cool and smiling as if on 
dress parade. Then the cavalry, guarding well the rear. A 
squadron of Confederate horsemen appeared at the mouth of the 
ravine, with the supposed intention of charging down upon the 
rear guard. Two guns were taken back, and a half dozen shells 
in quick succession planted in their midst. A dozen steeds 
bounded madly and riderless away, an example which the remain- 
ing riders, by the vigorous application of spur and gun barrel to 
their horses, were not slow in following. In a few minutes the 
Confederate horsemen that came pouring down the hill, disap- 
peared at a rate of speed which outdid their efforts in coming 
but as long as there remained a "butternut," a horse or a straw 



END OF THE BATTLE OF BENTONVILLE. 135 

hat in sight, the shower of iron was rained among them. Sub- 
sequently in passing over this ground, nine Confederate graves 
told the result of the unerring aim of Hoffman's guns, at this 
the final repulse of the enemy. 

We saw them in vast numbers swarming over the bluffs over- 
looking the valley of Sugar Creek, scanning the blue line of 
infantry stretching away in the distance with its myriad of glis- 
tening bayonets, but they did not venture within the range of 
Sigel's terrible guns, for thinned ranks attested the severity of 
the iron hail. 

Thus ended the battle of Bentonville, which all authorities con- 
sulted have treated as a part of the subsequent action at Pea 
Ridge, which was fought more than ten miles away. Without 
further molestation the command resumed its march up the valley 
of Sugar Creek, and at four o'clock joined the Division of Gen. 
Davis already in position. 

An inquiry among those who participated in the engagement 
elicited the following facts in regard to the incidents of the day. 
The long column of troops, composing Sigel's Division, with its 
supply trains and transportation, fairly on the march, extended 
over many miles, winding over narrow and rough roads, mostly 
through a hilly and heavily timbered country. The rear guard, 
composed of Companies A and B of the 36th Cavalry and a 
few squadrons of the Benton Huzzars, on arriving at Benton- 
ville were ordered to halt until the pickets which had been 
called in and all the stragglers had come up. The troopers 
unbridled their horses and were in the act of feeding when 
the steadily increasing force at first noticed on the southern 
boundary of the prairie began to advance rapidly towards town. 
The soldiers took it for granted that these were Curtis' troops on 
their march from Cross Hollow, until the advancing lines broke 



136 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

to the right and left, with the evident intention of surrounding 
the little detachment of cavalry. Three-fourths of the command 
had passed through Bentonville and entered the forest, which 
commences at its suburbs, when the practiced eye of Sigel dis- 
covered the enemy blackening the prairie south of the town and 
closing rapidly in upon him, enveloping his rear batallions, evi- 
dently aiming to force that portion of the command to surrender. 
Information of the disaster at the ammunition wagon was received 
when he saw that he was nearly surrounded with enemies in 
front, flank and rear, and that to effect a junction with that por- 
tion of the division in advance he must cut his way through 
vastly superior numbers. Hurridly ordering the cavalry to 
mount, he turned to Capt. Jenks, and said, " Captain, the rebels 
are in our front, on either side and all around us," and raising 
his hand and bringing it down with vehemence by way of empha- 
sis, he continued, "We must advance; we must cut our way 
through we shall cut our way through!" The enemy halted 
for a moment and displaying a Confederate flag, all doubts of their 
true character were removed. It was estimated that they num- 
bered at least ten thousand, while Sigel had but eight hundred 
cavalry, infantry and artillery under his control. As the troops 
moved out of the east side of town, the rebels entered from the 
west. They had proceeded but a short distance when the timber 
on either side the road was observed to be filled with Confeder- 
ates, and across an opening in front others were observed in strong 
force barring their further progress. Sigel's batteries, which had 
been concealed by the cavalry, were brought into position, the 
guns unlimbered, and a storm of shot and shell sent crashing 
through their ranks, scattering them like chaff before the wind, 
and the way opened for his advance. The enemy hung upon his 
rear, and confident in their ascendency in numbers pressed forward 



SIGEL'S MASTERLY RETREAT. 137 

to the charge, but many falling under the cooly delivered and 
rapid fire of the guns, they wavered and finally fell back under 
cover of the woods and natural inequalities of the ground. 

Again the march was resumed, but the enemy being continu- 
ally reinforced, pressed eagerly forward, curled around their flanks, 
and threatened with annihilation the hundreds who were holding 
their ground against thousands. Grape shot and shell were 
hurled into their thickening ranks, but no sooner had one column 
been dispersed and driven back, than a fresh one appeared in rear 
or flank, which in turn served as food for our hissing missiles, 
every one of which marked its course by fallen men and writhing 
steeds and riders. This charge, like the former, was quickly 
repulsed, and the shattered ranks of the enemy fled for shelter 
under cover of the timber they had just left. The column 
entered the ravine leading down from the plateau to the valley of 
Sugar Creek, when the timbered bluffs on either side were found 
covered with the enemy, against whom the artillery could not be 
used with effect. A portion of the cavalry were dismounted as 
skirmishers, and charging up the bluffs kept them at bay while 
the command passed down the ravine. Discovering the small 
numbers of those holding them in check, the enemy were on the 
point of rushing down and overwhelming the skirmishers, when 
a detachment of infantry, engaged in another part of the field, 
brought their muskets to a right oblique, and emptying the con- 
tents into their ranks, forced them back. 

In this manner, alternately fighting and retreating, and at all 
times more or less closely pressed by superior numbers, Sigel 
made his slow and toilsome way, and extricating himself from 
their folds, reached the valley and joined the command, as has 
already been related. But for Sigel's admirable skill displayed 
10 



138 THIKTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

in this retreat from Bentonville, availing himself of every advan- 
tage which the nature of the ground afforded for the use of 
artillery against the crowded ranks of a foe with arms of lighter 
caliber, he must have been cut off, his trains and artillery cap- 
tured, and the whole federal army placed in a position of great 
peril. But one or two lighter pieces of the enemy's artillery 
could be brought up in time to be of service to them in the action, 
while our long ranged rifled guns kept them at such a distance as 
only at unfrequent intervals to subject our men to the fire of 
small arms. The enemy was severely punished, losing heavily in 
killed and wounded, but not in prisoners, only fifteen or twenty 
being taken, while the losses on our part amounted to sixteen 
killed, thirty wounded, and twenty-six prisoners, all but two being 
from Company B of the 36th Illinois. 

As before related, a junction was effected late in the afternoon 
with the main army, and a position on the right of Davis' Divis- 
ion, upon the hills to the north of, and overlooking the val- 
ley of Sugar Creek. Davis' batteries were planted and tempor- 
ary earth works thrown up for their protection, and trees felled 
in such a manner as to afford partial shelter to his men. 

Lieut. B. F. Campbell, as officer of the guard, had charge of 
a portion of the picket line thrown out a considerable distance in 
advance. When Sigel marched to Sugar Creek, from some inad- 
vertence the Lieutenant was not notified of the movement. Sub- 
sequently learning that the enemy was moving upon Bentonville 
in force, he hastily withdrew the pickets, except four who were 
captured before he could reach them, and started for camp. He 
found the whole country swarming with enemies, and every avenue 
of escape closed. Taking a circuitous route, and pretending to 
be Price's body guard, he passed innumerable squads of the 
enemy, borrowing pistols and ammunition of them, giving them 



NIGHT MOVEMENT OF THE MAIN COMMAND. 139 

orders, and finally bringing his little detachment in safety to our 
lines. 

Gen. Curtis, on receiving definite information of the enemy's 
advance, moved the main command from Cross Hollow during 
the night to the heights on Davis 's left, taking up a strong posi- 
tion along the telegraph road. Thus at the close of the day the 
whole army of the South-west, except details for guarding the 
long line of communication, and Company F from the 36th Illi- 
nois, who were on an expedition to McDonald and Newton Coun- 
ties in Missouri, were in position on the heights of Pea Ridge, 
overlooking the valley of Sugar Creek, prepared for action, and 
numbering all told a little less than ten thousand men. 

A few Confederates were seen at intervals flitting among the 
brush and trees which crowned the opposite heights, but not a 
shot saluted us, and as the shades of night gathered around, the 
woods, the fields, the rocks and hills were voiceless and still. 
Within the camps the hum of conversation was kept up around 
the smouldering fires until a late hour. Groups of men gathered 
to hear the story of some participant in the contest at Benton- 
ville, listening with intense interest to the details of the day's 
adventures ; others were discussing earnestly the probabilities 
and possibilities of to-morrow's conflict. Some were withdrawing 
rusty charges from their guns or cleaning their pieces for future 
contingencies. At the camp fires cups of coffee were being 
brewed, for with campaigners, both old and young, no matter of 
business can be transacted or victory won, without first being forti- 
fied and saturated with that fragrant beverage " that Heavenly 
compound which cheers but not inebriates." Then all but watch- 
ful sentinels and anxious officers wrap up in their blankets, seek 
a leafy couch, and retire to peaceful slumbers and pleasant dreams. 




CHAPTER X. 

PEA RIDGE. 

pEFORE proceeding with the details of the sanguinary 
fighting on the now historic field of Pea Ridge, it 
may be well to notice the character of the country 
occupied by the forces participating in the engagement ; 
particularly that portion of it rendered memorable 
by the storm of battle which swept its slopes, and known in the 
nomenclature of the country as Pea Ridge. 

From the center of Missouri to its southern and south-western 
border, a range of irregular hills traverse the State, known as 
the Ozarks. Their rugged slopes once surmounted, a high 
plateau, diversified with hill and dale, forest and prairie, is pre- 
sented to the eye. The northern counties of the State of Arkan- 
sas are intersected by a similar yet more lofty range, known as 
the Boston Mountains. These two series of hills unite in the 
north-western counties of Arkansas and form an acute triangle, 
and from thence gradually slope away by a series of slight ascents 
and waves of hills until they finally disappear in the Indian 
country beyond the western confines of Arkansas. It is at the 
junction of these hills just below the southern border of Mis- 
souri, in the north-western county of Arkansas, that the events 
about to be related occurred. 



DESCRIPTION OF THE VICINITY OF PEA RIDGE. 141 

While a considerable portion of this elevated region is arable 
land, yielding a rich reward to the cultivators of its soil, by far 
the larger part is cut and seamed by gorges or furrowed by rocky 
ridges and steep ascents. The stage and telegraph-road from 
Springfield, Missouri, to Fayetteville, Arkansas, passes over the 
highest elevations of the Ozark range until within five miles of 
the south line of the State, near the town of Keitsville, where it 
plunges into a deep gorge which has passed into history as " Cross 
Timbers Hollow," from the following circumstance. In 
the flight of Ben. McCulloch and Price from Springfield, at the 
time of Fremont's advance in November, 1861, believing that a 
rapid pursuit was intended, trees were felled across the road and 
hollow, to obstruct the march of Fremont's troops. Afterwards 
Price was obliged to remove this fallen timber for the passage of 
his own troops and supplies, on his return and re-occupation of 
Springfield. The subsequent retreat of Price down this hollow 
when followed by Gen. Curtis, was too hurried and our fire too 
hot to allow these obstructions being again placed in the way. 

Just before the State line is reached, the creek which courses 
its whole length, known as the middle branch of Sugar Creek, 
turns to the west, while the road continuing south, up a lateral 
ravine, and surmounting a steep ascent, debouches upon the 
elevated plateau of Pea Ridge, near the Elk-Horn Tavern. 
South of the State line in Arkansas, and two miles distant, a high 
range of hills take their rise near the Elk Horn and stretch away 
in irregular outline many miles to the west. The southern face 
of these hills are precipitous and rocky, but their northern slopes 
are more regular and undulating. At the foot of the southern 
escarpments of rock were cultivated fields, now covered with 
white and withered cornstalks, stretching away to the west from 
two to three miles. Along the base of these cliffs a road passes 



142 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

westward to Bentonville with a lateral branch to Lee Town, a 
hamlet of a dozen houses crowning the ridge, near the western 
extremity of the corn fields. 

From the foot of this rocky range southward, the surface of 
the country slopes away in undulating waves to the bluffs which 
border the deep valley of Sugar Creek, the waters of which flow 
westward, and, uniting with other streams, finally enter the 
Indian Country, near the south-west corner of Missouri. Pea 
Ridge comprises the elevated plateau between the middle and 
south branches of this stream and occupies a surface of many 
square miles in extent. Copious springs and shining rivulets 
have their source at the foot of the rocky range of hills, meander- 
ing across the fields and through the forests, at length mingling 
their soft, murmuring waters with those of Sugar Creek. The 
valleys of these streams are narrow, while the hills which border 
and confine them are rocky and precipitous. 

The general aspect of the country may be summed up as bein^ 
composed of alternate undulations of field and woodland and oi 
rocky acclivities. First commencing at the Elk-Horn Tavern, 
and stretching indefinitely away to the westward, rises the apex 
of the ridge, with its sharp abutments of rock worn and jaggt 
by the winds and storms of centuries. At their southern base 
succession of cultivated fields, averaging more than a half mil( 
in breadth, reaching two or three miles westward with more 01 
less irregularity of outline, and occasional projecting points oi 
timber. Then succeeds a belt of timber a mile or more in extent, 
covering the heights which overlook the valley. 

On the evening of the 6th of March all the troops were in 
position. They occupied the heights to the north of and over- 
looking the Sugar Creek valley. The left resting upon the tele- 
graph road, the right upon a lateral ravine at right angles with 



POSITIONS OF THE ARMY. 143 

the main valley, while two miles to the rear at the Elk-Horn were 
parked the trains and miscellaneous stores pertaining to the army, 
guarded by the 25th Missouri and a detachment from the 3rd 
Illinois Cavalry. 

Sigel's two Divisions, commanded by Asboth and Osterhaus 
respectively, occupied the right, Jeff. C. Davis held the center, 
while -Carr was posted on the left ; the line as thus formed front- 
ing south, from whence the Confederate attack was expected. 
Such was the disposition of our forces on the morning of the 7th ; 
the regiments well in hand, the men burning with eagerness ; for 
the enthusiasm of military novices as yet had not been toned 
down by experience. 



CHAPTER XL 

BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE FIRST DAY. 




DAYLIGHT on the morning of the 7th found the 
camp astir. Soldiers cooked an impromptu meal 
with arms in their hands, discussing the while the 
probabilities of the day. Cavalry horses munched 
Cli^'Si. ^ their corn, and the dark-mouthed engines of 
destruction remained in battery precisely where planted the 
evening before, as yet silent, but to the imaginative who conjure 
up phantoms of horror from the smoke wreaths of expected bat- 
tle, these silent watch-dogs were thinking of the part each were 
to take in awakening the thunders of the coming hours. The 
sun arose lazily yet smiling above the smoky horizon, shedding 
rays of light and heat around and over the scene as if the busi- 
ness in which men were about to engage was not of that charac- 
ter at which it should veil its face. 

Very soon staff officers were seen riding rapidly from brigade 
to brigade, their horses reeking with sweat. Hurried messages 
were delivered. Officers were seen in brief consultation ; their 
horses were saddled, harnessed and attached to the guns, and 
throughout the camps all were in a state of readiness and silent 
expectancy. Soon it was whispered that the enemy declining to 



A FLANK MOVEMENT. 145 

attack in front, had turned the right and was rapidly gaining 
the rear of our position. Believing that only the intervening tim- 
ber and underbrush obscured their movements, we expected them 

upon us immediately. 



By this flank movement, what was our front became the rear 
and the right flank of the army became its left. Soon came 
the order, shrill and loud, " Fall in, men," when a line was 
formed, fronting to the northwest, and, advancing a short dis- 
tance in the wood, we took a position overlooking a ravine. The 
underbrush was cleared and obstructions to movements in line or 
column removed, that when the expected attack should come, 
nothing might prevent a close, rapid and deadly fire. In this 
position we remained a half hour, straining our eyes through the 
deep openings in the wood and over the summits of distant ridges, 
watching for an approaching force but we looked and listened 
in vain. Not a movement or sound disturbed the calm repose of 
the morning. Then came an order to march, when the column 
was headed to the north-east, reaching the telegraph road, which 
was packed with a moving mass of wagons, horses, mules and 
men, slowly drifting from the Elk-Horn Tavern to the shelter of 
the woods and ravines near the position we had just left. 

The Third Iowa Cavalry, and detachments from various Mis- 
souri cavalry regiments, came from the northeast and filed towards 
the left, followed by a section of artillery. Then came Jeff. C. 
Davis, with his Indiana regiments, moving to the positions 
assigned them. As yet no hostile battalions disputed our pro- 
gress, or arrested the disposition that was being made of the 
forces. We saw no cannon crouching open-mouthed and look- 
ing threateningly down upon us. Except the continuous sound 
of slowly moving columns, the grinding of artillery wheels over 
the gravel-strewed paths, the braying of mules and the sharp 



146 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

notes of command, all was peaceful and calm. Hills, fields and 
forests basked in the morning sunshine, or were gently swept by 
the shadows of passing clouds. 

But at that moment of forboding calm, when everybody was 
listening for the stern summons to battle bang ! bang ! bang ! 
burst forth, a mile away to our right, telling us that the carnival 
had begun. 

After the Indiana regiments had passed, the 36th fell in and 
marched northeasterly, threading the crooked forest trail until 
the extreme left of Davis's position was attained. It seemed as 
if we were marching away from where the roar of cannon indi- 
cated that the harvest of death had commenced. Entering a little 
clearing, we discovered the yellow hospital flags, fluttering from 
the gables of every house in the hamlet of Leetown, and the 
surgeons busy with the sad, yet humane task which it was theirs 
to perform. And now just ahead of us is heard the rattle of 
musketry, the cheers and yells of opposing forces, the whirr of 
shrieking bullets and all the awful din of battle. Passing through 
a narrow belt of timber and reaching the field beyond, the column 
was being formed in line, when " Look out for the cavalry !" was 
heard from the advance ; then from out the babel of noise and 
fire, which but just now was heard in front, there rushed a dozen 
maddened and riderless steeds, and after them came tearing 
through the fields and brush with headlong speed, down along 
the marching column, squadrons of terrified cavalry, without hats 
or arms, in the utmost confusion and dismay. Some shouted 
as they passed, " Turn back ! Turn- back ! They'll give you 
hell !" But unmindful of this admonition, the regiment moved 
on, gained the open field, rapidly completed its line and was 
ready for the fierce onslaught which now menaced them. 



VICISSITUDES OF THE BATTLE. 147 

The cavalry disappeared in the woods to the rear, and nothing 
interposed between us and the long gray lines of the enemy form- 
ing in the woods which shadowed the northern side of the clear- 
ing. Their skirmishers occupied the field on our arrival, and 
were seen skulking through the dry and deadened cornstalks back 
to their lines, and many of their numbers were brought down by 
the unerring aim of our marksmen, and never left that field alive. 
The coolness and fearless stand of the 36th restored the confi- 
dence of the disordered command preceding it, which was upon 
the point of flying. Our batteries were planted, Hoffman's 
on the left, and Welfley's three guns, all he had remaining, sup- 
ported by Company E of the 36th, on the right. The line of 
infantry slowly retired to the timber in their rear, forming behind 
the fence which partially protected them from rebel shot. The 
enemy, thinking we were retreating, showed themselves on the 
opposite side and threw down the fence, with the apparent intention 
of charging upon us. At once our batteries opened and rained 
upon their exposed ranks a tempest of shot and shell. We saw 
their lines waver as great gaps were made in their quivering 
ranks. Their dead and dying thickly strewed the field, while 
some in sudden panic hurried to the rear. Then the opposite 
forest became vocal with the thunder of artillery, and rebel 
batteries sent back a responsive tempest of shot. The greater 
part of the rebel fire was concentrated upon the batteries and 
supporting infantry, including Company E. of the 36th, who 
stood exposed to the pitiless storm upon that unprotected field. 
The men lay down and closely hugged the earth while shell went 
shrieking over their heads into the woods beyond, some, indeed, 
striking uncomfortably near, causing a little excitement among 
those under fire for the first time. 

A shell killed John H. Harris and tore an arm from William 
Gibson, both of Company C. He started to find the hospital 



148 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

alone, and when asked by Col. Greusel if he should not send 
some one to help him along, heroically replied, " No, Colonel, 
the men are needed here; I can find my way alone," and pale 
and bleeding he tottered to the rear to seek the surgeon's aid. A 
shell shattered a leg from Ira Fuller, of Company E, and in a 
dying condition he was borne off the field. Not a soldier 
flinched. The ranks of the brave closed up, and still the rending 
storm went on. 

But if their shot flew fast and furious, our batteries hurled an 
answering response of grape, shell and shot, which mowed down 
their ranks as with a whirlwind of fire. What could they do but 
bend beneath the storm and finally melt away before it, with- 
drawing their wavering ranks to the cover of sheltering woods ? 
After their batteries had been silenced, and their menacing lines 
were no longer visible, Companies B and G were sent across the 
field and into the brush beyond to discover the enemy's position, 
and, if possible, their intentions. 

A squad from Company B when near the fence saw a mounted 
officer making his way through the brush and coming towards 
them. When near by, they fired, and the Confederate officer fell 
dead from his horse. The skirmishers sprang over the fence, and 
Peter Pelican secured the gold watch found upon the dead body 
of the officer. Another of the boys was in the act of securing 
his belt and pistols, when a volley was poured upon them, and 
they fled back to the field and assumed their position in the line 
of skirmishers. The officer whom they had shot proved to be the 
Confederate General, Ben. McCulloch. 

Our skirmishers found a number of Texas and Louisiana regi- 
ments in ambush behind the fence, with whom a lively contest 
was maintained for fifteen minutes. The fence seemed actually 
fringed with fire ; every length of it concealed a score of sharp 



THE THIRTY-SIXTH DISPERSES THE ENEMY. 149 

shooters, safely protected behind rails and logs, and able to select 
their living target, take deliberate aim and send their shot with 
fatal effect. Protected as they were, scarcely a federal bullet 
harmed them. Already many a wounded hero sprinkled Arkan- 
sas soil with his blood. To remain beneath that withering fire was 
but to perish, and to fall back became a necessity. But the 
overwhelming numbers and concentrated fire of the enemy had 
told heavily upon the thin line of skirmishers, and they retired, 
fighting, to their first position with the regiment, having twenty 
killed and wounded. 

A charge from the enemy was looked for and guarded against, 
and then our batteries opened upon them with thunder bolts of 
wrath launched with unerring precision and merciless fury into 
their devoted ranks. 

With fixed bayonets the 36th advanced across the field in 
splendid order, no flinching or falling out of line. The storm 
which howled about their heads might destroy but could not stop 
them. But the enemy did not wait their coming. They fled in 
a disorderly rout into the recesses of the forests. No enemy 
again appeared in force in this portion of the field during the 
remainder of the day. Occasionally a puff of smoke might be 
seen among the distant trees, followed by the muffled roar of 
cannon and the shriek of a projectile, to be met by an instant 
reply from Hoffman and Welfley. 

There being no longer an enemy in our front, the attention of 
the batteries were called to a high elevation in the line of hills 
west from the Elk-Horn and more than a mile distant, from which 
position the whole field of widely scattered and contending forces 
could be overlooked. It was believed that the Confederate com- 
manders were there, superintending the battle and directing the 
movement of troops to points most needing their presence. The 



150 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

hill was fairly black with Confederates, when Lieut. Beneca, of 
Welfley's battery, elevating his guns, dropped three shells in 
quick succession right in their midst. Numbers were observed 
to fall, while the living scattered like frightened sheep. We saw 
a white steed and its rider lifted into the air as a shell exploded 
underneath. That hill was quickly vacated, except by the 
mangled remains of the enemy's dead and dying. During the 
afternoon small numbers ventured to occupy its crest, but one or 
two shells exploded upon its summit was sufficient to clear it 
instantly of rebels. 

About three o'clock p. M. a strong column of the enemy made 
a furious onset upon Jeff. C. Davis's Division, which was posted 
on the right of Osterhaus. Soon the contending forces were 
hotly engaged. Volleys of musketry mingled their sharp tones 
in the grand concert, while there was an incessant crashing of 
guns uniting their voices in one sublime chorus that reverberated 
through the forest and among the hills. Wave after wave of 
rebel infantry bore down upon our thin lines, and a half mile of 
flame and smoke leaped from their serried ranks. The men of 
Indiana fell like leaves before an autumn blast, and the 18th and 
22nd Indiana were forced to recede from their positions. 

Davison's Peoria battery next engaged the attention of the 
enemy, when from out the belt of timber to our right solid gray 
lines of troops came surging over the field and thronged in dense 
masses over and around the battery, while from their lines flashed 
volley after volley of sulphurous flame. The artillerymen stood 
by their guns until pierced by shot they fell, or faint and bleeding 
moved slowly from the field. The guns were captured, their 
brave defenders with decimated ranks falling back to the timber 
adjacent to Leetown. 



GOOD EXECUTION BY THE ARTILLERY. 151 

Onward across the field surged the rebel hosts, when Welfley's 
guns poured in a deadly fire which cleft great openings in their 
ranks, covering the ground with winrows of dead and wounded, 
causing them to falter, but by the exertion of officers they closed 
up again, and like a huge tidal wave moved majestically on. 
Welfley and Company E were in retreat, but firing as they ran. 
The battery was then withdrawn to the timber near Leetown . 
The 12th and 17th Missouri with portions of the 36th met the 
thronging host, greeting them with a terrific shower of lead, 
which staid the advancing tide until Welfley returned again to 
the field. His guns rained grape and canister into the now 
wavering Confederate ranks, and they broke and fled in dismay. 
Company E drove those away who were holding Davison's guns, 
the battery was recaptured and returned to its rightful possessors, 
and thus ended the conflict on the left. 

The cavalry, though not in the front line of battle, did good 
service in reconnoitering and picking up stragglers from their 
main command, who, making their way unperceived through the 
thick brush, annoyed our flanks and rear. Company B while 
guarding the flank, encountered a straggling detachment of 
Louisianans, and captured thirty-eight prisoners, including Col. 
Herbert and five other commissioned officers. A part of this 
Company, under Lieut. Chapman, supported a battery at Sugar 
Creek, and did not participate in this day's engagement. 

During the contest in which Davis' infantry was engaged, a 
Lieutenant from one of the Indiana regiments had a finger shot 
off by a stray bullet. He ordered two of his company a ser- 
geant and a private to accompany him to the hospitals in the 
rear. Col. Greusel meeting him and seeing how slight was his 
wound, asked why he required two attendants, when men were so 
much needed in front, adding that if each man who should be 



152 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

grazed with a bullet required so many attendants to conduct them 
to the rear, there soon would be none left in front to carry on the 
fight. The Lieutenant halted, and while in the act of giving his 
reasons for such a proceeding, a solid shot came crashing through 
the brains of his attendants and struck him in the breast, pass- 
ing through his body, hurling all three to the earth, a mangled 
mass of blood, of shattered bones and quivering flesh. At such 
a time there was more danger in leaving the ranks and crossing 
the fields, which were swept with a deluge of iron and lead, than 
to remain and face the storm. 

Away to the right, all day long the roar of battle was terrible 
and continuous. Our forces there were hard pressed, and, after 
urgent appeals for aid and an order from head quarters, Asboth's 
Division filed across the fields, which were deserted and still, 
except by the moans of the dying, and marched towards the Elk 
Horn, to aid Carr in the stubborn fight he was maintaining on 
the right. The conflict was over on the left ; the enemy driven 
in confusion and with heavy loss from the field. Night came on, 
with its veil of darkness, to hide the bloody scene. 

The incidents occurring along the line of an extended field of 
battle cannot be viewed from a single point of observation. Par- 
ticularly is this the case when the country is diversified with hill 
and valley, field and woodland. We can hear the distant roar of 
guns and see the thin, vapory clouds of smoke arising from differ- 
ent portions of the field, under whose sulphurous sheen tragedies 
are being enacted, which the imagination alone can fill with hor- 
rors and color the picture with dark and fearful shadings. That 
portion of the battle in which the 36th Illinois participated during 
the conflict of March 7th, has been detailed. A survey of the 
whole field and an outline of the extended operations of the forces 
engaged, will give a more intelligible idea of the magnitude of the 



CHANGING THE POSITIONS OF THE ARMY. 153 

contest, and the bearing which the operations of each separate 
regiment, brigade, or division had upon the general result. 

The very difficult, and often dangerous, movement of changing 
front to the rear was executed, and new positions occupied, 
as soon as information of the enemy's movements was ob- 
tained. Our left rested upon the margin of the fields adjoin- 
ing Leetown ; our right extending into the woods at and beyond 
the-Elk Horn tavern, presenting a front to the northwest and at 
least two miles in extent. While this change of base was being 
effected. Gen. Osterhaus sent forward a part of the Third Iowa 
and detachments from various Missouri cavalry regiments, with 
two guns from Wefley's battery, to feel the enemy, ascertain his 
strength, his position and intentions. Clear and shrill the bugles 
sounded the advance, and the squadrons crossed the fields and 
entered the dense timber and underbrush on the north, which was 
crowded with masses of the foe, concealed from sight. A 
dash was made upon a force discovered in front; a portentous 
silence pervaded the thickets on the left, which masked the hosts 
preparing to spring upon our devoted band. On goes the charg- 
ing column, not seeing, or at least unmindful, of the danger lurk- 
ing near. Suddenly, like a blast from the infernal regions, out 
of the quiet thickets flashed volley after volley into the passing 
squadrons, while a body of mounted Confederates charged upon 
the flanks of our column of cavalry and broke it in two. Officers 
and gallant soldiers fell like leaves in Autumn, their blood dyeing 
the woodland with its sanguinary hue. Horses and riders, in 
ever increasing numbers, thickly strewed the field, while every 
horse attached to the guns was killed. So sudden a transition 
from a tilt on horseback, to the position of targets for rebel marks- 
men, concealed in the dense underbrush, against whose withering 

fire no effective resistance could be made, was anything but 
11 



154 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

agreeable. For an instant the column paused in uncertainty ; 
then suddenly from out the bloody covert swarmed thousands of . 
Confederate soldiers, who overwhelmed both cavalry and artillery, 
and swept their disordered ranks from existence. The dismounted 
Federals dashed into the brush for safety and were met by the 
deadly rifle, the uplifted tomahawk and flashing scalping knife, 
in the hands of savage Indians, who spared none that fell within 
their merciless grasp. Others threw away their arms, spurred 
their horses through the ranks of their enemies, and, plung- 
ing madly across the field in a disordered flight, imparted a 
sensation of terror to the infantry, which was just being formed 
in line along the northern boundary of the cornfield. The inspir- 
ing words or stern commands of officers dispelled the panic which 
was seizing them, as the terror stricken fugitives fled to the rear. 
Of the three hundred men who entered that volcano of death, 
half were either killed outright, made prisoners, or left writhing 
in agony upon the field. In less than five minutes from the time 
they entered the timber with flaunting pennons, their ranks were 
broken, and a wild stream of frightened fugitives returned with 
headlong haste, and in dire confusion disappeared to the rear. 
The Indians who had taken service in the ranks of treason ranged 
the field for plunder, and subsequently thirty dead heroes of the 
3rd Iowa Cavalry were found divested of their scalps. Our two 
guns remained in the enemy's hands, but without horses they 
could not be used or taken away through the underbrush. 

Lieut. Col. Joslyn, as cool as if at a Fourth of July celebra- 
tion, by word and example did much to maintain the courage and 
confidence of the infantry, and forming them in line of battle 
advanced to meet the yelling savages and their brutal white com- 
panions with a withering fire which sent them howling back again 
to the cover of the woods, where the rapid and destructive play of 



GETTING A DECIDED ADVANTAGE. 155 

artillery kept them until after the fall of their leader, Ben. Mc- 
Culloch, when they abandoned this portion of the field and the 
left was clear of enemies. In the midst of the artillery duel 
which succeeded the operations of the morning, skirmishers 
advanced to the scene of disaster and in the face of a rattling fire 
of musketry, brought off the captured guns which had been 
abandoned, and dragging them across the field, they were restored 
to Capt. Welfley, and soon hotly engaged in wiping out the dis- 
grace of the morning, by hurling shell into the cowering ranks 
of the foe. 

While Sigel's guns were thus holding the enemy in check and 
preserving his own lines intact, a column of rebel infantry was 
hurled with irresistible fury upon Jeff. C. Davis' lines in the 
center. Desperately the men of Indiana and Illinois stood side 
by side fighting to maintain their position. Wave after wave of 
of gray infantry were met and rolled back among the hills, only 
to return again with augmented numbers and persistent obsti- 
nacy,, before which our brave boys bent beneath the murderous 
rush of bullets which howled about them as a storm howls through 
the harvest fields in autumn. The wounded creep to the rear, 
while some of the best and bravest lie dead upon this fatal field. 
Slowly our troops fall back a few yards to a less exposed position, 
where under cover of timber and sheltering inequalities of ground 
no amount of hostile lead and iron can move them. Before our 
solid ranks and galling fire the enemy faltered, then filing 
obliquely to the right, enveloped Davison's Peoria-battery, and 
for a brief period hold it. They swept on towards the left when 
a hot, enfilading fire from Osterhaus' Division and from Welfley *s 
and Hoffman's guns checked their further progress. Attacked 
in flank, in front and rear, they could not stand, and the dark 
masses of the enemy were broken and melted away in a disorderly 



156 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

retreat. The Peoria-battery was retaken by the men of Com- 
pany E of the 36th Illinois, and was soon in full play upon the 
now rapidly vanishing enemy. The center recovered its former 
position, and the left and center remained unbroken in the place 
first occupied, interrupted only by the occasional wail of a shell 
as it came arching over their heads, its salutation being responded 
to by our batteries with terrible emphasis. 

These demonstrations upon the left and center were in the 
main mere feints on their part to divert attention from the right, 
which was their main object of attack. Sheltered by the range 
of hills west of the Elk-Horn, and hidden from sight by the 
dense timber which covered them, they pressed steadily on to 
the telegraph road, silently gaining our rear and cutting off all 
retreat northward. About nine o'ciock in the morning their 
advance encountered Col. Phelps' 25th Missouri Regiment, 
whose term of service had expired, and who were guarding the 
stores which had been hastily removed to the Elk-Horn. The 
25th interposed a stubborn resistance, maintaining their ground 
until the transportation, and many of the stores were removed 
to a place of greater safety. At length by mere weight of num 
bers the enemy succeeded in dislodging the gallant 25th from 
the heights, but not until a quarter of its numbers were left on 
the slopes to attest its heroic devotion. The remainder of Carr's 
Division was hurried to the scene of threatened danger, and 
while pressing through the deadened cornfields, which lay at the 
foot of the cliffs, it came in contact with masses of the enemy 
posted at the foot and upon the rocky heights, who received them 
with an iron shotted salute from deep-mouthed, rebel guns, planted 
on elevations commanding all the approaches, which launched 
their deadly missiles upon Carr's advancing columns. A line of 
battle was quickly formed in the woods and fields adjoining the 



BRAVERY OF THE IOWA TROOPS. 157 

Elk-Horn, the right, under Col. Dodge, occupying a position on 
slight elevations east of the road, overlooking a ravine which opened 
into Cross Timbers Hollow. The enemy soon came thronging 
up this ravine to the attack, but Dodge's artillery held them in 
check for several hours. The enemy dragged several pieces up 
the slopes of the opposite acclivities and responded, while bodies 
of infantry pushed their way through the broken ascents and 
tangled underbrush towards our batteries, and soon all were 
hotly engaged. Volley answered volley in close and deadly con- 
flict, but without definite results or material advantages on either 
side. The men of Iowa, brave and determined, maintained their 
ground, giving not an inch, though the attacking force was 
greatly their superior in numbers. Col. Dodge was everywhere 
present, rallying and encouraging his men, and though wounded, 
refused to quit the field. His ranks, exposed to an enfilading 
fire, were terribly thinned, yet firm and undaunted his troops 
tenaciously held their position until late in the afternoon, when, 
failing to receive support and the brigades to his left having been 
forced back, he relinquished the ground, consecrated by the best 
blood of Iowa. 

Col. Vandevere, with the 9th Iowa and Dubuque battery, 
occupied the road a little to the north of the Elk-Horn Tavern. 
Here, hour after hour the battle raged furiously, the enemy con 
stantly augmenting their attacking columns, and plunging a 
tornado of shot from numerous batteries crowning the heights to 
the left and front. Here Price and Van Dorn in person 
watched the progress of the conflict, and concentrated their 
heaviest efforts. The rattle of musketry was terrible and con- 
tinuous ; the air seemed full of lead, yet the cruel music of these 
missiles disturbed not the equinimity of our men. From every 
elevation on the circuit of hills rebel batteries rained their thun- 



158 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

derbolts in a perfect deluge into our ranks or went shrieking 
like fiends over the heads of the men who bravely clung to their 
position. Backward and forward the battle raged as temporary 
victory or defeat crowned the efforts of the opposing armies. 
Lieut. Col. Herron, of the 9th Iowa, was wounded, and taken pris- 
oner. A strong rebel column forced its way up the road, and 
notwithstanding great gaps were made in their ranks, they 
charged upon the Dubuque battery and captured some of its 
guns. The balance were withdrawn and occupied another posi- 
tion, from whence they hurled defiance at the advancing foe. 
While the guns were being withdrawn, a caisson filled with 
ammunition was disabled and about being abandoned, when an 
artilleryman threw a burning quilt into the ammunition chest, 
which in a few minutes exploded in the midst of the enemy with 
a thundering crash, as though all the explosive elements of 
earth and air were collected there. Bloody clothing and mutil- 
ated remains of men were tossed high in the air, and hung in 
gory shreds from the tree tops, or were scattered mangled and 
bleeding over the ground. It was reported that fifty men were 
either wounded or killed outright at this point. 

When Col. Carr found he had the main Confederate army on 
his hands, he speedily notified Gen. Curtis of the fact and 
importuned him for reinforcements. Detachments not other- 
wise engaged were dispatched to his assistance, and even 
the General's body guard and light howitzers were hurried for- 
ward to assist in holding the enemy in check until reinforcements 
could be brought over from the left, where the contest had vir- 
tually ceased. Desperate charges were made, followed by hand 
to hand fighting at close range and with the bayonet, in which 
the enemy lost nearly all the ground he had won. Though 
temporarily defeated, they were speedily reinforced by regiment 



VARIED FORTUNES OF THE DAY. 159 

after regiment, and returned to the assault in overpowering num- 
bers, threatening to surround and annihilate the handful of brave 
men who stubbornly contested their advance. Carr looked on his 
thinned division with gloomy forebodings as he continued to fall 
back towards his camp of the morning. Messengers were hur- 
rying from head-quarters to the different division commanders 
for aid, but at that time Davis was too closely pressed to spare a 
single regiment or gun. Sigel, after the death of McCulloch, 
was confronted only by light detachments, but was fearful of 
another attack, and hesitated to weaken his line by sending 
troops to the right until peremptorily ordered to do so by Gen. 
Curtis. Asboth, with the greater portion of his division, 
marched to Carr's assistance, arriving in time to partici- 
pate in a charge in which the enemy was forced back a half mile 
to the Elk-Horn, and much of the ground lost by Carr was 
recovered. It was a fierce conflict, in which both sides fought 
desperately for the mastery, and the losses sustained by each 
were severe. Among the wounded was Gen. Asboth, who, 
though severely hurt, remained upon the field in command of 
his division. At a later period, the conflict having ceased in the 
center, Jeff. C. Davis sent the 2nd Ohio battery to Carr's assist- 
ance, which rendered good service until darkness put an end to 
the conflict, this battery firing the last shot of the day. 

For eleven hours, from nine o'clock in the morning until eight 
at night, the conflict raged on the right without interruption. 
From our position we could see nothing ; a dense cloud of smoke 
enveloped the field, from whence rolled up to us the awful din 
of battle. Beneath that smoke enwrapped landscape we knew 
our brothers loyal and true, were fighting for the good cause, but 
no lines of gray or blue uniformed men could be seen or move- 
ments of troops as the battle surged to and fro, and positions 



160 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

were either lost or won. Long after darkness had canopied the 
earth the bloody tournament continued ; the flashing of guns as 
vivid as lightning, the deafening war reverberating among the 
hills, formed a panorama of sights and sounds never to be for- 
gotten. 

The sun was sinking below the horizon when the 36th was 
ordered to the right to support the bleeding columns that were 
maintaining the desperate conflict. We marched to a cornfield 
contiguous to the enemy's position, and remained there until one 
o'clock in the morning. No fires were lighted, for we knew the 
enemy was near in unknown numbers, and the glimmer of the 
feeblest spire of flame might light us on to destruction. ' We 
heard the tread of their sentries and the low hum of conversation 
but a few yards away, and subsequently learned that five Con 
federate regiments were bivouacked not twenty yards distant. 
The weary men lay down upon the damp ground, with no cover- 
ing except the hazy sky, and slept soundly, though chilled by the 
frosty night air. On the left a glorious victory had been 
achieved. The right, though shattered and driven a half mile 
back from their position in the morning, were not disheartened, 
and with a few regiments to aid their stroke might be able to 
inflict a blow that would be fatal to rebel hopes of victory. But 
a few hundred yards intervened between the two armies as they 
lay down to rest, or made fresh preparations for renewing the 
struggle in the morning. The dead and many of the wounded 
were left where they fell. Some of the regiments were terribly 
reduced in numbers, and many in Carr's division, where the 
conflict had been more severe, were oppressed with doubts as to 
the final result. The night was rendered more sombre by the 
pitiful braying of mules and horses, which for twenty-four hours 
had been without forage or water. Neither had the men tasted 



MIDNIGHT AFTER THE BATTLE. 161- 

food or water since the early morning, and between hunger, cold 
and fatigue were not in exuberant spirits. 

At midnight the division commanders assembled at the Com- 
manding General's quarters, and reported the condition and 
strength of their respective commands, together with such opin- 
ions and advice as to future operations as their present condition 
and previous experience suggested. Carr and Asboth, in view 
of their thinned ranks and the rude treatment they had received, 
were filled with gloomy forebodings, while Davis, Sigel and Oster- 
haus, whose losses had been small, were hopeful and confident. 
From the verbal reports of his subordinates, Gen. Curtis was 
able to grasp the whole situation, and believed- that by a contrac- 
tion of his lines and a combined effort of the whole army upon 
the heights about the Elk-Horn, the contest would no longer be 
a doubtful one, but that victory would speedily result. In pur- 
suance of this object all the troops were called in and new posi- 
tions assigned which embraced a line of battle of less than half 
the extent of that of the preceding day. 

Accordingly at 1 o'clock A. M. the order was passed in whis- 
pers to proceed to the telegraph road, and we silently left our 
position in the field, groping our way among the deadened corn- 
stalks, clambering over fences, meandering through woods, falling 
over logs, ascending steep- hills and crossing ravines, until after 
an hour's painful marching we reached the road, near where a 
muddy rivulet trickled by. We rushed to the banks, and, lying 
prostrate upon the earth, quaffed great draughts of the precious 
beverage and found refreshment and vigor in its cooling waters, 
the whole brigade brightening up under its invigorating influ- 
ence. 

Soon little impromptu camp fires were blazing in the hollows ; 
frying pans and bake kettles, borrowed from other commands, 



162 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

were brought into requisition, and a few hastily and half-baked 
flap-jacks, made of flour and water, were the first morsels of 
food which had passed our lips for nearly twenty-four hours. 
This, in a measure, appeased our ravenous hunger, after which 
a craving for rest was gratified by an hour's sleep upon the 
muddy ground. The damp, cold air, and a want of blankets 
and sufficient clothing, rendered this a most chilly and restless 
aft'air. This dumping down by the roadside is not suggestive of 
special comfort, but we were thoroughly tired out, and had 
reached a point where sleep, however uncomfortable, was a 
necessity. 

No one removed his sword or separated himself from his gun. 
Horses stood saddled, ready for instant service. The mules 
continued their braying. Pickets stood with eyes and ears open, 
ready to give warning should a night attack be attempted. 
Such as could not readily close their eyes in sleep, looked up 
through the branching tree tops to the sky arching over all, and 
the stars moving calmly on their appointed way, and thought of 
the utter absurdity and wickedness of this whole game of war. 
Within an area of two square miles lay thirty-five thousand men ; 
some stiff' and stark, looking with visionless eyes up into the 
pitying heavens ; some tossing in agony on hospital beds or 
lying maimed and bleeding under the trees, while yet other 
thousands were hugging in their sleep the weapons with which 
to-morrow they were to renew the work of death. Bound up 
with the lives and safety of these thousands was that of other 
thousands at the home firesides, and far beyond and over all the 
fate of our country. And here comes in the moral and patriotic 
elements of war, to which animal passions, strength and skill 
must be subservient. Looking at the subject in this light, no 
doubts disturb us as to our duty to stand up and fight it out to 



SECOND DAY OF THE BATTLE. 1(53 

the bitter end ; and, notwithstanding our contempt and horror 
of war, we must, in view of all the mighty interests at stake, 
feel that we were in the right place on this blood-stained battle- 
field. With such thoughts crowding upon the brain, sleep comes 
at length, and another long day was over. . 



CHAPTER XII. 

BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE SECOND DAY. 

THE morning of the 8th, before it was fully 
light, we were aroused and homeopathic doses 
of flap-jacks served to the men, who then pro- 
ceeded to make ready for whatever hardship, 
trial and endurance the day should demand. 
The smoke of yesterday's conflict hung in 
drapery folds over field, woodland and mountain, and there being 
no breeze to drive it away, the sun appeared dim and red, and 
shone with a mellow radiance through the drifting sheen. 

While sitting around the camp-6res, and, like Tantalus of the 
classic myth, looking and longing for a more substantial break- 
fast than the one which had been meted out to us, suddenly from 
out the smoky mist came the report of a cannon, followed by a 
bursting thunderbolt, and so near as to seem within the pre- 
cincts of the camp. Then followed explosion after explosion in 
quick succession, while whizzing balls and fiery shell winged 




164 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

their doleful way through the air, clipping the leafless twigs 
from the trees just over our heads and striking a hundred yards 
beyond. Our batteries galloped up the road, the guns were 
unlimbered, the horses brought back fifty paces to the rear, and 
in an instant roared forth an answer to the morning salutation 
accorded us. Shot answered shot, and battery after battery 
mingled in the thunders of the hour. 

Their guns lowered, their range and shot were dropping within 
the bounds of camp, too uncomfortably near to render our posi- 
tion one of entire safety. A shell exploded in the midst of a 
camp-fire, around which a score of the men of Company K were 
sitting, and flaming brands, earth and ashes were scattered pro- 
miscuously over the dismayed and startled group, who sud- 
denly recollected that they had urgent business in other portions 
of the wood. 

Swiftly from regiment to regiment the order was passed to 
advance. The men sprang to their feet, grasped their muskets 
and fell into the moving lines. Field officers, worn out by 
fatigue, roused themselves, were soon in the saddle, at the head 
of columns with which the woods seemed alive, all moving in 
perfect order towards, and not away from the enemy. 

The Second Brigade, including the 36th Illinois, formed by 
the roadside; its field officers lead the way, and hurrying up the 
road it neared the sulphurous field where the continuous roll of 
cannon told us that no idle hands were at the work. Leaving 
the road, we filed to the left and passed close along the rear of 
batteries planted in the edge of the fields and pouring a respons- 
ive fire to the guns of the enemy, which from the heights looked 
frowningly down upon us. Behind the batteries and in the edge 
of the timber large bodies of troops were forming in line of bat- 
tle, and as we rushed past them at a double quick, cheer upon 



COOLNESS OF GENERAL SIGEL. 165 

cheer greeted and encouraged us. We moved up a wooded slope, 
while on galloped the batteries to the top of the ascent ; then 
wheeling to the north we entered the field, and advancing in 
line over the rough ground a hundred yards or more, the 
guns were unlimbered and added their thunders to the volcano 
of noise, causing the very earth to tremble. Our line was 
formed on the left of those already on the ground ; regiment 
after regiment arrived and were added to the blue line of infantry 
stretching away to the left, while at frequent intervals batteries 
were planted, and at once it seemed as if a mile of sheeted 
lightning was leaping from black-mouthed cannon and a murder- 
ous rush of hissing missiles hurled into the dense masses of the 
enemy who were now in plain sight before us. Never were guns 
more admirably handled than those which all along the line were 
shaking the earth with one continuous and tremendous peal that 
seemed the prolonged howl of a hundred thunder storms mingled 
into one There were moments when the firing would slacken, 
when, perhaps, a single gun away off to the right or left would 
be heard ; then the roar of half a dozen in succession, so quick 
that each succeeding wave of sound lapped on the preceding one. 
Then the lapping would become indistinguishable, and the whole 
forty guns would be wreathed in volumes of smoke and flame, 
the thunders of each merged in one terrific volume. 

In this sulphurous atmosphere Sigel was perfectly at home, 
and utterly regardless of the balls which were hailing around 
him, he rode from battery to battery, encouraging the men and 
giving his directions as coolly as if on parade. Dismounting 
from his horse, he personally sighted the pieces, directed where 
to fire, and by his example induced the gunners to redouble 
their efforts, thus sweeping the ground with such an incessant 



166 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

storm of iron that the enemy dared not advance in a decisive 
charge across the open fields. 

But our batteries had not an entire monopoly of the awful 
thunders of the day. The fatal precision with which the enemy's 
shot came tearing through our ranks told us that the opposing 
batteries were not handled by novices in the art of war. The 
infantry were ordered to lie down on their arms a few yards in 
rear of the artillery; and while lying thus upon their faces, 
closely hugging the ground in vain endeavors to escape the storm 
of shot which was raining around, a solid shot ricochets over 
the field and through the dry corn stalks, and passing within a 
few inches of Col. Greusel's head, for a moment paralyzed and 
forced him half way to the earth; then with a dull thud it 
plunged in the midst of Company E, and was buried a foot 
beneath the surface, in its passage killing private Ray instantly. 

It soon became evident that the rebel lines were shaken by 
the superior accuracy of our fire, and save an occasional shot, 
one after another of their batteries were silenced. One, how- 
ever, situated in front of a belt of timber near the Elk-Horn, 
persistently kept up the cannonade, with scarcely a moment's 
intermission for three hours, directing its fire upon the right of 
our line, firing shell and round shot with immense rapidity and 
such good aim that most of the casualties in this part of the 
field were caused by this, Woodworth's Arkansas battery. 

As the enemy's fire began to slacken, skirmishers were sent 
out, and the whole line advanced until the now wavering ranks 
of the enemy were within close range, when the batteries again 
opened upon them with terrible effect. They abandoned the 
fields and swarmed up the heights to the rear of the first position, 
which was fairly blackened with their batallions, pouring a 
heavy fire of musketry down upon the unprotected heads of our 



FLIGHT OF THE CONFEDERATE ARMY. 167 

skirmishers as they advanced gallantly to the foot of the rockv 
battlements in splendid order, their long ranged, rifled minnies 
doing fearful execution at a distance which the squirrel-rifles 
and double-barreled shot-guns of the enemy could not reach. 
At 10 o'clock A. M. the Confederate forces seemed to be breaking 
up .and scattering in every direction, and whenever a flying 
squadron could be detected within range, a few shells launched 
in their midst would give an additional impetus to their flight, 
while cheer upon cheer went up from our ranks as we saw them 
wildly scatter on receipt of a message from the guns. 

A rocky and almost inaccessible point three-fourths of a mile 
in front was persistently held against all eiforts of the skirmish- 
ers to dislodge them. Then the guns were elevated and screaming 
shells bursting in their midst scattered masses of earth and rock 
mingled with the shattered remains of men and horses which 
were tossed in the air and lodged in the branches of the trees. 
Not long could they stand the storm which swept them as with 
the besom of destruction, and those who survived the wholesale 
massacre sought shelter from the deadly effect of the guns by 
retreating into the woods and down the opposite slopes. We 
were told that at this point two shells bursting in the center of 
a compact mass of human beings, killed and wounded sixty of 
their number. The line then rapidly advanced, cheering as they 
went, the whole army wild with a delirium of joy. Our right 
encountered a scattering fire of musketry which rather acceler- 
ated than impeded the charge, and then the last remains of the 
rebel army were put to flight. Battle flags, guns and prisoners 
were taken, but not a hostile shot broke in upon the shouting 
which rent the air. 

The 36th Illinois reached the foot of the rocky parapet, the 
last strong-hold occupied by the enemy, its precipitous sides pre- 



168 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

senting an impassible barrier. But to the left a narrow passage 
was found by which the cliffs were scaled and their summits 
reached. Great God ! what a scene was there presented ! The 
mangled trunks of men lay thickly scattered around, and so close 
as to require the utmost care to avoid stepping on their cold 
remains. From each tree or sheltering nook the groans of .the 
wounded arose, while muskets, saddles, horses, blankets, hats and 
clothes, hung in shreds from every bush or in gory masses cum- 
bered the ground. Then ten thousand wild cheers from valley 
and hill-top, from field and wood-land, proclaimed the victory 
ours. 

As we moved down the northern slopes of the ridge we found 
the smouldering camp-fires, remains of half eaten breakfasts, 
sacks of flour, sides of bacon, blankets, old hats, guns, and other 
paraphernalia pertaining to soldiers, scattered about the woods in 
wild confusion. What remained of the evening's repast was 
devoured by our hungry men, who, seizing upon everything eat- 
able, greedily crammed it down their throats as they marched 
along. Reaching the telegraph road, the two wings of the army 
met at the head of Cross Hollows, and officers and men shouted 
themselves hoarse. Gladness beamed from every countenance ; 
all were feeling well. Sigel's eye had a less nervous and more 
joyous twinkle than when, an hour ago, he was sighting the guns 
which had caused the wrecks lying all around us. Asboth's stoic 
face for once was wreathed with smiles ; and Osterhaus, never 
more jolly or at home than on the battlefield, was overflowing 
with encomiums upon " der prave poys," and expressions of 
entire satisfaction with the result ; while towering over all was 
the massive brow and stalwart form of noble Curtis, who, in sten- 
torian tones, congratulated the army upon the glorious victory it 
had achieved, and ordered a swift pursuit of the flying enemy. 



THE PURSUIT AND BATTLE FIELD. 



169 



In the gladness which ruled the hour, the wrecks of humanity 
thickly scattered in field and wood were not neglected ; and Federal 
soldiers shared the contents of their canteens with thirsty wounded 
Confederates. The fierce passions which animated them an hour 
before, while panting for each other's blood, had subsided, and 
pity for the maimed supplanted the feelings of hate and fury. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



THE PURSUIT AND BATTLE-FIELD. 



IHORT were the moments allowed for congratula- 
tion, for Sigel was ordered to continue the pur- 
suit on the Keitsville road, up which a consid- 
erable force, with that portion of their artillery 
which the enemy had succeeded in saving, were 
in full retreat. At every side ravine and forest 
path little detachments filtered away from the demoralized rabble 
surging in terror through Cross Timbers Hollow, leaving by the 
wayside muskets, blankets, and every possible article which could 
encumber their flight, so that on their arrival and passage through 
Keitsville scarcely enough men remained to drive the horses 
attached to the guns. 

12 




170 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Three days of constant fighting, the weary watches of the 
succeeding nights, the heat, dust, fatigue, and above all, the hun- 
ger of the men composing the pursuing column, rendered the 
forced march of twelve miles extremely tiresome and depressing ; 
and with all the efforts we were able to put forth, the retreating 
squadrons of the Confederate army could not be overtaken. 
Night coming on, we bivouacked in the valley a short distance 
below Keitsville, and hungry, cross and supperless, stretched our 
weary limbs upon the ground and slept soundly. 

The march was resumed the next morning and continued to 
Keitsville; the 36th having in charge three or four hundred 
rebel prisoners who had been captured at various periods in the 
progress of the battle. Among them was Col. Hebard, of the 
3rd Louisiana, and Billy Price, a nephew of the Confederate 
general, then a member of the so-called Confederate Congress. 
His answers to the multitude of questions with which his captors, 
Yankee like, assailed him, were sharp, intelligent, and as keen 
as a rapier. By this time all hopes of overtaking the enemy 
were abandoned. The prisoners were sent to Springfield under 
guard, while the command retraced its steps to the valley and 
halted during a severe rain storm, which saturated our clothing, 
filled the rivulets to overflowing, and changed the road to a 
quagmire. 

We were here joined by Major Conrad, with his detachment, 
which had left Cassville in the morning, Company F again taking 
its position in the regiment. The arrival of a provision train 
under their escort was most opportune, and it was good to see 
with what thorough zest and enjoyment the half famished soldiers 
devoured their hardtack and bacon. After the storm had sub- 
sided, we proceeded to Pea Ridge and encamped in the woods on 



BURYING THE DEAD. 171 

the banks of a rivulet, the cooling waters of which had satiated 
our thirst on the night of the 7th. 

How it was possible for the whole vast Confederate army to 
slip so completely through our fingers with the capture of only a 
few hundred stragglers, was a matter of surprise to all, for at the 
time the last gun was fired, vast numbers were observed scatter- 
ing in every direction and vanishing among the hills. Although 
the pursuit was instantaneous, no considerable numbers were 
afterward seen, and from seven to eight hundred comprised all 
the prisoners captured during the engagement, not including the 
wounded who were left in our hands. 

Meanwhile burial parties were detailed from the various regi- 
ments, who traversed the length and breadth of the late battle- 
field, to its remotest corners and where the hottest fury of 
man's wrath had expended itself, gathering up the remains of 
the dead and putting them quietly away to rest side by side in 
common and nameless graves. Along the position occupied by 
Dodge's brigade, and all through the cornfields about the Elk- 
Horri. where Carr had so long maintained the fearful contest, 
thickly lay the defaced and broken human caskets, emptied of all 
that made them manlike, and so blackened, repulsive and dis- 
torted as scarcely to retain a semblance of humanity. 

The ground was thickly strewn with arms, knapsacks, cartridge 
boxes, clothing, the carcasses of horses, and thousands of shot 
and shell. Go where you would, through field, wood, ravine or 
over mountain, the walk would be amid the debris of battle and 
the dead, until the heart grew sick and faint with horror. Here 
was a lifeless trunk, the head of which had been blown entirely 
away ; the limbs of some were torn from the bodies, while others 
were perforated with shot. So ended the career of hundreds, 
the beloved of many a sad and breaking heart, who were buried 



172 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

with no headstones to mark the place where rest their sleeping 
ashes. 

Climbing the rocky citadel behind the Elk-Horn, where our 
broadsides swept their ranks with destruction, scores of Confed- 
erate dead lay in every conceivable attitude ; some grasping their 
muskets with a look of stern defiance indelibly stamped upon 
their faces, while the features of others told of the horror and 
despair which filled their souls when the fatal missile struck them. 
Some lay in positions, of calm repose, the expression of their 
countenances calling forth words of tenderness and respect from 
the burial parties, who knew that away off yonder in some South- 
ern home the heart of wife or mother was wrung with anguish 
over the sad results of this fearful game of war. Not for these 
mangled forms need we reserve our pity, but for the broken home 
circles, of which the cold remains before us once formed a valued 
link. The widow, the orphan, the lover, these claim our pity, 
sorrow and tears. 

Aside from the dead, the whole plateau bore fearful evidences 
of the severity of the strife. In the wood every tree was pierced 
with shot or cut with bullets, gashed and scarred as if riven by 
the fiercest lightning. Some were bereft of branches, and the 
trunks of others, more than two feet in diameter, penetrated 
through and through. Not a fence remained, not a building, but 
was wrenched from its foundation with bursting shell, or scarred 
and battered with bullets ; not a field but that been plowed with 
artillery, its soil moistened with the life-blood of heroes, or trod- 
den by armed and desperate men no spot but that carried its 
mute testimonial of the awful conflict which for two days raged 
over the now historic field of Pea Rid^e. 

Soon after the termination of the conflict a flag of truce was 
received from Van Dorn, accompanied by a burial party, asking 



A COMPLETE SURPRISE. 173 

permission to collect and bury their dead, and the request was 
granted a task, which, from the rugged nature of the country, 
the wide range of the conflict, and the dense thickets where 
many had crawled away to die, was rendered particularly difficult. 

Our pursuing columns had not yet returned, and but few knew 
of the presence of this party. The next day, while numbers of 
men, by permission, were ranging the fields and woodland in 
search of lost comrades, or to gratify an inordinate curiosity and 
collect mementoes of their first battle, they came suddenly upon 
the Confederate burial party ; mistaking them for the advance 
guard of an armed force, they broke for camp, franticly shouting 
as they ran that the Rebels were upon us in countless numbers. 
Quickly the alarm spread to other parties, and soon the whole 
vast concourse of stragglers were madly rushing through the 
cornfields and brush from every quarter toward their respective 
camps. The bugles sounded the alarm ; drums beat to arms ; 
lines of battle were formed ; batteries wheeled into position ; 
cavalry horses saddled ready for instant use, and officers with 
field glasses galloped hither and thither to reconnoitre the coun- 
try and determine the strength of the approaching force. 

No surprise was ever more complete than that which came over 
our terrified men whose imaginations magnified the numbers of 
the peaceable burial party in the quiet performance of their 
humane task, into countless thousands of infuriated enemies, 
thirsting for Federal blood. This ripple of excitement having 
passed away, the equinimity of the men was restored, and they 
proceeded quietly to the performance of their respective duties. 

Hospital tents were erected in eligible positions convenient to 
wood and water, where the wounded were collected and their 
sores began to heal under the assiduous attention of the Surgeons. 
The wounded of the 36th were gathered at Leetown. some in 



174 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

tents, others in a vacant storehouse, and volunteer nurses from 
every company watched over and ministered to their wants. 

Our losses in the series of engagements at Bentonville and 
Pea Ridge numbered 1351 men, of which 203 were killed. 
Among the wounded were Gen. Asboth and Col. Dodge, while 
Cols. Chandler and Herron were wounded and taken prisoners. 

The enemy's loss in killed, according to the reports of the 
burial parties, was about 600. Many, however, of their severely 
wounded, who crawled to secluded corners in the thickets and 
died, were not found, and for weeks their festering corpses tainted 
the air and furnished food for birds and beasts of prey. Among 
their unburied dead were seventy Indians, whose atrocities on the 
field of battle were too keenly remembered for us to administer 
the rites of sepulture, and as their white allies did not do it, their 
flesh served as food for crows, their bones scattered and left to 
whiten in the sun. 

Among their dead were Generals McCulloch, Mclntosh, 
(Jlarkson and Slack, and many officers of lesser note. 

The following comprised the killed and wounded of the 36th 
Illinois. 

COMPANY A. 

Charles G. Cox, shot in the thigh. 

COMPANY B. 

Ernest Ansorg, wounded. C. M. Kemble, wounded. 

George Miller, wounded. Wm. L. Campbell, wounded. 

James Eddy, wounded. Robert N. Thompson, wounded. 

Thomas Boyd, wounded. Oliver Brownlee, wounded. 

Wm. Van Ohlen, wounded. 

COMPANY c. 

John H. Harris, killed. William P. Criswell, arm. slightly. 

William M. Gibson, arm shot off. 

COMPANY D. 
Andrew Scofield, arm, severely. 

COMPANY E. 

Ira Fuller, killed. John Ray, killed. 



LIST OF KILLED AND WOUNDED. 175 

COMPANY F. 

Paul Stevenson, killed. Abel Christopherson, shot in leg 

Walter E. Partridge, shot in arm. 

COMPANY G. 

Sergt. J. A. Dispennet, shot in leg. Thomas Olson, killed. 

Corp. Wm. M. Stitt, shot in ankle. Lewis Jones, shot in leg. 

David Bard well, shot in thigh. Charles Pratt, shot in arm. 

Alexander Stitt, shot in lungs . Seth Slyter, shot in heel. 

Edward Lyon, shot in leg. Franklin Small, shot in arm. 

Thomas Malcolm, shot in hand. John Corkins, shot in arm. 

Dison Clark, shot in ankle and arm. 

COMPANY H. 

Orrin Pickett, killed. Alviu Bunker, wounded in thigh. 

Cornelius Kimplin, killed. Jackson Conroe, wounded in 

Charles E. Owels, wounded in foot. shoulder. 

COMPANY I. 

Frederick Witzkie, wounded. Michael Manning, wounded. 

COMPANY K. 

Sam'l McCartney, wounded in head. Henry Holmes, wounded in arm. 
Benj. Simmons, wounded in arm. Frances Sampson, wounded in leg. 
Jas. McCrarey, wounded in side. Edw'd Mayberry, wounded in leg. 
Total, six killed and thirty-two wounded. 

The following extract from the report of Col. Greusel, com- 
manding the Second Brigade, gives a complete summary of the 
part taken by the 36th Illinois in connection with the other reg- 
iments participating in the actions of Bentonville and Pea Ridge, 
which was dated at Pea Ridge March 12th, 1862, and directed 
to Col. Osterhaus, commanding the First Division. 

COL. GREUSEL'S REPORT. 

MARCH 6TH. I received your order to march the brigade back 
to your assistance from Sugar Creek about 2 o'clock in the after- 
noon, and immediately halted the regiments and batteries on the 
road and marched them back on the double quick about three 
miles, where I found you hotly pursued by the cavalry and 
artillery of the enemy. I formed the 36th Illinois regiment in 
line of battle until you gave the order to fall back slowly for a 
mile, where I reformed four companies in ambush and marched 
the other six companies one mile east and formed them in line. 



176 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

The enemy having given up the pursuit, I re-formed the regiment 
and marched to camp on Sugar Creek, the 12th Missouri Vol- 
unteers bringing up the rear, under Major Wanglin, whose horse 
was wounded in the retreat. 

MARCH TTH. I received your orders at 8 o'clock A. M., and 
marched two regiments of infantry, Capt. Hoffman's battery and 
three twelve-pound howitzers of Capt. Welfley's battery in an 
open field or farm a little north of Leetown, where I formed the 
36th Illinois regiment on the left, Hoffman's battery next on the 
right, the 12th Missouri on the right of Hoffman's battery. 
Three pieces of Welfley's battery supported by Company E of 
the 36th Illinois. 

Previous to the arrival of my command on the field, the 3rd 
Iowa, the 1st Missouri cavalry and the Benton Huzzars, with two 
pieces of Welfley's battery, had charged the cavalry and infantry 
of the enemy in a cleared field about half a mile from our posi- 
tion. Just as the 36th Illinois Volunteers got into line, and 
while the 12th Missouri was forming, the cavalry commenced a 
precipitate and disorderly retreat which threatened a general 
stampede. It was a critical moment, and on the courage and 
firmness of the infantry depended our success. The officers, by 
their good example, inspired confidence in the men, the 36th 
Illinois and 12th Missouri standing their ground like veteran 
soldiers and preventing a disgraceful rout. Two pieces of artillery 
and one of Welfley's howitzers were left on the field, but Capt. 
Welfley succeeded in spiking them before he retired. These 
pieces were afterwards recovered by Company E of the 36th 
Illinois Volunteers. 

It is to be regretted that the men attached to these guns were 
compelled to leave them by our own cavalry, who rode down, 
indiscriminately, men and horses, eight of Welfley's men having 
been severely injured by them. At the moment the last of our 
cavalry left the field, I opened a brisk fire of shell and shot in 
the bushes occupied by the enemy, which prevented them from 
following up the retreat of the cavalry. This fire was kept up 
for an hour and returned by them. 



COL. GRETJSEL'S REPORT. 177 

At this time my attention was directed to a high and steep 
hill on my right and about a mile distant from our line. I 
believed it to be the place selected by the Confederate command- 
ers from which to direct the movements of their troops and to 
reconnoitre ours. I directed Lieut. Beneca's section of Wel- 
fley's battery to shell that point, causing them to disperse in 
double quick time. . 

My attention was now called to several regiments of infantry 
in our front and immediately opposite the 36th Illinois Volun- 
teers, whereupon I threw out Companies B and G of that regi- 
ment as skirmishers. These companies crossed the field, and on 
entering the timber discovered the enemy in ambush three reg- 
iments drawn up in line and others formed in square, evidently 
expecting another attack from our cavalry. A rapid fire was 
opened up by the enemy and returned by the skirmishers, which 
was kept up for fifteen minutes. Finding that they were wasting 
ammunition to but little purpose, the skirmishers retired in good 
order, with a loss of twenty wounded thirteen in Company G 
arid seven in Company B. 

It was during this skirmish that an officer on horseback, who 
afterwards was found to be Gen. Ben. McCulloch, was shot dead 
by Peter Pelican, of Company B of the 36th Illinois Volunteers. 
The dress worn by the officer was a black velvet coat, vest and 
pants, long boots and white felt hat. 

After the skirmishers retired I ordered shot and shell to be 
sent among the ambushed enemy, and then moved the 36th Illi- 
nois Volunteers forward, but the enemy retreated to a fence arid 
thick underbrush, from whence they were shelled and scattered 
in great confusion. After the enemy fled I returned with the 
command to its first position. 

At this time the 37th Illinois Volunteers, which were formed 
to my right, was attacked with great fury, and a heavy fire of 
musketry poured into the ranjss of -the 18th and 22nd Indiana 
regiments. This fire was returned by them in conjunction with 
the 12th Missouri, which did good execution and at last forced 
the enemy to retire with great loss. The 36th Illinois and 12th 



178 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Missouri then skirmished the woods and fields over an area of a 
mile square, taking several prisoners, after which, in accordance 
with your orders, I removed my command to a field about two 
miles in advance of our position of the morning, where we 
remained until midnight, when your orders were received to 
march to the Keitsville road, where we remained until the next 
morning. My command having had nothing to eat or drink for 
near twenty-four hours, and neither shelter or blankets during 
the night, suffered greatly from fatigue and exposure. 

MARCH STH. At 7 o'clock A. M., the enemy having com- 
menced firing shot and shell, I received your orders to "fall in," 
and marched to an open field about a mile in advance, where I 
formed my command in the following order : Welfley's battery 
on the right, joined by the 12th Missouri ; Hoffman's battery 
and the 36th Illinois on the left, in close column, by divisions. 
Having been informed that a cavalry attack would be made upon 
us, we were prepared at any moment to form a square. 

The enemy fired shot and shell while we were forming, and 
kept up a heavy fire for about two hours, which was briskly 
returned by our batteries until the rebel guns were silenced or 
ceased firing. After this I discovered several regiments of the 
enemy's infantry on the high hills in advance, and directed two 
companies from the 12th Missouri and from the 36th Illinois, 
which I increased to four from each of these regiments, to skir- 
mish the fields and hill slopes. The skirmishers advanced in 
splendid style and drove the enemy before them, those of the 
12th Missouri capturing three guns and a very fine silk Confed- 
erate flag from the Dallas battery. 

At this time (10 o'clock A. M.) the 17th Missouri joined the 
brigade and the whole command moved forward, skirmishing to 
the telegraph road, repulsing the enemy, taking a number of 
prisoners and guns, a quantity of ammunition, flour and salt. 
From this advanced point, in accordance with your order, we 
followed up the repulsed and retreating rebel army rapidly for 
eight or ten miles, when we went into camp for the night. After 
this we saw no more of the rebel army, they having dispersed in 
all directions as they fled before our victorious columns. 




CHAPTER XIV. 



CONRAD S EXPEDITION RECUPERATING. 

OR A number of days prior to the advance of 
the main Confederate army, roving mounted 
bands of reckless men traversed the country 
and showed great activity in their predatory 
incursions. Now they were hovering about 
our flanks, menacing the camps, harassing 
foraging parties, picking up stragglers, and perhaps the succeed- 
ing day or night the same bands would be heard from far in our 
rear, vexing the posts or trains and interfering with our com- 
munications. A thousand rumors were rife of an intended 
advance in force, but the report which gained most credence was 
to the effect that large numbers of Price's followers were drifting 
back into Missouri, passing our flank along the State line road 
for the purpose of demonstrating on our line of communication. 
The night attack upon Keitsville, the acts of lawlessness and of 
murder in the neighborhood of Cassville, together with the appar- 
ent ease with which these marauders traversed the woods, hills 
and valleys in the perpetration of their outrages, strengthened 
and gave color to such a belief. 



180 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

To gain definite information of these reported movements, 
Major Conrad, of the 3rd Missouri Cavalry, was placed in com- 
mand of a reconnoitering expedition, with a force of six companies 
of infantry, a section of artillery and sixty cavalry. They pro- 
ceeded from the camp near Bentonville on the morning of the 
5th of March. Among the troops detailed for the expedition 
was Company F of the 36th Illinois Volunteers. 

The weather was just cold enough for comfortable marching, 
the roads in excellent condition and the men in fine spirits. The 
first day's march of twenty-five miles was accomplished without 
fatigue or hardship. The general course pursued was south- 
westerly and west, and on the second day they reached the line 
road between Arkansas and the Indian Country, which they fol- 
lowed to Marysville, a straggling border village of some note, 
inhabited by a mixture of whites and Cherokee Indians. The 
fine prairies of this region was a welcome sight to the men from 
Illinois, who were reminded of their homes in their own loved 
prairie State. 

Little squads of mounted horsemen, the outlying pickets of 
the rebel advance, were observed skurrying over the country, 
like the mist which heralds the storm, and was the occasion of 
some lively little cavalry chases, resulting in the capture of six 
prisoners during the day. But no information was gained of 
the movement then going on, until the arrival of a messenger 
from Sigel, telling them of the danger which menaced them, and 
ordering a rapid return to Bentonville. In attempting to execute 
that order the command suddenly found themselves nearly sur- 
rounded by largely superior numbers, but favored by the woods 
and inequalities of the country they finally succeeded in extri- 
cating themselves from the trap into which they had unwittingly 
entered. 



MAJOR CONRAD'S EXPEDITION IN DANGER. 181 

A rapid retreat into Missouri was now their only chance for 
escape, and by making wide detours through the woods, follow- 
ing unfrequented paths and winding among the hills, they man- 
aged to elude the enemy who ranged the country on the outskirts 
of the battle-field, where a fierce contest was raging within hear- 
ing and almost within sight of their line of retreat. All attempts 
at reaching the command being thwarted, the expedition directed 
its march towards Keitsville. All day of the 7th the thunder 
of cannon was wafted to their ears, and although they were but 
a few miles away from where the conflict was raging, the whole 
rebel army lay between them and their comrades, which it was 
madness to attempt to pass through. Learning something of 
the strength of the enemy and position of the combatants from 
the inhabitants of the country, the command reluctantly retired 
to Keitsville and ultimately to Cassville. The arrival of trains 
with stores for the army, accompanied by strong escorts, swelled 
the force at Cassville to one thousand men, a majority of whom 
were clamorous to be led against the enemy and force their way 
to the main command. 

Later in the day a slight demonstration was made upon the 
pickets and one of them killed, which somewhat cooled the ardor 
of those madcaps, who in the morning professed to be " spoiling 
for a fight." Other parties were seen at a distance, and it was 
thought quite possible that those who wished to exercise their 
shooting propensities could be gratified without leaving Cassville. 
The muttering of cannon at Pea Ridge, which was distinctly 
heard, intensified the excitement, while the absence of news from 
the scene of conflict caused a state of feverish anxiety and sus- 
pense nearly as trying to the mind and body as though mingling 
in the dread realities of the battle-field. Rumors of a Federal 
victory reached Cassville during the night, which were confirmed 



182 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

in the morning ; when the command set out for Sugar Creek 
in charge of the provision trains, joining Sigel's column at Cross 
Timbers, the whole proceeded to Pea Ridge; the detachment 
having marched one hundred and fifty miles in five days, without 
the loss of a man or gun. 

The unwholesome atmosphere at Pea Ridge, caused by the 
putrefying remains of hundreds of dead horses, induced Gen. 
Curtis to remove head-quarters as well as the whole army to 
Camp Stevens, in the valley of Sugar Creek, while Bentonville 
was occupied by a portion of Davis's Division. Our cavalry 
penetrated to Fayetteville without opposition, and without seeing 
a hostile face or hearing an unfriendly word. Foraging parties 
ranged and partially ravaged the country westward to the Cher- 
okee line, and north to Pineville and beyond, without in a single 
instance being molested. The late Confederate hosts had melted 
away like frost before the sunshine, had abandoned the country, 
while their leaders, gloomy and dejected, had fled. Price to Fort 
Smith, and Van Dorn to Batesville and Jacksonport, with only 
shadowy remnants of their once confiding but now despondent 
followers. Rebellion had received a stunning blow, and for the 
time being all surface indications proclaimed the sudden collapse 
of treason in Missouri and North-western Arkansas. 

Arrangements for an exchange of prisoners were effected, by 
which means Lieut. Walker and twenty-six enlisted men of Com- 
pany B returned to duty. They reported that from the officers 
and many of the men they received courteous and kindly treat- 
ment, while others heaped upon them the most violent abuse. 

The flight of the Confederates after the battle was as rapid 
and tumultuous as their consternation and dismay could make 
it. All broke for the woods, over the hills and through thickets, 
avoiding the roads and each other as much as possible. It 



ARRIVAL OF REINFORCEMENTS. 183 

seemed like a wild scamper, each endeavoring to reach Van 
Buren first. While the prisoners were being hurried along, a 
squad of fugitives rushed by, when one of our boys cried out, 
" Hello, stranger ; Bull Run number two, aint it?" "No. sir, 
by G this is A number one," was the response. 

In a few days many of the slightly wounded returned to 
duty, while those more seriously hurt were removed to Cassville, 
and when sufficiently recovered to stand the journey, conveyed 
in ambulances to Rolla, and from thence to their homes with an 
honorable furlough. Others languished upon beds of pain and 
were brought very near to the gates of death, perhaps, after 
months of intense agony, to be turned out upon the world broken 
and maimed, a mere wreck of former manhood. 

Among the reinforcements which came to supply the losses of 
battle and the waste of the campaign, was the 13th Illinois Vol- 
unteers and the 3rd Missouri Infantry, altogether adding to our 
numbers more than sufficient to repair the losses we had sustained. 

An advance into Arkansas from our present position was for a 
time contemplated and preparations made accordingly, but the 
spring rains setting in, the roads became fearfully cut up, ren- 
dering it next to impossible to move the trains. To transport 
supplies and maintain the long, slender line of communication for 
any greater distance from our base at Rolla into a country already 
exhausted, was too hazardous to attempt. Added to this, rumors 
were current of the concentration of a Confederate force at 
Pocahontas for the invasion of South-eastern Missouri, which 
induced Gen. Curtis to withdraw the command into Missouri, to 
a position favorable for movements in any direction. Accord- 
ingly head-quarters were removed to Cross Timbers, the different 
regiments dotting the country with their camps from Keitsville 
to the Arkansas line. 



184 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

During the few days of quiet which succeeded the fatigue and 
excitement of the battle, the most extravagant and untruthful 
reports prejudicial to officers were circulated through the camps 
and became topics of common conversation. One which origin- 
ated among the German soldiers was to the effect that, at the 
close of the second day's fighting, after Carr had been forced 
back, Gen. Curtis became despondent, and at the subsequent 
meeting of officers, at midnight, announced his determination to 
surrender. That it required all the influence of Sigel to dissuade 
him from that purpose. That thereupon Gen. Curtis turned over 
the command to Sigel, and it was under his supervision and 
leadership that victory was snatched from an apparent defeat. 
This report was readily believed by many in the army, was pub- 
lished in the newspapers and scattered broadcast over the country. 
So general was the belief in the truth of the report, that Col. 
Vandevere, a personal friend of Gen. Curtis, who knew the utter 
absurdity and want of truth in the story, directed a letter of 
enquiry to Gen. Sigel, who promptly responded, as follows : 

HEAD-QUARTERS IST AND 2ND DIVISIONS, ) 
KBITSVILLB, Mo., MARCH 27, 1862. / 

GENERAL : It is with great displeasure that I have read the 
letter of Col. Vandevere to Oapt. Curtis, your A. A. G., and I 
will do all in my power to find out the author of an assertion 
which is, as far as I know, untrue. You did never give the com- 
mand of the army to me, and I regard it as a calumny if it is 
said that you spoke in my presence about surrendering. This 
I declare on my honor, and hope that the officers and soldiers of 
this army will do what they can to preserve the mutual good 
feeling and good understanding amongst us, instead of creating 
animosities by forwardness and misrepresentation. 

I am, General, with the greatest respect, yours truly, 

F. SIGEL, Brig. Gen. 
Major Gen. S. R. CURTIS, 

Commanding army of S. W. 



RUNNING FLOUR MILLS FOR THE ARMY. 185 

Now that all personal animosities have subsided, and the object 
of these calumnies is dead and gone to his reward, we feel sure 
that before the impartial tribunal of history, the verdict of a 
grateful people will be that Gen. S. R. Curtis was not found 
wanting in courage and patriotism in the hour of trial. 

Considerable quantities of grain yet remained in the country, 
which was taken to the mills and ground for the subsistence of 
the troops. It was necessary to guard these mills to prevent 
maraudering bands from interrupting our sources of supply. 
For this purpose Companies A and C, with detachments from 
other regiments, under the command of Lieut. Col. Joslyn, 
were sent to Gadfly, where extensive mills were situated, which 
were kept running night and day. 

A scouting party from Gadfly penetrated the country to Granby, 
the center of lead mining operations, where had been produced 
vast quantities of lead for the use of the Confederate army. 
The people were known to be intensely hostile, but not an 
adult male was found at home. Of women and children there 
were no lack, who represented that the town was inhabited entirely 
by war widows and orphans, who with mournful pathos repeated 
the story of their bereavement. One of the soldiers, of an 
inquiring turn of mind, while peering around the mines for min- 
eral specimens, or for contraband articles of war, accidently cast 
a stone into one of the shafts, that fell to the bottom with a dull 
dead thud, as if striking a softer substance than solid rock. 
Immediately a howl of distress and pain came up from the 
dark depths of the mine. In answer to a summons to come forth, 
a gaunt, long-haired Missourian emerged from the earth. The 
hillsides were honeycombed with mineral shafts, and by probing 
them with rocks they were made to yield up the mortal remains 
of the husbands of many of Granby's fair widows, who had not 

13 



186 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

so much as a "thank you, sir," for restoring their once dead, now 
living husbands to their arms. In this way a number of the 
aiders and abettors of treason were hunted from the holes and 
marched as prisoners to the Federal lines. 

The hardships of the campaign told fearfully upon the health 
of many of the officers, who were granted leaves of absence and 
returned for a short period to their homes. Among these were 
Gen. Sigel and Col. Dodge, whose slight, physical frames were 
not proof against the excitement of mind and privation of body 
they had been subjected to. These officers for their gallant deeds 
were promoted to higher grades of rank, and subsequently 
assigned to more important fields of action. Indeed, Pea Ridge 
was a harvest field of honors to meritorious officers, and the 
mails came laden with promotions and commissions for those 
whose fame had been trumpeted to the War Department at Wash- 
ington. 

Gen. Curtis was raised from Brigadier to the rank of Major 
General of Volunteers. Likewise Gen. Sigel, who was assigned 
to an important command in West Virginia. Those promoted 
to Brigadiers were Cols. Dodge, Osterhaus, Heron, Benton, 
Jeff. C. Davis and Carr. Among the officers of the 36th Illi- 
nois who had had enough of war, was Capt. Camp, of Company 
I and Lieut. Wilson, of Company FJ who resigned their commis- 
sions and left the service forever, their places being filled by 0. 
B. Merrill to the vacant Captaincy, and George G. Biddolph to 
the position of Lieutenant. 




.FRANZ SIGEL TJ. S-A. 



LIBRARY 







CHAPTER XV. 

FROM KEITSVILLE TO CAPE GIRARDEAU. 

[HE long, tedious march of the army of the 
South-west through Southern Missouri and to 
Batesville in Arkansas, commenced April 5th, 
the 36th Illinois being among the first to break 
camp and push on with the advance, reaching 
Cassville at 11 A. M. and proceeding nearly 
due east from thence, through a sparsely settled and mountainous 
country among the spurs of the Ozarks, reaching Flat Creek and 
camping on its banks near its junction with the James river on 
the evening of the 6th. The streams were all high and rapid, 
their waters cold, and clear as crystal. Flat Creek was crossed 
on a bridge of wagons at Cape Fair, as was the James at Galena, 
late on the evening of the 7th. Companies A and C marching 
from Gadfly, overtook and joined the regiment on the 7th. 

The people inhabiting this gloomy and forebidding region of 
chert hills and pine forests were mostly loyal and Union-loving 
men, who had contributed generously to the ranks of the loyal 
Missouri regiments. In the dark days of rebel domination, 
when the whole South-west was overrun with McCulloch's des- 
peradoes and Price's maraudering hordes, the Union men of 



188 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Stone and Barry Counties combined their forces and successfully 
resisted all attempts to coerce them into the heresy of secession. 
The skin clad mountaineers, who almost from the cradle had been 
taught the use of fire arms, hesitated not to use them when the 
hated minions of secession penetrated their narrow valleys for 
conscription, plunder or mischief. Some of our most daring 
scouts and trusty guides were from the poor but loyal inhabitants 
of this mountain region, pre-eminent among which was Charles 
Galloway, subsequently Major in the 1st Arkansas Cavalry. 

The first sight which greeted the eyes of Gen. Curtis upon 
his arrival at Galena, the county seat of Stone County, was a 
cloud of smoke and crackling flames from a burning building 
belonging to a loyal Union man, that had been fired by some 
of the German troops in Osterhaus' Division, who were in the 
advance. The General was indignant at such a wanton and 
unprovoked outrage, and, notwithstanding it was nearly night 
and a cold storm setting in, he ordered the division to cross 
the river, where they were at liberty to indulge their house burn- 
ing propensities upon the grim forest trees. The 36th being 
attached to this division was included in the order, and as might 
have been expected there was some grumbling and many hard 
things said of "Old Curtis" as they crossed the ice cold stream 
in the darkness, exposed to the pelting of rain and sleet ; and it 
was ten o'clock before the tents were pitched and the men shel- 
tered from the storm. 

The army reached Forsyth, the county seat of Taney County, 
situated on the north bank of White river, April 10th. The 
line of march from Cassville was through a country of the 
most weird and uninviting character, generally over the crests of 
mountains, now winding along stupendous ridges, skirting ravines 
of dizzy depths, then up abrupt ascents or between vast heights 



CAVALRY SCOUTING FOR DESPERADOES. 189 

and along the rocky channels of mountain torrents, the towering 
hills scantily clothed with a scraggy growth of oak or crowned 
by scattering pines, which moaned in the wind like the sad notes 
of a funeral anthem. From the summits of some of the higher 
elevations a vast panorama of mountain waves, valleys, streams, 
rocks and woodland was presented to the enraptured view. 

The arrival of Col. Hassendible, of the 17th Missouri, was 
the cause of Col. Greusel being relieved from the command of 
the 2nd Brigade, that officer outranking the latter. The unso- 
phisticated volunteer unacquainted with military etiquette could 
scarcely reconcile with his ideas of right, the sweeping changes 
which were sometimes made, by which officers who had led in 
fatiguing marches and commanded in desperate engagements, 
gave place to those whose distinguishing traits were absence 
from places of danger and the sterner duties of the campaign. 

During the occupation of Forsyth the cavalry were engaged 
in scouting the country and ferreting out bands of desperadoes 
that were wont to call themselves " Price's men," who depredated 
upon the surrounding country with a degree of malignity unpar- 
alleled in the annals of crime. A detachment of the 3rd Illinois 
Cavalry, under Lieut. Col. McCrellis, proceeded to Talbot's 
ferry, near the mouth of the north fork of White river in 
Arkansas, and destroyed the saltpetre works in that neighbor- 
hood. Every boat had been removed and secreted in such a 
manner that only a small dismounted detachment was able to 
cross the river in a " dug out ;" they dispersed the Rebel guard, 
broke up the steam engine, kettles and other property, and then 
fired the buildings, making a complete wreck of everything per- 
taining to the works, without a single casualty or mishap to the 
command. 



190 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTBERS. 

A part of the 4th Iowa Cavalry proceeded down White river 
in the direction of Yellville, breaking up the ferries and other 
appliances for crossing the stream ; in the execution of this a 
number of sharp encounters occurred with the enemy, in one of 
which a Lieutenant was shot, and in a day or two died. His 
comrades buried the remains on the crest of a hill, in the midst 
of a pine forest in Douglas County, Missouri. 

Heavy provision trains came lumbering over the mountains 
from Springfield, together with reinforcements of troops, which 
joined the command at Forsyth; among them was the 4th Iowa 
Cavalry, a full and well equipped regiment of twelve hundred 
men. 

On the 16th of April the march was resumed in the midst of 
a rain storm, the column headed eastward, through Taney, Ozark 
and Douglas Counties, to West Plains in Howell County. Day 
after day the rain came pouring down in unmeasured quantities. 
The country was deluged, the streams filled to overflowing, ren- 
dering a detour necessary, far up among the hills towards their 
sources, to enable the army to cross the roaring torrents. The 
passing of men, horses and vehicles over the execrable roads 
soon mixed the spongy soil into mortar, through which plashed 
the slow moving columns of mud-incased horses and men at the 
rate of less than a mile an hour. A march of ten miles a day 
was all that could be accomplished by the light armed troops, 
while batteries were with difficulty dragged along by doubling 
up their usual teams, and came plowing up the mud in the rear, 
often not reaching camp until late at night. 

While storm-bound in one of these camps, an old man, bowed 
with the weight of years, accompanied with two buxom daugh- 
ters, entered the camp on horseback, with the enquiry : 

" Whar's the Gineral ?" 



AN OLD PATRIOT IN CAMP. 191 

Being directed to head-quarters the old man dismounted, and 
grasping the hand of Gen. Curtis he thus addressed him : 

" Gineral, I've rid twelve miles to see yer. I fit with old 
" Jackson at Orleans, an it does my old eyes good to see yer 
" follerin arter the bravest man- that ever fout, an a holdin up 
" the old flag as he did. My name's William J. Dotson, an I'm 
" risin of eighty-five years old, but I can give as ginuine a hur- 
" raa for the kentry as when I was a youngster. We've had it 
"mighty tough down here; them secession cusses hev stole 
" mighty nigh all we've got, drat em, an they've been ravin an 
" a tearing around right smart. They've threatened to shoot 
"me, but as I'm already too old to hev any business above sod, 
" I tell em to shoot and be dogond. They hung Jack, and they 
" druv Sam away from hum, but the gals are with me yit ; and 
% " when the dogoned secession skunks pull down the flag that I 
" always keeps a wavin from my cabin, I hev the gals sew 
" another one together an set it flyin agin. But now I've seen 
"you'ons I can go hum and die contented." 

And thus the old patriarch beguiled a pleasant hour with 
the General in detailing his experience with the " dogoned 
secesh." The whole staff was impressed with the venerable 
appearance of the old man, and began to think that these 
rocks, hills and barren wastes might after all be worth fighting 
for, as long as such sterling patriots were left to cheer and bless 
our efforts. 

The 36th Regiment remained for a number of days encamped 
at Lyon's Mill, the owner of which, being a Union man, gladly 
allowed his mill to be run in the interest of his country. By 
this delay they escaped much of the rain and bad roads which 
the advance divisions encountered, and in three days' time 
marched as far as the other divisions had in ten, overtaking the 



192 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

main command at the crossing of the north fork of White river. 
While on the march, winding through the deep valleys and 
traversing the pine clad hills, universally prevalent in this 
poverty stricken country, a private of Company I, named 
Martin Rinehart, sickened and died, and was buried by the road 
side in the depths of the gloomy forest, away from the sight of 
man, with nothing but the wailing pine to stand guard and watch 
over his lonely forest grave. 

A halt of two days was made at Salem, the county seat of 
Fulton County, Arkansas, to rest and recover from the fatigues 
of the previous march. The little town of Salem nestled 
romantically among the verdure-clad hills of Northern Arkan- 
sas, smiling in the unfolding beauties of spring. An isolated 
peak to the north of the village, called Pilot Hill, arose like a 
sugar loaf to the height of five hundred feet. A view from its 
summit, over an undulating region of hills, vales, blooming prai- 
ries and smiling woodland, amply repaid for the fatigue of the 
ascent. The climate was delightful; the weather warm and 
spring-like, the sky clear and bright, and the groves were vocal 
with the melody of a thousand songsters. Overcoats were no 
longer needed, and the men were permitted to turn them over, 
together with all superfluous clothing, to the Quarter-Master, a 
privilege which many gladly availed themselves of. Our pres- 
ence aroused quite a latent Union sentiment, which had until 
now been forced into silence, and many were the congratulations 
which greeted our march through the country. 

A detachment under Gen. Asboth, composed mostly of cav- 
alry, with a battery of light artillery and a few regiments of 
infantry, among which was the 36th Illinois, left Salem at three 
p. M. May 1st, and pushed rapidly forward towards Batesville, 
with the intention of surprising and capturing a Rebel force 



DISPERSAL OF COLEMAN'S MAURAUDERS. 193 

reported to be there, under the command of the notorious Col. 
Coleman. Gen. Curtis accompanied the expedition, while the 
remainder of the army were to follow, the succeeding day, 
in a more leisurely manner. The advance entered Batesville 
and took quiet possession of the town on the morning of the 3rd 
of May, capturing a half dozen Confederates, who were not 
apprised of our presence until summoned to surrender. A large 
amount of sugar, rice and other stores fell into our hands. 

Col. Coleman was encamped on the opposite side of the river, 
and a few of his men were seen, as the cavalry came sweeping 
through town, who took to their heels and imparted infor- 
mation of our presence to their commander. Coleman soon 
made his appearance with one or two hundred ragged brigands 
at his heels, who, posting themselves behind trees, logs and an 
old store house, opened a rapid fire from the opposite side of the 
river, but at too long a range to be effective. A howitzer was 
brought up and Bowen tossed over a few shell, which sent them 
flying. They were observed to carry away four of their 
number, either killed or, wounded, while no one was injured on 
our side. 

Batesville was by far the most important town that had as yet 
fallen into our hands. The streets were wide and airy, with 
good sidewalks, and well built up with substantial business blocks 
of brick, and scattered here and there were tasty residences, 
embowered in trees, and from gardens the perfume of roses, then 
in full bloom, burdened the air. A college building, together 
with three or four churches with spires pointing heavenward, 
looked homelike, and to men who for months had been wallow- 
ing in camps or wandering over the fag-ends of creation, it 
seemed a paradise. The people were well dressed, generally well 
behaved and intelligent, and for once, had the fates so ordered 



194 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

it, the men composing the 36th Illinois would have been con- 
tent in the performance of garrison duty at Batesville. 

People came flocking in scores from the surrounding country 
to take the oath of allegiance, and obtain protection papers 
which would secure their persons from insult and their property 
from confiscation. Many, no doubt, were sincere in their pro- 
fessions of loyalty ; others were heartily tired of war and its 
attendant woes, and willing to purchase immunity from its 
dread consequences at any cost. Some who had been the most 
active aiders and abettors of secession, had stirred up mobs and 
persecuted Union men with the utmost malignity, were the first 
to come in with professions of a " change of heart," and to claim 
protection from personal harm, immunity from arrest, from a 
just retribution for past acts of license, rapine and murder, and 
exemption of their property from confiscation. 

Among those on whose fidelity the General could rely, who 
never wavered under the most trying circumstances in devo- 
tion to their country, were Judge Elisha Baxter, afterward Gov- 
ernor of the State; C. C. Bliss and Reuben Harpham, of 
Batesville, and the venerable Isaac Murphy, of Huntsville, who, 
when the waves of secession broke with fury over the State, 
carrying away on its eddying tide those on whom the people 
most depended to stay the rolling flood, had the moral courage 
and heroism to stand up alone before the seething multitude 
which thronged the halls and corridors of the convention and 
steadfastly vote No ! on the passage and adoption of the ordi- 
nance of secession. A grateful people remembered this grand, 
heroic act, and subsequently elected him the first Governor of 
free and reconstructed Arkansas. Then there was Col. James 
M. Johnson, who for his outspoken Union sentiments became'an 
outcast from his home, but afterwards took an active and prom- 



APPROPRIATION OF REBEL MANSIONS. 195 

inent part in the military and political affairs of the State. We 
might mention many others, but these stood out pre-eminently 
as honest men, as heroes, statesmen and patriots. 

Some of the spacious but now untenanted mansions, once 
doubtless the abode of genial hospitality, were unceremoniously 
seized upon for offices and officers' quarters. Empty ware-houses 
were likewise appropriated for the storage of ordinance or pro- 
visions. It was evident that this profanation of Rebel mansions 
by the "miserable Yankees" created a ripple of excitement in 
Rebel circles; but never a word of remonstrance was uttered, 
only volleys of indignant looks and contemptuous gestures 
showed that the equanimity of the neighborhood, if not of the 
now slumbering household gods, was disturbed at the intrusion. 
As we walked through the streets it was evident that all whom 
we met were not friends. Somehow a feeling of hatred to- 
wards the North would manifest itself in a thousand different 
ways. If a flag floated over a sidewalk, some fair dame would 
sweep out into the street to avoid walking under it. If a comely 
face at an open window attracted attention, a sudden slamming 
of window-blinds would ensue ; but as none of the masculine 
portion of the inhabitants joined in these petty demonstrations, 
the young men of the 36th put on their best looks and smiled 
blandly upon the fair daughters of Secessia, while those who had 
wives at home enjoyed heartily these dashes of Rebel pepper as 
giving pungency to their experiences. 

While lying lazily in camp at Batesville, the men were inde- 
fatigable in their explorations among the vegetable gardens and 
poultry yards for means to refurnish their depleted larder. 
Many articles of priine necessity in the provision department 
were wanting, and to their credit it may be added they 
usually returned successful in the object of their reconnoisance. 



196 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

By certain mysterious winks and vague hints thrown out by 
those who were in the secret and understood only by the initiated, 
it was whispered among those noted for their bibulous proclivi- 
ties, that in the cellar of a certain business house there was 
secreted a number of suspicious casks, from whence might be 
extracted a genuine article of corn-juice. Soldiers were seen 
skulking from camp with empty canteens, and if challenged, 
were " only just going over to a neighboring farm house for 
milk." On their return, a suspicious swelling under their 
shirts announced their success in securing the so-called lacteal 
fluid. Then came marching orders for the enusing day, and a 
consequent run upon the source of supply of the precious 
extract. Among those who were always constitutionally thirsty 
was Todd, the Drum Major of the 36th, who on this occasion 
found himself one of a clamorous crowd of thirsty souls col- 
lected around an open window, through which empty canteens 
and greenback dollars were passed in, and then passed back 
minus the dollars, but filled with tarantala. Todd was known 
and addressed as u Major" by the crowd, who at this time 
was getting numerous as well as boisterous on account of 
not being served fast enough, and threatened to pull down the 
shanty about the proprietor's head. He appealed to the "Major" 
for protection, and thinking the broadness of the stripes deco- 
rating his sleeves was emblematic of highness of rank and a 
guaranty of integrity, admitted him into his place of business as 
a precaution against threatened violence. But the "Major's" 
efforts to placate the crowd were ineffectual, and he advised the 
proprietor to go to the Provost Marshal for a guard, while he 
would remain and preserve his goods, chatties and effects from 
pillage and harm. No sooner was his back turned than a lively 
sale of the fluid commenced. Todd was busily engaged in pock- 



BREAK IN THE WHISKY TRADE. 197 

eting greenbacks when the proprietor returned, accompanied by 
a genuine Major and a file of soldiers to disperse the noisy rabble. 
At once the whisky trade was broken. Consternation seized 
our knight of the drumstick as he saw the shadow of a German 
Major darkening the door, and in imagination he saw the guard 
house, a drum head court martial, and a little shooting affair at 
sunrise. He instantly broke for the rear of the store, sprang 
through a window and landed fifteen feet in the back yard below, 
the German Major the while shouting "halt! halt!" But 
Todd could not wait. Important business called him away. 
Every moment he expected a battery of a hundred guns to open 
upon him. and picking himself up he ran like a deer through 
back yards, clearing ditches and fences at a bound, until he found 
himself in his tent, buried from sight, trembling with fear and 
sweltering beneath a ponderous mass of blankets, knapsacks, etc. 

Meanwhile, at Col. Greusel's request, the 36th was transferred 
from Osterhaus' Division to that of Gen. Asboth. One reason 
for this change was that the 36th, being the only regiment 
in the division composed of native Americans, the other troops 
being Germans, united in charging all the peccadilloes of the 
division upon the 36th, a proceeding which all were beginning 
to be heartily tired of. 

A ferry-boat having been constructed and everything in 
readiness for a forward move upon Little Rock, Asboth's and 
Osterhaus' Divisions crossed White river on the 7th of May, the 
36th being the first regiment over, and encamped on the south bank 
of the stream. The regiment had marched about fifteen miles when 
an order was received to turn back. A requisition had been 
made upon Gen. Curtis for ten of his best regiments to reinforce 
the army of the Tennessee, then investing Corinth. The order 
was imperative and the General reluctantly complied, which so 



198 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

reduced the numbers of the army of the South-west that the 
expedition to Little Rock, which had commenced under such 
flattering circumstances, was necessarily abandoned. 

The long, fatiguing march of Asboth's and Davis's columns 
to Cape Girardeau commenced on the llth of May from Bates- 
ville. For a day or two some little delay was occasioned in 
shoeing horses, making repairs and generally overhauling and 
re-arranging the stores. At eleven o'clock on the night of the 
13th the drums and bugles aroused the men, and at midnight 
the command left its camp on the Strawberry river. Then 
commenced a march, the character of which has but few parallels 
in the records of the war. At three o'clock on the morning of 
the 14th, before the sun had begun to purple the east, the column 
passed through Smithville, a straggling south-western town, the 
first met with after leaving Batesville. It was nearly deserted ; 
the houses were empty, and only a few terror stricken women 
and children peered out into the darkness at the fleeting shadows 
of men and horses, wagons and artillery passing by. The 
day dawned and passed without a cloud ; the sun poured down 
its fiercest rays, raising the temperature to fever heat, under 
which man and beast suffered intensely. All that hot forenoon 
the column pushed bravely on, amidst clouds of dust, crossing 
Spring river at eight A. M., reaching Eleven-Points river a little 
before noon, which was crossed, and the regiment went into 
camp on its eastern banks at one P. M. Not a third of the 
troops were able to keep up with the marching column. 
They fell out of the ranks by scores, and each shady nook by 
the wayside was monopolized by squads of exhausted, dust 
covered men, who all day long wearily dragged their way to 
camp. 

Many horses gave out, and about eleven o'clock a wagon con- 
taining hospital stores broke down too badly to be repaired. To 



SUCCESSFUL SEARCH FOR A WAGON. 199 

abandon the stores was not to be thought of; not a spare wagon 
pertained to the command, and one must be had from some source. 
J. C. Dennison and Ralph Miller volunteered to hunt one, and 
ranged the country over fifteen miles alone, in the midst of a 
hostile population, in what bid fair to be a fruitless search, look- 
ing through barnyards and out of the way places where it was 
thought possible a wagon could be secreted. At length one was 
found, but the hearts of the boys almost failed them before the 
pleading remonstrance and tears of the lady proprietor. It was 
all the vehicle she possessed, had cost two hundred and twenty- 
five dollars in gold, and ".shame on the men who would rob them 
of it." A fine looking young lady united her supplication with 
that of her mother, which nearly overcame the susceptible hearts 
of the young men. But no, the necessities of the case were 
urgent, and with many misgivings and heartily ashamed of 
themselves they took the wagon, in spite of the tears of the 
matron and the blandishments of youth and beauty, reaching 
the regimental camp at two o'clock in the morning. 

The next day the regiment marched to Current river, a deep 
and rapid stream. The ferryboat at the place of crossing was 
small, and much time was consumed in passing over. Some of 
the advance regiments had crossed in safety, when the boat cap- 
sized, and eight or ten of the men belonging to the 15th Mis- 
souri Infantry were drowned. Efforts to resuscitate them were 
unavailing, and their death and burial on the banks of the stream 
caused a chill of sadness to pervade the army. 

It being impracticable to ferry the remainder of the command 
at this point, the 36th marched up the river five miles and 
crossed at a deep and dangerous ford. The rapid current swept 
many of the mule teams from their feet and some were drowned, 
but the men and stores were got safely over. The Black river 



200 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

was reached and crossed on the 18th and the St. Francis on the 
19th, at the town of Greenville, through which the army marched 
by platoons, with flying banners, the rattle of drums and the 
shrill blast of bugles. 

The two succeeding days it rained incessantly, but through 
the mud and storm the column plunged at the rate of from 
twenty to thirty miles a day, notwithstanding the country was 
broken, the roads rough and badly washed by storms, being 
in many places nearly impassible. 

After crossing the White- Water river at Dallas, the road to 
Cape Girardeau was in fine condition, and no delays by 
exhausted teams or broken wagons interrupted the march. 
Though worn with fatigue and foot sore, the men were in good 
spirits, for another day would end their ceaseless tramp, tramp, 
tramp, and give them a chance for much needed rest. At 
two o'clock P. M. of the 22nd of May the city of Cape Girard- 
eau was reached, proceeding to the banks of the Mississippi, 
and gazing across its turbid waters to their own loved prairie 
State, some gave vent to their exuberance of spirits by giving 
three hearty cheers, while from the fortifications loud peeled the 
cannon in a joyful salute in honor of the ai rival of the heroes 
of Pea Ridge and of a march of one thousand miles. 

Physically, aside from fatigue which would soon wear off, the 
men were robust, sunburnt and healthy, but their clothing was 
in a complete state of demoralization their - whole appearance 
like a crow T d of vagabonds chased from the borders of civiliza- 
tion. The 36th was made up of men of education and refine- 
ment, but rags, dirt and fatigue had taken much of their manly 
pride away, and in the dilapidated condition which they entered 
Cape Girardeau it is doubtful if they would have led an assault 
or charged a battery with the spirit and confidence of well dressed 



END OF THE SOUTHWEST CAMPAIGN. 201 

soldiers, knowing that in doing so, if they were killed they were 
too ragged and dirty to be thought worthy of a decent burial. 
Thus terminated this campaign in the South-west. Henceforth 
the regiment was destined to gather rich garlands of glory in 
other fields east of the " Father of Waters," which it crossed as 
an organized body for the last time. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

CAPE GIRARDEAU TO RIENZI. 

EN. JEFF. C. DAVIS' Division preceded that of 
Gen. Asboth's some days, and on the arrival of the 
latter at Cape Girardeau, Davis' troops were just 
embarking lor Tennessee. Food, raiment and rest 
were absolutely required before Asboth's command 
would be in condition to follow. The soles of the shoes supplied 
at Batesville were largely composed of oak-wood, chips, and frag- 
ments of felt colored on the outside, or covered with thin pieces 
of leather. The furnishing of these shoes was one of the many 
gigantic frauds perpetrated by contractors upon the Quarter-Mas- 
ter's Department, the common soldiers, in almost every instance, 
being the victims. A few days' marching served to use up these 
shoes, and on entering Cape Girardeau many men were bare- 
footed, their feet so lacerated and swollen as scarcely to be able 

14 




202 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

to hobble along. Had the contractor who perpetrated the swindle 
at that time been so unfortunate as to have fallen into the hands 
of his enraged victims, a halter and limb would have been resorted 
to as a most efficient means of cancelling his shoe contracts for- 
ever. 

The next morning a supply of clothing was obtained, and the 
persons and wardrobe of the men were thoroughly renovated. 
One night's sleep and two "straight meals" rested and restored 
them to their average fighting calibre. In twenty-four hours 
the aches and fatigues which days of hard marching through heat 
and dust, the want of food and rest had produced, were in a 
measure forgotten. Those who by sickness were incapacitated 
from active service, were removed to the city hospitals, and sub- 
sequently when restored to health, rejoined the command at 
Rienzi. 

The camps were thronged with peddling "lazaroni " from the 
city, composed of slovenly, dirty-faced girls, ugly old women, 
dilapidated men and thieving boys, with their ceaseless impor- 
tunities to buy their peanuts, fruit, jack-knives and gingerbread. 
The soldiers were liberal patrons of the pie and cake venders, 
whose stock in trade disappeared like frost before the warm sun- 
shine. Rank smelling haversacks, that for months had been the 
receptacles of only foul-looking slices of the flesh of that long 
snouted incarnation- of uncleanliness, known as the hog, suddenly 
grew plethoric with gingerbread and turnovers. When the 
order was given to cook four days' rations, but few fires were 
kindled and few camp kettles simmered with their usual contents 
of bacon and beans. 

At four P. M. of the 23rd the infantry portion of the regiment 
embarked upon the steamer Planet, and within an hour the boat 
was headed down the Mississippi, plowing its way through the 



ON THE MARCH FOR CORINTH. 203 

turbid waters, arriving at Cairo at ten o'clock in the evening. 
While laying at Cairo, a member of Company G accidentally fell 
into the river. He was fished out with difficulty, and barely 
saved from drowning. The rain poured down in torrents, but 
the men had become too well accustomed to aquatic habits of life 
to mind an ordinary rain-storm. By spreading tarpauling over 
the bulwarks and decks they were in a measure shielded from the 
aqueous drippings from the clouds, 

The trip up the river to Paducah was almost a continuous 
ovation. Steamers thickly crowded the Ohio in passing to and 
fro, and from each, cheer upon cheer went up when it became 
known that the troops thronging the Planet, from pilot-house to 
deck, were the heroes of Pea Ridge. At Paducah the boat was 
detained several hours for coal. Numbers of contraband Afri- 
cans, fleeing from the plantations, had congregated there ready 
to do any and all odd jobs necessary in helping along the good 
cause. They readily found employment, and worked like beavers 
in the dust and hot sunshine, soon accomplishing the task of 
coaling, and the Planet was enabled to proceed up the Tennessee. 
Major Kenney came on board at Paducah and made the men 
happy by the payment of three months' wages. Otherwise the 
trip to Hamburg was accomplished without incident worthy of 
notice. 

Companies A and B Cavalry left Cape Girardeau on the 24th 
in the steamer Minnehaha, reaching Hamburg and joining the 
regiment on the 27th of May. The long marches, numerous 
scouts, and vast amount of extra duty required of them in Mis- 
souri and Arkansas, had used up many of their horses, but these 
were replaced with fresh ones before proceeding to the front. 

The 36th encamped a half mile from the river, remaining there 
until the afternoon of the 28th, when Asboth's Division took up 



204 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEEES. 

its line of inarch to join the large army under Gen. Hallock, 
then investing Corinth. The afternoon was oppressively warm, 
and wearily the column plodded on, over roads that were mere 
forest trails, through a thickly wooded and brushy country with 
few evidences of cultivation, and winding over low rocky ridges, 
succeeded by swamps through which the roads were corduroyed, 
now pitching into hollows washed by recent rains, and then up a 
short but steep ascent to the level of the surrounding country. 
At every bad place (and Southern highways were full of them) 
accidents to artillery or wagons caused uncertain halts and weari- 
some delays. Such was the character of this, which, like all 
marches, over rough roads in new and sparsely settled countries, 
was anything but pleasant. 

Passing over a portion of the battle-field of Shiloh, every tree, 
field and building attested the severity of the conflict. Trees 
were pierced by shot and shattered by shell ; fields were plowed 
by cannon balls, and the ground everywhere littered with 
broken muskets, fragments of knapsacks, cartridge boxes and 
articles of clothing, while the stench arising from the festering 
carcasses of horses poisoned the air and sickened the passing 
soldiers. Now and then the sound of distant cannonading in 
the direction of Corinth was borne to the ears of the soldiers, 
awakening conjecture and brief comments; but this music had 
become too common, and the day was too intensely hot to arouse 
the dormant energies of the troops or quicken their march. It 
was painful to see many poor fellows sink down by the wayside, 
overcome by the heat. Three or four being nearly exhausted and 
too sick to proceed, were left behind. 

The declining sun was followed by the evening twilight, and 
twilight deepened into darkness ; still the column pushed on 
until eleven o'clock at night before a halt was ordered, and the 



DILATORY MOVEMENTS OF GEN. HALLOCK. 205 

troops went into camp, having marched sixteen miles. "With very 
little food in their haversacks, there was nothing for the men to 
do but roll themselves in their blankets, and lay down upon the 
damp ground, without tents to shield them from the heavy dew, 
and no pillow but the earth. The provision and hospital trains 
were many miles in the rear, slowly plodding along, surmounting 
the rough ascents or floundering through swamps all night, only 
reaching the command at daylight, after the column was formed 
and ready to resume the march. 

On the 29th the division reached Farmington, reporting to 
Gen. Pope to whose command it was attached. From thence it 
quickly moved into position in rear and in support of the line of 
earth works, where noisy batteries, posted at every available 
position, were pounding away at the batteries and entrenchments 
of the enemy, and heavy supporting bodies of blue infantry 
lined the works, the opposing forces grimly facing each other in 
expectation of a bloody encounter at any hour. 

Gen. Hallock, who held the chief command, had assembled a 
splendid army around Corinth of more than one hundred thou- 
sand western troops. He had spent more than a month in dila- 
tory movements, creeping snail-like from Shiloh, fortifying each 
step of the way, even when there was not a Rebel picket guard 
to menace or endanger the safety of his vast army. As he 
gradually neared Corinth, sharp and bloody skirmishes between 
pickets and detachments thrown out in advance, were matters 
of every day occurrence. During this time but two or three 
engagements had occurred that arose to the dignity of pitched 
battles, and these were barren of results. Gen. Pope, who com- 
manded the left wing, had encountered the enemy in strong force 
at or near Farmington, resulting in a number of fierce conflicts ; 
and more recently, Gen. Sherman, who commanded the right, 



206 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

had taken a strong advanced position at Russells, after a short 
but sharp contest, in which both sides suffered considerable loss. 
On the 28th the whole line was advanced, entrenchments 
thrown up, artillery brought into position, and on the arrival of 
the Pea Ridge Divisions, arrangements were matured for a com- 
bined attack of the whole army on the following day. A heavy 
and incessant cannonade was kept up, sweeping the intervening 
space between the opposing hosts with an iron torrent. Shells 
went screaming over the parapets, bursting near the advance, 
while not a few projectiles reached the line of reserves; but as 
no damage was done in the immediate vicinity of the 36th, the 
whizzing of round shot and the shrieking of shell lost their power 
to charm, and the regiment remained quietly in its position, 
wholly unmindful of the storm of war raging in the advance. 

The 6th Wisconsin battery was assigned to Gen. Asboth, and 
such changes made as were necessary to promote the efficiency of 
the division and put it in the best fighting trim. The trains were 
not allowed to come up to the position occupied by the regiment, 
and the men, who had had but little to eat for twenty-four hours, 
were obliged to send some distance to the rear for rations and 
cooking utensils. 

That night, in the intervals between the roar of cannon, the 
shriek of locomotive whistles and the rumbling of railroad cars, 
indicated an important movement going on within the enemy's 
lines. At daylight a succession of loud explosions, followed by 
dense clouds of smoke arose from the town ; at once it flashed 
upon the minds of all that the enemy were blowing up their 
works preparatory to abandoning Corinth. Skirmishers were 
thrown out to feel the enemy and learn the cause of so unusual 
a commotion, who, finding the defences abandoned, reported the 
fact to their commanders. At once all the advance divisions 



SURRENDER OF CORINTH. 207 

pressed forward, pouring over the abandoned earthworks with 
tumultuous shouts which rent the very air, and entered the now 
nearly deserted and silent town. The Mayor, under a flag of 
truce, met the advance and formally surrendered the place. 
Beauregard had effected his escape in comparative safety with a 
small loss of arms and munitions of war. Many prisoners were 
captured, and deserters thronged to our lines in such numbers as 
to become a nuisance. Large quantities of corn and commissary 
stores fell into our hands, with locomotives, cars and valuable 
railroad property. Thus fell Corinth without a struggle, after 
every preparation had been made to capture the place by storm. 

Gen. Pope, being nearest their line of retreat, at once com- 
menced a vigorous pursuit, and in the afternoon Asboth joined 
in rear of the pursuing column. The roads were narrow and 
badly obstructed as well as crowded with troops, and but little 
progress was made. Many Confederate soldiers, who had strag- 
gled from their commands, were captured, and hundreds volunta- 
rily surrendered without an effort to escape. A counter-current 
of soldiers in Confederate gray set in towards Corinth, where 
they were parolled and allowed to depart wherever they liked. 

The country was intersected with marshes and sluggish streams, 
the bridges crossing them being destroyed ; added to which, on 
the first, second and third days of June, rain fell in torrents, and 
the thousands of horses, wagons and men thronging the roads 
reduced them to the half fluid condition of mortar-beds. 

The 36th being in the rear, made only such progress as the 
crowded state of the roads would allow. To advance or retreat 
with celerity, over wretched highways, through a half submerged 
country, was an utter impossibility. The occasional muttering 
of cannon far to the front, faintly heard through the mist laden 
air, indicated the course to pursue, and onward toiled the troops, 



208 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

plunging along through the mud, their knapsacks and accoutre- 
ments dripping with rain, their clothing thickly encased with 
Mississippi soil. The wagons rolled slowly along, sinking to the 
hubs ; or, striking an apparently bottomless rut, turned completely 
over, scattering camp kettles, tents, and the contents of broken 
boxes over the storm-swept earth. Officers and men were alike 
exposed to the pitiless fury of the storm, and compelled to bivouac 
without tents, often without blankets, lying promiscuously about 
upon the saturated ground in vain efforts to sleep. 

The command reached Boonville, thirty miles distant from 
Corinth, on the 6th of June, and encamped on the line of the 
Mobile & Ohio railroad, near a spring of excellent water. Gen. 
Pope's advance had here encountered the Confederate rear in 
force, and sharp skirmishing ensued with considerable loss on 
both sides, but they were worsted and reluctantly continued their 
retreat to Tupelo and Okalona. The pursuit was then discon- 
tinued, and for some days the army lay quietly in their camps. 

It was at Boonville that Col. Elliott, during the last days of 
the siege, with two regiments of cavalry, had destroyed a portion 
of the railroad track, a number of engines and cars laden with 
arms, ammunition and army supplies* He captured one hundred 
prisoners, burned the buildings, including passenger-depot, store 
houses, water-tanks, and so effectually broke up the single line 
over which their supplies were brought, as to necessitate and 
hasten the evacuation of Corinth. 

While at Boonville, the suspicions of a party of men were 
aroused relative to the peculiar formation of so-called Confederate 
graves. One, which, according to the inscription upon the head- 
board, purported to be the grave of a Confederate Major who 
had been wounded at Shiloh and subsequently died, was exam- 
ined, when a fine brass cannon was unearthed, and on pursuing 



RETURN OF LIEUT. COL JOSLYN. 209 

their investigations, a' number of others were discovered buried in 
a similar manner. It was some days before the trains were able 
to come up, during which time the process of cooking was per- 
formed after the most primitive style., without camp-kettles or 
cooking utensils, while their scanty meals were eaten from chips 
or flat stones in lieu of plates. The only casualty of the cam- 
paign occurring to the 36th was the accidental shooting of Lieut. 
Dyke, by himself, in the foot, causing a painful wound. 

Lieut. Col. Joslyn, who had been on leave of absence since 
April, returned on the 10th, and was welcomed with three hearty 
cheers. The whole family of regimental field-officers was again 
united, but this happy condition of affairs lasted only for a single 
day, for on the llth Col. Greusel obtained thirty days' leave of 
absence, and started at once for a season of rest and enjoyment 
with his family at Aurora. The command of the regiment in 
the meanwhile devolved upon Lieut. Col. Joslyn. On the 12th 
the greater portion of Gen. Pope's army returned to Rienzi and 
established permanent camps. 

The weather was warm ; the roads, in marked contrast with the 
former march, were dry, and great clouds of dust enveloped the 
column. Men breathed dust, smelt it, tasted it, and stratas of 
Southern soil gathered upon their clothing, changing the regula- 
tion blue to the hue of the butternut. All were in good humor, 
and grinned at each other through their brown masks. Arriving 
at Rienzi the regiment encamped near the railroad, on uneven, 
open ground, badly situated for water, and without protection 
from the broiling heat of the sun. But in a day or two the camp 
was removed about a mile north of its first location, to high and 
healthy ground, in a grove of oaks, which furnished constant 
shade. A thousand willing hands cleared away the underbrush 



210 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

and arranged the tents in military order, presenting a clean and 
tidy appearance, characteristic of men of taste and refinement. 

Under Col. Joslyn's supervision, an officers' school was insti- 
tuted, for the purpose of instruction in tactics, army regulations 
and the general duties of officers. The men likewise were thor- 
oughly taught in guard, picket and other duties, and the knowl- 
edge gained in these schools of instruction was frequently called 
into requisition in guarding against the predatory attacks of a 
vigilant and enterprising foe. Flying detachments of Confeder- 
ate cavalry at all times ranged the country, sweeping down upon 
the pickets, picking up stragglers, menacing the camps, until for 
prudential reasons it was found necessary to throw up rifle pits, 
and in many places more elaborate works, for self protection. 
Large details from the 36th, in connection with similar parties 
from other regiments, by a vigorous use of pick and shovel, sur- 
rounded the post with formidable entrenchments, from behind 
which the picket-guard frequently observed the enemy's cavalry 
skurrying over the hills and were enabled with ease to thwart all 
their efforts at a surprise. But woe to the luckless forager for 
blackberries, or parties engaged in private marauding among the 
sheep-folds and poultry-yards of the " natives " outside of the 
picket lines, for such were pretty certain to be " gobbled up" and 
immured in some filthy, vermin-haunted prison pen, where the 
luxury of blackberries and cream, as well as all other dainties 
which give zest to scanty prison fare, were denied them. 

Among those who became personally cognizant of the ubiquit- 
ous character of the enemy's cavalry, and the alarming nearness 
and frequency of their hostile demonstrations, was the wife of 
Capt. Pierce, of Company D, who one day was captured by a 
Rebel scouting-party. She had proceeded outside of the infantry 
pickets, accompanied by privates Gillimore and Benedict, for the 



CAPTURE OF MRS. PIERCE. 211 

purpose of procuring vegetables for the use of the hospital and 
her own mess. Knowing the cavalry pickets were a number of 
miles in advance, the party thought it safe to drive five or six 
miles into the country. Suddenly they were beset by a squad of 
armed men, who sprang^ out of the bushes and demanded their 
surrender. They were hurried away to Ripley, twenty-seven 
miles west of Rienzi by the direct road, but the Rebel escort con- 
ducted them by obscure, out-of-the-way paths, a distance of forty 
miles. The men and ambulance were retained as lawful prizes 
of war, while Mrs. Pierce was turned over to the Rebel com- 
mander, who catechised her closely relative to affairs within our 
lines. The interview was unsatisfactory and barren of results, 
except to teach him that he had a woman of spirit and shrewd- 
ness to deal with, from whom he could gain nothing of import- 
ance to his cause. She was treated with courtesy and fared as 
well as could have been expected under the circumstances. The 
next day she was returned to our picket lines, where in a few 
minutes after, Capt. Pierce, -in a fever of excitement, arrived 
with an ambulance, and was much relieved as well as pleased at 
so favorable a termination of his wife's adventures while in search 
of greens. 

The misfortunes sustained by the Confederates in the West, 
by the destruction of their Mississippi river fleet before Mem- 
phis, the capture of New Orleans and the opening of the Mis- 
sissippi above and below Vicksburg, together with the brilliant 
victories and uninterrupted* series of successes attending our 
Western armies, aroused them to the most stupendous efforts. 
The conscript-law was rigidly enforced ; every man capable of 
bearing arms was forced into the ranks, and their armies, which, 
after the evacuation of Corinth were demoralized and on the point 
of melting away, were subsequently reinforced and greatly 
strengthened. 



212 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Gen. Hallock's splendid army in the meantime had been 
broken up and scattered to every point of the compass, which 
enabled the enemy to act on the offensive. The troops at Cor- 
inth and Rienzi did little but watch their wily and energetic foe 
from behind entrenchments, while Bragg, with augmented num- 
bers, was secretly organizing for a descent into Tennessee and 
Kentucky. The hot summer weather was not favorable for exer- 
tion, and while detachments were employed in building railroads 
and in post and guard duties, the enemy was harassing the posts, 
demonstrating ilpon our lines of communication, and sweeping 
unopposed through the country. Early in July their cavalry, to 
the number of four or five thousand, attacked Col. Schneider, 
commanding an outpost held by detachments from the 2nd Mich- 
igan and 2nd Iowa Cavalry, armed with Spencer and Enfield 
rifles, who, dismounting, gave their assailants a warm reception. 
The enemy found it quite a different matter attacking men thus 
armed, than in putting to rout, with a yell and a dash, a body of 
men on horses, armed only with revolvers and sabres. A few 
volleys cooled their ardor and sent them flying to the rear with 
greater rapidity and impetuosity than they manifested in making 
the charge. Heavy skirmishing with the pickets continued for 
six hours, when they retired, without making an impression on 
our lines. To meet successfully similar attacks, a battery was 
sent to the front with Companies B and C of the 36th, under the 
command of Capt. Miller, where they remained several weeks 
detached from the regiment, until relieved by Company F, which 
remained on picket nearly as long. Other demonstrations suc- 
ceeded this, and Asboth's, Hamilton's and Jeff. Davis's Divisions 
were several times called to arms in anticipation of an attack. 

In June, Gen. Grant marched upon Holly Springs from Grand 
Junction, while Gen. Hamilton lead a co-operative column from 






CELEBRATION OF INDEPENDENCE DAY. 213 



Rienzi. The town was taken and occupied by Grant's troops, 
Gen. Hamilton proceeding only a part of the way and returning 
without encountering an enemy, except flying detachments of 
cavalry that were just saucy enough to keep the soldiers awake 
and vigilant. Aside from this, no other movement of import- 
ance proceeded from Rienzi. Skirmishes upon the picket line 
and sudden alarms were of frequent occurrence. So unexpected 
and serious was one of these attacks that storehouses were rifled 
of cotton-bales and temporary breast works hastily erected for 
defence. Subsequently a strong force of the enemy rushed unex- 
pectedly upon the picket station on the Ripley road. Quite a 
number of the 3rd Michigan Cavalry, stationed at that point, 
were captured. Moving rapidly toward the camps, they were 
confronted by well constructed ramparts of earth, behind which 
gleamed a forest of polished bayonets. The prospect was too 
uninviting for a closer intimacy, and, wheeling their horses, they 
were away, carrying off their prisoners. 

Independence Day at Rienzi was befittingly commemorated by 
a salute of thirty guns in the morning, and more or less firing 
during the day. In the afternoon the troops were 'marched to 
brigade head- quarters, where a stand had been erected, and the 
ever glorious Fourth-of-July was celebrated. It was not like 
the usual celebrations gotten up at Aurora, Elgin and country 
towns generally, where the militia, with clean faces, starched 
collars and glittering uniforms, meet and play soldiers ; but a 
concourse of swarthy, sunburned men, armed with real guns for 
deadly war, and with real cannon ready at the word to hurl their 
missiles into the ranks of opponents. 

The Declaration of Independence was read, and Jefferson's 
immortal enunciation of life, liberty and happiness to all, was 
responded to with cheers. The bands poured forth their liveliest 



214 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

strains, and the stars and stripes, the hallowed emblems of all 
the past glories of the Republic, floated in the swelling breeze. 
To the universal and clamorous call for a speech, Col. Ed. Joslyn 
responded with an earnestness proceeding from a heart thoroughly 
warmed up in the cause of the country. It was one of his hap- 
piest efforts, and was loudly applauded. At the conclusion of 
the Colonel's stirring address the bands struck up with the " Star 
Spangled Banner," and on their return to their quarters the love 
of the men for the old flag was strengthened and the determina,- 
tion intensified to mete out double vengeance to those who should 
trample its sacred folds beneath their traitor feet. 

Camp life at Rienzi was rather barren of incidents, and aside 
from picket duty and the usual batallion and brigade drills, it was 
of the laziest order. With few opportunities of listening to the 
music of Rebel bullets, and fewer chances for covering themselves 
with glory, the men resorted to novel reading, letter writing, 
sleeping and dreaming. Magazines and newspapers were read 
through, advertisements and legal notices included, and however 
ancient the dates, their contents were ever interesting and 
devoured with a zest never before experienced. 

Rations were in abundance, but independent of the army sup 
plies the men generally helped themselves to sweet potatoes, 
peaches, melons, apples, blackberries, and such vegetable pro 
ducts as the country afforded. Nearly all the convalescents from 
the Missouri and Arkansas campaign, and such as had been on 
detached service, except those who by transfer or promotion had 
become attached to other organizations, returned, and numeric- 
ally and in discipline the 36th compared favorably with any 
other regiment in the field. 

Col. Greusel returned on the 23d of July, with health restored, 
and in cheerful spirits assumed command of the regiment. 



GEN. GRANGER PLACED IN COMMAND. 215 

The weather in the meantime was fearfully hot. Each day the 
sun poured down its fiercest rays, driving men and panting 
animals to the forest shade. Persons who had endured the heat 
of the tropics, or waded through the fiery sands of Mexico, con- 
fessed they had never experienced anything like the heat 
which prevailed during the summer of 1862 at Rienzi. There 
was no thermometer in camp to mark the temperature, but Lieut. 
Clark, a standard authority in such matters, gave it as his candid 
opinion that it stood " somewhere about fifteen hundred in the 
shade," which was too much even for his ardent constitution. 
Some sickness prevailed in consequence; Lieut. Col. Joslyn 
succumbed to the climate and was compelled to go North. 
Realizing that an officer away from his command was of little 
service to the country, he, together with Major Barry and Sur- 
geon Hawley, tendered their resignations. The authorities long 
hesitated in accepting them, but they were eventually approved, 
and their connection with the 36th was ever after one of the 
pleasing memories of the past. 

About the 1st of August Gen. Granger was placed in com- 
mand of the division, relieving Gen. Asboth, who proceeded to 
Washington and was assigned to other duties. The first orders 
of the new commander was the arrest of all officers and sol- 
diers found away from their commands without proper authority, 
and for negligence while on duty the most severe penalties were 
threatened. By placing officers as well as privates on the same 
footing, a check was put upon what had become a serious and 
growing evil. Gen. Granger was a strict disciplinarian, harsh 
and often unreasonable. For infractions of duty or military 
etiquette, he could cause a soldier to be tied by the thumbs, or 
administer the lash with as little compunction as he would apply 
the same mode of punishment to a dog. 



216 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Eventually the long summer days began to wane, and were 
succeeded by the fine marching weather of early autumn. From 
certain precursory indications along the lines of the various 
armies which confronted each other, it was taken for granted 
that more active operations would soon be inaugurated, and when 
and where were questions which were uppermost in each soldier's 
mind. But day succeeded day and still the troops remained in 
their present encampments, the 36th clinging to the shade of 
the venerable oaks that spread their protecting branches over the 
camp. Food and clothing were in abundance, and once a week, 
perhaps, each man took his turn at guard mounting, either at the 
post or on the picket line. More or less drilling consumed the 
cooler hours, while the remainder of the day was spent in idle- 
ness. Somehow the letters written from Camp Rienzi were 
wonderful productions as to length and frequency, indicating 
that business with the boys was not rushing, and time of but 
little moment. 

About head-quarters, officers' levees were held, at which 
were found many bright intellects with rich stores of thought 
and experience, who kept the social current ever flowing. Old 
stories were brought out, refurbished, and told anew. Battle 
pictures were drawn, personal experiences related, and bits of 
humor sparkled around the circle like flashes of electric light. 
At such times camp life was relieved of some of its prosy dull* 
ness, and ceased to be a hum-drum affair. 

One day, however, camp was thrown into a feverish state of 
excitement by a sudden dash of Rebel cavalry upon the 1st Kan- 
sas Regiment, which was encamped about a mile from Rienzi. 
They had managed to slip by the outer cavalry pickets, and so 
dense was the cloud of dust which covered their movements that 
the infantry could not determine their character, but supposed 



GALLANT CONDUCT OF KANSIANS. 217 

them to be our own cavalry until it was too late to give the 
alarm. In some mysterious manner the Kansians had received 
notice of the movement, and as the enemy neared their camp on 
a gallop, perfectly confident of a surprise and easy conquest of 
the Kansas troops, they were met by a close and well directed 
volley from the seven-shooting Spencers with which the 1st was 
armed. Many saddles were emptied, and the riderless horses 
sent into the fields and woods, followed by the whole Rebel 
command, with a host of yelling Federals close at their heels. 
The rattle of musketry spread the alarm through the camps. 
Troops were promptly under arms, ammunition dealt out, artillery 
horses harnessed, guns brought into position, and every prepara- 
tion made for an attack. It was believed that heavy supporting 
columns were following up the cavalry, and that a general 
engagement would ensue. The troops remained under arms 
during the day and were ordered to sleep with their guns by their 
side at night. The pickets were strengthened, the guards 
doubled, and every precaution taken against surprise. The 
Kansians, however, had effectually scattered the enemy, and the 
men were generally glad that the threatened matinee had been 
postponed to a later day and more suitable weather. 

Such was the audacity of these prowling Rebel bands that the 
utmost vigilance on the part of officers and sentinels on picket 
was required to guard against surprise and night attacks. One 
night, after Rebel cavalry had been reported in the neighbor- 
hood, the pickets were cautioned to be more than ordinarily 
alert. Joseph Sanders, of Company G, being stationed in an 
exposed and rather threatened position, was very watchful. 
About midnight his ear caught the sound of crackling brush, 
and peering into the gloom he discovered a moving object in the 
edge of the timber. Supposing it to be a man in his shirt sleeves, 



15 



218 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

he called out, "Who comes there?" No response being given, 
he fired upon the object, thereby arousing the officer of the 
guard, who hurried to the post, and on being directed to the spot 
where the suspicious prowler had been seen, found a spotted cow 
in the last agonies of death. Joe was laughed at by his com- 
rades, but complimented by the officers for his vigilance and 
superior markmanship.* 

Very soon after the evacuation of Corinth, the cavalry compa- 
nies belonging to the regiment were placed on detached service. 
Capt. Jenks was appointed Provost Marshal at Corinth, the 
command of Company A devolving upon Lieut. Sherer. Capt. 
Smith, of Company B, was arrested on charges which had pre- 
viously been preferred against him, and was subsequently 
cashiered and dismissed from the service, his company in the 
meantime being commanded by Lieut. Francis E. Reynolds. 
Company B was on detached service from the time of its arrival 
at Corinth, first as escort to Gen. Rosencrans, subsequently for 
Gens. Granger, Asboth and Jeff. C. Davis, reporting to the latter 
for duty July 24th, and participating in the Buell campaign to 
Nashville, through Tennessee and Kentucky to Louisville. An 
independent cavalry company on escort duty has so many oppor- 
tunities for feats of dash and daring, both as a company and 
individually, that we have no doubt, had this portion of the his- 
tory of Company B been written, it would appear that hardly a 
day passed but some member or members of the company, in 
carrying orders, acting as advance or rear guard, or as scouts, 
would be immortalized by acts of gallantry and adventure. 
We regret that the materials before us, relative to this portion 
of the history of Company B, are so meagre that we can only 
give an outline of its marches and vicissitudes. 



CO. A ON DETAIL DUTY. 219 

Company A was detailed as escort to Gen. Hamilton, then 
commanding three brigades. In the latter part of June, Gen. 
Hamilton marched with a strong force from Corinth, via Rienzi 
and Ripley, towards Holly Springs, to co-operate with Gen. 
Sherman in a movement upon that place. The town was cap- 
tured by the latter force, and Gen. Hamilton returned with his 
division to the neighborhood of Jacinto, and subsequently to his 
former camp at Corinth. While at Ripley, detachments from 
Company A scouted the country far and near, capturing many 
noted secesh, among whom was William Boyd, a member of the 
Confederate Congress. On the 30th of July, the company was 
detailed as escort for Gen. Rosencrans, with head-quarters any- 
where where night overtook him : sometimes at Corinth, then at 
Rienzi or Jacinto,* while details for other commanders and other 
purposes were frequent. Fourteen men remained with Gen. 
Granger, fourteen others with Gen. Stanley, and a large portion 
of the company was scattered over the country as orderlies, 
on escort, or other service requiring superior tact, enterprise and 
industry. One phase of army life, and the haphazard nature of 
detached service, may be illustrated by the story of "CoL." 
DUFF. 

One of the drollest characters of Company A was Nathaniel 
Duff, of Sandwich. He was of Irish extraction, and endowed 
with an unusual amount of native wit. There was always fun in 
camp when Duff was there. A boon companion was James Mc- 
Mullen, and it was universally conceded that the two could take 
up more honey, gather more apples, pick more chickens and con- 
fiscate more forage than any other six men in the army. After 
the arrival of the company in Mississippi. Duff was detailed as 
an orderly for Gen. Sullivan. The honor was no sooner con 
ferred, than he secured a couple of eagles from the heading 



220 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

of a newspaper, mounted them on cardboard, pinned them upon 
his shoulders and announced himself as COL. DUFF. It was not 
long before his title was acknowledged by the rank and file. 
Shortly after Duff's "promotion," he was sent on an errand: as 
he returned to head-quarters, when passing the guard he brought 
his hand to the side of his face, after the style of a Lieutenant 
General, but for some cause was unnoticed, and failed to receive 
the customary salute accorded to field officers. Suddenly wheel- 
ing his horse and drawing his sabre, he exclaimed, " D n it, 
man, why don't you salute the Kernel ? Are yer eyes so poor 
you can't see my shoulder-straps ?" Duff appeared so terribly 
in earnest as to frighten and confuse the guard, who brought his 
musket up to a " present " in double quick time. Ever after 
that the "Kernel" received the proper salute when he was 
known. 

At the battle of Inka, Duff ventured too far to the front and 
was wounded with a minnie ball. He managed to get to head- 
quarters, but the wound not being properly cared for, gangrene 
set in. He was removed to a hospital at Keokuk, Iowa, where 
he died of his wounds, December 4th, 1863. 

The subsequent history of Company A was entirely distinct 
from the infantry arm of the regiment. Seldom were the two 
in the same department, and as the company not long afterward 
was assigned to the 15th Cavalry, we shall notice its brilliant 
career in a separate chapter. 

Resignations and changes among officers were of frequent 
occurrence. Many who at the outset had vowed to stand by 
their men to the last, in their intense anxiety to see their wives, 
their children or sweethearts, threw up their commissions and 
retired from a service which their experience at Rienzi during 
the long summer of 1862, taught them was one of inglorious 



OFFICERS OF THE REGIMENT. 221 

inaction. Some had had enough of soldiering, while others from 
disappointment, and chafing because promotion did not come 
soon enough to fill the measure of their ambition, left the ser- 
vice. Notwithstanding their exit, the affairs of the nation went 
right along as usual, and but few realized the loss the country 
had sustained by being thus deprived of their valuable services. 
Ill health forced from us many brave fellows who were ready and 
willing to stand up and face the dread realities of battles, whose 
devotion and courage had been tried on the blood-stained fields 
of Arkansas and Missouri. Others, unable to realize that wait- 
ing is an essential element of war, grew restive at the delays arid 
inactivity incident to the development of military plans. Bat- 
tles and victories looked to them a long way off, and not being 
possessed of the power of omniscience, to see that the day of 
glory was sure to come, left the rich harvest to be gathered by 
others more patient and willing to watch and wait. 

The following were some of the changes about this time or 
shortly after among the officers of the 36th: 

Lieut. Col. E S. Joslyn. resigned, succeeded by Albert Jenks. 
Major A H. Barry, resigned, succeeded by Silas Miller. 
Capt. M. B. Baldwin, Co. A, resigned, succeeded by Geo. D. Sherman. 
C<ipt. Silas Miller, Co. B, promoted, succeeded by Benj. F. Campbell. 
Capt. E. B. Baldwin, Co. C, promoted, succeeded by Jas. B. McNiel. 
Capt. Wm. P. Pearce, Co. D, promoted, succeeded by Geo. D. Parker. 
Capt. Chas. D. Fish, Co. E, resigned, succeeded by Albert M. Hobbs. 
Capt. Merit L. Joslyn, Co. H, resigned, succeeded by T. L Griffin. 
Capt. J. Q. Adams, Co. K, resigned, succeeded by Aaron G. Holden. 
Capt. Albert Jenks, Co. A Cav., promoted, succeeded by G A. Willis. 
Capt. H. A. Smith, Co. B Car., dismissed, succeeded by S. B. Sherer. 

Many of these changes and promotions were made in the reg- 
ular order of rank. Some were for meritorious services at Pea 
Ridge, or in the umbrageous shade of the oaks at Rienzi. Col. 
Greusel was not without his share of military honors, and was 



222 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

placed in command of a brigade composed of the 36th, 44th and 
27th Illinois, the 2nd Iowa Infantry and the 1st Indiana Battery. 
The same meed of praise and lavishness of honors was bestowed 
upon privates as well as officers, and it was thought that the 
authorities at Springfield or Washington, from whence many of 
the commissions emenated, regarded the whole regiment as a band 
of heroes, worthy positions of honor and trust. The 36th had 
the honor of furnishing officers for other State organizations, 
some of whom taken from the ranks attained the position of 
Colonel. Among these were : 

M. La Rue Harrison, private Co. K, to Colonel 1st Arkansas Cavalry. 
James Roseman, private Co. G, to Lieutenant 1st Arkansas Cavalry 
Fred. A. Raymond, Sergeant Major, to Captain in 127th Illinois. 
Addison A. Keyes, Q. M. Sergeant, to Lieutenant in 127th Illinois. 
Bent. D. C. Rolland, Corporal Co. A, to Lieutenant in 16th U. S. C. I. 
Jas. H. Moore, private Co. A, to Lieutenant Ylst Illinois Infantry. 
Robt. N. Thompson, private Co. B, to Lieutenant 1st Arkansas Cav. 
Geo. W. Raymond, private Co. D, to Captain 1st Arkansas Infantry. 
L. G. Bennett, Corporal Co. E, to Major 4th Arkansas Cavalry. 
Thos. W. Chandler, Sergeant Co. G, to Major in 127th rilinois Vol. 
David H. Dickson, Corporal Co. K, to Lieutenant in 16th U. S. C. I. 
Jas. J. Johnson, Sergeant Co. B Cav., to Major 1st Arkansas Cavalry. 







CHAPTER XVII. 

RIENZI TO LOUISVILLE. 



GIBING the summer of 1862, the different armies in 
the West, like gladiators, manoeuvred for positions 
from which to strike effective blows. After the 
evacuation of Corinth, Beauregard fell back to 
Tupelo, his troops demoralized, and their ranks 
considerably thinned. Subsequently he retired from the army 
on the plea of ill health, but the want of success in his manage- 
ment of affairs in the West, somewhat clouded the brilliant repu- 
tation he had gained at the commencement of the war. The 
large army which Gen. Hallock had gathered at Corinth, in a 
short time was broken into fragments and scattered over a wide 
extent of country, each detachment so absorbed in building 
railroads, maintaining long lines of communication, and guard- 
ing Southern plantations, as to leave little time to attend to the 
main business in hand the suppression of the Rebellion. 

A column under Gen. Buell moved leisurely eastward into 
Tennessee, and in the direction of Chattanooga, which Beaure- 
gard in his retreat had left uncovered. With the exception of a 
small force in Eastern Tennessee, there was at that time no Con- 
federate troops in the State, and by a little exertion on the part 



224 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

of Gen. Buell, both Chattanooga and Knoxville might have been 
captured, and the State freed of the last vestige of a Rebel army. 
Strong positions in Alabama and Georgia could have been 
occupied from whence successful movements in any direction 
might have interposed a barrier and frustrated all attempts of 
the enemy to -gain a foothold in either Tennessee or Kentucky, 
the battles subsequently fought in the environs of Louisville and 
Murphysboro would have been transferred to soil more steeped 
in rebellion, and these States escaped the pillage, destruction 
and ruin which marked the progress of armies within their 
borders. Instead of this, the army was halted, and remained 
idle at Nashville. Unimportant expeditions were sent out, where 
movements in force should have been made. No obstacles were 
interposed or plans devised to thwart their designs upon these 
States. In fact, barriers were thrown down and invasion invited. 

Gen. Bragg, who succeeded to the command of the Confeder- 
ate forces, prepared to assume the offensive. His cavalry and 
numerous guerilla bands swarmed around the posts occupied by 
our troops, for the purpose of mystifying the Federal commander 
in regard to his ulterior purposes, which were to slip by his hes- 
itating foes, and by a bold and rapid movement into Kentucky, 
menace Cincinnati and Louisville, and compel the withdrawal of 
armies which, at a cost of much treasure and blood, had obtained 
a firm foothold in the heart of the Confederacy. The plan was 
well conceived, and to carry it out successfully the whole vast 
energies of the South were concentrated. Reinforcements were 
drawn from all parts of the country, and tne conscription 
rigidly enforced, adding large numbers of fighting men to the 
ranks. 

The country was friendly, and no long lines of communication 
needed protection. The inaction succeeding the Federal successes 



KIRBY SMITH'S MOVEMENTS. 225 

achieved during the winter and early spring, gave them abund- 
ant opportunities to recuperate, which they were not slow to take 
advantage of, and the prospects of the Confederacy from the 
Atlantic to the Mississippi every day grew brighter. The situ- 
ation of affairs changed materially, and everything favored the 
invasion by the combined armies of Bragg and Kirby Smith, 
who, if they gained nothing, had but little to lose. The magni- 
tude of the interests involved certainly justified a movement 
which, under other circumstances, might be deemed extra haz- 
ardous and rash. 

Early in August, Kirby Smith commenced his march north- 
ward from East Tennessee, pushed his columns over mountains, 
subsisting upon the scanty products of the country, and unop- 
posed reached Richmond, in the heart of Kentucky. The 
scattered Federal garrisons were attacked in detail and over- 
powered, offering little or no resistance. Richmond, Lexington 
and Frankfort, one after the other fell into the hands of the 
Confederate leader. The Federals lacked Generals of military 
intuition, and of sufficient nerve to hold in hand and successfully 
wield an army, and want of combination worked their ruin. 

While Kirby Smith was demonstrating in the direction of 
Covington and Cincinnati, Bragg's army was operating further 
south, having entered Tennessee by the way of Chattanooga, 
keeping up a show of offensive attack upon Nashville, and at the 
same time pushing his way northward, capturing Mumfordsville 
and other garrisoned towns on his route, and in a short period of 
time accumulating ten thousand Federal prisoners of war. He 
in a great measure succeeded in deceiving Buell as to his real 
object until he was far on his way to Louisville. His purposes 
were at length discovered by means of intercepted dispatches, 
and had Gen. Buell's movements been characterized by his 



226 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

usual slowness and deliberation, he would have come out second 
best in the military race which succeeded, and all the grand 
achievements of our armies in the West in the earlier months of 
the year, with the immense sacrifice of valuable lives offered up 
on the altar of the country, would have been expended in vain. 
The country was seized with consternation at the imminent 
danger which menaced the cities on the Ohio river. The excite- 
ment at Cincinnati was so great as to paralyze business, and the 
citizens stood appalled at the threatened peril of the city. The 
Governors of Ohio and Kentucky issued their proclamations, 
calling out the militia as well as all able bodied citizens to take 
up arms in defence of their respective States. Those from Ohio 
flocked in mass to Cincinnati with such arms as could be gathered 
up in the country, presenting about as motly an assemblage of 
"squirrel hunters," farmers and backwoodsmen, as was ever 
brought together. Poorly armed, undisciplined, and without a 
competent leader, the city was nearly as much endangered as 
secured against Rebel assault. At this crisis Gen. Lew Wallace 
was placed in command, and essayed to bring order out of the 
general chaos which reigned supreme. 

Gen. Grant was called upon to furnish such of his veteran 
regiments as could be spared from his department. His response 
was prompt, and orders were at once issued for a portion of the 
troops at Rienzi to proceed forthwith to Cincinnati. Col. Greu- 
sel's brigade was among those selected, and in obedience to the 
following order, the troops were in motion for Corinth at six 
o'clock on the morning of September 6th: 

HEAD-QUARTERS RIENZI, SEPT. 6th. 

COLONEL: You will leave in the morning with your command 
for Columbus, Kentucky. If on your arrival you should find 
river transportation for Louisville, Kentucky, you will proceed 



UNDER WAY FOB COLUMBUS. 227 

to that point without delay, and report to Brig. Gen. Boyle. 
While en route to Columbus you will have guards properly 
arranged and stationed on the cars, so as to guard against any 
and every attempt of guerillas to surprise you or molest the 
train. At all stopping places guards will be thrown out on each 
flank, and to the front and rear, so as to secure the safety of the 
train and your command. Your troops will keep their arms in 
hand from the moment of their departure from Corinth, until 
their arrival at Columbus. All officers will remain with their 
companies and at their posts. These precautions and instruc- 
tions will be strictly observed day and night on the river or cars. 
You will report your arrival at Columbus to me by telegraph. 
Your obedient servant, G. GRANGER, 

Brigadier General Commanding. 
COL. N. GREUSEL, Commanding 2d Brigade. 

There was a necessity for just such an order as this, for guer- 
illa bands were ranging the country, and cavalry raids were not 
unfrequent. Never was summons to march more welcome. 
Tired of serving the country in camp under the shadow of Mis- 
sissippi oaks, any change was hailed with delight. Before sun- 
rise the wagons were loaded, and at six o'clock the column was 
en route for Corinth. The shady avenues of Camp Rienzi, 
deserted and still, were never more to be tenanted by the 36th, 
yet the many pleasant associations connected with it, will ever 
linger in the hearts and memories of the men. 

The day was hot, but the men marched well, and the inter- 
vening miles were quickly measured. Arrangements were made 
for transferring such stores and equipments as were to be taken 
along, while the remainder were turned over to the Post Quarter- 
Master. The next morning all were safely crowded upon the 
train, and shortly under way for Columbus. Every car was 
packed, and numbers climbing upon the top, blackened the decks, 
their muskets grasped and gleaming in the bright sunshine, 



228 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

while bayonets, protruding from doors and windows, made the 
cars resemble huge porcupines, with every quill erect, ready for 
the onset. 

Among officers, and to some extent among the men, there was 
not the most perfect feeling of security. The recent movements 
of Price and VanDorn in the vicinity of Holly Springs had 
resurrected every Rebel bushwhacker in the country, who, issu- 
ing from their retreats, were perpetrating outrages upon loyal 
citizens, burning bridges, obstructing railroads, and firing upon 
passing trains with impunity. The whole country was suffering 
from their ravages, and it was not at all improbable that the 
command might be the recipients of a volley from some 
secret ambuscade. The country offered every facility for such a 
purpose, being heavily timbered, the shadowy depths and 
tangled undergrowth furnishing opportunities for assailants to 
retire in safety. Thoughts of danger from this source were 
banished entirely as the train neared Columbus, which place was 
reached at six o'clock in the ^vening. A rain set in, rendering 
it anything but pleasant transferring the stores from the cars to 
an empty storehouse near the depot. Then distributing them- 
selves promiscuously about, the men found quarters and shelter 
from rain in empty buildings and sheds. The next day the reg- 
iment embarked upon the steamer Tecumseh, reaching Cairo in 
the evening, and at once transferred the baggage and camp 
equipage to the cars of the Illinois Central Railroad. 

On the trip to Cairo a misfortune befell Company G, in the 
loss of "Jack," a favorite dog, who by some mishap was either 
drowned, or by other means came to an untimely end. This 
dog was recruited in a somewhat mysterious manner at Rolla, 
Missouri, and was adopted by the company, to which he became 
devotedly attached. He was a splendid specimen of the canine 



LIQUID SUPPLIES. 229 

species, a cross between a bull and a mastiff. "Jack's" forte 
was in catching hogs, and as a forager had not an equal. When- 
ever fresh meat was wanting, "Jack's" services were indispens- 
able in securing it. At the battle of Pea Ridge he unfortu- 
nately came in violent collision with a Rebel bullet, and for some 
time was disabled for service. His wounds were dressed by his 
comrades, and in a short time he reported for duty again. He 
was never known to fail in the hour of need, and when his con- 
nection with the regiment was severed, the men of Company G 
bewailed the fate of poor "Jack." 

The levee at Cairo was literally covered with boxes, bales, 
barrels and stores designed for the various armies operating in 
the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys. A few raw, unsophisti- 
cated recruits, fresh from the green fields of the North, were on 
guard to protect these stores from theft or destruction. A pile 
of barrels, some of them marked eggs and other creature com- 
forts not contraband of war supposed to be conducive to the 
health and happiness of soldiers in the field, was presided over 
by a light-haired and freckle-faced youngster in the garb of a 
soldier, who, with musket in hand, was supposed to be looking 
after the safety of said barrels. Unfortunately for the guard, 
(and we may say for the regiment) toward the end of his relief 
he was caught napping, and in the confusion incident to the 
transfer from boat to cars, a number of barrels became unac- 
countably mixed with regimental property and loaded on the 
train. On examination, each barrel was found to contain a keg 
of Bourbon, snugly packed in straw or chaff. The nature of 
the prize became known throughout the command, and during 
the long ride over the Central Road to Odin, whisky, ice, eggs 
and commissary sugar, thoroughly mixed, circulated freely, and 
as a natural consequence the boys were unusually smiling and 



280 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

happy. Some became oblivious to the world and the surround- 
ings, and were tenderly laid away in the litter and dirt of the 
cattle cars. 

Through Illinois the trip was hurried, arid neither citizens or 
soldiers were particularly demonstrative. But at the Indiana 
State line the patriotic "Hoosiers" turned out in thousands, 
and the choicest viands their larders afforded were brought out 
and forced upon the troops without money and without price. 
At Seymour, on the arrival of the train, tables were already 
spread and laden with all the delicacies as well as substantials 
which the country afforded, to which the soldiers were heartily 
welcomed. Great and boisterous was the rejoicing of the people 
at the appearance of the " Regulars," as the soldiers were called. 

Their progress from Vincennes to Cincinnati was a continuous 
ovation. The roads were lined and the stations thronged with 
enthusiastic and excited multitudes, ready with their sustenance 
to feed the men and welcome and cheer them through the State. 
How marked the contrast with the studied coldness or open 
hostility of the people at the South. What 'an infinite differ- 
ence between riding by rail through a region densely populated 
with an intelligent, well-to-do and patriotic people, with fields 
smiling with abundant harvests, and the weary, toilsome march- 
ing through the wilds of Missouri and Arkansas. 

The brigade arrived at Cincinnati at two o'clock on the morn- 
ing of the llth. Debarking from the train, the column was 
formed and marched to the head-quarters of Gen. Wallace, which 
were in the upper stories of a centrally located business block. 
On arriving, Col. Greusel went up several flights of stairs 
to the General's room, in person reported his brigade, and asked 
for orders and quarters for his men. Gen. Wallace, supposing 
him to be a new-fledged militia brigadier with a rabble of "squir- 



\ COOL RECEPTION. 231 

rel hunters " at his heels, somewhat crustily directed him to 
quarter his men on the first vacant sidewalk he could find, and 
remain there until morning for orders. 

This was rather rough entirely unlike the kindly hospitali- 
ties of the " Hoosiers," but the Colonel was too much of a 
soldier to ask questions or demur, and proceeded sullenly down 
stairs to obey orders. In fact, he was angry, and on gaining the 
street, where his tired and sleepy men were laying wearily 
about on boxes, sidewalks and curbstones, he thundered his orders 
in tones that rivalled the voice of a cannon. " Attention, Batal- 
lion ! Shoulder Arms ! Right Wheel ! Right Shoulder-shift 
Forward Guide Right March !" In all the turmoil and 
excitement of the times, the streets of Cincinnati had not rever- 
berated orders so strictly military as those. Not one in a thou- 
sand had a voice as stentorian as Col. Greusel in those days. 
His orders were heard many blocks away, and the startled citi- 
zens flew to the windows and peered into the darkness, thinking, 
perhaps, Kirby Smith or "Old Nick" himself had surely come. 

Gen. Wallace was about as much astonished as the denizens of 
the city, and at once every officer arid attachee about head-quar- 
ters were at the windows gazing down upon the long line, every 
man in his place, marching with the regularity and precision of 
regulars. The General gave a hurried order, and an aide-de- 
camp came rushing down to the street, shouting, " Stop that 
Brigade stop that Brigade!" The Colonel enquired, "What's 
wanted now ?" " Oh, sir, the General took you for militia, who 
for the last week have nearly worried him to death. Halt your 
command and come up stairs. Gen. Wallace wishes to see you." 
A halt was ordered ; the General was profuse with his explana- 
tions and apologies, and directed the Colonel to send the troops, 



232 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

under another officer, to the City Market Hall, where the best 
the city afforded awaited them. 

This was even so. Tables were set, loaded with viands as 
toothsome as manna, and presided over by little less than a brig- 
ade of ladies, the beauty and worth of Cincinnati. At sight of 
the tempting meal set before them, the soldiers, who for five days 
had been trundled and tumbled about in close box-cars to their 
supreme disgust, exchanged their scowling for countenances more 
in harmony with the genial and hospitable surroundings. When 
all was ready, they took their places and partook of the bounties 
set before them as orderly as an orthodox Sunday School at a 
pic-nic. Their slightest wishes were promptly attended by beau- 
tiful ladies, who, like winged flowers, glanced hither and thither, 
supplying all their sharpened appetites craved, and urging them 
to partake of more. Breakfast over, three as hearty cheers for 
the ladies of Cincinnati as ever stirred the midnight air rang 
through Market Hall. This to the tired soldiers was the ideal 
breakfast of their lives, about which there lingered a fascination 
in their memories for many a day. Then with fealty to their 
home-loves for the time sadly impaired, they quietly took their 
places in the ranks and early in the morning were marched across 
the "bonnie Ohio" on a pontoon bridge, to the city of Coving- 
ton, Kentucky, where temporary quarters were assigned them in 
the City Market House. 

Kirby Smith, with forty thousand Rebel troops, was reported 
but a few miles distant, and marching upon the city. The excite- 
ment of the people was at fever heat. The militia of Ohio and 
Indiana were pouring into the city in vast floods. The public 
parks, the sidewalks and every available square inch of space was 
occupied by the undisciplined rabble of " squirrel hunters" and 
farmers fresh from field and plow, partially armed with shot-guns 



CINCINNATI'S FEARS ALLAYED. 233 

and old rifles, making quite as rusty an appearance as Price's 
horde of copper-bottomed Missourians. Ohio was awake to the 
requirements of the hour, and when Governor Todd issued his 
proclamation for troops, the citizens grasped rusty fire-locks and 
responded in mass to the call. Men seventy years of age, with 
heads whitened for the grave, and boys fifteen years old, rushed 
to the front and lined the rifle pits, hastily thrown up to cover 
the approaches to the city. Martial law was proclaimed, business 
houses closed, and all work but that of arms suspended. Gov- 
ernor Todd was there in person, bubbling over with patriotism, 
but knowing little of military matters or of disciplining the 
mighty host he had evoked. All had "blood in their eyes," and 
were fully bent on " damaging Rebels " if they ever came within 
reach of their long-ranged rifles. 

With the arrival of Greusel's brigade of veteran troops, whose 
mettle had been tried on the battle-field, the fears of the citizens 
were at once allayed. With such troops behind breast-works, 
which each hour were being strengthened, they felt that a suc- 
cessful resistance could be offered to all the assaults which Kirby 
Smith could organize against them. Never was there such a 
revulsion of feeling from despondency to confidence, as was 
experienced by the citizens of Cincinnati on the arrival of the 
" Pea Ridge Brigade." A great weight was lifted from their 
hearts, and they could not too warmly testify their satisfaction 
and gratitude. Stores were thrown open, and such of their wares 
as the soldiers wanted were at their command without remunera- 
tion. Cheers followed their march through the city, flags floated 
from house-tops, and the streets presented the appearance of a 
vast laundry from the handkerchiefs which fluttered from every 
window. We doubt if the dread scenes of subsequent conflicts 
16 



234 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

are more indelibly stamped upon the memory of the soldiers than 
the reception accorded them by the citizens of a grateful city. 

Col. Greusel was placed in command of nineteen regiments, 
who were furnished with picks and shovels and set to work upon 
the intrenchments in rear of Covington. They worked like bea- 
vers, and vast embankments gradually enclosed the city. 

The 36th was commanded by Capt. Miller, of Company B, 
the senior officer present for duty. Covington had many attrac- 
tions for the men, who wandered away from the Market House 
singly or in squads, and when the Captain called for a detail for 
the performance of some fatigue duty, scarcely a man could be 
found. Those in the quarters were put on guard, with orders to 
prevent any from passing out, while the city provost guard and 
police were directed to arrest the stragglers wherever found and 
bring them in. But few delinquents were caught, and many of 
those remaining managed to slip by the guards and get away. 
The Captain's patience was sorely tried; he declared it as his 
belief that if but one man remained in the quarters and all the 
residue of the regiment were set over that man, he would devise 
some way to elude the guards and escape. At supper-time all 
were in their places, hungry as sharks, sedate as high churchmen, 
seemingly quite unconscious of having disturbed the equanimity 
of their commanding officer, or of being guilty of unmilitary 
conduct in ranging over the city, and away from their quarters 
without permission. 

The next day the 36th marched to a position near the line of 
fortifications in rear of Covington, relieving a regiment of 
Cincinnati militia, made up of clerks and book-keepers. Their 
camp presented more the appearance of a lady's boudoir than the 
temporary quarters of soldiers. In addition to their muskets 
and accoutrements, each was armed with a brace of wine and 



LOUISVILLE, THE REBEL OBJECTIVE POINT. 235 

Bourbon bottles tucked beneath their waistbands. Their com- 
missary was garnished with lager beer kegs, champagne baskets, 
hams, crackers, sardines and oysters, while as many women as 
men were in camp, looking after the morals and ministering to 
the comfort of their "brave soldier boys." The veterans were 
in hopes Kirby Smith would make an attack, just to give these 
" counter hoppers " a chance to enjoy a mixture of gunpowder 
and lead with their other luxuries, and afford an opportunity to 
display their valor. Just imagine a charge upon a fortification 
with a musket in their hands, a baby on one arm and a wife 
clinging to the other ! When they were gone the thirsty " Pea 
Ridge boys ' ' occupied their quarters, and. had a good time smell- 
ing empty bottles and beer kegs. While at this camp, William 
W. Kerns, of Company Gr, was accidently shot. A stack of guns 
falling over, one of them exploded ; the ball penetrating his side, 
shattered a rib and disabled him for six months. This was the 
only casualty to the 36th during the campaign. 

For six days the troops lay in the trenches on the banks ot the 
Licking, in constant expectation of an attack. But the move- 
ment of the main Confederate force, under Bragg, toward Louis- 
ville, the sudden departure of Kirby Smith from before Coving- 
ton, and his forced march and junction with Bragg at Frankfort, 
threw off the mask which had so long enveloped their plans, and 
left no room for doubt that Louisville was the real objective point 
of the campaign. The excitement which a few days before had 
prevailed in Cincinnati, was now transferred to Louisville, and 
frantic calls for veteran troops were made upon the Department 
commanders. Gen. Nelson, who, after the defeat at Richmond, 
had fallen back, was assigned to the command of the city, and 
proceeded to arm the citizens, to fortify and place the city in a 
complete state of defence. Cincinnati being no longer menaced, 



236 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Col. Greusel was ordered to proceed to Louisville with his com- 
mand. The greater portion of the troops embarked upon trans- 
ports and proceeded down the Ohio river, requiring nineteen 
steamers to transport the command, which had now assumed the 
proportion of a division. While the boats were passing the city 
the people crowded the wharves and waved a heartfelt adieu. 

The 36th proceeded by rail via Indianapolis and Seymour, of 
pleasant memory, reaching Jeffersonville at noon on the 19th. 
Such was the press of business incident to the confusion growing 
out of the panic that the ferries and ordinary methods for cross- 
ing the river were crowded with fugitives from the panic-stricken 
city, and were inadequate for the purposes of transportation. 
Other troops had the precedence, and the 36th waited at Jeffer- 
sonville until evening before being ferried over ; then marching 
five miles they went into camp in a cemetery in the south-east- 
ern suburbs of the city. 

The exciting and somewhat exaggerated reports which were 
being circulated of Bragg' s near approach, and the overwhelming 
numbers of his forces, filled Louisville with alarm. Merchants 
hastily removed the contents of their stores across the river, and 
household goods, in many instances, were carried a hundred miles 
into the interior of Indiana. Women, children and non-com- 
batants generally were sent away, that in case of a bombardment 
there might be no helpless and frenzied objects of compassion to 
cumber the movement of troops and retard the defence. Col. 
Greusel, as at Cincinnati, was put in charge of the defences, and 
under his spuervision earth-works were constructed, extending 
around the city from the Marine hospital to the banks of the 
Ohio. The able-bodied citizens were pressed into service against 
their inclination, and set to work in the trenches, digging, sweat- 



ALARM AND TERROR OF THE CITIZENS. 237 

ing and swearing, while the veterans, with arms in hand, stood 
by to see that each did his duty without shirking. 

Each hour but intensified the terror of the people, and every 
preparation was made for the reception of the doughty knights 
under Smith and Bragg, when on the 25th of September Gen. 
Buell entered Louisville instead of Bragg, he having come out 
ahead in the race across Kentucky. Even then, from a general 
lack of confidence in Buell's generalship, the apprehension of the 
people was not entirely allayed. On his arrival he found an order 
from the War Department' suspending him, and placing Gen. 
Thomas in command, which the latter absolutely refused to 
assume, and by his persistent efforts succeeded in having the 
order recalled and Gen. Buell retained. 

After the junction of Buell's and Nelson's forces, the army 
numbered nearly a hundred thousand men, a majority of whom 
were old soldiers, whose valor had been tested a number suffi- 
cient, if skillfully handled, to have annihilated Bragg and swept 
his vagabond hordes from existence. Buell's army was worn 
down with hard marching, and poorly clothed. The enemy 
was likewise suffering from similar causes, and no good reason 
existed why the forces then assembled at Louisville should have 
been detained there a whole week, during which the country was 
ravaged and property destroyed to the value of many million 
dollars. 

On the 29th, Gen. Nelson was shot by Gen. Jeff. C. Davis 
and killed. This affair resulted from the insolence of the former 
which Gen. Davis would not endure. Nelson had long been con- 
nected with the regular service, and though a man of courage and 
a strict disciplinarian, was rough and overbearing in his demeanor 
to inferiors. To retort was sure to be followed by insult and often 
with blows. This was rather more than many of the impetuous 



238 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

and hot-blooded officers would patiently endure. Nelson had 
assigned Davis to an unimportant command over raw and insub- 
ordinate home-guards, who Were constantly vibrating between 
their homes and commands, and it was extremely difficult for an 
officer to tell at a given time the exact number he could depend 
upon in case of an emergency. At this time Nelson met Davis 
in the hall of one of the principal hotels of Louisville, and in an 
imperious manner asked the number in his command. Davis 
could give only the approximate number, at which Gen. Nelson 
flew into a passion and struck Gen. Davis in the face. The latter 
borrowed a pistol from a bystander and shot the former while 
passing up the hotel stairs. 

Gen. Nelson's insolence not only impaired his usefulness as an 
officer, but alienated the affections of the men who served under 
him. The people, particularly negroes, with whom he came in 
contact, were treated by him more like serfs than free men. At 
the funeral, when the coffin was brought out and the remains 
exhibited to the assembled thousands, a passing cloud obscured 
the rays of the sun, when the poor negroes who were present, 
with one voice exclaimed, u De Lord am done gone and hid His 
face from one dat kicks de cullered folks and break dar bones." 

Gen. Gilbert succeeded Nelson in the command of the Third 
Corps, in which was the 36th, being part of the 37th Brigade in 
Sheridan's Division. The Brigade was composed of the 36th, 
44th, 88th Illinois, the 24th Wisconsin and the 21st Michigan 
Regiments of Infantry, with Hiscock's Missouri and Barrett's 
2nd Illinois Batteries, under the command of Col. Greusel. 




CHAPTER XVIII 



ADVANCE INTO KENTUCKY. 



|N THE 1st of October, after the Rebel cavalry 
had quite effectually raided upon and devastated 
the country up to our picket lines, Gen. Buell 
marched out with a formidable army in quest of 
the enemy. The columns were cumbered with 
wagon-trains over twenty -two miles in length,and 
moved exceedingly slow, averaging about ten miles a day. Gen. 
Gilbert's crops occupied the Bardstown pike, passing through a 
country far different in appearance from the rough chert hills of 
Missouri or the marshy lagoons of Mississippi, a region that had 
felt but little of the rude effects of war, and smiling in autumnal 
beauty. Here and there elegant country seats adorned the way- 
side, and at the gates of many stood the occupants, tendering 
cups of water to the men, while from window or piazza ladies 
waved their handkerchiefs woman's banner in grief or joy in 
token of patriotic sympathy. The pike was one crowded mass 
of infantry, cavalry, artillery and wagon trains, moving in double 
lines and rumbling over the solid but dusty road. Fields, farm- 
yards and woods were full of soldiers, and when the marching 



240 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

columns had passed, many of the plantations were denuded of 
poultry, pigs and sheep. Slowly feeling its way, the army moved 
against the Rebel invaders, affording ample opportunities for 
stragglers to elude their officers and depredate upon hen-roosts 
and potato fields. 

Stringent orders against foraging were promulgated by Gen. 
Gilbert, and much of that officer's time, and by far the most 
onerous of his duties, was the protection of the hen-roosts and 
"truck patches " of the fellow citizens of his native State, many 
of whom were away from home and might have been found in the 
gray Confederate ranks under Bragg, ready to shoot down at 
sight the soldiers in blue, guarding their homes and plantations 
from pillage. A little episode upon this march illustrates the 
testy disposition of Gen. Gilbert, the coolness of Capt. Miller, 
and the fearless devotion of the men to their comrades and com- 
mander. The weather was warm, and the men somewhat 
fatigued, when the regiment halted a few moments by the way- 
side, opposite an orchard, the trees of which were loaded with 
delicious fruit. A few of the men scaled the fence and were 
filling their pockets with apples, when Gen. Gilbert chanced to 
pass that way and caught them in the "infamous act" of steal- 
ing. The General was furious, and ordered his escort to fire 
upon the men thus engaged. The order was scarcely uttered, 
when every man by the wayside sprang to his feet, seized his 
musket, and the ramming of cartridges and click of gun-locks 
was fearfully ominous, and warned the escort to desist from put- 
ting the order into execution. The General saw the look of 
defiance and determination gleaming from the eyes of the men, 
arid did not repeat his heartless order the second time, but angrily 
demanded, " Where is the officer in command of these mis- 
creants?" Capt. Miller, who was sitting cross-legged upon his 



CAPT. MILLER AND A KENTUCKY GENERAL. 241 

horse, was pointed out. The General advanced, and with harsh 
invectives assailed him. The Captain remained cool as if in a 
drawing-room, and to the torrent of abuse curtly replied, "General, 
" one word from me will call the boys out of that orchard a d d 
" sight sooner than you can shoot them out; and should it come 
" to that, I have the honor to assure you, General, that my boys 
" never allow themselves to be outdone in this shooting business. 
" I think your fellows had better put up their shooting irons, for 
" the first flash of a carbine at one of them boys will be the death 
" knell of every mother's son that has a hand in the business." 
Such insubordination could not be overlooked by one of Gen. 
Gilbert's phlegmatic temperament, and the whole regiment was 
ordered under arrest. 

The country was undulating, and from the summits of the 
higher elevations one could look back over the line of march and 
see the long blue columns streaming over the gentle acclivities, 
the bayonets glistening in the sunshine, while in front the mighty 
coil of armed men stretched away among the picturesque hills 
until lost in the hazy distance. In the evening, temporary camps 
were formed along the banks of streams and water courses, while 
mile upon mile of camp fires flecked the hill-sides, wrapped the 
country in flame, and lighted up the misty air of night with a 
weird, sapphire glow, presenting a scene grand beyond conception. 
The troops, after finishing their suppers, retired to some leafy 
couch under the thick foliage of trees, and sought repose. 

In perusing the pages of the men's journals, relative to the 
incidents connected with this campaign, we find little worthy of 
notice transpiring on the march from Louisville to Perryville. 
All were in fine spirits and eager for an encounter with the ene- 
my, who were slowly retiring with their plunder before the 
advance of our solid columns. Each day yielded its usual har- 



242 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

vest of rumors, frequently throwing the newly formed regiments 
into a fever of excitement, but not disturbing the equanimity 
of the older troops. 

Eventually these rumors were changed to reality, as the cav- 
alry came in contact with the rebel rear guard, and frequent skir- 
mishes marked the progress of the advance. The squads of lean 
and ragged rebel prisoners captured in these encounters, as they 
marched to the rear, were regarded with the utmost curiosity by 
the new troops, now upon their first campaign. Some taunted 
them as traitors, while others comforted them with words of pity 
for the unfortunate condition in which they were placed. 

Near Bardstown, a large force of the enemy was overtaken, 
who manifested a desire to dispute our further progress. A halt 
was ordered, skirmishers thrown out, the artillery brought up, and 
considerable firing at long range ensued. The advance guard 
was principally made up of new troops, it being the day when the 
36th and the older troops of Sheridan's Division were in the rear. 
The enemy stubbornly maintained their ground, presenting a 
bold front, against which our skirmishers and field guns made but 
little impression. Matters began to wear a serious aspect, and a 
general engagement was immediately expected. This was con- 
trary to Gen. Buell's policy, which was, apparently, to keep just 
as far from Bragg as possible and maintain the semblance of 
pursuit, and if, by accident, the enemy should be encountered, to 
fight him lightly. Orders were sent back for Greusel and Lei- 
bold' s Brigades of veterans to advance at once, to ascertain the 
temper and disposition of the enemy. In a few moments the 
troops were under arms and moving at a double-quick down the 
dusty road, cheering as they ran, with little Phil Sheridan, their 
division commander, at their head, as noisy and enthusiastic as if 
in a buffalo hunt, and with words of cheer which rang out 



ON THE MARCH IN KENTUCKY. 243 

like "Napoleon's," inspiring his men with confidence equal to a 
reinforcement of a thousand men. Reaching the point of threat- 
ened conflict, they were only in time to see the gray backs of the 
foe they were in search of disappear in rapid retreat. Disap- 
pointed and sullen, the troops returned three miles to camp, heartily 
despising a foe whose courage oozed out at sight of men who 
meant fight. 

On the 6th, the 36th Regiment was detailed as rear guard, and 
did not get under way till noon. The country was broken and 
parched with summer heats. Water-courses were dried up and 
the few springs filled with oflal of the retreating enemy and ren- 
dered unfit for use. Here and there, tall chimneys, built accord- 
ing to southern fashion, on the exterior, and a few charred and 
smouldering remains, marking the site of ruined mansions, told of 
the devastation of war and the fearful retribution which the pas- 
sions of men had inflicted upon once peaceful and prosperous 
communities. Aside from the gray ashes which marked the 
place where houses and fences once stood, this part of Kentucky 
was a fair land to look upon. Its gracefully rounded hills and 
dark masses of wood, robed in autumnal glory, combined to make 
a bright and beautiful picture, in spite of the fresh traces of the 
destroyer and the ruins around which gathered the dejected and 
houseless owners, brooding over the fragments of their ruined 
possessions. 

This day's march was about as severe as any the troops had 
been subjected to. Without water, they pushed on through 
blinding clouds of dust, that darkened the sun and yet added 
intensity to its heat. They passed through Springfield, a half- 
deserted and dilapidated town, odorous with bad whiskey and 
rebellion, and did not reach camp until eleven o'clock at night. 
The summer and autumn had been unusually hot ; the fields were 



244 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

parched, the grass withered, and thirsty soldiers looked with 
wearied eyes on the beds of streams and rivers, either totally dry, 
or shrunken into little, heated, tired-looking threads of water 
brackish and disagreeable to taste and smell. 

The few springs and sparkling brooks were usually monopo- 
lized by Gen. Gilbert, who sent an aid in advance to select roman- 
tic spots near by, in which was pitched the General's marquee, and 
a detachment of body guards posted to protect the sacred precincts, 
as well as the spring, from intrusion. Near the close of this sultry 
day, the 36th, soiled with dust and famished with thirst, came up 
to a spring of clear, cold water, near which were located the 
headquarters of Gen. Gilbert. The men, acting upon the cam- 
paign maxim, " wherever and whenever you can secure a square 
meal or a drink of cold water, do so," eagerly crowded around 
the spring, with the inevitable tin cup and canteen, quaffing great 
draughts of the refreshing beverage, to quench a thirst of eight 
or ten hours duration. A dapper little staff-officer came up and 
ordered the boys away, to which, for awhile, they paid no more 
attention than to the cackling of a hen, but persisting in his 
impertinence, a Broad-shouldered, ungainly private of Company 
B knocked him down with the butt of his gun effectually silenc- 
ing him for the time being. Thereupon Gen. Gilbert came out 
in person and reiterated the command, ordering Capt. Miller to 
move on with his regiment. The Captain courteously but firmly 
remonstrated, telling the General "that his men had marched 
since before mid-day without water ; that the heat was oppressive ; 
that his men were suffering from thirst, and that the refusal of 
water under such circumstances showed a want of common 
humanity." Gen. Gilbert was irritated at this manly protest 
and ordered his body-guard to charge upon and drive the men 
away from the spring. Captain Miller, nothing daunted, directed 



GEN. GILBERT SQUELCHED BY CAPT. MILLER. 245 

pis. men to fix bayonets and run the first man through who should 
Inolest them, until they got what water they wanted. To be thus 
(defied by a little, wiry Yankee ca'ptain. was more than Kentucky 
jdignity could stand, and addressing his body-guard (a detachment 
tof the 2nd Kentucky Cavalry) he said, " Ye men of Kentucky ! 
hdll you allow this insult to your General to go unrebuked and 
Unpunished ! If you are men, and have any regard for your honor 
as Kentuckians, you will instantly disperse this insolent mob, 
and arrest every one who refuses compliance with orders." It 
was then Capt. Miller's turn to talk, and turning to the men, he 
isaid, u Boys, massacre every mother's son of them that dares to 
lay a finger upon you until your canteens are filled," and turn- 
ing to the body-guard and staff of the General, "if you, or any 
other Kentuckian, want to die on your own native soil, now is 
your chance to do so, for by the Great Eternal, my men are going 
to have all the water they want, before marching another foot. 
If you want to die, come onl" But they did not come on worth 
a rent, and Gen. Gilbert returned chagrined to his tent, and the 
36th remained masters of the situation. 

The advance camped in the near vicinity of the enemy's rear 
guard, with whom the cavalry had skirmishes all day, resulting 
in the killing and wounding of a few, whom they left, in their 
hurried retreat, by the roadside, to the tender mercies of the pur- 
suers. Surgeon Young, whose humanity equaled his patriotism, 
caused some of their dead to be buried, and attended to their 
wounded with the same considerate care bestowed upon our own 
sick and suffering soldiers. A score or more of half-clothed pris- 
oners were taken, who looked wan, pale and thin from the many 
privations to which they had been subjected. Ragged and dirty 
as they were, they elicited the respect of the older soldiers, who 
had learned how well they fought, how bravely and persistently 



246 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

they had stood up for their cause, bad as it was. As was remarked 
by an officer who had them in charge, " Though not inspired by 
God, they certainly are possessed of the devil, and have acted 
bravely the part their master commanded them to play." 

The opposition increased as the army advanced, the cavalry 
skirmishing almost continually with the Rebel rear guard. Com- 
pany B Cavalry, under the gallant Capt. Sherer, was attached to 
Gen. Mitchell's Division, and did good service in reconnoitering, 
scouring the country, ever hanging upon the enemy's rear, and 
whenever an opportunity offered, charging upon such bodies as 
seemed determined to stand, who usually wavered and fled before 
the withering blast from their carbines without waiting to feel 
their keen-edged sabres. 

The morning of the 7th broke clear and bright, and the wel- 
come rattle of carbines betokened that the cavalry were early at 
their work. The conflict, which for the last three days had been 
momentarily expected, all felt could not much longer be delayed. 
The 37th Brigade headed the advance, and cheerfully the men 
moved to the dangerous task before them. The columns were 
massed and kept well in hand, advancing slowly and cautiously 
in readiness for battle, the enemy stubbornly contesting every 
inch of ground. On the crests of hills and at every available 
point of defence, heavy bodies of troops formed in dense lines for 
the protection of their rear, and anon the blue smoke-wreaths 
flashing from out their waving line, and the sharp ring of mus- 
ketrp was the greeting our cavalry received. Against the serried 
ranks they moved, shot answering shot, steadily driving the 
enemy before them. Occasionally from the summits of hills, up 
and over which wound the crooked road, dense columns of the 
enemy, many miles in extent, might be seen moving in perfect 
order. Then long-ranged rifled parrots would be brought up, 



CAPT. HOBBS IN DANGER. 247 

placed in position, and rounds of solid shot sent hissing after the 
departing force, producing but little effect beyond hurrying the 
retreat. The sullen booming of cannon, mingled with the patter- 
ing fire of musketry and carbines, served to arouse the energies 
of the troops, who felt something of the old inspiration which 
the music of flashing guns never failed to impart, and as a result, 
there was much less straggling than usual. 

As the division descended the southern slope of a range of 
hills two or three miles north of Perryville, the sunset hues were 
filling the west with gorgeous beauty. The eye took in a varied 
landscape of hill and vale, field and woodland, alas ! soon to echo 
the roar of artillery, and rattle of musketry, to be seamed and 
defaced by plunging shot and shrieking shell, and to witness 
scenes and incidents that would afford interesting topics for fire- 
side talks that would last during the rest of the monotonous lives 
of the denizens of these secluded valleys. The army camped in 
a hollow or depression among the hills, but a mile and a-half dis- 
tant from the position of the main Rebel army. In front was a 
nill of gradual ascent, covered with brush, scattering timber and 
small cornfields. The usual picket guard was doubled, and strong 
details of picked men were required from the 36th and other reg- 
iments composing the division. Capt. Hobbs. of Company E, 
was officer of the guard, and proceeded silently up the slope with 
his detachment in skirmish line, through the intervening brush 
and across fields to the brow of the hill, and established the picket 
line three-quarters of a mile from camp. A dense forest lay in 
front, and here and there across its dark aisles the straggling 
moonbeams glanced, while in the patches of light the shadowy 
forms of Rebel pickets were occasionally seen gliding from tree 
to tree. But a few yards intervened between the hostile lines ; 



243 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

the changing of reliefs, and murmur of voices in low conversa- 
tion, could be indistinctly heard. 

Capt. Hobbs, in the performance of his duty as officer of the 
guard, while passing between the stations, frequently mistook the 
shadows of the timber for picket posts, and strayed near to arid 
almost within the enemy's lines. Once, while approaching a post 
from the direction of the enemy, he was taken for a Confederate, 
and a member of his own company was on the point of firing 
upon him. It was a beautiful, quiet, moonlight night. All were 
on the alert, and the breaking of a twig, the rustle of a leaf or 
the gentle sigh of a zephyr, attracted immediate attention and 
found the watchful sentinels in readiness for any emergency. 
Thus the hours passed. The night crept on towards morning. 
Faint bars of gray tinged the hill-tops, one by one the stars dis- 
appeared, the leaden sky gave way to azure blue, and the position 
of the opposing pickets was disclosed in plain sight and near at 
hand. The changing of reliefs was taken for a movement, and 
a rattling fire of musketry commenced with the dawn of morning. 




CHAPTER XIX. 

BATTLE OP PERRYVILLE. 

BEFORE daylight on the morning of the 8th, the shrill 
blast of the bugle aroused the slumbering camps, 
and a hastily prepared breakfast was as hastily eaten. 
Staff officers and orderlies rode hither and thither on 
various duties. The new troops were full of excite- 
ment and watched with interest the preparations going on around 
them. Then a line of battle was formed and gradually advanced, 
pushing the enemy back, while random shots heightened the 
interest and awoke the echoes of the morning. Reaching the 
crest of the hills, officers with field glasses scanned the opposite 
heights and intervening valleys, seeking to learn the enemy's 
position and unravel ,the mystery which shrouded their move- 
ments. The men in the ranks could not distinguish a single bat- 
tery or discern the movements of a brigade. Scarcely a batallion 
of the men in gray were in sight. Behind the opposite crest 
they lay, rank upon rank, partially hidden by the inter- 
vening foliage and natural inequalities of the ground. Scarcely 
was our line developed along the broken summit of the hills, when 
smoke clouds leaped in sudden puffs from the opposite ridges, 
which were crowned with hostile cannon. One by one the descend- 
17 



250 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

ing shot dropped within our lines, and soon all became familiar 
with the shrill whizzing music of iron projectiles. Our cannon 
were then set at work, and eloquently responded to the volleyed 
thunder from the distant hill-tops. Skirmishers were deployed 
and swept across the intervening valley, up the opposite slope, 
under cover of the artillery, closely followed by strong columns 
in support. The cessation of their artillery fire and the inter- 
mittent blaze of musketry along the skirmish line, indicated the 
withdrawal of the enemy and their formation in a new position 
upon the hills a half mile in rear of the first. 

Orders being received to hold the hill at all hazards, Barrett's 
battery of the 2nd Illinois Artillery was advanced to the position 
just vacated, the 36th Illinois Infantry moving forward to its 
support, taking a position in the timber on the right of the road 
and partially in rear and right of the battery. The 88th Illinois 
Volunteers were posted on the left of the road, also in rear of the 
battery, in which position the troops remained until eleven o'clock 
A. M. The 36th occupied about a central point in the advance 
of Gen. Sheridan's Division, but from its partially concealed posi- 
tion in the timber, few indications of a hostile force in the oppo- 
site fields and woods could be seen. Thin clouds of smoke were 
observed rising lazily above the tree-tops, followed by a shrieking 
shell which the enemy now and then tossed over to our position, 
hoping, perhaps, to dislodge the artillery or demoralize the infan- 
try, which for the present was commanded to lay down and do noth- 
ing. No advance on our part was ordered, none on the part of 
the enemy attempted ; so instead of exchanging the leaden com- 
pliments of war, and performing feats of daring, the troops 
had only to listen to the shrieking shell and whizzing round shot 
and await the development of movements in other portions of 
the field. Scarcely had the echoes of their first shot ceased to 



MC COOK'S ADVANCE. 251 

reverberate, when Barrett's and other batteries posted to the right 
and left, commenced a heavy cannonade, sweeping the hills with 
an iron torrent, which the enemy could not long withstand. 

While the opposing forces are thus facing each other, and a 
desultory firing at long range in front of Sheridan's Division is 
going on, in which but little damage to either side is being 
inflicted, we will glance at other portions of the field where ground 
is being desperately fought over, positions lost and won, and 
tragedies enacted that appall the stoutest heart. The corps 
of Gen. McCook comprised the left wing of the army, moved 
upon other but parallel roads via Mackville, each column being 
within call, with orders to support each other in case of neces- 
sity. Buell, notwithstanding his vastly superior numbers, still 
wished to avoid a battle. From the determined opposition offered 
to Gilbert's advance, he anticipated some resistance at this stage 
of the march, and ordered up McCook's corps from Mackville. 
This order was received after two o'clock on the morning of the 
8th. Though twelve miles distant, with characteristic prompt- 
ness his columns were in motion before daylight and on the road 
to Perryville. All the morning the booming of cannon in front 
of Gilbert, reverberating among the hills, was wafted to the ears 
of the men who marched to its rolling cadences. Though suffer- 
ing for the want of water, they pressed eagerly forward, over 
roads rocky and rough in the extreme, the advance connecting 
with Gilbert's right at 11 o'clock A. M. 

Taking in the situation at a glance, and knowing that from 
their position on the second or Chaplin's Hills the enemy com- 
manded the approaches to the creek and springs, to which his 
thirsty troops alone could look for relief, he determined to carry 
the position and gain possession of the springs. The appearance 
of McCook upon the field was evidently a surprise to the enemy, 



252 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

who were maneuvering to gain Gilbert's left and assail him in 
flank. To frustrate their designs, McCook's arrival was not a 
moment too soon, as the enemy's skirmishers were already 
taking possession of the hills. From these they were easily 
driven back upon their supports. Pressing forward with Lytel's 
Brigade, and assisted by the 36th Brigade of Sheridan's Divis- 
ion, under Col. Leibold, a sharp contest for the possession of the 
spring ensued, which involved the forces confronting Sheridan, 
with whom Barrett's guns had all the morning been exchanging 
the compliments of the season. While these movements were 
taking place on the left, the 36th lay in the timber listening to 
the report of cannon fired at unfrequent intervals, which to them 
was becoming monotonous. Aside from these occasional explo- 
sions, the hills and woods, to all outward appearance, slept 
peaceful and calm in the summer sunshine. 

But what mean these quick, rushing smoke-puifs rising above 
the trees away to the left, and the heavy crash of artillery fol- 
lowing them ? Quickly from the heights in front was heard an 
instantaneous response and corresponding smoke-puffs from Rebel 
batteries. Then the sharp rattle of musketry added its shrill 
soprano to the carnival of sound that rolled down from the 
woody slopes. 

Through openings in the timber could be seen our skirmishers 
moving slowly forward from tree to tree, and from position to 
position ; now halting as if to select a particular object at which 
to fire, then crouching and delivering their shots as deliberately 
as if at target practice. They gradually pushed up the hill in 
the face of a withering fire towards the summit, where every 
rock, tree and clump of bushes concealed a Rebel sharp-shooter. 
A lew yards in the rear moved the long, dark line of reserves, 
upon which the skirmishers rallied when they had unmasked the 



SUCCESSFUL FIGHT FOR GOOD-NIGHT SPRING. 253 

foe. The rattle of musketry grew louder and more continuous. 
Barrett's battery, with others placed at intervals along the line, 
a mile in extent, were playing vigorously upon the enemy. 
Leibold's Brigade, the gallant 2nd Missouri, in the lead, in con- 
junction with McCook's troops, maintained a steady line of 
attack, never wavering or bending beneath the storm which 
assailed them. The air was filled with shrieking lead, and from 
our position could be faintly heard the cheers and yells of the 
opposing forces and the continuous roll of musketry. For half 
an hour the strife continued. Little by little the Rebel line 
wavered, inch by inch they gave ground, and then broken and 
discomfitted they retreated in disorder from the heights to their 
reserves at Perryville. Thus Chaplin's Hills were won. Good- 
night spring was ours, and great draughts of its refreshing 
waters slaked the thirst of men, who for two days had toiled 
through heat and dust, suffering intensely for the want of water. 
In this fierce encounter which gained us Chaplin's Hills, the 2nd 
Missouri took a prominent part, and had twenty killed and sixty 
wounded. Their ranks, though swept with sheets of fire, which 
sent many a hero bleeding to the ground, charged desperately 
upon the living barrier and compelled it to fall back before their 
terrific volleys, leaving many dead and mangled men scattered 
over the hill-sides. 

The enemy having been driven from their formidable position 
in Sheridan's front, matters became comparatively quiet, and the 
36th was advanced across the valley, through open fields and 
intervening timber, to a position on the southern slope of Chap- 
lin's Hills, in support of Hiscock's Missouri battery, which occu- 
pied the summit of the hill, trying occasionally the effect of a 
shot at long range. Away to the left, in front of McCook, the 
continual roar of guns announced that his batteries were warmly 



254 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

engaged, and that an artillery duel of formidable proportions 
was raging between the opposing forces. In front, and a mile 
or more away, lay Hardee's corps in the valley of Chaplin's 
creek, concealed from view by the intervening bluffs and fringes of 
timber and bushes, which in isolated patches dotted the slopes. 
The 36th descended the southern incline to a cornfield a few 
hundred yards below, and in front of the batteries stationed on 
the crest of the ridge, and halting, stood at ease in line of battle, 
gazing over the undulating fields and valleys a mile away, where 
hid from sight lay dense masses of Hardee's Infantry and Artil- 
lery, with only a thin line of skirmishers in view to break the 
monotony and disturb the prevailing quiet. Soon after the bal- 
ance of the brigade came forward, followed by the whole army 
corps. By noon the Federal line of battle extended along the 
crest of the hills for a mile and a-half, the Divisions of Mitchell, 
Sheridan and Schoeff, of Gilbert's corps, forming the right, while 
Rousseau's and Jackson's Divisions, of McCook's corps, occu- 
pied the left, the latter confronted by Folk's and the former by 
Hardee's veterans of the Confederate army. 

The 37th ( Greusel's ) Brigade occupied a central position in 
Sheridan's Division, and was formed in the 'following order. 
Barrett's battery was stationed on the crest of the ridge to the 
right of the Springfield road, supported by the 21st Michigan 
Volunteers, a few yards in rear of the guns, just over the brow 
of the hill which interposed a barrier against random shot that 
struck the ground in front, and rebounding over the heads of 
the troops, terminated their career a hundred yards to the rear. 
The 24th Wisconsin Volunteers was stationed to the left of the 
road, also protected by the summit of the ridge, while a section 
of Hiscock's battery operated in its front. The 36th Illinois was 
withdrawn from the cornfield to the timber immediately in front 



ATTACK ON MC COOK'S CORPS. 255 

of Barrett's battery, on the exposed side of the hills, the cannon 
being fired over the heads of the regiment throughout the ensu- 
ing engagement. The 88th Illinois Volunteers was posted to 
the right of the batteries, on the brow of the hill, being more or 
less exposed to the enemy's fire, and participated in the engage- 
ment from the beginning. 

While this disposition of the Federal forces was being made, 
Bragg advanced his right against McCook, and a furious engage- 
ment at once commenced. His artillery placed in favorable 
positions on commanding elevations near the creek, poured a 
pitiless storm of shot into the Federal ranks, which stood unpro- 
tected upon the open plain. This sudden outburst of Rebel 
wrath was the sure precursor of an infantry charge, and the few 
minutes that intervened before the appearance of the .hostile 
forces were spent in busy preparation for their reception. 
Scarcely had the echo of the first gun ceased to reverberate, 
when McCook's batteries commenced a heavy cannonade, sweep- 
ing the fields and broken plateau with a storm of iron that none 
but stout hearted and hard nerved men could stem. A little 
after noon the Divisions of Cheatham, Buckner and Anderson 
emerged from the valley of Chaplin's creek, but so furious the 
fire that greeted them that they were obliged to advance under 
cover of sheltering ravines, and deploying upon the plain, 
charged with great impetuosity upon Terrell's Brigade of raw 
troops, which by a misunderstanding of orders had been pushed 
to an exposed position in front, without adequate supports. They 
were the first to encounter the charging divisions, and for a little 
while bravely withstood the shock of battle. But volley after 
volley of musketry was launched with merciless fury into their 
devoted ranks. Thin grew their line. Men were shot down by 
scores. What could they do but bend beneath the shock. Gen. 



256 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Jackson, their Division Commander, in trying to rally them, was 
struck in the breast by a fragment of an exploded shell, and 
with the exclamation, " Oh, God !" fell from his horse a mangled 
corpse. Terrell also was struck down while . endeavoring to 
encourage the men, and the brigade began to melt away, its 
broken remains flying to the rear. The horses attached to Par- 
son's battery were all shot down, most of the gunners either 
wounded or slain. The survivors vainly attempted to drag their 
pieces back by hand to save them from capture, but every effort 
was baffled by the uninterrupted fire which decimated their num- 
bers, and they were forced to leave the guns in the possession of 
the yelling and now triumphant enemy. 

Starkweather's Brigade of war-worn experienced veterans, 
who had marched and fought under 0. M. Mitchell, in his 
meteor-like movements from the Ohio to Nashville and into Ala- 
bama, was the next to feel the weight of the attack. It was 
posted at the extreme left of Rousseau's Division, and in reserve 
behind Terrell. The safety of the trains and the whole division 
depended upon their steadfastness and ability to hold their posi- 
tion. On swept the enemy over the field they had just won, 
scattering the fragments of Terrell's recruits like snowflakes 
before the wind, crushing the dead and wounded beneath their 
horses' hoofs and cannon wheels, and with terrific yells rushing 
into the deadly embrace of Starkweather's veterans, who firmly 
stood and held their position. From their well dressed lines 
rang out the sharp crash of musketry, before which many in the 
front rank of their assailants went down. Fresh troops step up 
and close the gaps, and in solid masses once more advance to 
again be mowed down by a whirlwind of fire. The survivors 
paused not for an instant, but rushed forward to within a few 
yards of the Federal line, and then halting, delivered a close fire 



A TERRIBLE CONFLICT. 257 

that sent many a patriot reeling to the ground, baptizing the 
soil of Kentucky with their generous blood. Here and there a 
wounded hero dropped his musket from a nerveless grasp, and 
pale and bleeding limped back to the rear. The brigade wavered 
a little, but Me Cook was there watching the progress of the 
fight, cheering and encouraging the men. Pride and discipline 
at length asserted its sway over the troops, every man moved 
forward to his former position and inflexibly held the line. No 
reserves were near, and it was important the left must be pre- 
served at all hazards, lest the enemy breaking through should 
capture the trains and doubling on the rear create a panic and 
put the whole army to rout. For half an hour wave after wave 
of Southern valor dashed against Starkweather's Brigade, to be 
again and again hurled back, their ranks bleeding and discom- 
fitted, followed by wild, irregular cheers. Under such circum- 
stances it does men good to shout. It infuses a sort of inspira- 
tion, tones up their waning courage, and is equal in value and 
practical results to a reinforcement of fresh men. 

Each repulse of Cheatham's batallions was followed by a lull, 
a mere scattering fire of musketry; and there were moments 
when not a shot was exchanged. Then would be heard that 
Rebel yell, sending a thrill to the stoutest heart, and the storm 
would burst forth afresh, the enemy charging desperately towards 
our line, and hurling themselves upon this living barrier in vain. 
Gen. Me Cook becoming assured that the left was placed in charge 
of safe hands, proceeded to the right, where the roar of guns 
told him a conflict of equal magnitude was going on. 

Cheatham's charge upon the left, so disastrous to Terrell and 
taxing to its utmost the courage of Starkweather's veterans, was 
followed by Buckner and Anderson, who joined their divisions 
to Cheatham's left, and at once the battle raged along the whole 



258 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

of Rousseau's line. Three divisions were thus launched upon 
three brigades, a disparity in numbers too great to be success- 
fully withstood without the aid of parapets or natural advantages 
of position as a protection against the effect of sliot and shell. 
For a while Rousseau's gallant squadrons held their own, return- 
ing blow for blow, and giving as good as was sent. The wide 
openings which rent their ranks were closed again, and bravely 
they responded, hurling grape, cannister and musket balls upon 
the advancing foe, who outnumbered them three to one. A half 
hour's exposure to three-fourths of a mile of sheeted musketry, 
and the enfilading fire from a score of Rebel batteries, was suffi- 
cient to sweep every man from existence. Against numbers so 
overwhelming they could not stand, and accordingly fell back to 
the protecting summits of the ridge. The retreat was inevita- 
ble. It was not a disorderly rout, but with ranks unbroken they 
fell back in good order, occasionally halting and defiantly hurling 
rounds of grape into the face of the thronging enemy, and bring- 
ing their guns and colors safely from the field. 

McCook met Rousseau's shattered columns slowly giving 
ground, and ordered up all his reserves, including Webster's and 
Hall's Brigades of Jackson's Division, and sought to hold the 
enemy in check until reinforcements could be brought over from 
Gilbert's corps, which up to this time had been but slightly 
engaged. Hour after hour with varying fortunes the conflict 
raged. Lytle, who had the extreme right of the division, was 
struck down and carried bleeding to the rear. Webster, in his 
efforts to maintain his line, was killed. The carnage on both 
sides was frightful. Here, there and all around the mutilated 
remains of heroic men were scattered over the field, their life- 
blood crimsoning the earth. The 15th Kentucky Volunteers, 
assailed by a largely superior force in front and enfiladed on 



BRAVERY OF AN OHIO REGIMENT. 259 

either flank by a heavy fire of artillery, in five minutes was 
nearly annihilated, and few survivors were left to tell the story 
of their discomfiture. An Ohio regiment, while firmly holding 
an advanced position, found themselves surrounded, the enemy 
lapping around their flanks and nearly enclosing them within 
their fatal folds. But brave and fearless officers were at the head 
of equally brave and fearless men, and with the fury of tigers 
they dashed upon the enclosing circle, cutting a broad road 
through, and rejoining their comrades, who were maintaining a 
desperate resistance on another portion of the field. 

While the contest was thus fiercely raging on the left, the 
right wing had not remained idle and disinterested spectators of 
the rapid succession of events and turmoil of battle transpiring 
around them. The position of Sheridan's Division, and more 
particularly of the 37th Brigade, has already been alluded to. 
On the left the battle had been in progress an hour and a-half 
before demonstrations were made upon the right. The position 
occupied by Barrett's and Hiscock's batteries commanded an 
extensive view, and from it the panorama of war could be seen 
in all its awful grandeur. When Rousseau's line was broken, 
and the enemy's hosts were surging over the field, their advance 
line fringed with fire, every glass was directed thitherward, and 
when our lines went down before the irresistable charge, many a 
prayer went up to heaven, "God help our poor boys now!" 
The enemy was observed massing his forces behind the narrow 
belt of timber fringing a dry branch running into Chaplin's 
creek, and sick at heart we beheld the attacking line firmly 
advancing across the fields to complete the rout their death-deal- 
ing batteries had commenced. 

Turning to the commander of a battery Col. Greusel exclaimed, 
" Captain Hiscock, those fellows over yonder are using McCook's 



260 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

boys rather roughly. Can't you reach them with your shot ?" 
" I'll try, Colonel," was the laconic reply, and elevating his 
guns, shot after shot enfiladed their line: shells bursting in the 
midst of crowded ranks caused great rents which were promptly 
closed, and the solid lines with flaunting banners pressed for- 
ward to the charge, scarcely deigning to notice the shot dropping 
upon the heads of the advancing infantry. The gunners 
redoubled their efforts, and blazing shell were launched in the 
thronging Rebel masses. How eagerly we watched the effect of 
shot hurled seemingly in the center of their squares ; and when 
the dust was seen to fly, and men scattering in every direction, 
loud shouts broke from our ranks, and men grew hoarse with 
cheering. So deadly was Hiscock's fire, that the Rebel lines 
were seen to waver, pause, and then halt, appalled at the destruc- 
tion which from an unlocked for quarter was smiting them to 
the earth. Little squads started off to the rear, followed by 
whole batallions, seemingly excited and panic stricken. Officers 
were seen running hither and thither, waving their swords, ges- 
ticulating and undoubtedly threatening their men with due pun- 
ishment for this exhibition of cowardice. In a little time the 
panic seemed to subside ; their ranks were reformed ; their ban- 
ners carried well in front were seen fluttering in the wind. 
Again their batteries vomited sheets of flame, and their infantry 
rushed desperately forward in the face of a murderous fire from 
musketry in front and cannon in flank. 

Hiscock's guns were worked to their utmost capacity. Solid 
shot and shell were sent crashing into their ranks, rending them 
asunder, and finally sending their broken cohorts in terror to the 
rear, under cover of the hills and timber bordering the stream. 
Thrice they attempted to cross this artillery swept field, only to 
be hurled back again with diminished numbers. Thus the oppor- 



SAVING MC COOK'S CORPS. 261 

tunity for crushing Rousseau before reinforcements could arrive 
was lost. McCook's corps, though crippled, was saved, but at 
what a cost ! His command, which in the morning numbered 
thirteen thousand, was now reduced to seven or eight thousand 
men capable of fighting. The victory which for a while trem- 
bled in the balance and then inclined to the national side, was 
largely due to the fatal precision and coolly delivered fire of 
Hiscock's guns. It wa& subsequently ascertained from surgeons 
left in charge that the loss of the enemy from this battery alone 
amounted to four hundred and thirty killed and wounded. 

After the enemy had been driven from their position in front 
of Sheridan, and had fallen back to their reserves, the troops 
occupying the hills remained comparatively quiet and unmolested. 
Occasionally a solitary picket standing statue-like in sharp relief 
against the opposite horizon, or a single horseman would be seen 
on the summit, apparently reconnoitering the Federal position. 
The flight of a shell in that direction would terminate the recon- 
noissance and send him to cover behind the bluffs, where their 
reserves in great numbers appeared to be massed. The flutter 
of a flag or guidon just over the crest indicated where their 
forces lay, and at intervals a shot would be sent to the position 
supposed to be occupied by them, but elicited no reply. 

About one o'clock p. M., while the contest on the left was 
raging, an unusual bustle was observed on the opposite elevation 
by a batallion or two of Confederates, who made their appear- 
ance near a clump of timber. But little time was given for con- 
jecture as to the cause for this sudden spasm of activity in that 
single isolated spot, for a sudden puff of smoke rising from 
among the trees, followed by a muffled roar and the shriek of a 
projectile full well explained its meaning. Under cover of pro- 
tecting trees and foliage they had succeeded in planting a battery 



262 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

and began to throw shot among us too lively for enjoyment. 
Their guns were admirably handled, and their aim was quite as 
accurate as was deemed desirable. Sometimes a shot would come 
shrieking over our heads and fall among the batallions in the 
rear. Others would strike a few yards in front, and rebounding 
over those in the advance, drop very uncourteously and unan- 
nounced among groups of men standing at their ease, causing a 
sudden jumping, more sprightly than -graceful. No one was 
injured, or other effect produced than raising clouds of dust and 
badly scaring some who for the first time were under fire. 

It was said that one shot entered a soldier's knapsack and 
scattered its contents over the ground ; among other things a 
pack of cards, dealing them more expeditiously than by any of 
the methods laid down by Hoyle. Another severed the belt by 
which Pus Kendall's haversack was suspended, cutting it as 
smoothly as though done with a knife. The haversack and its 
contents dropped to the ground, and Kendall, who, in addition 
to other peculiarities was something of a wag, started in haste 
to the rear. Col. Greusel ordered him to halt, and demanded 
the reason for such cowardly conduct. Pus, holding up the 
mutilated remains of his belt, exclaimed, " Colonel, they've cut 
off my supplies, and how in h 1 do you expect a man can fight 
when his supplies are gone ?" Kendall's excuse for falling back 
was more ludicrous than efficacious, and he was sent to the com- 
mand, taking his place in the ranks and fighting bravely during 
the remainder of the action. 

This rapid and annoying fire was supposed to be introductory 
to an assault by the enemy in force, and all were on the alert 
and in a state of expectancy. Hiscock's guns were diverted 
from the left for the purpose of rebuking the insolence of this 
battery in front. The gunners, after sighting their pieces, flung 



DESTRUCTION OF A REBEL BATTERY. 263 

back an answering shower of balls, and at about the third round 
had got the range so accurate that a shell was exploded in the 
midst of the battery. A gun was dismounted, its carriage 
knocked into splinters, and men were blown into the air. The 
remaining fragments were taken to the rear, followed by a part- 
ing benediction from Hiscock's "Rodmans." In less than five 
minutes from our first shot that battery was knocked to pieces 
and completely silenced, their gunners and supports scattering 
like sheep and flying for cover behind the sheltering bluffs, while 
cheer upon cheer followed them in their retreat. 

After the affair with the battery had terminated, the 36th 
regiment rested quietly upon its arms. Only the artillery kept 
up a noisy promiscuous fire upon such squadrons as could be 
seen, dealing out blows here and there wherever there was a 
Rebel head to hit. The troops lay down, some even went to 
sleep, notwithstanding the thunder of cannon resounded in their 
ears. Half an hour, perhaps, passed, when the timber three- 
fourths of a mile to the right front of our position was observed 
to be densely crowded with Confederate troops. On the right, 
and extending across our front, batteries were seen lining the 
ridges with bodies of supporting troops behind them, and while 
the infantry was forming in the timber, their batteries deluged 
our exposed position on the slopes of the hills with shot and 
shell. Our cannon were not silent, and answering missiles were 
belched from the black throats of Barrett's and Hiscock's guns, 
the hurly-burly of artillery drowning the din of battle on other 
portions of the field. Above the roar of artillery the Rebel yell 
was heard, and their dense columns were observed pouring out 
of the timber, moving obliquely down the hill and across the 
fields in the direction of the 36th. Then came the order, " Fall 
in men," and instantly each soldier sprang to his feet, took his 



264 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

musket and assumed his position in the line. Officers worn out 
with watching and fatigue, aroused themselves and were soon in 
their proper places. Tired limbs lost their stiffness, and the 
certainty of a hand to hand encounter with Hardee's pet soldiers 
infused a new and wonderful inspiration. Confident of victory, 
all were overflowing with enthusiasm, and stood quietly yet firmly 
in the position assigned them. 

On came the Confederate column across the intervening fields 
and up the ascent on which our line of battle was formed, 
directly into the fatal embrace of the 36th, who, fresh and 
expectant, were awaiting their coming and eager for the fray. 
They advanced most gallantly, marching in splendid order, not 
a man wavering or falling out of line. Six battle flags proudly 
waving indicated the number of regiments composing the attack- 
ing column, numbering at least three thousand men, the flower 
of Hardee's corps, under the direction of General Cleburne, who, 
it was understood, commanded in person. On the brow of the 
the hill beyond were twice that number of men with several 
batteries to support the attack, which played with considerable 
effect upon our exposed line. Our batteries responded, filling 
the air with missiles and opening upon the Rebel column with 
solid shot and shell, which marked their course with long lanes 
of fallen men, and tearing great rents in their lines which were 
instantly closed up, the column sweeping steadily onward. 
Their line of march could be traced by the dead and wounded 
thickly scattered along the way, laying where they had fallen 
and weltering in their blood. Coming within musket range they 
deployed in line and swept across the cornfield towards the 36th, 
yelling like fiends broke loose from pandemonium. Never did 
troops display more courage and determination than Hardee's 
veterans in this assault. For three-fourths of a mile they faced 



THE 36TB UNDER A TERRIBLE FIRE. 265 

the deadly fire of artillery without faltering, and forming their 
line under fire, prepared to sweep the 36th out of existence and 
capture the batteries in their rear. 

Not an officer or man of the 36th quailed, and when the gal- 
lant Miller, who was in command, gave the order to fire, with 
the coolness of experienced marksmen they assailed the Rebel 
lines with such an incessant storm of lead that for a moment 
they faltered. Their officers dashed furiously along the line, 
alternately cheering, threatening and encouraging the troops 
when their line was again reformed, and pushed forward under a 
fire so terrible that the cornfield was literally sprinkled with their 
fallen. At last they reached the fence but a few yards below 
the position of the 36th, which furnished a slight protection 
against the fire of musketry. The opposing forces were now 
within easy range. The rattle of musketry mingling with the 
roar of artillery, the shouts of soldiers, the scream of shells, the 
crash of small arms, the hissing sound of grape and canister, 
the cries of the wounded and the yell of combatants, filled the 
air with a medley of sounds better imagined than described. 
Each soldier loaded and fired at will as rapidly as possible, the 
sound of each discharge mingling with others, and the whole 
merging in one grand volume, added to which the sulphurous 
voices of heavy ordnance combined to swell the terrific chorus, 
which reverberating among the hills caused them to tremble as if 
shaken by the wrath of God. 

Twenty, thirty and forty rounds per man were fired, and still 
the enemy clung to the fence with the greatest tenacity, selecting 
their living targets, taking deliberate aim, and firing with fatal 
effect upon our exposed line, wafting many a heroic soul on the 
red wings of battle back to the God that gave them, while 
wounded soldiers limped painfully to the rear; others, supported 

18 



266 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

upon the arms of comrades, were conveyed to the hospitals, where 
Surgeons Young and Pierce were kept busy in the performance 
of their humane but unwelcome duty of caring for the maimed. 

The battle-field by this time was enveloped in a smoky veil, 
beneath which brothers and comrades, loyal and true, were fight- 
ing for the cause of country and right, grappling with a desper- 
ate and numerically superior foe. Fifty rounds were fired, and 
the muskets becoming heated and foul it was with the utmost 
difficulty the cartridges were forced down the gun-barrels. Offi- 
cers passed along the line and assisted in ramming the cartridges 
home. But ammunition was getting scarce, many of the cart- 
ridge boxes were empty, and Adjutant Biddulph was sent flying 
over the hills to obtain a fresh supply. The ordnance train hav- 
ing been moved was not readily found, and when discovered, the 
teamster had not the nerve to proceed with his wagon into 
the volcano of fire raging in front, until the flourish of a sword 
and click of a revolver infused some little courage into the mule- 
whacker, and he drove where the Adjutant directed. Meanwhile 
the last cartridge was fired, and with fixed bayonets the regiment 
prepared to rush down upon that vortex of flame and trust to 
cold steel to clear the fence, for without ammunition nothing but 
a desperate bayonet charge could save them. Then came the 
order to fall back, which was executed without undue haste, the 
troops preserving their alignement, ever and anon turning to 
the fence which this day had been their worst enemy. 

The 88th Illinois and the 24th Wisconsin regiments relieved 
the 36th, and as the latter retired, the former moved down 
the hill to the position just vacated. During the progress of 
the conflict which the 36th for three-quarters of an hour suc- 
cessfully maintained, the 88th was posted on higher ground a 
hundred yards to the right and rear, covering its three right 



A CRITICAL MOMENT. 267 

companies and putting in an occasional shot as opportunity 
offered. In retiring, it was necessary to pass through the 88th 
as well as the batteries situated on the hills. The 88th was a 
new regiment and under fire for the first time. The retrograde 
movement of the 36th through their lines was construed by some 
into a retreat, and created a ripple of excitement nearly approach- 
ing a panic. A half dozen or more files broke for the rear ; 
a low murmur of disappointment which every instant grew louder, 
ran along the lines of perhaps two or three companies, and the 
men wavered as if on the point of flying. Another minute, and 
undoubtedly the whole regiment would have been upon the wing, 
for there is nothing on a field of battle so contagious as a panic. 
Observing this, Col. Sherman and the regimental field oflBcers 
were instantly at the spot exerting their influence as well as 
authority. The regiment was retired a few yards over the crest 
of the hill, and by threats and example the officers succeeded in 
restoring order. The ranks were reformed, the men were them- 
selves again, and advanced without flinching to the position 
assigned them. During the remainder of the day, no signs of 
disorder was manifested, but they fought like tigers until the 
battle ended. 

Adjutant Biddulph met the regiment with a supply of ammu- 
nition, and empty cartridge boxes were replenished, after which 
a new line was formed in a cornfield to the left of the batteries 
and east of the Perry ville road, where, sheltered behind the crest 
of the hill, they were not again molested except by stray shot 
which occasionally ricocheted over the hill in the direction where 
the regiment was laying on its arms. 

The conflict still raged in front, though not with that persist- 
ent obstinacy which characterized the earlier efforts of the enemy 
to storm the heights. The 88th, after order had been restored, 



268 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

moved into the position vacated by the 36th, in the face of a 
galling fire, and in descending the hill some of its best and 
bravest men were either killed or wounded. Gallantly the Con- 
federates fought to 'maintain their position, tying a [flagstaff to 
the fence and flaunting their colors defiantly in our faces with the 
determination to stand by them to the last. By this time their 
ammunition began to fail. Their ranks were fearfully thinned 
by the cannonade from twelve well served guns, kept up for an 
hour and a-half without a moment's intermission, which, together 
with the deadly musketry fire poured upon them by the 88th, 
caused portions of their line to give way. By the exertion of 
their officers they rallied, but were again repulsed, while volley 
after volley and cheer after cheer hastened their retreat. A few 
regiments to the left of their line remained firm, but their fire 
almost ceased and the engagement assumed more the character 
of a massacre than a sharply contested battle where blows were 
given as well as received. At length the remnant of that once 
defiant brigade, that marched with streaming banners, proud and 
confident, across that valley of death, with shattered ranks fled 
precipitately from the field. With their retreat, the fighting in 
front of Sheridan ended for the day. 

A demonstration was however made upon our left, and for a 
time it looked as if the sanguinary scenes we had just passed 
through would be enacted over again. The 21st Michigan and 
36th Illinois were ordered into line in rear of and supporting Bar- 
rett's battery, which opened with telling effect upon the advanc- 
ing batallions, checking, and finally driving them gradually to 
the cover they had left. 

Behind the fence and in the edge of the cornfield, where the 
enemy had so long and gallantly contended, their dead and 
wounded lay in swaths. All through the field bodies attired 



COMPANY B CAVALRY, LEADING THE ADVANCE. 269 

in Confederate gray were scattered among the long aisles of corn. 
No matter in what direction one walked, the shocking picture 
of death in its most revolting form was presented, touching 
the heart, awakening pity, filling the soul with horror and the 
eyes with tears. 

The Division of R. B. Mitchell, on Gilbert's extreme right 
shared in the tragedies as well as the glories of the day. The 38th 
Brigade, under Col. Carlin, formed the left of the division, and 
save a few random shots from the batteries shelling the woods and 
ravines in front, for the purpose of ascertaining the position of 
any enemy that might be stationed behind them, nothing of 
moment occurred until 2 o'clock P. M. The attack upon Sheri- 
dan had commenced when the brigade arrived on the ground and 
formed on his right for the purpose of repelling any attempt to 
turn his flank. Company B, of the 36th Cavalry, under the 
gallant Capt. Sherer, led the advance. The Captain, with a 
detachment of six men, was directed to proceed to an elevation a 
half mile in front to reconnoitre, and report as to the practica- 
bility of occupying the position and planting a battery there. 
While executing this fc order, his party was fired upon from the 
timber where large bodies of the enemy were massed to support 
the attack then being made upon Greusel's Brigade. None of 
the men were hit, and returning, the Captain reported the pres- 
ence and position of the enemy, when the brigade was formed 
and advanced in line of battle. Almost immediately it was 
enfiladed by a Rebel battery stationed on a commanding elevation 
three-fourths of a mile away. Rebel thunderbolts filled the air 
and went screaming over the heads of the troops, or bursting in 
close proximity plowed up the ground, scattering dust and gravel 
quite freely in the faces of the men. Soon becoming accustomed 
to artillery at long range, the men were quite indifferent as to its 



270 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

effects, considering the probability of being hit was about 
equal to that of being struck by lightning. Our artillery 
responded to this fire, the gunners doing their work coolly, sys- 
tematically, and, as it was believed, with effect. 

A Rebel brigade finally emerged from the timber and formed 
in line apparently with the intention of attacking Carlin, who 
thereupon advanced his skirmishers, conspicuous among which 
was Capt. Sherer's company, who attacked the enemy with great 
spirit, and poured a galling fire upon them. The reserves came 
up to the support of the skirmishers, when the Rebels retired 
under cover. 

Meanwhile Sheridan was being vigorously pressed in front, and 
had all he could do to maintain his position and beat back the 
Rebel waves, which, like an ocean current, were surging against 
him. His right was threatened, and if attacked in flank he was 
apprehensive of the result, and desired assistance from Mitchell. 
Col. Carlin was ordered to advance rapidly in Sheridan's 
support. Pushing through a skirt of timber, across open fields 
and ascending a range of hills in his front, he discovered a strong 
force of the enemy marching upon Sheridan's right. This posi- 
tion overlooked much of the field where batteries, brigades and 
divisions were fiercely contending for the mastery. A thin, drift- 
ing veil of smoke rested over the valleys and enveloped the hills 
and timber belts, and through this misty sheen it was difficult to 
comprehend the main features of the contest. The country was 
broken into a series of undulatory elevations, each surmounted 
with cannon, whose continuous booming was pealing in deaf- 
ening cadences upon the ear like the roar of ocean surges. The 
hill sides were fringed with the fire and smoke of musketry, its 
sharper tones joining in the grand chorus. In front of Sheridan 
the crash of guns was never silent, and as the awful din of battle 



SCATTERING THE REBELS. 271 

rolled up to the position occupied by Carlin, he felt that brothers 
were there who, perhaps, needed his help to throttle the cohorts 
of treason. He instantly ordered his troops forward on the double 
quick, and charged their advancing column with such impetuosity 
as to break it in two, throwing it into confusion and scattering the 
Rebels to the four winds. Vain were the efforts to rally their 
discomfitted troops, the gallant Carlin following so closely upon 
the heels of the retreating foe as to frustrate every attempt at 
forming a line of sufficient strength to offer serious opposition. 
The pursuit was vigorously kept up to within a short distance of 
Perry ville, to which the enemy retreated and formed under cover 
of a range of bluffs just to the right of town, and protected by 
batteries crowning their crests. . A sharp artillery engagement 
ensued at short range, accompanied by a lively fusilade of mus- 
ketry between the skirmishers, and terribly earnest were the 
demonstrations of mutual hostility interchanged between the 
respective forces. 

Before the heavy cannonade which swept the intervening space 
between the contending armies, searching out every nook and 
corner of the field, the men were ordered to lie down. The con- 
tinued whizzing of solid shot and bursting of shell was not calcu- 
lated to assure one of entire immunity from danger, or cause a 
relish for these messengers of war. The position of Company B, 
36th Cavalry, at the left and rear of the battery, was one of pecu- 
liar danger. Shell burst in the midst of the troops, as they lay 
hugging Mother Earth in a close embrace, filling their eyes with 
dust and scattering gravel stones like drops of rain. One passed 
in close proximity to Captain Sherer's head, stunning him for a 
moment and convincing him that the exposed position which the 
company occupied was not particularly desirable. By Gen. 
Carlin' s order, they retired a few yards, in rear of an elevation, 



272 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS . VOLUNTEERS. 

behind which they were comparatively safe, and where the sound 
of projectiles winging their way through the air and over their 
heads was listened to with more satisfaction. 

Many in the brigade were struck down and mangled by burst- 
ing missiles. The sight of their manly looking forms, stretched 
lifeless on the grass, shocked as well as deeply impressed the 
whole command. With the approach of twilight came a lull, and 
when darkness finally veiled the scene, by tacit consent the fire 
of artillery ceased altogether. 

Capt. Sherer was ordered to the vicinity of the enemy's picket 
line, and advanced his company to within a few hundred yards 
of the town, where every movement in the neighboring camps 
could be distinctly heard. His exposed situation, so far in advance 
of any other portion of the army, was one of danger, and at 9 
o'clock P. M., by order of Gen, Mitchell, his command was with- 
drawn a half mile, within easy supporting distance of the brigade. 

The prompt movements of Gen. Carlin, and vigorous pursuit 
of the enemy, after having broken their column, diverted an 
attack and prevented reinforcements from joining those with 
whom he was already engaged, assisting materially in the repulse 
of the forces that so fiercely and persistently assaulted him. In 
the rapid advance upon Perryville, the enemy's ordnance-train 
was overtaken and captured, with its guard of one hundred and 
thirty -eight men and three officers. Capt. Sherer 's company 
shared in the honors of the achievement. 

To Gen. McCook's appeal for aid, Gen. Mitchell responded by 
sending Col. Gooding's brigade to the left. His command 
consisted of three regiments of infantry and a battery, numbering 
in all fifteen hundred men that were brought into action. Mc- 
Cook's right had been gradually pressed back, first to Russel's 
house, and then to a position three-fourths of a mile in rear of 



THE LINE RESTORED. 273 

the first, and nearly at right angles with it. Gooding's brigade 
was unused to service, but coming fresh upon the field, advanced 
bravely to the encounter. The fragments of Rousseau's and Jack- 
son's depleted and somewhat despondent divisions rallied to 
Gooding's support, and, notwithstanding the preponderance of 
numbers against him he attacked vigorously ; his officers,with revol- 
vers in hand, taking the lead, fearlessly exposing their persons, and 
animating the men with their dauntless courage. At once the 
engagement became general and severe. The little brigade of 
fifteen hundred men never faltered, but courageously beat back 
every attempt to overwhelm it by the rebel force of ten or twelve 
thousand, concentrated in its front. Men fell thick and fast, but 
unabated raged the storm. The sun sank behind the western 
horizon and it was nearly dark when Gooding succeeded in wrest- 
ing the position at Russell's house from the enemy and restoring 
the line. This had been accomplished at an immense sacrifice of 
life. Many of his best men had fallen, and at the close of the 
brief but sanguinary encounter, five hundred heroes out of fifteen 
hundred lay stretched upon the field, either killed or wounded. 
Col. Gooding was taken prisoner, but the left wing had been 
saved. 

Just at dark, a brigade from Gilbert's division came up, and 
thus strengthened, McCook no longer doubted his ability to hold 
the position. The troops bivouacked upon the field, in the midst 
of dead and wounded comrades, whose cries of anguish ascended 
from every part of the blood-stained battle-ground. The casual- 
ties of the day in Rousseau's and Jackson's divisions numbered 
nearly five thousand. The confederate commander, by concen- 
trating two-thirds of his strength and bringing it to bear upon 
Rousseau and Jackson in detail, had overwhelmed and nearly 
swept them from the field. Gen. Buell was miles away, and not 



274 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEEES. 

aware until nearly night that an engagement was in progress. 
Had Crittenden's corps and the reserves been brought up early 
in the day, or had the troops already there been judiciously 
arranged, and a vigorous and united effort made, Bragg' s army 
would never have left the field, except as prisoners of war. 

The 36th (Greusel's) Brigade was under fire most of the day, 
generally from artillery at long range ; but for two hours in the 
afternoon at close quarters. Every charge of the enemy was 
handsomely repulsed. Again and again did they advance impet- 
uously to the assault, only to be hurled back, completely broken 
and discom fitted, being finally driven in a disorderly rout, leaving 
three hundred and eighty of their dead laying within a quarter of 
a mile of our position. 

As an advance in the darkness to unknown localities would 
have been the height of folly, the regiments, nearly exhausted 
from the hard fighting, bivouacked upon their arms. Despite the 
excitements of the day despite the dead, sleeping their last long 
sleep, some laying within a few feet of living sleepers exhausted 
nature exerted its sway, and the solemn reflections born of the 
hour could not keep them long awake. Except the faithful sen- 
tinels, keeping watch over their companions, all were soon soundly 
sleeping. The chirping of crickets, or some new and unwonted 
sound, would cause those on guard to hold their breath and 
listen intently for movements indicative of a night attack. Occa- 
sionally their nerves were put in a quiver of horror as they 
stumbled in the darkness over the cold body of some dead brave. 

On the 9th, Col. Greusel's brigade moved to Good-Night 
spring, a half mile northeast of Perry ville, and camped, the enemy 
having withdrawn in the direction of Harrodsburg. The engage- 
ment was not renewed, except desultory skirmishing between 
Carlin's advance and the rebel rear guard. The 38th Brigade 



RETREAT OF THE CONFEDERATES. 275 

had penetrated to the rebel position, was the furthest in advance, 
and not disposed to relinquish any of the advantages gained on 
the previous day. After a brief repose, at three o'clock in the 
morning, Co. B. Cavalry was sent to reconnoitre, and proceeded 
a half mile in the darkness, to the suburbs of Perry ville, finding 
a battery in position, which commanded the approaches and 
supported by a force of infantry. At daylight, the enemy's 
infantry was relieved by cavalry, and left at once for Harrods- 
burg. The cavalry formed in line, to hold Carlin's Brigade in 
check and enable the rebel army to make good its retreat. Gen. 
Carlin was prepared for demonstrations on their part, and, 
after maneuvering awhile, they withdrew, followed by our cavalry 
and a section of light artillery, who pressed them closely ; the 
latter opening upon their rear and driving them out of town. 

Reaching the creek, they held it until the brigade was supplied 
with water, when the artillery pushed on, sending a few shell into 
the rebel rear, which put them to flight, followed by Company B, 
who pressed the pursuit until three P. M., when a spirited skir- 
mish ensued, resulting in the capture of eleven prisoners, a quan- 
.tity of ammunition, three cannon and three thousand stand of 
arms abandoned by the enemy, and taken possession of by Capt. 
Sherer's command. The road for miles was strewn with cloth- 
ing, muskets and military trappings of every description. Every 
farm house and barn along the route was tenanted with wounded 
rebels, left without medical care to the tender mercies of their 
compassionate enemies ; some of them with hardly life enough 
remaining to realize the horrors of their situation ; others mangled 
and bleeding, presented sad sights and sounds, never to be for- 
gotten. 



CHAPTER XX. 




AFTER THE BATTLE. 

HROUGHOUT the night succeeding the day 
of battle and excitement, the rest of the troops 
in Carlin's Brigade was more nominal than 
real. Their position close upon the enemy's 
lines, with shotted guns looking frowningly 
down upon them, was particularly hazardous, 
and demanded extraordinary caution and watchfulness on the 
part of the command. The rest of Rousseau's and Jackson's 
troops were interrupted by the moans of the wounded and 
dying as well as by flying rumors of a night attack. Many were 
without blankets, and bivouacked in the open fields with insuffi- 
cient protection against the chilly night air ; added to this, the 
gnawing of hunger and thirst was not conducive to soundness of 
repose. The little snatches of oblivion served more to pass away 
the hours of darkness than to repair exhausted energies and 
restore vigor and animation. 

With the first streaks of dawn, all were up and peering through 
the morning mists to discover signs of the enemy. But they 
were gone. The fields were untenanted except by Federal and 



THE FIELD AFTEJR THE BATTLE. 277 

Rebel dead. Little parties were soon exploring the. cornfields, 
hollows and skirting timber in search of missing comrades. In 
places where the conflict had raged the fiercest, where the ground 
had been repeatedly fought over and alternately in possession of 
both armies, the dead of each, indicated by the Rebel gray and 
Federal blue, lay commingled, often side by side ; some with an 
expression of calmness as if asleep, the last reflection, perhaps, 
that flitted through their minds being of home, mother, friends 
and God. Upon the faces of others still lingered a courageous, 
determined look as if when suddenly overtaken with death 
every nerve was strung to its utmost tension, every impulse of 
the mind warmed up to fever heat. How many of that silent 
company, whose staring eyes were looking fixedly toward heaven, 
were men of warm hearts and generous impulses, who, when 
living, were loved, and whose death now caused doting hearts to 
bleed. The official report of losses sustained by the Federal 
army was 5,525, killed, wounded and missing, while that of the 
Confederates amounted to 7,720. But few prisoners were taken 
by either army, and the large list of more than twelve thousand 
casualties indicated the severity of the conflict. 

The picket lines were extended to embrace the battle-ground 
and protect burial parties that were detailed from each regiment 
to search the field and collect the fallen, friend as well as foe. 
The bodies were generally ranged side by side in a trench dug 
for the purpose, just as they were, with their uniforms crimsoned 
with blood, wrapped in army blankets for winding sheets, and 
laid away to rest. In the outskirts of the field where a few had 
crawled away to die, they were buried singly, and lonely mounds 
with rudely marked headboards indicated the last resting place of 
their earthly remains. Over the graves the beautiful burial ser- 
vice was read or a prayer feelingly offered, a file of soldiers fired 
a farewell volley, and all was over. 



278 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

This field, like all others, was strewn with muskets and the 
usual debris of battle, and many a trophy was collected, carried 
for days or weeks, then, perhaps, thrown away. The men were 
now permitted to light their camp-fires, make coffee, and satisfy 
the cravings of hunger and thirst, eating their hardtack and 
other articles of army fare which were at hand with a gusto 
rarely surpassed. 

Our " battle picture ' would not be complete if painted entirely 
in the sombre hues of death, unrelieved by the brighter colorings 
of humor in which this, like similar contests, more or less 
abounded. The battle of Perry ville was not wholly devoid of 
personal incidents, examples of individual heroism, of coolness 
and endurance while under fire. 

Many times have we heard described the ludicrous appearance 
of Lieut. Clark, of Company E, as he retired from the field, in 
good order however, his wounded arm tied up with a handker- 
chief saturated with blood, which was dripping to the ground. 
He was forever joking with his men, and the only way they 
could get even with him was to taunt him with his good fortune 
in being on furlough during the battle of Pea Ridge, engaged in 
singing lullabys to his babies at home. But in this engagement 
none were more plucky and fearless than he, and after being 
shot, pointing to his wound he triumphantly exclaimed, " See 
"there, boys; don't one of you chaps ever peep to me again about 
"staying at home and rocking babies to sleep until you get as 
" beautiful a hole as that bored into you. I'm more proud of that 
"bullet hole in my arm than I would be to have it decorated 
"with Major General Buell's stars." 

William Galloway, a private in Company G, just before going 
into action was heard to complain of hunger. A comrade stand- 
ing near, responded, "Never mind about your hardtack, old boy, 



BRAVERY OF CORP. MOSSMAN. 279 

"you'll soon get a ration of lead, a little more indigestible, per- 
"haps, but quite as satisfying to the appetite as bread and meat." 
In the heat of the engagement, while loading his musket and on 
a half turn, Galloway was struck by a charge of buck-shot which 
entered his mouth, lacerated his tongue and knocked ten teeth 
from his lower jaw. His comrade, on beholding the frightful 
wound, by way of sympathy exclaimed, " There, Bill, I told you 
"you'd get all the grub you wanted are you satisfied now?" 
The wound was a serious one, and enabled Galloway eventually 
to get his discharge. 

An incident connected with Corporal William H. Mossman, of 
Company F, illustrates the coolness of some men in the exciting 
hour of battle, and an unwillingness to shirk from danger and 
duty unless compelled to do so by being disabled from the further 
use of sword and gun. Corporal Mossman was struck by a spent 
ball in the face and slightly wounded. The blood flowed freely, 
and he at first imagined the injury to be serious enough to need 
looking after, and started to the rear in search of a surgeon. 
Finding himself but little inconvenienced and his strength unim- 
paired, he staunched the blood as well as he could, and voluntarily 
returned to his post of danger, taking his place in the ranks and 
fighting bravely to the end. 

While the regiments were in position at the foot of the bluffs, 
on which Barrett's guns were planted, and just before the rebel 
assault, the men were ordered to lay down, thus presenting less 
conspicuous objects for the enemy's shot, which were then howl- 
ing savagely around their heads. Lieut. Shaw, of Company I, 
had just received his commission as 2nd Lieutenant, and being a 
somewhat peculiar genius, a few words relative to him may not 
be out of place. He was tall about six feet, two inches in hight 
as slim as a ramrod, with a light, straggling mustache, which 



280 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

at unfrequent intervals ornamented his firm, thin lips. He was 
light and agile as a cat, of a nervous, excitable temperament, 
which on this occasion was strung to its highest tension. When 
ordered to lay down, the Lieutenant stretched his gaunt propor- 
tions out upon the grass, face downwards, and, like the others, 
hugged the ground closely. The near explosion of a shell, or the 
dull thud of solid shot striking near, was sure to bring up his head, 
only to be ordered down again by the officers in charge of the 
entertainment. Shaw, though a good soldier, was deaf to such 
commands, and the crash of shot in the near vicinity would set 
him upon fingers and toes, like a long-legged spider, his head 
thrown back like a gun-lock at half-cock. 

At length the attacking columns were seen advancing upon 
our position. Every soldier was reminded of his duty, and that 
the country expected a good account of them. The sight of the 
"Johnnies " set the Lieutenant fairly crazy with excitement, and 
to add to his confusion, Capt. Barnett's double-shotted Napoleons 
thundered immediately in the rear and over the heads of the 
command, and were promptly answered by confederate guns. 
The thickly dropping missiles turned the attention of the men to 
the danger that menaced them, and but little thought was bestowed 
on each other. A long-fused shell came tearing through the tree- 
tops, and, striking a large hemlock, was turned downward, shriek - 
and fizzing to the ground, dropping between the outstretched legs 
of Lieut. Shaw. In exploding, it not only excavated a quantity 
of soil, but carried away a portion of one of the Lieutenant's 
he sis. Oh ! the gyrations, the antics and acrobatic feats, which 
foi a few moments diverted the attention of the men from the 
charging enemy. In a trice, Shaw was up and on his feet, then 
pitched forward, like a frog taking a frantic dive in a mud-puddle. 
Alighting on the ground, he was up again, and with an unearthly 



CAPT. SILAS MILLER'S ACCOUNT OF THE BATTLE. 281 

moan, went dancing on one foot, like a will-o'-the-wisp, to the 
rear. Thus he hopped away from his company, and his comrades 
saw him no more. He was taken to Louisville, and, being per- 
manently disabled, soon after resigned much to the regret of 
his company, who had become familiar with his peculiarities and 
loved him for his goodness of heart, his soldierly bearing and his 
tireless devotion to the welfare and comfort of his men. 

Capt. Silas Miller, who commanded the 36th Regiment during 
the battle of Perry ville, was subsequently captured at Stone 
river, and detained a prisoner of war many months. After his 
release, and while on his way to join his command, his friends 
and fellow-citizens at Aurora requested him at a public meeting 
to detail some of his experiences in connection with the army of 
the United States. The hall was crowded, and his speech was 
listened to with the closest attention. We have taken the liberty 
of transcribing some of his remarks relative to the battle of Per- 
ry ville, believing that his words will be treasured by the survivors 
who revere the memory of a brave man and gallant commander. 

"On the 7th of October we neared Perry ville. That night we 
were called on for pickets as we had been four nights before. 
The first thing to be done was to deploy in search of water, 
which we found some of our boys in quiet possession of. The 
next morning our army was attacked, the first gun being fired by 
the pickets of the 36th Regiment. From early in the morning 
heavy skirmishing continued, the 2nd Missouri Regiment driving 
the Rebels before them. That night the corps of Gen. Gilbert 
came up. Later in the day Gen. McCook's corps was attacked 
very sharply. We fell back, and had hardly executed a change 
in front, when, hearing a yell, we saw the banners of the Rebels 
advancing over the fields. We could see their bright bayonets 
glitter in just as beautiful a line of battle as was ever formed. 
We lay perfectly still and did not display ourselves till they came 
within range of canister. We then received the order to fire, 

19 



282 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

and from a thousand pieces leaped forth the death-dealing bullets 
which finally caused the Rebels to reel and fall back in utter con- 
fusion. Oh ! you do not know the sweet little gulp of satisfac- 
tion that comes up in the throat to see them bite the dust. You 
don't know the ecstasy it gives a man to see them mowed down 
in swaths and see their banners fall to the ground. You don't 
know and you cannot conceive the delight and indescribable joy 
it gives one to see a Rebel fall and welter in his own death gore. 
I know it is wicked to think and say so, and it is damnable to 
act so. We call it glory ! Is it not glory to destroy a public 
pest and put out of existence those who have caused so much 
misery and bloodshed ? I think it is. I never felt more confi- 
dent and joyful than when I saw them coming upon us : Was 
glad they were to be so badly punished glad they were coming 
up to try us. But mark ! we left nine men dead, and seventy- 
five just as good boys as ever breathed the air of heaven, on that 
day sealed their patriotism with their blood. 

We also insert the report of Captain Miller, which is brief a but 
concise statement of the prominent part taken by the 36th 111., 
in the action near Perryville. 

HEADQUARTERS 36TH ILL. INF., } 

GOOD NIGHT SPRINGS, NEAR PERRYVILLE, KY., V 

OCTOBER 10, 1862. j 

COL. N. GREUSEL, Commanding 37th Brigade, llth Division, 
Army of the Ohio : 

This regiment was detailed for picket duty on arriving at camp, 
between Fredericksburg and Perryville, on the night of the 7th 
inst. Three companies were deployed as skirmishers to the right 
of the road leading to Perryville, and the remainder advanced on 
the road, taking a position to the right thereof. Towards morn- 
ing a skirmish occurred with the outposts to our left, but the 35th 
Brigade being advanced, the enemy retired. Battery I, 2nd Illi- 
nois Artillery, advanced to the hill beyond, and this regiment, 
by your order, took position in the timber to the right rear of the 
battery, where it remained until about eleven o'clock, A. M. The 
enemy having again retired, it was advanced across the open 



PART TAKEN BY THE 36TH. 283 

field, through the timber in front, to a position in support of Bat- 
tery G, 1st Missouri Artillery. It remained in position there 
until withdrawn by your order to a position behind a cornfield, 
to the right of the Perry ville road one section of artillery being 
posted on its left and two sections upon the hill directly in rear 
of the center. 

The enemy's infantry in strong force advanced upon this posi- 
tion, and this regiment was here first engaged. The fire was 
opened " by file" in each platoon, and continued until our ammu- 
nition (fifty rounds per man) was exhausted. Finding the ammuni- 
tion running low, Adjutant Biddulph was sent for more; but it 
becoming entirely consumed before his return and the enemy's 
fire much slackened, the regiment was ordered to "fix bayonets ;" 
but being advised by you that the enemy's cavalry menaced us 
towards the left, the regiment was ordered u by the right of com- 
panies to the rear," leaving space for another regiment (the 24th 
Wisconsin), supplied with ammunition. Some confusion was 
occasioned in retiring, on account of the 88th Illinois covering the 
three right companies, but after passing through the battery, a 
new line was promptly formed to the left of the battery, on the 
left of the road, in the cornfield, where our ammunition was 
immediately replenished. The enemy's attack upon our first 
position had, in the meantime, been repulsed and they put to 
flight by a charge from our infantry. The enemy appearing in 
front of our new position, the 21st Michigan was ordered by you 
to join us, and then both regiments were retired by your direc- 
tion to the brow of the hill, to support Barnett's battery in a 
new position, which battery had opened fire upon the flank of 
the enemy pressing on our forces to the left. The regiment lay 
upon its arms on the hill during the night. On the morning of 
the 9th, taking a position in rear of the 88th Illinois Infantry, 
they were ordered to advance to this camp, arriving here at five 
P. M. 

All officers acquitted themselves honorably and bravely, so 
that all are entitled to consideration, as brave and efficient offi- 
cers. I desire on my own part to thank Capt. Porter C. Olson 



284 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

for his daring and efficiency in aiding to command the regiment 
during the action, and acting Adjutant Biddulph, communicating 
with you and others during the heat of the contest. Appended 
will be found a list of the casualties during the action, as follows : 
Killed, 9 ; wounded, 64, including seven officers. 
I have the honor to be, respectfully, 

SILAS MILLER, 
Captain 36th 111. Inf. Vol., Commanding Regiment. 

KILLED. 

Company A, Patrick Gibbons, private. 
Company B, Henry Reitz, private. 
Company D, Charles Seymour, private. 
Company F, William C. Jackson, private. 
Company F, W. 8. Nelson, Corporal. 
Company K, William B. Giles, Corporal. 
Company K, Harrison Skinner, private. 
Company K, John H. Underwood, private. 
Company K, Thomas Moffatt, private. 

WOUNDED COMPANY A. 

Albert Anderson, left lung, died. Henry Howe, right hand. 

Timothy Ring, shoulder and side. Alx. Robinson, Sergt., left arm. 

Patrick Branrion, left arm . John Blackman, missing. 
Thomas Staunton, right arm. 

COMPANY B. 

Ernst Ansorg, bowels , died. John P. Fife, neck. 

D. B. Roberts, lower jaw. Charles W. Sears, right hand. 

J. C. Donnell, left side. 

COMPANY C. 

Ralph Miller, right shoulder, died. W. H. Harper, thigh. 

John F. Henderson, abdomen, died. Dan. P. Baldwin, left ear. 

John J. Cavis, .left leg. Isaac Carson, left hand. 
W. V. Reader, thigh. 

COMPANY D. 

Lieut. George Parker, shoulder. James Hurst, knee, died. 

Lieut. J. H. Thompson, breast. Thomas Shaw, hip, died. 

Clinton Lloyd, left hand. William P. Pyle, died. 
John Murley, wrist. 

COMPANY E. 

Lieut. Wm. H. Clark, left arm. Henry Collman, left breast, died. 

John Phontiel, neck. C. D. Ward, right hand. 

Eugene Benoit, shoulder, died. James Harroll, face. 

M. E. Cornell, shoulder. G. W. Lannigan, hand. 

Erastus Beecher, ankle, died. George Merrill, left hand. 



LIST OF CAStALTIES. 285 

WOUNDED COMPANY F. 

Terris Johnson, leg. Wm. Coltrip, wrist and hip. 

Ernra Strait, knee and thigh. Wm. Eastman, leg. 

COMPANY G. 

Wm. Galloway, lower jaw. J. F. Sanders, left side. 

C. H. Chandler, left leg, died. 

COMPANY H. 

Capt. T. L. Griffin, both legs. William H. Jones, leg. 

Lieut. Morris Briggs, left shoulder. D. D. Warnick, leg. 

Wallace Benson, left leg. B. Vanness, left arm. 

O. H Murray, head and wrist. Jerome C. Ford, abdomen. 

COMPANY I. 

Lieut. David E. Shaw, ankle, Fred Shulenburg, shoulder. 

Lewis Bower, leg. Nathan Hunt, hand. 

Benedict Stamphley, leg. Fred. Witzkey, missing. 

COMPANY K. 

Capt. A C. Holden, right arm. E. M. Pratt, right arm. 

John H Johnson, right thigh. Edward Clark, hip, died. 

Peter Barnett, left leg. Abraham Long, left arm. 
Henry C. Allen, left foot. 

Preparations for resuming the pursuit the following day were 
made by sending such of the wounded as could be removed to 
Louisville, and leaving behind as few surgeons and temporary 
field hospitals as were absolutely necessary. Wagon and ambu- 
lance trains were started at once, freighted with human suffering 
and wounded heroes, and as the train wound its way over hills 
and rough roads, jolting across rocks and into ruts, or rattling 
along the hard pavement of Kentucky turnpikes, fearful were 
the sufferings of those most severely injured. At last, after 
being battered and used up generally, they reached Louisville, 
and were consigned to clean hospital cots, where they lay and 
wondered if they had not been passing through the mills of the 
gods and been ground down exceedingly fine. Clean, well ven- 
tilated rooms, clean shirts and clothes generally, worked favorable 
changes, and in a few weeks many returned to their places in the 
ranks, ready to do and die if need be for country and right. 



286 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Others were crippled for life, and eventually received their dis- 
charge, to hobble their way through the thorny paths of life on 
crutches. 

A few hospital sketches must, of course, find place somewhere 
in our story. Our history would be incomplete without them ; and 
as the consecrated walls of the hospitals at Louisville at this time 
were crowded with the sick and maimed, which like a vast sea 
was ever ebbing and flowing, we have taken the liberty of trans- 
cribing from one of the diaries kindly loaned us. 

TUESDAY, OCT. 30TH. My wound has troubled me but little 
to-day. I have read much of the time, both the newspapers and 
my Bible. There is much consolation in that Book of Books to 
a bed-ridden, homesick and much demoralized soldier. Here is 
a gem: "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." 
I pondered long over that promise arid thought to cast all my 
cares and sorrows, hopes and fears before the throne of God and 
implore Divine assistance and aid. When my silent petition was 
ended and I came to review it, I found that every request was 
for the alleviation of my own sufferings and for personal bles- 
sings it was all for self. My own wants and wishes was the 
burthen of that prayer. Oh ! this is a sad, hard and selfish 
world, with none but selfish creatures in it. 

Just then, who should appear but one of the "guardian angels" 
of the hospital two ladies, sisters, resident in the city, whose 
whole time 'is devoted to the sick and suffering ones, who daily 
drift in from the army. They are constant visitants of the hos- 
pitals and minister to the sick and dying. One sat by my bed- 
side and talked long and earnestly with me ; entering with the 
keenest zest into all my present trials and future plans, and 
before she left, I learned to regard her as all the others do as a 
kind sister and friend. How many a sick and despondent sold- 
ier has cause to bless these fair angels of mercy, who smooth the 
dying pillow and cheer the weary spirit in its flight to the 
brighter world beyond. Their coming brings a gleam of sun- 
shine into the chambers of sickness, that leaves a bright halo 



INCIDENTS OF HOSPITAL LIFE. 287 

lingering around our couches long after they have departed. 
Nothing but innate goodness, a strong sense of Christian duty, 
regardless of self, prompts them to the performance of these 
labors of love. Oh ! this world is not quite so selfish, after all. 

There is much of love, true and unwavering, yet left in the 
world, and this war, with all its untold horrors, has now and 
then a cheering ray to relieve its night of darkness. Dwight 
Follett, from Ohio, with as patriotic impulses as ever inspired 
human being, left a home where peace and plenty abounded and 
nothing was wanting to complete his happiness and promote his 
highest earthly good. He left all for his country, and fearlessly 
encountered the camp, the march and the battle-field. For a few 
weeks he bore up bravely did cheerfully all that duty and 
patriotism required. But alas ! disease fastened its remorseless 
fangs upon his vitals, and we find him languishing on a bed of 
pain. 

To yondei home sped the sad tidings, and without a moment's 
delay his mother hastened to the cot of her boy. She found 
him very low almost at the portals of death. For six long and 
weary weeks has she sat and watched by the side of her darling 
boy. Visitors look into his pallid face and whisper. " he must 
die!" The physician sees no ray of hope, and has long since 
pronounced his case a hopeless one. Not so, that mother. Her 
abiding faith in a God that is a hearer and answerer of prayer, 
tells her that her son shall live, and from that distant home 
comes the father's word of cheer, for he, too, prays Heaven that 
the sick one's life may be spared. How strong, how abiding 
that mother's love. On awaking in the early morning, I see her 
standing by the sick one's couch. From morning to evening she 
is there ; and during the watches of the night, noiselessly and 
oft she steals to the side of her sleeping son. Next to God's, a 
mother's love is unfailing. Yesterday, when all but hope had 
fled, one little ray of life was seen to steal over his countenance, 
faintly lighting up his glazed and fixed eye. To-day he is 
better still. Oh ! 'tis good to see that mother's heart thrill with 
gladness. With an unshaken trust in God, she believes her loy 
will yet be well. 



288 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

MONDAY, Nov. 5TH. It was a long time last night before I 
could get to sleep. My wound was painful and my back ached 
as if being stretched upon the wheel of torture ; my flesh was 
tender and my mind as irritable as my body was sore. As I lay 
upon my cot, the gas-light turned down until only a thin spire 
of flame, dimly flickering, served to make visible the deep gloom 
of night. I even fancied that dull light sharpened the percep- 
tions, and never before did I remember of being more sensibly 
affected in body and mind by each little disturbing noise and 
the breathing of sleepers around me. 

The man in the cot next to mine was afflicted with a cough, 
which might well be compared to a fog-horn, or the hoarse tones 
of a thunder storm.' 'Twas not a small, hacking cough, escap- 
ing from just beyond the lips, but deep and unfathomable ; surg- 
ing up from the lowest depths ; wrenching every joint and muscle 
of the mortal system. That cough would long ago have wrecked 
any common craft, sailing on its tumultuous billows. That cough 
was enough to supply a regiment, and then have had a sur- 
plus sufficient for any possible contingency. There was no let 
up to it at this time, and all night long it was cough, cough, 
cough like the soughing of a steamboat, or the hoarse barking 
of a blood-hound. 

On the other side was a lubberly fellow, who appeared to care 
more for his rations than for the disease with which he is said to 
be afflicted. It is ludicrous as well as annoying to listen each 
day to the recital of his various ailments, forming a chapter as 
long as the song with nine hundred and ninety-nine verses in it, 
the last like the first and they like all the rest, only a thousand 
times more uninteresting. Well, he is terribly given to snoring, 
and such deep, unearthly snores coming from the cavernous 
depths of a huge pair of lungs, rushing like a hurricane through 
a flabby glottis and distended nostrils, in tones as unmusical as 
the rasping of a saw or the hooting of a bazoon. There was no 
cessation in the notes he gave us that night. 

It was a snore so deep, sonorous, 
As to shake the ceiling o'er us. 



A HEAVY SNORER. 289 

Another, in a distant corner, laying near the cot of a German, 
was all night long talking in his sleep. His dreams were vocal 
ones, and it would have puzzled the most rapid short-hand 
reporter to have followed the vagaries of his wandering and som- 
nolent senses. At times he was at work upon the farm, driving 
oxen or horses, and then engaged in some fierce brawl. Very 
few in that chamber of the sick attended to their own business, 
and refrained from meddling with their neighbors. At times the 
poor German in the corner was nearly frightened out of his wits, 
and when he heard an extra snore, 

" Wilder, fiercer than before," 

I could see him raise up in his bed, cast a malignant glance in 
the direction of the snorer, and in accents of despair cry out, 
" Schay, you dhare, stophs dat ! me none at all schleeps dees 
nicht." Thus might I go the rounds among the wheezy, groan- 
ing, moaning, sighing, dying and rueful visaged inmates of this 
hospital and find each possessed of some characteristic peculiarly 
their own that would attract attention. 

No history of events connected with the rebellion would be 
complete without a notice of the hospital and sanitary depart- 
ments, and the unremitting labors of many of th'e surgeons in 
caring for the sick and wounded in their commands. In this 
respect the 36th was peculiarly fortunate, aijd suffered less from 
sickness and malignant diseases than any other regiment of equal 
number in the army of the United States. In his report to Gen. 
Sheridan, Col. Greusel used the following language, "Dr. Young, 
" the brigade surgeon, deserves the highest praise for his admir- 
" able arrangements and great care of the sick and wounded." 

Very many of the slightly wounded at Perry ville in a few 
weeks returned to the regiment for duty, and participated in the 
succeeding campaigns of Murfreesborough and Chickamauga. 



CHAPTER XXI. 




PERRYVILLE TO NASHVILLE. 

AM expected to furnish that part of the history 
of the 86th Regiment Illinois Volunteers which 
came under my own observation, extending from 
the battle of Perry ville, in October, 1862, to the 
occupation of Columbia, in November, 1864. 
My connection with the regiment really began 
with a letter from Capt. A. M. Hobbs, of Company E, dated 
Rienzi, July 27th, 1862, informing me of a vacancy in the office 
of Chaplain, and that it was the unanimous desire of the officers 
'of the regiment that I should accept it. This letter was received 
during the excitement which followed the Presidential call for 
300,000 more troops, and while aiding to procure fresh enlist- 
ments in what afterward was known as the 89th Illinois Regi- 
ment. Coming at such a time and entirely unsought, this invi- 
tation seemed to deserve special attention, and as I gave some 
encouragement that I would accept, a recommendation, signed 
by Col. Greusel and every field and line officer, was forwarded 
to the Governor, and a commission, dated August 18th, was sub- 
sequently issued. 





haplain SG^Iiii 



LIBRARY 

OF 1H 

UNIVERSITY ut ILLINOIS 






BOOKS AND PAPERS FOR THE REGIMENT. 291 

Among other preparations for my work, I wrote to the friends 
of the regiment in nearly every place that had furnished com- 
panies, inviting them to aid me in supplying the regiment with 
suitable reading. A cheerful response was received, and before 
leaving Chicago I was able to make arrangements with Rev. Mr. 
Savage for a regular supply of soldiers' papers and books. B. 
F. Jacobs, Esq., also gave me three hundred soldiers' hymn 
books, which we afterward found a most valuable acquisition. 
Lieut. Geo. A. Willis (who was on leave of absence) and I, started 
from Aurora Monday morning, Sept. 29th, intending to join the 
regiment at Louisville. On Wednesday morning, Oct. 1st, I 
started alone from Chicago, Lieut. W. having missed the train. 
On reaching Louisville, on Thursday morning, it was found that 
the regiment had marched on the 1st, in the army under Gen. 
Buell, to attack and drive Bragg out of Kentucky. A detach- 
ment of the 36th, under Lieutenant Wakeman, was left in charge 
of the camp, and with them we took up our quarters until our 
horses should arrive. Here I caught my first glimpse of the stir, 
bustle and confusion of army life, as I saw the streets thronged 
with officers, soldiers, horses, mules, wagons a-nd negroes. I 
soon found, too, that what many thought would be a disadvan- 
tage, my being attached to one of the old regiments, was, in 
fact, a very great advantage, and I had many reasons afterward 
for being confirmed in this opinion. On the Sabbath, I dis- 
tributed reading matter and preached in the afternoon in a neigh- 
boring church, having for the first time in my life a congrega- 
tion exclusively of men, and all of them United States soldiers. 
A mess in one of the companies, noted for their excellent forag 
ing and cooking powers, invited me to dine, and certainly we 
had a sumptuous entertainment. I very wisely abstained from 
making any enquiries about the magnificent turkey which occu- 
pied the place of honor at the table ! 



292 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

We heard from time to time by orderlies who came in, that 
the regiment was marching south, and as soon as our horses 
arrived we made preparations to follow. It was not, however, 
until Thursday morning, Oct. 9th, that we could start taking 
the Bardstown pike. In this first day we rode about thirty miles, 
through a most beautiful and fertile country, abounding in rich 
and productive farms. We suffered, however, from the intense 
heat and found a_great scarcity of water. Towards night the 
country became more hilly, and there were rumors of a battle 
which it was said had been fought. We made several attempts 
to find lodging, but the people were suspicious and declined to 
receive us. At last, as it grew late, a family by the name of 
Evans reluctantly consented that we might stay with them. 
Evans was a southern sympathizer, while his wife was quite bit- 
ter ; but they fed us well and gave us a good bed. Starting next 
morning, we reached Bardstown about ten o'clock and there 
learned many particulars of the battle, which had undoubtedly 
taken place. We traveled on in a heavy rain until we reached 
Springfield, meeting by the way one of Col. Greusel's orderlies, 
from whom we learned that the 36th was in the fight had stood 
their ground two hours, and had one hundred killed and wounded. 
We stayed over night at the same tavern a big, uncomfortable 
house where several of the Southern generals had lodged a few 
nights before. The rain fell heavily, the trains were delayed, 
and we knew that the troops had no rations. Next morning we 
started forward and about one o'clock came upon the buildings 
occupied by our wounded men, left in charge of Dr. Pierce, 
many of whom we knew. Here we learned all the particulars 
of the battle, and were thrilled with the stories each man had to 
tell. By-and-by we started forward, crossing the battle-field, 
on which were stretched a number of dead bodies my first sight 



ARRIVAL OF THE CHAPLAIN. 293 

of a real field of battle. On reaching the corral near Perryville 
we bivouacked with the quarter-master's- department and I took 
my first experience of sleeping out of doors. The blazing fires, 
the confused voices of men, the rattle of horses, mules and 
wagons, and over head the deep, dark sky, studded with quiet 
stars, altogether made a scene so novel and impressive, that I 
shall never forget it. 

Next morning, which was Sunday, October 12th, we started 
to join the regiment, and after riding past long files of men 
marching or resting by the roadside, we came upon the 36th 
about two miles out. Willis was received with a shout, and I 
had a cordial welcome from the officers and such of the men as 
I was acquainted with. It was well for me that I did not learn 
until subsequently the real feelings of many on seeing a Chaplain 
appear among them. But long afterward, when our Sabbath ser- 
vices and other meetings, our papers and libraries had done their 
work, and we came to feel, from sharing in common danger and 
sufferings a tender interest in each other, both officers and men 
became more communicative, and I learned how they felt during the 
first weeks of my Chaplaincy. Col. Miller, the year following, 
as we sat together in the beautiful chapel we had built at Cowan, 
told me that as the men were, that morning on which I arrived, 
without rations, and therefore peculiarly irritable, having been 
destitute for many months of any religious or refining influences, 
they vented their rage against the Government for sending them 
a chaplain instead of hardtack. One sergeant, notorious for 
his profanity, was especially loud in his denunciation, when 
Capt. Miller, who then commanded the regiment, threatened that 
if he uttered any such language in my hearing he would reduce 
him to the ranks. This closed his lips, and was a warning to 



294 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

others. Long afterwards the rough man delighted to tell me 
what a change had come over him about chaplains. 

At eleven o'clock we halted, and immediately cattle, hogs, 
sheep, calves were slaughtered, and the hungry men relieved. 
Strict orders had been issued against this, but necessity knows 
no law, and the Generals did not interfere. The country through 
which we marched to Harrodsburg was rolling and varied, and 
the scenery delightful. We encamped for the night in a rain, 
but Capt. Hobbs procured me accommodation in a house near by. 
The next day we marched but a mile or two, with long hours of 
waiting by the roadside, and it seemed inevitable that the enemy 
would escape. At night I stepped out of the Colonel's tent to take 
a look at the vast encampment, lighted up for miles around with . 
camp-fires made of Kentucky rails, and I thought I had never 
seen a sight more grand and exciting. During the night several 
orders arrived looking to sharp work, but finally word came that 
the enemy had " skedaddled." 

The next day we passed through the most lovely country, 
studded with delightful residences, and entered Danville about 
eleven o'clock. This is one of the finest towns in Kentucky, 
one of the blue-grass region. The houses were attractive, the 
gardens and grounds laid out with great taste arid planted with 
evergreens. But the brightest recollection of Danville is con- 
nected with the Ladies' Seminary, at the windows of which stood 
crowds of young ladies, whose, variety of beautiful dresses gave 
them the appearance of bouquets of flowers, and whose loyalty 
was expressed by the waving of handkerchiefs and flags. Most 
heartily did the boys respond to their greeting. In the after- 
noon I rode forward with several officers to watch the novel pro- 
cess of shelling the enemy's rear, and next morning while doing 
the same thing, I caught sight of the retreating Rebels, and saw 



A PRAYER MEETING CALLED. 295 

their arms glittering in the sun. On entering Lancaster we 
were met by the people with flags, cheers and rejoicings. Still 
on we went, until tired and hungry we went into camp near 
.Crab 1 Orchard about sundown. As it was evidently no use 
attempting to follow up the enemy any further, the army rested 
here until the following Monday. The time was busily employed 
in washing up, writing letters, &c., which are the first employ- 
ments of a soldier in camp. Crab Orchard itself proved to be a 
dilapidated village, which had evidently been a Southern water- 
ing place, but if it ever had any attractions they had certainly 
disappeared. In every soldier's memory the place is remembered 
as the southern extremity of our Kentucky march after Bragg. 

Here I was able to make a beginning with my chaplain's work. 
The first night I called a prayer meeting, when fourteen were 
present, and another the following night, with twenty-six pres- 
ent. I was much assisted in becoming acquainted with the reg- 
iment religiously by the kindness of Sergt. Mann, of Company 
A, whose blameless character throughout his army life gave him 
great influence among the men. On Sunday, October 20th, we 
held our first public service at two o'clock. Contrary to the 
custom which was observed at the beginning of the war, I insisted 
that the attendance of both men and officers should be entirely 
voluntary. As the result, when the call sounded, there assem- 
bled on the side of a knoll which had been selected, a very large 
proportion of the whole regiment^ as well as men from other 
commands. We had a good supply of hymn books and a choir 
to lead the singing, and the sight of so many men who had been 
destitute of all religious services for months, i. e. since they left 
Rolla, Missouri, standing up to join in the old, familiar hymns, 
was one not to be easily forgotten. Before sermon I told them 
of the interest in the,m expressed to me by their friends at home, 



296 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

of the provision I had made for a supply of reading, and of my 
willingness to spend and be spent for their welfare, inviting any 
of them who might need my assistance to come without hesita- 
tion. I then preached a short sermon on u The blessedness of 
sins forgiven," and we closed with singing, " My faith looks up 
to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary." When, after night all through 
the companies could be heard the sound of singing, as they used 
the new hymn books, I was sure that the Sabbath and religious 
services were needed by all. 

To me it was not only interesting but instructive to learn of 
the different comments made upon the service by the men. Some 
who had threatened to resist if compelled to attend, had all their 
prejudice removed by being simply invited. Some were partic- 
ularly gratified that they were not addressed in military lan- 
guage, as soldiers, regiment or batallion, but as a congregation. 
It reminded them of home, and they liked even for a few moments 
to feel relieved from the restraints of a military life. The ser- 
geant so notorious for his profanity, mentioned before, declared 
he would come just once, and if I said anything about swearing 
he would never come again, and as there proved to be no men- 
tion of that sin that day, he thought I would do pretty well. 
Many a service did we hold together in the next two years, but 
that one at Crab Orchard will always stand alone. 

Next morning, Oct. 21, we marched early, and as soon as the 
column began to head north and it was evident we were about to 
return over the old ground, the indignation of the men, which 
had been gathering for several days, broke out in the most vio- 
lent language. Indeed, one of the most startling facts that I 
encountered on joining the army was the spirit of rebellion, 
amounting almost to mutiny, which prevailed so largely. Apart 
from the hardships of the march, the excessive heat, the dust, 



A JOKE ON THE 73D REGIMENT. 297 

which was blinding and suffocating, the lack of rations and other 
physical trials, there was a deep dissatisfaction with the conduct 
of the campaign, and especially that, after we had suffered so 
much and lost so many men, the enemy were to be allowed to 
escape. Both the commanding generals and the Government 
came in for their shares of the blame. 

Gens. Buell and Gilbert were the last commanders of this army 
who clung to the theory of conducting the war on peace princi- 
ples avoiding everything that would irritate the South. This 
policy had already cost us vast treasures of blood and money. 
The country was becoming sick of it, and the army was demand- 
ing a change. Within a week of this time a change was effected, 
so that I saw our soldiers just when their indignation was the 
worst and their opposition to conservative generalship most rebel- 
lious. Gen. Gilbert had no just conception of the peculiar treat- 
ment necessary to control the American volunteer, and when he 
began to treat him in ways that implied equality with the dregs 
of society so often swept into a regular army, he woke a 
spirit of opposition that vented itself in acts which he found him- 
self unable to check. Men, who in the rough campaigning of 
Missouri and Arkansas, had been compelled to learn the art of 
foraging, were stimulated to show how skillfully they could set 
at defiance the orders which Gen. Gilbert issued. Stories illus- 
trating this spirit were constantly told not to defend the acts 
themselves, but just as men talk over the successful tricks they 
played on their teachers when they were boys. 

When on the march near Crab Orchard, some of the 36th boys 
killed twenty or thirty fat sheep, belonging to a native Kentuck- 
ian, and after dark threw the pelts into the camp of the 73rd Illi- 
nois Regiment. Now the 73rd was gotten up by the Methodists of 
Illinois and included many preachers and members of the Meth- 

20 



298 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

odist church, *ho revolted at the very idea of molesting the hen- 
roosts and sheep-folds of Kentucky. Complaint was made to 
Gen. Gilbert of the theft and search instituted among the camps. 
The finding of the hides was sufficient evidence of guilt, and that 
good, pious soul, Col. Jaques, was given the alternative of pro- 
ducing the culprits or being himself punished, and in default of 
the former, he was obliged to walk behind the regiment, by order 
of Gen. Gilbert. One hot day, while on the march through 
Kentucky, the 24th Wisconsin Regiment, seeing two empty 
ambulances, stowed them full of their knapsacks. Shortly after, 
Gen. Gilbert discovered the knapsacks and ordered them thrown 
out. The 24th, being in advance, knew nothing of this, but 
marched on. The 36th being next in rear, some of the men 
gobbled the knapsacks and contents, threw away their own ragged 
garments and donned the brand-new wearing apparel of the 24th. 
They not only appropriated the clothes, but the knapsacks as 
well, which were marked 24th Wisconsin. The 36th boys wan- 
dered wherever they wished over the country, appropriating 
the contents of smoke-houses, hen-roosts, &c., and at once 
the plundered owners hurried to Gen. Gilbert and entered com- 
plaint against the 24th Wisconsin. The General was mad 
ordered the 24th to halt and the roll called, when all were pres- 
ent and accounted for. Three times was the regiment thus halted 
in one day and none were found absent from the ranks. Gen. 
Gilbert was puzzled indeed. The secret did not get out for some 
time, and then under other leaders it was recounted as a fine trick. 
At an officers' dinner given by Gen. Rosecrans at Nashville, the 
above story was told, when Col. Larabee, of the 24th, stated that 
at last it was perfectly clear to his mind what had become of a 
new pair of gauntlets of his, which were missing immediately 
after a visit from Col. Greusel, a few days previous, in the place 



GEN. SHERIDAN'S POLICY. 299 

of which was an old, worn-out pair, scarcely fit to be touched, 
except with a pair of tongs. He now entirely changed his opin- 
ion of the 36th, and believed the whole regiment, officers included, 
to be a set of thieves. 

Gen. Sheridan's policy was entirely different. While oppos- 
ing in toto all straggling and personal foraging, he believed in 
taking from the country whatever was needed by the army, instruct- 
ing his quarter-master to give receipts therefor, to be adjusted after- 
ward on proof of loyalty. His care and thoughtfulness for the men 
won their affection. The first day out from Crab Orchard was espe- 
cially tedious. The dust seemed intolerable ; the road was lined 
with stragglers, chiefly the new troops, who were unable to keep up, 
and even seasoned men were utterly exhausted with the fifteen 
miles march. When we went into camp after night and a guard 
was detailed from the 36th for Gen. Sheridan's headquarters, the 
General came out and said, " Boys, I know you are very tired ; 
<s you may go to your quarters ; we will take care of ourselves 
u to-night." One such act would make a soldier light hearted for 
many a day. 

Next morning, the 21st, rising at half-past four, we marched at 
sunrise, when the brightness and coolness of the morning and the 
beauty of the country united to make a perfect contrast with the 
weariness and misery of the previous night. Ascertaining from 
Division Head-quarters that we were to camp at night at Mitchell, 
being on the way to Lebanon, Dr. Pierce and I started forward 
through Danville to Perryville to visit our wounded men who had 
been left there. Found two more had died, but nearly all the 
rest were doing well. After caring for them as best we could, we 
went forward to join the regiment. The next day we marched 
eighteen miles, through several small settlements, and camped on 
Salt river, within four miles of Lebanon Station. On this day's 



300 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

march we were cheered by having our mail distributed as we 
moved along, but the men were thoroughly exhausted when we 
reached camp. This was not to be wondered at when the heat and 
dust of each day and the cold at night are considered, and most 
of the men had only a single blanket, others only a rubber blanket 
for their covering. Here we stayed till Saturday, 25th, resting 
well, but suffering much for want of rations. I had one meal of 
boiled beef alone, and our mess could have crackers only by bor- 
rowing a few from some more favored ones. While waiting here 
many troops passed us, but we were henceforth to belong to Gen. 
McCook's corps. It was here, therefore, we bade farewell to Gen. 
Gilbert and the old regime, and anew order of things commenced. 

A letter written from this point to the Aurora Beacon adds : " We 
" reached this camp last evening, and are stopping to-day wait- 
" ing for rations. Lebanon is the terminus of the Louisville & 
" Lebanon Railroad, which road is now to furnish us with sup- 
" plies. All this section of country has of late been under Rebel 
" rule, consequently all the bridges have been burned and 
" destroyed that could possibly impede the movements of the 
" Federal army. The bridges on the Lebanon road have just 
" been completed, and the first train of cars arrived at Lebanon 
" last evening, and the supplies are to-day being landed from 
" them for the army. We are marching on what the commanders 
"in this department term 'light-footed,' which mean, when prop- 
" erly interpreted, without tents or clothing and with as little 
" food as can possibly, keep body and soul together. This is 
"Buell's policy, to which he adds his admirable strategy, which 
" is to keep as far from Bragg as possible, and when by accident 
"he does meet him, to fight him lightly." 

On Saturday morning we started out again, leaving Lebanon 
and the pike to the right and made through the woods for the 



AN UNPLEASANT SUNDAY. 301 

little town of Newmarket. The wind had risen and blew very 
cold. At noon it began to rain and snow, and a regular storm 
set in. The boys were without warm clothing, their shoes were 
worn out, and they had a hard time. I find in my journal the 
entry, " One-half the sufferings of the army will never be known." 

Sunday morning we had five inches of snow, and the weather 
severely cold. The men tried to make themselves comfortable by 
building sheds of rails and straw, but we were almost suffocated 
with the smoke of the camp fires. Services were out of the 
question, and, beyond some singing a few of us had, there was 
nothing to mark the Sabbath day. We were glad to go to bed 
early to keep warm. Monday morning we resumed our march, 
taking the road south to Bowling Green, through Salome, a vil- 
lage of about thirty houses. This was one of the days to be 
remembered. Though intensely cold in the morning, the weather 
was fine and gradually grew warmer. The country was very 
attractive, being either wild and romantic or beautiful and roll- 
ing ; in some places the road winding on the side of a ravine, 
with precipitous sides fifty feet above and seventy-five feet below 
it another division at the same time marching on the opposite 
side. The open country was as beautiful as many parts near the 
Hudson, needing only the same intelligent cultivation to make it 
in every respect its equal. The bracing air, the beautiful coun- 
try, the more congenial command, and best of all the forward 
march, gave the men new spirit, and I saw them to-day at their 
best as a week ago I had seen them at their worst. We went 
into camp on the top of a knoll with regiments on all sides of us, 
whose camp-fires made an inspiring sight. I wrote in my jour- 
nal, " Such is life full of contrasts. If every day was like 
" yesterday, deliver me from a soldier's life ; if every day were 
" like to-day, a soldier's life would be pleasant," 



302 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

The following days we marched across the corners of Taylor, 
Hart and Barron counties, crossed the Little Barren river, the 
largest stream we had seen since leaving Louisville. Ascending 
the opposite bank was very much like going up stairs, and occa- 
sioned much delay. The country continued to improve, and after 
a continuous and rapid march of twenty-two miles, we camped at 
Pruett's Knob, a little beyond Cave City. Here the army waited 
over one day for rations, and were mustered for pay. While 
quite a number explored the Knob, a huge, sugar loaf mountain 
covered with scrubby timber, a party was made up to visit Mam- 
moth Cave, eight miles distant. Capts. Miller and Sherer, 
Adjt. Willis, Lieut. Barnard, Dr. Pierce and myself, with two or 
three others, started about two o'clock on this excursion. The 
country over which we rode to the cave is itself a curiosity. It 
is made up of precipitous hills and vast basins, which are deeply 
depressed in the centre. Some of them, not more than five hun- 
dred feet across from side to side, seemed to be one hundred feet 
lower in the centre than at the edge. Immense crevices at the 
bottom of these basins permit the waters which are gathered by 
these great funnels to pass into the underground streams. No 
streams of water are found on the surface for miles around, except 
Green river, which seems to be the outlet of these subterranean 
streams. No creeks, brooks nor rivulets exist upon the surface, 
though the country is a constant succession of hills and hollows. 
The cliffs, the rocks by the roadside, and even the small stones 
seem full of holes, recesses and grottos, as if all of them were 
trying to make little caverns in imitation of the great Mammoth 
Cave, just as children are prone to imitate the curious and won- 
derful feats of older persons. 

After a ride of an hour or two over this region, we arrived at 
Cave Hotel a large building, with rooms all around opening on 



A SOUTHERN HOTEL. 303 

a piazza, after the manner of Southern watering-places, and capa- 
ble of accommodating five hundred persons. Of course while visitors 
were constantly coming and going, there was no such crowd as 
belongs to peaceful times. After a very hearty supper, we entered 
the cave under the guidance of Mat Bransford, who had served in 
that capacity for over twenty years and had traveled in the cave 
over fifty thousand miles. He was a genuine original character 
and made things lively all the way. Under his directions we 
visited all the principle avenues and halls ; passed through Fat 
Man's Misery ; looked into the Bottomless Pit ; stood by the 
Dead Sea and Lake Purity, and sailed on Echo River, on which 
a revolver was fired several times. It was frequently suggested 
that should Morgan make his appearance, he would have 
us in a tight place. On the whole, we walked about eighteen 
miles and came out between twelve and one o'clock \. M. The 
condition of the atmosphere is such, however, that we could walk 
further without weariness than above ground. In the parlors of 
the hotel we saw specimens of the eyeless fish. 

After a good sleep and excellent breakfast, we started for Bell's 
Station, where we found the regiment just coming in. We fell 
in and finished with them sixteen miles of marching that day. 
We were all much rejoiced to be joined by Lieut. Wakeman with 
the men, tents and equipage that had been left behind at 
Louisville. The size of the regiment and its comfort were 
very much increased. It might be noted as something 
remarkable that we had potatoes for supper. Next day we 
inarched to Bowling Green and went into camp a mile beyond the 
town. Here we erected tents and in general put things to rights. 
Gen. Rosecrans arrived on the afternoon train and took command 
of the army. Next day being Sunday, I was able to distribute 
a good supply of reading, which had arrived, and make arrange- 



304 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

ments for preaching, which took place at two o'clock, and though 
the day was very cold and all the companies were busy preparing 
to draw shoes and clothing, we had a large attendance at the ser- 
vice. An excellent prayer meeting, attended by Mr. Seymour, 
of Lisbon, Kendall County, closed the day. 

The work of equipment went forward briskly the next day. 
At night we had a meeting for singing in my tent, and on Tues- 
day morning, Nov. 4th, we resumed our march toward Nashville. 
About three miles out, we -passed Lost River, so called because it 
disappears in a cave, miles in extent. Some of the boys explored 
it as far as one candle would light them. The prevalence of 
springs, &c., hereabouts indicates that the whole country is prob- 
ably formed like that about Mammoth Cave. Marched fifteen 
miles and then camped at the edge of a beautiful grove. Next 
day we passed through Franklin, a good substantial village of 
about seven hundred inhabitants, and a county seat. Here an 
old man and wife came in from the country and gave the boys a 
quantity of apples. Very soon we crossed the line into Tennes- 
see, a huge stone marking the spot, The country now presented 
a poor appearance ; Mitchellsville, near the line, being a poor, 
tumble-down village, so nearly deserted that there were not inhab- 
itants enough left to even tell us the name of their miserable 
town. The only evidence that it had ever been inhabited was 
an old advertisement posted on the side of a deserted log-house 
whisky shop, announcing that Levi J. North's Democratic Cir- 
cus would exhibit there on a certain day in the past. The boys 
of the 88th soon recognized the thing as of Chicago origin, and 
cheered accordingly. Mitchellville was at that time the terminus 
of the Nashville and Louisville Railroad, and was a fair repre- 
sentative of the Tennessee towns we had passed through thus far 
in this trip. It was forty-five miles from Nashville and all our sup- 
plies for this immense army had to be hauled from there by teams. 



VISIT TO NASHVILLE. 305 

Two regiments of our brigade were here detached (21st Mich- 
igan and 24th Wisconsin) to guard the railroad. We camped at 
night about four miles from the State line. Next day, after 
marching about ten miles, we passed Tyree Springs, where was 
a large hotel capable of accommodating five hundred guests. 
Another small place, Goodlettsville, was also passed, and we 
camped after marching twenty-four miles. Next day our brigade 
was in the rear of everything, and was much delayed in starting 
and marching. The wind was terribly cold and piercing, so that 
I suffered more than in all the past four weeks. On the way we 
learned how the enemy had approached Nashville in three col- 
umns to throw Negley off his guard, while Morgan with his 
cavalry came round prepared to burn the bridge over the Cum- 
berland. But Negley was not caught, the force guarding the 
bridge being able to drive Morgan off. As we came nearer Nash- 
ville the country improved, and we passed many fine residences, 
with grounds laid out and adorned with evergreens. We passed 
a number of burning houses, and went into camp at Edgefield 
about five o'clock. Here, and in a camp about half a mile off, 
we remained two weeks, giving opportunity for a general clean- 
ing up, posting books, making out rolls, &c., all of which is so 
necessary to the comfort and efficiency of an army. 

Of course too, an early visit was made to Nashville, and it 
must be confessed with some disappointment. One writer says : 
"Most of our Northern boys (myself among the number) 
u expressed themselves surprised and disappointed in regard to 
" Nashville. It is not so large or so fine a city as we anticipated. 
u lts buildings are old, dirty and dilapidated. The streets are 
" narrow, rough and decidedly filthy. The State House is a 
" large, extravagant institution. It is really the majority of 
" Nashville. Externally it presents an imposing appearance. 



306 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

" It is built on a high elevation of ground, near the center of 
" the city, and of a very, fine quality of stone. The great objec- 
tion to its outside arrangements is the limited quantity of 
u grounds surrounding it. Internally it has some fine things, 
" and some that are very objectionable. Its lower stories are too 
" low. The offices and hall look squat and dingy. The Repre- 
u sentative and Senate chambers are magnificent, their decora- 
" tions and ornaments are well designed and splendidly executed. 
" The workmanship throughout the entire building is very fine. 
" The next thing worthy of note is the grave of ex-President 
" James K. Polk. He is buried in the front yard of his own 
" residence, near the centre of the city. The whole arrange- 
u ment looks solid and lasting. The residence is brick, and built 
" after the Southern style. It looks old, dilapidated and neg- 
" lected. The yard is pretty well ornamented with shrubbery, 
" evergreens and fine walks." And yet allowance must be made 
for the fact that these were war times, that everything was being 
used to the utmost, and nothing repaired or improved, so that a 
rapid deterioration must be expected. 

The State House grounds, &c., were bristling with thirty-two 
pounders, protected by bales of cotton, and guarded by soldiers. 
The cemetery was a beautiful place, but it was sad to see that the 
number of soldiers buried here had already reached 1740, and as 
I visited the hospitals from time to time, I saw many likely to 
increase the number. 

During the first week, Gen. Rosecrans reviewed the army by 
brigades, and having heard of the skill of the 36th in the manual 
of arms, he gave Col. Greusel an opportunity of exhibiting their 
powers, which he did to the great gratification of the General, 
who said to the rest, who were nearly all new troops, " Now, 
beat that if you can ! ' ' At this time, too, the 36th was the won- 



THE HEALTH OF THE REGIMENT. 307 

der and envy of all new regiments for their vigorous health and 
abounding spirits. They were always ready for a game or shout 
when off duty, while not a few of other regiments would mope and 
sit around listlessly, until they were sick in earnest. In an article 
published in the Atlantic Monthly, the 36th was pronounced 
"the healthiest regiment in the service." Beside the usual 
amount of picket and guard duty, foraging on the country had 
to be carried on systematically. On one occasion, the 36th was 
one of three regiments, accompanied by two sections of a battery, 
to guard three hundred wagons, and the occasion was improved 
to do some foraging on private account. One journal says, "No. 
3 got twenty-five fowls, green apples, dried do., molasses, porker, 
&c." Provisions at this time were very dear ; flour, thirteen 
dollars per barrel ; potatoes, four dollars per bushel ; butter, one 
dollar per pound, and poor at that ; eggs, one dollar per dozen ; 
black tea, two and a-half dollars per pound, and other things in 
proportion. 

About this time, some of the new commissions began to come 
in, among which were Capt. Albert Jenks, for Lieutenant- 
Colonel; Capt. Silas Miller, as Major, and Lieut. Geo. A. Wil- 
lis, as Captain Co. A Cavalry Some had written to the Aurora 
Beacon a few days before, " The regiment proposes to send out a 
" party to recruit officers. There has not been a field officer with it 
" since the middle of August, and since the casualties at Perryville 
"there is an average of one line officer per company. We hope for 
" the interest of the regiment that this state of things will not much 
longer continue." By these promotions Lieut. Willis had to 
report to his company in Mississippi to the great regret of all. " He 
" has been with us from the start and is one of us. He is the good 
"fellow of the regiment, and we cannot do without him. No one 
"man has so many friends in the 36th Regiment as Willis." 



308 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

These two weeks gave me opportunity to organize my own work. 
On my way thus far, I had proposed to such as were interested 
m the formation of a religious society to give some bond of union 
to all who desired to fight the stern battles of a Christian life. 
At Bowling Green I began to take the names of those willing to 
unite, and at Edgefield quite a number joined us, both of those 
who had been professors of religion at home and those who were 
desirous of becoming such. Our public services and prayer 
meetings grew in interest so that on Sunday, Nov. 16th, we had 
a very large and solemn congregation, and I felt that my work 
had really begun. I had heard so much of the difficulties found 
by chaplains in obtaining any opportunity for their work, that I 
anticipated meeting them myself. I was sure, however, from a 
little observation, that some, at least, of these difficulties were 
created by the indiscreet methods of the chaplains themselves, 
and I sought to avoid them. I arranged always to have reading 
matter ready for distribution every Sunday morning and passed 
around the. tents myself. I found every Sabbath an increasing 
eagerness to receive what I brought. I invariably called on the 
commanding officer with the best I had, and asked him at what 
hour it would be convenient to have service, thus at once securing 
his kindly co-operation and avoiding all clashing of appointments 
and duties, and throughout my entire connection with the regi- 
ment I had service on every Sabbath, when such a thing was 
possible. My commanding officers were almost always present, 
and generally among the first to appear on the ground. Who- 
ever else has to complain of a lack of sympathy in his work on 
the part of his officers, I have not. At this time I also made 
out for my own use, a complete list of both officers and men, 
which aided not a little in my future labors, and when we came 
to the sterner realities of battle, proved simply invaluable. 



VISIT TO THE STATE LUNATIC ASYLUM. 309 

On Saturday, November 22nd, we moved camp to a pleasant 
location about seven miles south of Nashville, on the Nolensville 
pike, near Seven Mile Creek. Here we remained between two 
and three weeks, the time being occupied by skirmish and brig- 
ade drills, and picket and forage duties. Our stay at this and 
the next camp, Mill Creek, was rather of the pleasant order. A 
good many visits were made to other commands, and short jaunts 
into the surrounding country, while a ride to Nashville was a 
common thing. One of the most interesting of these visits was 
made by the surgeons, Capt. Hobbs and myself, to the 89th Illi- 
nois, in Willich's Brigade, camped close by the State Lunatic 
Asylum. We made quite a lengthy call at the Institution, where 
we were received very kindly and shown over the building and 
its attachments. The main building was about three hundred 
and fifty feet long by two hundred and fifty feet deep, with a 
corresponding height, the grounds laid out with evergreens, box 
and ivy, with rookery and fish pond. Inside, the rooms were 
finely papered and carpeted, and the walls adorned with pictures 
of every order, from grave to gay, and every means seemed to be 
used to interest and profit the inmates, of whom we saw a good 
many. The most interesting sight of all, however, was the exten- 
sive green-house, adorned with twenty thousand varieties of beau- 
tiful productions, including many tropical plants. Here we saw 
the palm leaf growing, and the magnificent Victoria Kegia, of 
which there are only two or three specimens in the country. The 
superintendent had been removed for his rebellion, but it was 
interesting to notice that the Southern people had been perfectly 
willing to leave their unfortunate friends in our hands. There 
was every proof that they would not suffer in our care. 

Thursday, November 27th, being Thanksgiving, it was pro- 
posed that we have a brigade Thanksgiving service, and Col. 



310 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Greusel requested me to preach. All necessary preparations 
were carefully made, when at three o'clock Thursday morning we 
were called up to join an expedition consisting of the 2nd and 
15th Missouri, 44th, 88th and 36th Illinois, with two sections of 
Barnett's battery. We penetrated six miles into the Confederate 
lines, driving in the cavalry pickets, who fired their pieces, 
mounted their mustangs and fled at double quick. After waiting 
until Col. Schafer could cross over to the next pike, we returned 
to camp, arriving about three o'clock, and somehow a good supply 
of rations, not included in the army list, found their way back 
with us. One incident of our trip is thus described by Dr. 
Young: " Soon after starting the second instalment of Rebel 
<; pickets, we were joined. by a smart, sprightly negro, aged about 
" twenty-five years, who knew the roads, and volunteered to show 
( - us the way across the creek, as the Rebels had burned the 
" bridge and the stream was not fordable at that point. It so 
" happened that our orders ended right at his master's plantation. 
" We halted there about two hours. All the whites and blacks 
' had fled when we came in sight. Some of our boys suggested 
" to him that he had better return with us, so he gathered up his 
ii clothes and blankets and made ready to accompany us. 

" Our troops now started back. My position, in consequence 
" of having looked after the comfort of a couple of large turkeys 
" on the plantation, was in the rear of our retreating army. 
"The negro had accumulated his duds and started with us, when, 
<; looking around, there came his wife and two children. He saw 
" them and halted. I stopped my horse to see the result, for I 
" was interested. I desired to see which the black man loved the 
" most the prospect of gaining his liberty, or his wife and babies. 
' She came up to him, and he said to her, 'Mary, I's gwine for 
u to leab you!' She looked thunderstruck, and inquired where 



ARRIVAL OF THE PAYMASTER. 311 

" he was going. He said he was going with the Northern army 
44 and be free. She replied, 'You shan't !' He asked me if she 
" could go. I said yes. He informed her, but she instantly 
" replied, 'DeLord! I can't go and leab massa and dese chil- 
"lens.' The man looked troubled. The children came up to 
" him and called him father. I did not say a word, but sat on 
" my horse watching events. Our brigade moved forward, and I 
"followed. I looked behind me ; the negro was coming, and a 
" short distance behind him, in the road, stood his wife and child- 
"ren, watching the husband and father deserting them. He 
" looked behind him frequently, and I could see his broad black 
'' chest heave, and hear him sigh. I pitied him, and thought he 
" felt arid acted as I did when I left my home, wife and baby, and 
" followed. In a word, he acted like a man a human being. I 
" hated to see the fellow leave his wife and children. But she 
" declared she would not leave the children. I thought, what 
"will she do when the auctioneer comes?" 

The following week had two special incidents, which attracted 
much attention the coming of the paymaster on the 3rd of Dec., 
which had put the boys in excellent humor, and the eclipse of the 
moon on the night of the 15th, which was very fine. Our meetings 
continued, and additional evening meetings were held for the 
study of the Bible, so that I had some kind of service almost 
every night. 

On the 9th we had orders to be ready to march at a moment's 
notice, without teams, and after dinner firing was heard and the 
long roll sounded. The troops went out about half a mile and 
were drawn up in line of battle, waiting for an attack, but noth- 
ing came of it and at night we returned to camp. Next day we 
moved back toward Nashville and went into camp in a beautiful 
grove on Mill Creek, remaining here at " Camp Sheridan " until 



312 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

we marched out to Stone River, Friday, the 26th The boys 
have always been fond of talking of the camp on Mill Creek ; it 
was the last encampment in which many of us were together. Here 
the daily drills, the picket and forage duties continued, mingled 
with rides and trips to Nashville. Our brigade, under command 
of Col. Sherman, of the 88th Regiment, made a short foraging 
detour into the disputed territory. They were gone three days, 
and then returned with two hundred and forty-seven wagon-loads 
of forage and produce, besides numerous horses, mules, hogs, 
sheep and milch cows all secured from undoubted secessionists. 
Somewhere about this time a slaughtered hog was found hung 
very near my tent, one Sunday morning, waiting, no doubt, to 
be cut up. The owners got up a little pleasant fun on the parson 
for such a sight, but the hospital tent was too near to turn any 
one off the true to a false sbent. 

Friday, Dec. 12, Brig. Gen. Sill being appointed to the com- 
mand of the brigade, Col. Greusel returned to the command of 
the regiment and met a hearty welcome. As in a few days after 
this the condition of the regiment was entirely changed by the 
battle, this is the best place to insert a brief summary of facts 
about it collected and printed at this time. " We left camp Ham- 
mond, Aurora, Kane County, Illinois, on Tuesday afternoon, 
" Sept. 24, 1861, with 1,183 men. The regiment has been in 
" the service fifteen months ; marched 2,800 miles five hundred 
" and twenty miles by steamboat, ten hundred and nineteen by 
u railroad and twelve hundred and sixty-one on foot. We have 
" done military duty in five Southern states Missouri, Arkan- 
u sas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee, besides traveling 
" extensively in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio- We have been in four 
" severe battles Pea Ridge, March 6th, 7th and 8th ; Company 
" A Cavalry at luka, Corinth, Sept., and the regiment at Chap- 



A RESUME OF THE REGIMENT. 313 

"lin Hill, near Perryville, Kentucky, Oct. 8th, 1862. We have 
"had twenty-eight men and two commissioned officers killed in 
" battle and died of their wounds. Twenty-two men have died 
a in our regimental hospital, under care of our own surgeons and 
" nurses ; sixteen have died in general and post hospitals ; 
" three have died at home, while absent from the regiment on 
"furlough, making the total deaths in the regiment from all 
u causes, since it left Aurora, sixty-nine. Twenty- three commis- 
" sioned officers have resigned or been dismissed from the ser- 
" vice. One commissioned officer has died from disease, and two 
" from wounds received in battle. Thirty-eight privates have 
" been discharged from service by our regimental surgeons on 
" account of disability. Forty-three have been discharged by 
" general orders and post surgeons while absent from the regi- 
" ment. Twenty-three were mustered out of service as a Band. 
" Nine have been discharged on account of promotion to offices 
" in other regiments. Thirty-one have deserted, and ought to be 
" shot. Twenty-three new recruits have joined since the organ- 
" ization of the regiment leaving 967 men now belonging to 
" the regiment and doing duty. Our division is composed of 
" twelve regiments four old ones and eight new ones, yet our 
" regiment draws rations for more men than any other regiment 
" in the division. We have one man sick in the regimental hos-. 
" pital to-day. The following figures show this morning's brigade 
" report of sick in general hospital. The brigade is composed of 
" four regiments, and the following are their figures : 36th Illi- 
" nois has thirty-six men in general hospital, most of whom are the 
" wounded of the Perryville fight. The 88th Illinois has one 
" hundred and thirty-four men in general hospital ; the 24th 
" Wisconsin has one hundred and thirty-five men in general hos- 
" pital, and 21st Michigan one hundred and twenty men in same." 
21 



314 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

While camped at Mill Creek, south of Nashville, Peter Pelican 
was detailed as orderly for Col. Greusel. His special duty was 
that of mail carrier to and from Nashville. Peter was constitu- 
tionally thirsty, and the poor water of the South not always 
agreeable, so on his frequent visits to Nashville he generally par- 
took more or less of the ardent. One time, while in a state of 
semi-unconsciousness, his horse was stolen, with saddle, bridle 
and equipments. It was said Peter's reputation for veracity was 
not of a high order, and on his return to camp he stated, in his 
half French manner, that while in the post office waiting for his 
mail sober, of course some one had stolen his horse. Col. 
Greusel furnished him a pass, and ordered him to hunt the horse 
and not come back without him. Peter left on foot, and nothing 
was seen or heard of him for some time. At length Major Miller 
found him in Nashville, keeping a grog shop, and caused his 
arrest and trial for desertion. The case was apparently a clear 
one, and Peter was asked what he had to offer in defence. Judge 
of the consternation of Col. Greusel and the officers present, 
when he pulled out of his pocket the Colonel's pass, and stated 
that he had not yet been able to find the horse and hence had 
not returned. Peter was cleared, of course. 

It was at this camp the troops were furnished with the "shel- 
ter tent," which became a treasure to the men when they under- 
stood its value, but at first its appearance was almost a signal for 
rebellion. The journals express the prevailing feeling perfectly : 
" In the afternoon the new 'shelter tents' came, and caused con- 
"siderable excitement. The boys all declare they wont take 
" them, and I am sure I don't blame them in the least they are 
" an imposition." Another says : " An attempt was made to-day 
"to furnish the brigade with the * shelter tent,' a miserable, 
" coarse muslin thing, to be occupied by two men, and carried 



ON PICKET IN THE ADVANCE. 315 

" on the back ; but the men came out in a body and refused to 
" take them, declaring that if they had to, they would burn 
*' them. The officer thought discretion the better part of valor, 
"and did not force the matter." 

On the 16th, the regiment was on picket in advance, the Rebels 
in sight. In the afternoon another regiment took our place, 
while we went out two miles on a reconnoissance. Pickets ran 
as we advanced. On Sunday, 14th, we had a most excellent 
service in the morning, and then Jep. Denison, Hop. Steward and 
I rode over to Gen. Davis' head-quarters to visit Company B 
Cavalry. We were very kindly received by Capt. Sherer and 
his men. I distributed papers among them and afterward preached. 
They expressed great gratitude for the service, which was the 
first they had had. One man expressed his feelings by giving 
me a cane which he had been making, with great care, out of 
cedar and inlaid very ingeniously with ivory devices. I sent it 
home, and preserve it yet as a memento of that Sunday. On 
our return we had a large attendance at evening meeting, and a 
number had to go away. I counted forty inside the tent. On 
the 17th, I was requested, on behalf of Company B, to present 
Lieut. P. Douglas with sword, sash and shoulder straps, on the 
occasion of his promotion. We had an interesting time. The 
rest of the time until our march to Stone river, on the 26th, was 
occupied with the usual dress parades, skirmish and brigade 
drill, picket and forage duty. On the 21st we had service at 
three o'clock p. M. By this time we were in the habit of draw- 
ing attendance from other regiments, and had a large concourse, 
quite as many as I could address comfortably. The accumulated 
influence of religious services for weeks had produced in the 
minds of many men unusual tenderness, and when our service 
closed it was with such a subdued and solemn feeling that the 



316 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

vast crowd seemed to disperse in almost .entire silence. It was 
the last sermon that many a man heard. Was it the shadow of 
coming events that rested that afternoon upon us ? 



CHAPTER XXII. 

BATTLE OP STONE RIVER. 

[OON after the battle of Stone River, I wrote out 
for a Chicago paper a full account of what I saw 
and heard during those eventful days. It had 
a large circulation, was read and commented 
upon by officers and men at the time, and may, 
therefore, be regarded as even more strictly cor- 
rect than any that could now be written from memory. I therefore 
reprint it, with only such verbal changes as the nature of the 
case demands. The personal character of the narrative has to 
be retained, and I know not how to help it. 

MILL CREEK, ) 
NEAR NASHVILLE, TENN. j 

Thursday, Dec. 25fA, 1862. Rose at six o'clock. Under 
orders to march. After breakfast, ordered to pitch our tents as 
before, and make ourselves as comfortable as possible. Regi- 
ments came in from picket and everything looked as before we 
broke up yesterday. This is Christmas Day. and Santa Claus 




.ARRIVAL OF SHELTER TENTS. 317 

has not come, unless he visited the little ones at home. Would 
give a good deal to be at home to-day. Received a copy of 
Army Regulations from the Adjutant. Heavy musketry heard 
out on the lines. Rumors that we leave to-morrow ; 89th and 
the battery are under orders; ours have not yet come. Even- 
ing Bible Class ; subject. Almsgiving in Sermon on the Mount ; 
very interesting. 

Friday, 26th. Called at six, with orders to march at seven ; 
all is hurry and confusion. The shelter tents were issued ; the 
men had threatened they would not receive them, considering it 
an imposition to have them substituted for regular tents. A 
shelter tent is composed of two sheets of cotton, which being but- 
toned together and propped with stakes, makes a tent of the 
shape of a house roof, under which two men can lie ; being only 
four feet high of course cannot be used for permanent encamp- 
ment. They are generally designed for march, to lessen the 
baggage train, it being intended that wherever the army remains 
awhile they should have the large tents. This morning many 
refused them, preferring to be without any, as all the large tents 
were ordered back to Nashville. I had my tent, trunk and stove 
packed on the head-quarters wagon, so as 1 to be provided for, but 
by a misunderstanding which it was too late to correct when I 
learned it, they were carried back to Nashville, so that I had 
nothing but what was carried on the horse and in Henry's knap- 
sack. We supposed, however, that we should probably be back 
next day, as it was reported that we were going to capture a force 
that had ventured too near our lines. We had not gone far 
before it was evident to all that this was a movement in force 
Johnson's Division filing in from the other pike on to our rear, 
and Davis going by another road, while Crittenden and Thomas 
were advancing in another direction. It became a certainty that 



318 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEEJIS. 

we were now advancing on the enemy, and were about to have 
war in earnest. It was at this time that I found my tent, trunk, 
&c., had been left behind. 

We had not gone far before it began to rain, and soon to pour, 
making the road tedious to the men. We were shortly turned 
off the pike to go round a creek by a circuitous route, as it was 
expected that some fortifications had been erected there. A 
negro was engaged as a guide, who, misunderstanding the Gen- 
eral's orders, took us the wrong way ; so after wading and slip- 
ping through the mud, the artillery cutting deep ruts, we had to 
return and seek another track, very much to the annoyance of 
the officers and the disgust of the men. Many remarks were 
made anything but complimentary to "reliable contrabands." 
The skirmishers soon came upon a band of the enemy's cavalry, 
and a, brisk firing was kept up for some time. Our regiment 
being on the advance, we were very near. Our skirmishers were 
very much exhausted by tramping through the muddy corn and 
cotton-fields and trailing through the brush. 

Having successfully crossed the creek, we again came upon the 
pike, to find that Davis' Division, which was behind us, had 
gone on to Nolansville before us, in consequence of our delay in 
finding the right road. Davis is a fighting man the same that 
shot Gen. Nelson and we soon heard by the cannonade that he 
had come up with a body of the enemy. After a little delay we 
entered Nolansville, a dirty, dilapidated place of from fifty to 
one hundred houses. One shell from a secesh battery had 
entered a house and exploded in it. Here our boys bought some 
butter and apples, the people preferring Confederate money to 
greenbacks, which is the case through all this region. We soon 
heard still heavier cannonading, and as we advanced, the signs of 
a fight became thick and strong. All was excitement, and but 



A SOAKING NIGHT. 319 

for being in the way, I should have ridden forward to see what 
was being done. We halted for a time opposite a house where 
there was a large number of negroes the owner having a negress 
for a wife. 

After a while the firing ceased, our Generals returned and 
ordered us into camp in an orchard opposite. One of our regi- 
ments had made a charge on a battery and captured one gun. 
One man was killed and thirteen wounded ; two more died the 
next day. The enemy had fled toward Triune, where we expected 
to find a heavy force within fortifications, and it seemed that 
to-morrow we must have a general engagement. 

The ground was thoroughly drenched with rain, and my 
prospects were anything but flattering, my tent having been left 
behind. The boys began to put up their shelter tents, and then 
it appeared as though those who had refused them were not wise. 
The Major kindly invited me to sleep in his tent which I gladly 
accepted. During the night the rain began to pour down in 
torrents, and it was sad to think that so many of our boys were 
sleeping out in their blankets, and must inevitably be made sick. 

My sympathies for them began to seek a new channel, for the 
tent being on a side hill and the men having neglected to trench 
it as a tent needs in a rain storm the water began to pour 
into the tent, wetting our blankets, causing us to draw up our 
feet to keep them out of the water. Blankets once wet require 
a good deal of drying, so that altogether this was a little the 
hardest soldiering I had had. 

Saturday, 27th. Rose at six o'clock ; somewhat blue. The 
rain had stopped, and things did not look so gloomy as I had 
anticipated. One thing, however, this rain had done, converted 
most of the boys into friends of the shelter tent. The much 
abused thing became a real favorite, for those who had taken care 



320 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

to put them up properly were kept securely from the rain, and 
the story that they would not shed water was entirely disproved. 

Our camp had been upon the side hill ; on a high hill in the 
distance was Davis' Division, while still others were camped in 
the rear. When all these had their fires lighted at night it was 
an exceedingly brilliant and gorgeous sight. After breakfast, 
learning that Johnson's Division was to go ahead of us, I went 
down to the road and waited nearly two hours for the 89th to 
pass. It was a grand sight to see such masses of men move on, 
accompanied by such trains of artillery, and gave me a better 
idea of the size and thorough equipment of the army than I have 
ever had before. Ah, me, how many of these strong and hearty 
fellows are going, never to return ! Gen. McCook, Gen. Davis. 
Gen. Sheridan and Gen. Sill were all together. When John- 
son's Division had passed, Sheridan's started. We were in the 
second brigade. Soon we heard heavy firing, and knew that our 
advance had come up with the enemy. At a large, brick house, 
on top of a hill, where it was said Gen. Hardee had stayed the 
night before, I had a sight of the spot about one and a-half mile 
ahead, where our batteries were planted. When we had marched 
some three miles and were about three from Triune, the order 
came to gather all the ambulances in a field. The prisoners 
taken said the enemy were in force at Triune, and our Generals 
were going to make an immediate attack. The order was that 
the wounded were not to be carried off the field until the battle 
was over. 

The surgeons were to go on to the field with such light appli- 
ances as they could carry. We the surgeons and myself put 
everything in order, took the stretchers a kind of hand mat- 
tress on which wounded men were carried ate our turkey and 
started after the troops, with the full expectation of an immedi- 



THE ADVANCE ON TRIUNE. 321 

ate and bloody battle. At a little distance forward we turned 
from the road and traversed the fields. The rain, too, began to 
fall again, and this time in heavy torrents. We came up with 
the regiment drawn up in line of battle, while yet other lines 
were in advance of us, on knolls of ground, reaching nearer and 
nearer Triune. Soon those in advance moved forward, one after 
the other, and we took their places. Thus the whole army 
advanced upon Triune. To wade through the almost liquid corn- 
field was work indeed. Artillery were dragged back and forth, 
and when our men came to cross their track it seemed as though 
they would sink. I could not but think how little the people at 
home, who so many of them sit at their ease and find fault with 
the army, conceive of the real hardships of a soldier's life. And 
yet the cheerfulness of the 36th was neither washed away in the 
rain above, nor buried in the mud beneath. They were full of 
life and pleasantry, and now and then, when the mud was deeper 
and the marching harder than usual, one and another would say, 
" This is all for the old Flag ;" while one more poetical in his 
style than the rest, exclaimed, " 0, my country, how much do I 
suffer for thee!" The lines were brought nearer to the enemy, 
while we strained our eyes to catch a glimpse of them in the 
distance. " Is it not strange," said I, "that we have to fight 
men we have never seen, and cannot even now see ?" 

Soon the intelligence was brought that our Generals had again 
been misled by false information. Our cavalry had entered the 
town, and no enemy was to be found ; what force they had, had 
retired towards Murfreesborough, and we were ordered into camp 
right where we were. But our condition was forlorn enough 
all wet and chilled. We sent for the ambulances and hospital 
wagons, put up the large tents, lighted fires and tried to dry our- 
selves. After awhile, supper was ready ; we had both poached 



322 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

eggs and butter strong, but still butter. After supper, what 
should be brought in but a letter from home, the one I had 
been expecting on Thursday. This was refreshing indeed, after 
such a tedious and harassing march. In it was a Santa Glaus' 
present, which was very acceptable, and was much praised by 
those who happened to be in the tent at the time, and who 
claimed a sight of it. To me it appeared one of the prettiest 
morsels I had ever had, so appropriate, so ingenious, and so red- 
olent of home affections and joys. God bless and preserve " the 
loved ones at home." Prepared to sleep in the large hospital 
tent ; our blankets were damp, but there was no help for it, so 
we lay down to sleep, grateful that things were no worse. It is 
astonishing how a man will become accustomed to inconvenience 
and discomfort until he scarcely notices them. 

Sunday, Dec. 28th. Rose at 7 o'clock. Blankets still damp. 
The morning was bright and beautiful, crisp and frosty. We 
lay round for some time expecting orders to march ; but as they did 
not come I began to think that perhaps our Generals were going 
to obey the President's order about the Sabbath. A man from 
the 2'2nd Illinois came over to see at what hour we intended to 
have service, as some of that regiment desired to attend, they 
being without a Chaplain. Promised to send them word when 
the hour was fixed. Col. Greusel appointed three o'clock, pro- 
vided we did not move. 

Abundance of provisions were found in the neighborhood 
pork, beef, apples, &c. and each company had men out to pro- 
cure what was needed. A large quantity of fine pork in salt was 
found which looked as if prepared for the secesh army. Each 
mess secured a share. Blankets, clothes, &c., were hung up in 
every direction to be dried in the sun, and there was every pros- 
pect that a day's rest would prepare the men for a march to-mor- 



SUNDAY SERVICES IN CAMP. 323 

row. In the midst of all this confusion I sat outside and drew 
out a sketch for a sermon. I had neither Bible nor Testament, 
nor manuscript of any kind, all being left behind in my trunk. 
About one o'clock I went over to the 22nd Illinois, and informed 
them about service. Some of them came over, and after the 
battle I found one of them among the wounded. At three o'clock 
had service a large attendance. Text, " My word have I hid 
in my heart that I sin not against thee." 

Prayer-meeting in the evening in the large hospital tent ; 
thirty-five present. Slept in tent with dry blankets, anticipat- 
ing an early start, and a march on the enemy to-morrow. 

Monday, 29th. Called at half-past four o'clock ; lay quiet 
till daylight waiting orders. Company A had procured asecesh 
tent, which they lent to me until I shall receive my own. Had 
it put on the head-quarters wagon. Marched about sunrise, but 
much disappointed to be turned back as though we were return- 
ing to Nashville, and it seemed for a moment that we had failed 
in our expedition. We soon found that we were only going back 
a short distance to take a cross road to Murfreesborough, which 
was now our declared destination. It was reported that Critten 
den had taken Murfreesborough; and again that he had found 
unexpected opposition, and that we were to reinforce him. 

This being a cross road and not a regular turnpike which are 
excellent for a marching army, both men, wagons and artillery 
our progress was slow, many portions very rocky, and others 
equally muddy, and all very bad for an army. But the country 
itself presented many interesting features to an attentive observer. 
One view was especially noteworthy. We emerged from the 
timber on the brow of a hill from which there was an uninter- 
rupted prospect of the country for many miles. Right beneath 
us was a belt of open farm land extending, perhaps, one or two 



324 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

miles across, then an extensive cedar grove, while beyond it 
another belt of open country, with timber still beyond that- 
Through the first open land was gliding like some cobra di ca- 
pello, or to adopt the Potomac name " anaconda," a portion 
of our column, while the advance could be detected winding 
through the first grove, by the gleaming of arms as the light 
glanced upon them. But another use could be made of this hill 
besides affording beautiful and e'nchanting prospects. About 
three miles distant, and a little to the right, was another high 
eminence, from which, with a good glass, an observer might 
count every regiment and battery as it descended to the plain, 
and thus form a judgment sufficiently accurate for practical pur- 
poses, of the strength of this portion of the army of the Cum- 
berland. 

In pursuing our journey we had many tedious halts, caused 
in part by the difficulty of dragging artillery over such rough 
roads. At one spot on the banks of a creek, we halted for a 
considerable time until other troops could form a junction with 
us, it not being considered safe to make the flank movement of 
to-day without having the columns within supporting distance of 
each other. Indeed the place where we halted would have been 
a hard place to be attacked in, and so evidently thought our 
Generals, for they ordered all fires to be put out, that there might 
be no sign by which an enemy at a distance could detect our 
presence. 

We passed through several immense cedar groves. The cedar, 
when as large as in these groves, loses a great portion of its 
beauty, not appearing bushy as when cultivated, but a huge, bare 
pole. One peculiarity of these groves is that instead of soil 
there is very little besides immense rocks, almost making one 
wonder where the roots find nourishment, many of them being 



A CONFLICT IMPENDING. 325 

imbedded in solid rock. In many places it was difficult to ride 
even on horseback, the track very much resembling broken, 
slippery, uneven steps, with winding passages between the rocks, 
which were not a little suggestive of " Fatman's Misery," in the 
Mammoth Cave, though, of course, considerably wider. But 
the most unpleasant days have an end, and so have roads. Bye- 
and-by we came upon the fine rolling country which is the 
glory of Tennessee, through which her beautiful pikes run, and 
in which her vast plantations and stately residences are located. 
We passed Davis' Division already going into camp, while we 
were ordered forward about a mile. On our way we began to 
feel that the air was heavy with rumors and premonitions of the 
coming conflict. 

During the afternoon a portion of Pennsylvania Cavalry, out 
skirmishing, had been drawn into a trap, and before they could 
escape, about thirty were killed and a large number wounded. 
This was enough to convince us all that war is not a thing of 
parades and shows, but a stern and cruel reality. A number of 
negroes by the roadside had built a fire of rails. Gen. McCook 
rode along, and in no very complimentary style" ordered them to 
put it out. We marched down the Wilkinson pike and were 
ordered into a cornfield, the regiment preserving a line of battle 
behind a rail fence, but forbidden to build fires, or pitch tents, or 
speak loudly, or do anything which could reveal our presence to 
the enemy's pickets. The only indulgence granted was to gather 
the cornstalks for bedding, that we might not lie in pure mud. 
The whole brigade and a battery were together and the rest of 
Sheridan's Division close by. The ambulances and hospital 
wagon to which I was to look for whatever comfort I was to 
have had been taken into a clean field of grass and trees, a 
little back on the pike and on the opposite side. 



326 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

We had just begun to unpack and to congratulate ourselves 
that we had so pleasant a spot where we could spread our blank- 
ets on clean ground and under the trees, when an order came for 
the ambulances, &c., to be all removed half a mile back. So off 
we started and found that another muddy cornfield had been 
selected, and that all the ambulances, &c., of the division were 
to be brought together. I confess the prospect was gloomy ; no 
fire, consequently no coffee. It was already seven o'clock, cloudy 
and threatening rain. But there was no help for it We ate a 
supper of cold beans, pork and crackers, drinking water. Now 
the bed. Had we desired to be imbedded, we could have had our 
wish without a moment's difficulty. After discussing the ques- 
tion, decided to make our bed under the ambulance. We plucked 
cornstalks sufficient small stakes would have made a good sub- 
stitute on them we spread our blankets, and then with great 
difficulty took off our clothes, which had to be done under the 
ambulance, our heads knocking against hooks and axletrees, all 
outside being soft mud of the clay family, and stretched our- 
selves for sleep. 

Soon a new difficulty arose. No less than five horses were 
tied to the ambulance, while at something less than two horses' 
lengths off was the hospital wagon, to which were attached six 
mules. Not content with making their usual noises, which, 
while insufferable to a citizen, are not supposed to be even heard 
by a soldier, the horse tied to the wheel close by my head, per- 
sisted in taking his hind feet too near the mules, and a general 
kicking and yelping, together with the violent jerking of the 
ambulance, were the consequence. This was partly remedied by 
one of our hospital mess, who had not yet "retired" if the term 
is allowable in circumstances suggestive of anything but retire- 
ment. But straightway there came another unlocked for dis- 



A CORNSTALK BED. 327 

turbance. The horses had by this time pretty well eaten up their 
cornstalks all the forage we could obtain for them and in their 
eagerness for more they began to pick and pull at the ends of 
the stalks composing our bed. In addition, the same horse, 
thinking it a good and appropriate act, laid down in the mud for 
a good roll, by which he succeeded in fastening his hind legs in 
the wagon wheel ; and finally, as if by one great annoyance to 
make us forget a great many small ones, the threatened rain 
began to fall, giving us the prospect of a thorough wetting. It 
was now necessary to rise slowly, carefully, amid the hooks and 
axletrees and spread my poncho over us, and feeling that we 
had done all that imperfect human beings could do to make the 
best of our situation, we strove hard to sleep, rocked by the 
jerking ambulance and lulled by the pattering rain. After sun- 
dry eiforts to make our bones fit between the cornstalks, and 
with thoughts of home, the events of the past day, the strange 
forebodings of the morrow all mingling confusedly in our minds, 
" tired nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep," dropped his mild 
influence on our eyelids and bade us rest ; and but for an occa 
sional pull by the horses at the cornstalks under us, or the 
blankets over us, the remainder of the night we were undisturbed. 
Tuesday, Dec. 30^. Rose about half-past six. It was quite 
a feat to pull on one's boots under the ambulance before stepping 
out into the mud. After a glance at the water, which was about 
as thick though not as dark as coffee, concluded that I was too 
clean to risk a wash. A fire being kindled, we had beef, coffee 
and hard bread. Had expected early orders to march, but they 
did not come. The whistle of the locomotive at Murfrees- 
borough had been heard at intervals all night, and there were 
speculations as to whether it betokened reinforcements or evacu- 
ation. I had rather inclined to the latter, supposing that the 



328 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

usual policy of our enemy has been to draw us on as far as pos- 
sible from our base of supplies, and gain as much time to bring 
their limited forces to the spot, thus making their smaller army 
really equal to our larger one. "Well," said some, "there are 
many things we shall know to-morrow night that we do not 
know now" a remark which received a striking and sad veri- 
fication. 

After breakfast, went down to the regiment and found the men 
cheerful and courageous after their comfortless night. Alas, it 
was to many their last night, and to others the first of many 
nights of discomfort and sorrow. Here, too, they were all spec- 
ulating upon the probabilities of finding any enemy between us 
and Murfreesborough. But we were not long left in suspense. 
The booming of artillery in the front told that our troops were 
beginning to take up their positions for the day. Orderlies 
galloped to and fro over the pike, and soon Gen. Sheridan 
appeared and his division began to move. 

There were no braver men in the army than the three officers 
who commanded the brigades in our division. Col. Roberts led 
out his brigade first, and I noticed with what feeling he bade 
adieu to Gen. Sheridan, as though conscious of the perilous work 
that devolved upon him. Then came our brigade, led by the 
esteemed Sill, the 36th being in advance, with the ''old man" 
at the head. Our regiment never looked larger to me than this 
morning, as I sat on my horse at the gap in the fence where they 
passed out on to the pike, while, as usual, the whole column 
resounded with fun and laughter. 

We had not gone far before skirmishers were thrown out to our 
right, we marching on until we came to the edge of the timber, 
when we turned to the right and took up a position on the south 
edge of it in front of a cornfield, the other regiments of the 



ADVANCE OF DAVIS ' DIVISION. 329 

brigade being arranged on each side, a battery of artillery being 
at the left edge of the wood, and another a little to the right. 
It was not long before the regiment was ordered forward into the 
cornfield, and the men laid down. The battery on the left began 
to play, and was occasionally responded to from the woods where 
the enemy were concealed. Dr. Pierce and I being behind the 
regiment, were ordered by the Colonel to retire into the woods. 
Skirmishers were sent out to feel the position of the enemy in 
the woods in front of us, while we remained stationary for about 
two hours. 

While there, Davis' Division advanced in line of battle across 
the field, on the right, and entered the thick woods to the right 
of where our skirmishers were. It was not long before our 
division was ordered forward, marching down the open field 
towards the woods, thus joining our right to Davis' left, Johnson 
having made a similar movement on the right of Davis ; the 
whole line going not due south straight forward but diagonally 
towards Murfreesborough. so as to form when the fighting was 
over for the night the line of battle. 

Dr. Pierce and I started to follow across the cornfield towards 
the woods. Being a little to the left, we rode somewhat diagon- 
ally to come up to the regiment, when the battery on the right 
opened fire, and of course was right across the track we were 
taking. A ball cut the tops of the cornstalks so little in advance 
of us that had we started two or three seconds sooner, or traveled 
so much faster as to have been a few steps further forward, we 
should probably both have been struck, for I was slightly in his 
rear and to the left, and therefore what had struck one would 
probably have taken both. We immediately concluded that it 
was but foolhardiness for those on whom the care of wounded 
devolved thus to expose themselves when they could render no 

22 



330 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

kind of service. Just at this moment a man from the 22nd 
Illinois coming up from the woods with his hand shot and need- 
ing immediate attention, we rode to a house on the left and took 
possession of it for a hospital, it being nearest of any to the scene 
of action. 

This building, or rather series of buildings, is what we called 
" Hospital Harding," and was our place of residence for over a 
week, where we had the care of upwards of one hundred and fifty 
wounded. The house was a third rate frame building, with the 
log cook-house, &c., attached, and surrounded by negro cabins, 
as is the custom here, while at a little distance was a barn, 
cotton gin and all the appliances of a cotton plantation. The 
owner was evidently a man of considerable wealth, owning about 
fifty negroes, and having an extensive plantation. There were 
evidences on the premises of considerable refinement, a well cul- 
tivated garden and good pianoforte being respectively the external 
and internal representatives of it. Mr. Harding was at home, 
and two or three negroes. At the time we took possession they 
had sought safety in the cellar. But the rest of the family, 
white and black, had been removed to the other side of Murfrees- 
borough, the secesh commanders having informed him a few days 
before that the battle would be fought on his land. He looked 
with anything but complacency upon the Federal army, nnd 
indeed there was nothing peculiarly attractive in a body of men 
taking forcible possession of a man's house, covering his floors, 
carpets, beds and bedding with bleeding men, and appropriating 
anything within reach that might be made serviceable. 

But I saw him under both Northern and Southern rule and 
thought it plain that he sympathized with the latter ; yet it was 
equally plain that he had very little human kindness in his breast, 
and that the claims of humanity were very lightly felt a remark 



CARE OF THE WOUNDED. 331 

applicable to very few of the Southerners with whom I came in 
contact. He evidently cared very little for North or South in 
comparison I will not say with his family or plantation but 
with his household furniture, his chickens, and the most trifling 
articles of personal property. A marked illustration of this I 
will give in its proper place. 

We had no sooner attended to, the wounded man just men- 
tioned, and were preparing to go again on the field, than one and 
another began to arrive, some riding, some walking, and some 
carried upon stretchers, but all more or less dangerously wounded. 
Dr. Young who, besides being the senior surgeon of the 36th, 
was also brigade surgeon had by this time arrived, together with 
the surgeons of the 88th Illinois and the 24th Wisconsin, and 
there was work for all. To me was assigned the duty of taking 
the names of the wounded, their regiment and the location and 
character of their wounds, and as I went the rounds it was sad to 
find that a large proportion, nearly three-fifths, were of my own 
regiment, they having been placed in front. Henry came in, but 
happily his wound was not dangerous. One young man, who is 
a professor of religion, and whose name was among those associ- 
ated together for mutual watch- care and Christian effort, was 
brought in dangerously wounded, and as I approached him he 
exclaimed, * 4 0, Chaplain, I am so glad I have my name on your 
list." While all this was going on, the fight outside became more 
fierce as the forces came into closer contact ; a battery planted 
near the house convulsed the ground at every explosion, and 
threatening to dash in pieces every pane of glass. 

But by-and-by the friendly night, as if sickened at the sight of 
slaughter, separated the combatants, and all was still. The result 
of this short conflict, so far as our portion of the field was con- 
cerned, was five killed and twenty-seven wounded, of which there 
were belonging to the 36th three killed and thirteen wounded. 



332 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Among the wounded was Lieut. Davidson, aid to Gen. Sill, 
who had been struck by a ball evidently aimed at Col. Greusel, 
but which glancing by, severely wounded the Lieutenant. After 
dark Gen. Sill came in to see him. The General was at once a 
fearless and able soldier, and a kind and modest gentleman a 
man whom foes might fear, and friends could not but love. It 
was a great comfort to the wounded man to have his General take 
such interest in him. Just before leaving, he stood for awhile 
leaning on his sword, wrapt in deep thought, and I imagined a 
shade of sadness on his fine face. The next morning, when he 
was killed almost instantly at the opening of the battle, I won- 
dered whether some sad presentiment of his fate was not passing 
through his mind as he stood the evening before, gazing silently 
upon his wounded aid. 

The question of the morning was now solved ; the enemy in 
force was before us ; and as we spread our blankets on the floor 
and composed ourselves to rest, it was with the full conviction 
that to-morrow would witness one of the fiercest and bloodiest 
battles of the war. 

Wednesday, Dec. 31s, 1862. Rose between four and five 
o'clock. There was no water to be had, nor anything to put it 
in, so that another day I had to go unwashed. For breakfast had 
fat pork and hoe-cake, made of corn meal and water. An order 
had come during the night to have all the wounded removed to a 
house two miles in the rear, as the ground on which the hospital 
stood was expected to be hotly contested. With them I sent 
Henry, in charge of my horse and blankets, thinking I should be 
so busy during the day that I could not attend to private prop- 
erty. It was very fortunate I did so, or horse and equipments 
would have fallen into secesh hands. By the time this work was 
accomplished, day had dawned. A few of us occupied the leisure 



THE HOSPITAL UNDER FIRE. 333 

moments in examining the grounds, the line of battle at the edge 
of the wood below us, and in hoisting a red flag on the roof, that 
the house might be spared by both armies. Dr. Griffiths, Divis- 
ion Surgeon, called and told us that the heaviest fighting would 
be on this ground, and that if the fire became too hot we had 
better retire. 

He had scarcely left us when a big gun sounded from the woods 
opposite our division, giving notice that the fearful work of the 
day was beginning. It was significant also that the first gun was 
fired by the enemy, showing that the policy of the day before 
waiting to be attacked was not to be continued to-day, but that 
he had assumed the offensive, and was about to hurl upon one of 
our wings all his available force. This first shot was quickly 
followed by others, and the various regiments of our division 
were soon on their feet, prepared for action. Shot and shell 
began to fall very near our house, while a battery on the hill 
behind us opened fire, thus placing us in imminent danger from 
both sides. 

We concluded the time had come to obey Dr. Griffith's order, 
but loth to give up the house so conveniently situated for our 
regiment, and not doubting for a moment that our troops would 
speedily advance and drive the enemy before them, thus placing 
our hospital out of range, we decided to retire for a short time to 
the woods in the rear, from which we had advanced the day 
before. There was no time for delay. Dr. Pierce mounted his 
horse, while I started on foot, and made all haste across the corn- 
field, bearing constantly to the west, to keep out of range of the 
battery, until we reached the edge of the woods, I thoroughly 
exhausted with tramping through the mud and minus one spur. 
Here we stayed a short time, until we were joined by some of 
the 36th who had just- been wounded and needed immediate 



334 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

attention. It being madness to return to our old place, we took 
them to another house Orison's further to the west, where 
were gathered several hundred wounded, chiefly of the previous 
day, but increased every moment by fresh arrivals from the field. 
Finding it impossible to obtain accommodations in the house, we 
had to content ourselves with giving them places on the veranda, 
and went vigorously at work, Dr. Pierce performing the necessary 
operations, and I holding the instruments, bandages, &c. 

It was while we were thus engaged that we began to suspect 
our line was falling back. The firing, especially the musketry, 
was unmistakably drawing nearer. An orderly rode up hurridly, 
to have all the ambulances driven to the rear as fast as they 
arrived. The surgeon in charge ordered a man to hoist the red 
flag. One of our men whose wound had been dressed, and who 
having the use of his hands, had just been sent by Dr. Pierce to 
build a fire wounded men are always chilly returned, saying 
he was wounded again, a shot having struck his arm. It was 
evident, therefore, that not only was our line retiring, but that 
already we were within range of the enemy's musketry. 

Now what shall we do? was the question. Shall we make 
our escape while we can, or remain and care for the wounded, 
especially those of our own regiment, which we had already 
learned from those who had come in, was fearfully cut up ? We 
both felt that to flee would be dishonorable both to our profession 
and to our humanity. " I shall stay," said the Doctor. " So 
shall I," said the Chaplain. Immediately every man whose 
wounds did not unfit him for traveling was ordered to escape to 
the rear ; our retreating army made its appearance, and the fields 
and woods around us were alive with men and horses, all hurry- 
ing away from the advancing enemy. But grasping the halter 
of Dr. Pierce' s horse we again commenced our work among the 



A TARGET FOR BOTH FRIEND AND FOE. 335 

suffering. In a moment "whisk!" came a shell right through 
the yard, quickly followed by another and another. In the con- 
fusion the old red flag had not been hoisted according to order, 
and here we were in the full range of a battery ! We hastily 
retreated behind the house, taking with us both the wounded men 
and the horse, and crouching down as low as possible we pursued 
our work. Those moments were terrible, while shot and shell 
rained thickly around us, and we felt that every breath might be 
our last. 

One man was shot on the platform close to us. But neither 
of us regretted that we had stayed behind, and many a time 
afterward, when we were surrounded by wounded and dying men 
at Hospital Harding, we expressed our gladness and gratitude 
that we had kept the path of duty, which in this case certainly 
proved to be the "path of safety." 

But on came the Confederate columns, cheering as they 
advanced, and sweeping through the yard, fairly enclosed us in 
their lines. Every man with arms laid them down, and we passed 
into Dixie without an effort, and without for a moment ceasing 
to dress wounds. We had scarcely time to breathe freely in our 
new situation before another danger arose. 

Our line had found a rallying point and planted a battery, and 
" whisk!" came a shell through the yard from them. We were 
destined to be a target for friends as well as foes. This was pecu- 
liarly unpleasant, for if we were to be shot at all, we preferred 
that it should not be by our own army. So gathering all up 
again, and still holding on to the horse, who had no relish for his 
strange position, we hastened to the other side of the house, and 
behind some log out-buildings, seated ourselves on some timbers 
and resumed our work. But by-and-by, our batteries and our 



336 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

line receded, a second line of the Confederate army marched up 
and we resigned ourselves to our fate. 

In all my anticipations and forebodings of the day, no such 
denouement as this had any part. I looked for a fierce and 
bloody contest equal to any since the war began ; for the thun- 
dering of artillery, the roll of musketry, and worst of all, for 
the masses of dead and crowd of wounded and dying; but the 
thought that our line would be driven back, and I should find 
myself in the Southern Confederacy, never for a moment crossed 
my mind. I could scarcely credit my own senses when the stub- 
born fact stared me in the face. Why was all this ? We both 
thought we could discern the cause, and subsequent inquiries and 
developments confirmed our suspicions. The truth was, we were 
surprised, and "Shiloh" was the word we exchanged when we 
had time to reflect. The enemy had played his old game, and 
successfully, too, of massing his force suddenly upon one wing 
of our army, and partly by the weight of his columns, and partly 
by the surprise of the attack, we had been driven back. I can- 
not say that the Generals had taken me into their confidence, but 
as "actions speak louder than words," I will tell you what from 
their actions appeared to me to be the plans of the Generals on 
both sides, and from facts learned after we were once more within 
our own lines, I think I am not far from the truth. 

Our line of battle on Tuesday night extended about three 
miles, Johnson being on the extreme right, near the Franklin 
pike. Next came Davis' Division, then Sheridan's. These three 
divisions constituted Me Cook's corps, or right wing. Next to 
him was Thomas' corps, and then Crittenden'6 on the left. On 
the two pikes in the rear, and protected by our line of battle, 
were our trains of ammunition and army stores. Rosencrans' 
headquarters were several miles back on the Nashville pike. 



THE CONFEDERATE PLAN WELL EXECUTED. 337 

I do not believe it was Gen. R's design to attack on Wednes- 
day morning with his whole line, for I listened anxiously to hear 
Crittenden's cannonade, hoping that a movement on the left 
might relieve us on the right. But I listened in vain, and I 
think it was not designed that Crittenden should advance, until 
it was found that our attack on the right was successful, when he 
should march into the town and complete the rout of the enemy. 
But they also had their plan, which was to hold back on Tuesday 
until our forces were brought forward and something of their 
strength could be ascertained, and then leaving a small force to 
threaten and check our left, hurl their available strength on 
McCook's : 'corps, dr've him back, take possession of the two pikes, 
thus securing not only our trains of supplies and ammunition, 
but effectually cutting us off from Nashville. This would com- 
pel us to retreat to some point on the Cumberland river, and by 
harassing our rear and attacking us in detail, they could weary 
out and demoralize our forces. In accordance with this plan, 
their cavalry had attacked and burned an immense train on Tues- 
day, at Lavergne, on the Nashville road, and at the same time 
the attack was made on our right, a heavy force of cavalry was 
sent around to our rear, and while McCook was falling back our 
whole train of ammunition and supplies was falling into the 
enemy's hands. I am glad to say, however, they did not keep 
it above twenty or thirty minutes. 

It is simple justice to a brave foe to admit that their plan was 
admirably conceived and well executed, and for a time seemed 
certain of success. But it must also be said that there were cir- 
cumstances in our army which favored their plan, and helped 
materially to carry it out. Chief among them was the mode in 
which they fought the previous day. The mass of their army 
was concealed behind the woods, and it was only by the continual 



338 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

advance of our skirmishers and lines that we could find them at 
all. Our Generals, or at least some of them, never dreamed but 
what the same mode of fighting would be adopted on Wednesday, 
and that nothing would be done until they made the attack. 
When, therefore, the enemy who had been slightly massing his 
troops all night, started as soon as it was light, and charged 
heavily along our whole line, driving in our pickets and stopping 
at nothing, he found our troops on the extreme right, the most 
important part of all, entirely unprepared. They were not in 
line of battle, their arms were stacked, not a few were in their 
shelter tents, others cooking and fetching water, while the horses 
of at least one battery were off watering, and the battery was 
captured without firing a single shot. Of course they retreated 
in confusion, by which Davis was not only attacked in front but 
also on his right flank, and nothing but retreat could save him 
from destruction. This brought Sheridan into the same position, 
and desperately did his division seek to turn the tide. They 
fought until it was useless to stand longer, when thev were 
ordered back Rosecrans himself saying that Sheridan had saved 
his army, but at what a fearful cost! Let the silent voices of 
three brigade commanders, and two hundred killed and wounded 
of my beloved regiment alone, reveal. 

But you will be anxious to know more particularly the part 
the 36th performed in this deadly struggle. When we left the 
regiment the afternoon before to attend to the wounded, they 
continued their march to the woods, bearing towards Murfrees- 
borough, in the direction of the line of battle. They were ordered 
to lie down, while a battery placed below the hospital fired over 
them into the woods, where was the far-famed Washington bat- 
tery, of New Orleans. After a while the regiment was ordered 
up and to fix bayonets for a charge on the battery, seeing which 



VIGILANCE OF GEN. SILL. 339 

the enemy hastened to draw it off, The left of the regiment 
was then brought up even with the woods, making the whole line 
parallel with and facing into the woods. It was while this move- 
ment was being made, which brought one end of the regiment 
towards the enemy, that a large number of the wounds of our 
men were received. Quickly, however, the position was changed, 
and when the firing ceased for the night, they occupied the ground 
half in the woods and half out. Our skirmishers were thrown 
out to the edge of the cornfield, while the skirmishers of the 
enemy occupied the woods on the other side, the cornfield being 
the disputed ground. 

Whatever neglect may be attributed to other officers, none can 
attach to ours, whether brigade or regimental. The men were 
allowed no tents, nor comforts, but for the second night had to 
lie upon the ground, with nothing to eat but hard bread and raw 
pork. They continued in line of battle all night, and though 
these regulations were hard to bear, if all our army had been 
dealt with in this manner, the day's disaster might have been 
prevented. Gen. Sill never for a moment relaxed his attention 
to his brigade. He visited our advanced skirmishers and watched 
during the night as the enemy massed his troops opposite. He 
foresaw the events of the coming day, and therefore it was that 
he ordered the wounded to be carried to the rear before daylight. 
When the first gun was fired from the woods and the desperate 
charge was made, there was no surprise, every man was in his 
place. Col. Greusel sent his horse to the rear, sharing with his 
men the dangers of the position; and as the enemy advanced, 
passing through our line of skirmishers, the 36th, sheltered by a 
low pile of rails in their front, poured such volleys into their 
ranks that they wavered and began to fall back. Immediately 
an order was given to charge bayonets. The men started up and 



840 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

charged to the edge of the woods, but fresh columns of the enemy 
were advancing, the regiment on our right, too. had given way, 
so that the 36th fell back to its original position, and again poured 
its volleys into the advancing foe. 

It was now that Gen. Sill fell mortally wounded under the left 
eye, while directing the movements of the battery, and the enemy 
pouring in upon the right as well as front of the regiment, thus 
obtaining a raking fire upon it, company after company was com- 
pelled to fall back to escape utter destruction. A rally was made 
at Schaffer's Brigade, which was in the rear, but the ammunition 
of the men was expended, and by order of Gen. Me Cook they 
fell back to replenish. 

The record of this deadly struggle can be read not only in the 
fearful list of our killed and wounded, but in the trees among 
which it took place. No part of the whole field showed more 
plainly the awful storm that raged around. Trees were there 
with numerous bullets imbedded in each side, and one more con- 
spicuous than the rest, two and a-half feet through, was com- 
pletely pierced by a cannon ball, and others were torn to splinters 
by shells. As we gazed upon these silent evidences we wondered 
how any man escaped with life. 

As it was, we had forty-five killed and one hundred and fifty- 
four wounded, not a few of whom have since died, and others 
cannot recover. 

Well might the regiment use in sad sincerity the words spoken 
in jest as we waded through the mud at Triune, "0, my coun- 
try, how much do I suffer for thee!" 

I will pause here in my personal narrative to insert the descrip- 
tion given by Major Miller, to his friends at Aurora, on his release 
from captivity in Libby Prison. He says : 

From Nashville we advanced towards Murfreesborough slowly, 
as the mud was knee deep, and skirmishing all the time. The 



UNDER A HEAVY ARTILLERY FIRE. 341 

day before the battle of Murfreesborough, the 30th, we encoun- 
tered the enemy in strong force their infantry continually oppos- 
ing our advance ; skirmishing most of the time, and skirmishing 
is the prettiest way of fighting in the world. We advanced till 
we had to rest for the day. Soon the rebels opened upon us 
with five or six pieces of artillery, and if I was ever under a 
heavy artillery fire, it was that afternoon. I have always enter- 
tained considerable regard for the ability of the being called 
Lucifer to make hideous noises, but I don't think he could get 
up anything to compare with the horrible screeching, hissing and 
moaning of grape, shell and shrapnel from artillery. But the 
danger to which you are exposed is not to be compared with that 
of musketry. The minnie ball may go by without being noticed, 
but a shell that weighs from six to thirty pounds makes a noise 
that sends a thrill of horror to your very soul. That night was 
cold and dreary, and we could not stir without a ball whizzing by. 
They would not come over to talk, but would send over little 
messengers. It was absolutely necessary for every man to keep 
still. Dared not go to the fire to warm ; could not get up and 
dance around unless you went to the rear, and if the Colonel 
found you there, you would go back without ceremony. It was 
generally understood that we were to attack, until informed 
that the enemy were to attack us. Under these circumstances 
we were ordered to fall back slowly, and the left wing was to fall 
upon Murfreesborough. At daybreak we had just finished our 
breakfast when a continued fire of musketry was heard. Very 
soon our skirmishers were falling back, and when you get the 
Elgin boys with their Enfield rifles and those fellows down here 
with their Springfield rifles, you may bet your life they come into 
line of battle very suddenly, and some work is soon accomplished. 
They were not slow of action upon this occasion. On came the 
rebels, the 24th Wisconsin waiting to receive them. The divis- 
ions to the right were driven back. We knew nothing of the 
fate of those to the right or left. It made no difference to us; 
our instructions were to hold that point. The enemy's attack 
was the most terrific I have ever witnessed. I have heard officers 
who were in the battles of Shiloh, Antietam, South Mountain 



342 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

and Richmond, assert that they never saw such an impetuous 
attack an attack which it was so utterly impossible to resist. 
When troops are all formed, one brigade in the rear of another, 
moving in a perfect column, the opposing line must give way 
somewhere. The enemy's force struck our line, which was single 
and not backed up by supports, as they could have been, some- 
where near the center of Davis' Division. 

Some held their positions long enough to fire eight or ten 
rounds at the enemy. With such furious onslaught they moved 
on, taking full batteries before the horses were harnessed. The 
enemy advanced in splendid style, their first lines coming up 
closely upon each other, until within range of our boys, who 
gave them such a warm reception that not over half of them went 
back again. Some went back, and in a great hurry, too. One 
regiment on our right, composed of just as good materials as any 
regiment in the service, as their works on that day proved, the 
officers did not command with the most implicit confidence. That 
regiment broke, and in attempting to rally it, Gen. Sill was 
killed. Another regiment took its place, and when the order was 
given to charge upon the enemy, every man was up for the fray, 
and they administered to the first line terrible punishment. We 
had hardly left our position for the charge when the word came, 
"Gen. Sill is killed!" It shocked me terribly, for if I ever 
loved any man, that man was Gen. Sill. He was a man to love. 
He loved every patriot, and every patriot loved him. 

The second line of the enemy was upon us. We first charged, 
then fell back to wait their attack. They were upon us before 
we were fairly formed. The place upon our right had been refilled 
by new regiments. They could not hold their position long, and 
when it was absolutely impossible to do so longer, they fell back. 
I cursed until I was hoarse the men who left the field in such dis- 
grace. 

You don't know how intensely you can love or hate a man until 
you have seen him on the battle-field. The second line of the 
enemy had been whipped and every regiment was about making 
another charge. The enemy prepared to advance the second 



LIBRARY 

OF THE 
DIVERSITY oflLLU 








' 



LIEUT, GER PHILIP H. SHERIDAN,!! S.A. 



MAJOR MILLER'S DESCRIPTION OF THE BATTLE. 343 

line coming up and waiting for their approach, when a tremen- 
dous roar came and nothing could be heard but the terrible crash 
of musketry. The surrounding scenes if I could describe, I 
would not attempt to. 

When the third line of the enemy came up, further resistance 
ceased to be a virtue it was a useless waste of life. The galling 
fire of the right was more destructive than any other, and not 
having seen a superior officer for some time, I gave the order to 
retreat, and never felt so proud as when I saw the little band run 
as fast as their legs could carry them. They were only going a 
little further, to welcome them on for a more deadly conflict. 
Just there I bade the regiment "good bye." That was the day 
before New Years. I never felt so perfectly satisfied that we 
could whip them three to one, if they would come straight in 
front. 

To me, the light of that day was darkness and despair. The 
showers of tears that poured over me as the corporals asked if they 
should not carry me to the hospital, was a strong contrast to what 
I heard two minutes afterward ; " Oh, you d d Yankee, we've 
got you now !" 

An eye-witness describes the progress and final checking of the 
enemy on the Nashville Pike thus : 

To Gen. Sheridan was left the task of repelling the hitherto 
successful onset of the foe. Never did man labor more faithfully 
than he to perform his task, and never was a leader seconded by 
more gallant soldiers, His Division formed a kind of pivot upon 
which the broken right wing turned in its flight, and its perilous 
condition can easily be imagined, when the flight of Davis' 
Division left it without any protection from the triumphant 
enemy, who now swarmed upon its front and right flank. 
But it fought until a fourth of its number lay bleeding and dying 
upon the field, and both remaining commanders, Col. Roberts and 
Col. Schatfer. had met with the same fate as Gen. Sill. Then it 
gave way. and as in almost every instance of the kind, retreat 
was changed into a rout, only less complete than that of the troops 
of Johnson and Davis. 



344 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

All these divisions were now hurled back together into the 
immense series of cedar thickets which skirt the turnpike and 
extend far over the right. Brigade after brigade, battery after 
battery, from Palmer's, Negley's and Rousseau's Divisions, were 
sent into the midst of the thickets to check the progress of the 
foe and rally the fugitives ; but all in turn were either crushed 
outright by the flying crowds, broken by the impetuosity of the 
foe, and put to confused flight or compelled to retire and extricate 
themselves in the best manner that seemed to offer. 

The history of the combat in those dark, cedar thickets will 
never be known. No man could see even the whole of his own 
regiment, and no one will ever be able to tell who they were that 
fought the bravest and they who proved recreant to their trust. 
I know, too, that there was shown by many officers and regi- 
ments as lofty a heroism as that which distinguished and immor- 
talized the followers of Godfrey or the Cid. 

But in spite of heroism and devotion, in spite of desperate 
struggles which marked every fresh advance of the foe, in spite 
of an awful sacrifice of life on the part of the officers and soldiers 
of the Union army, the Rebels still steadily pushed onward and 
came nearer to the turnpike. Nearly two and a-half miles the 
right wing of the army had been driven, and a faintness of heart 
came over me as the destruction of our whole army seemed to 
stare us in the face. But the word went forth from Rosecrans, 
the flower of the left wing and centre were hurried over toward 
the right, and massed, rank behind rank, in an array of impos- 
ing grandeur, along the turnpike, facing to the woods through 
which the Rebels were advancing. 

The scene at this time was grand and awful as anything that I 
ever expect to witness until the Day of Judgment. I stood in 
the midst and upon the highest point of the somewhat elevated 
space between the turnpike and the railroad, which formed the 
key to our entire position. Let the Rebels once obtain posses- 
sion of it, and of the immense train of wagons parked along the 
turnpike, and the Union army was irretrievably ruined. Even 



THE STORM OF BATTLE. 345 

its lines of retreat would be cut off, and nothing would save it 
from utter rout, slaughter and capture. 

And yet each minute it became more and more plainly evident 
that all the reinforcements which had been hurried into the woods 
to sustain and rally the broken right wing and check the progress 
of the enemy in that direction, had proved inadequate to the 
task, and had in turn been overthrown by the great mass which 
was struggling in inextricable disorder through the woods. Such 
sounds as proceeded from that gloomy forest of pines and cedars 
were enough to appal with terror the stoutest hearts. The roar 
of cannon, the crashing of shot through the trees, the whizzing 
and bursting of shell, the uninterrupted rattle of thirty thou- 
sand muskets, all mingled in one prolonged and tremendous 
volume of sound, as though all the thunders of heaven had been 
rolled together, and each individual burst of celestial artillery 
had been rendered perpetual. Above it could be heard the wild 
cheer of the traitorous hosts, as body after body of our troops 
gave way and were pushed back toward the turnpike. 

Nearer and nearer came the storm; louder and louder the 
tumult of battle. The immense train of wagons parked along 
the road suddenly seemed instinct with life, and every species of 
army vehicle, preceded by frightened mules and horses, rolled 
and rattled away pell mell in an opposite direction from that in 
which the victorious foe was pressing onward. The shouts and 
cries of the terrified teamsters, urging their animals to the top of 
their speed, were now mingled with the billows of sound which 
swayed and surged over the field. 

Everything now depended upon the regiments and batteries 
which the genius of Rosecrans had massed along the turnpike, to 
receive the enemy when he should emerge from the woods in 
pursuit of our broken and flying batallion. Suddenly the rout 
became visible, and ten thousand fugitives, representing every pos- 
sible phase of wild and uncontrollable disorder, burst from the 
cedar thickets and rushed into the open space between them and 
the turnpike. Amongst them all perhaps no half dozen mem- 
bers of the same regiment could have been found together. 

23 



346 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Thick and fast the bullets of the enemy fell among them, and 
scores were shot down ; but still the number increased by reason 
of the fresh crowds which burst every moment from the thickets. 
It was with the greatest difficulty that some of the regiments, 
which had been massed together as a sort of forlorn hope, to 
withstand and if possible drive back the victorious cohorts of 
treason, could prevent their ranks from being crushed or broken 
by the mass of fugitives. 

From my position, upon the elevated ground between the rail- 
road and the turnpike, I could view the whole scene, and with an 
intensity of interest and tumultuous emotions which I have no 
language to express, I watched for the result when the desperate 
soldiers of the rebellion should enter the open space. A tempest 
of iron was whistling about my head ; but for the first time since 
I began to participate in the transactions of this fearful war, they 
whistled and burst unheeded. I make no pretentions to extra- 
ordinary physical courage. He who says that amid the horrors 
of a battle he experiences no feeling of awe, and sometimes shrink- 
ing awe, is a falsifier, an idiot, or a madman. But at this time 
I could not have retired even had I been so inclined. My feet 
were rooted to the spot ; my gaze was fascinated and fixed upon 
the quarter where I expected the enemy to appear, and had an 
earthquake rent the ground before me I could not have moved 
from the spot, until I knew from the testimony of my own eye- 
sight whether or no the troops, upon whom rested the last hope 
of the Union army, were to be, like the rest, beaten and over- 
thrown. It was not in consequence of superior physical courage 
that I remained there, but of the mental impossibility of doing 
otherwise. 

With cool courage, Gen. Crittenden awaited the coming storm, 
and conspicuous among all was the well built form of the com- 
manding General ; his countenance unmoved by the tumult around 
him, but expressing a high and patriotic hope, which acted like 
an inspiration upon every one that beheld him. As he cast 
his eye over the grand array which he had mustered to repel 
the foe, he already fe}t himself master of the situation. 



BATTLE STILL RAGING. 347 

At last the long lines of the enemy emerged from the woods, 
rank behind rank, and with a demoniac yell, intended to strike 
into the souls of the " Yankees " who stood before them, charged 
with fearful energy almost to the very muzzles of the cannon 
whose dark mouths yawned upon them. 

A dazzling sheet of flame burst from the ranks of the Union 
forces. An awful roar shook the earth ; a crash rent the atmos- 
phere. The foremost lines of the rebel host were literally swept 
from the field, and seemed to melt away like snowflakes before a 
flame. Then both armies were enveloped in a vast cloud of 
smoke, which hid everything from the eye. 

In the still visible ground between the pike and the railroad, 
the tumult redoubled. Not knowing what would be the result 
of the strife which was raging under the great canopy of smoke 
that concealed the combatants, the flight of those in charge of 
wagons and ambulances became still more rapid and disordered. 
Thousands of fugitives from the broken right wing mingled with 
the teams, and frequently a mass of men, horses and wagons 
would be crushed and ground together. Every conceivable form 
of deadly missile whizzed and whirled and burst among the crowd, 
and terror and dismay ruled uncontrolled. The whole disordered 
mass rushed down as fast as possible toward the river, into which 
it plunged, pushing and struggling to the other side. 

The combat under that great cloud of smoke was some- 
what similar to that in the woods. No one knows exactly what 
occurred. There was a shout, a charge, a rush of fire, a recoil, 
and then all for a time disappeared. For ten minutes the thun- 
der of battle burst forth from the cloud. When our batallion 
advanced they found no Rebels between the woods arid the turn- 
pike, except the dead, dying and disabled. There were hundreds 
of these, and their blood soaked and reddened the ground. 
Since the annihilation of the " Old Guard " in their charge at 
Waterloo, there has probably not been an instance of so great a 
slaughter in so short a time, as during this repulse of the Rebel 
left at Murfreesboro, and it will hereafter be celebrated in history, 
as much as is the fiery combat which crushed forever the power 
and prospects of Napoleon. 



348 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

\ 

I will now return to .relate our adventures after being enclosed 
in .the enemy's lines. 

A Provost- Guard was immediately placed around all the build- 
ings. In a few minutes Gens. Hardee and Cheatham, with their 
staffs, rode up. Gen. Hardee has a very dignified and intellect- 
ual countenance, and, what rather surprised me in a Southern 
chief, was remarkably placid. No one can see him without feel- 
ing that he is a man of unusual ability. Gen. Cheatham was 
more demonstrative, and answered more nearly to the character 
attributed to Southerners. It was the judgment of more than 
one that day that he was intoxicated. While they were near 
the house, the body of Gen. Rains one of their commanders at 
Pea Ridge was brought in on a stretcher. Those who stood 
by said that Cheatham wept freely when he saw that his friend 
had fallen. One of Hardee's staff soon called out all the Fed- 
eral soldiers who could walk, and ordering them to take off their 
hats, administered to them the oath not to take up arms until 
regularly exchanged. At first I was a little surprised at the 
haste with which this was done ; but when I saw the cautious- 
ness their generals manifested in advancing their troops, I con- 
eluded they were not by any means sure of their position and 
thought it best to secure as many as possible of our men, lest 
our line should return. All who could walk to Murfreesboro, .j 
except a few detached as nurses, were then marched off under 
guard, and as they shouted their u goodbyes " to their comrades, 
I wondered what strange and perhaps sad scenes they would pass 
through before they would meet again. Of course we knew that 
we could not be paroled or treated as prisoners of war, so we con- 
tinued without intermission the care of the wounded, paying no 
attention to the call for all Federals to fall in. Just before the 
rest were marched off, the officer called for Dr. Pierce, who 



THE TIDE OF BATTLE TURNS. 349 

informed him that he and I had remained to care for the wounded. 
"Very well," he replied, "you and the Chaplain will do what 
you can for the interests of humanity." So to work we went 
again now and then attending to a wounded secesh as well as 
our own men. 

We listened anxiously, to judge if possible the fate of our 
army, but farther and farther went our columns, and the can- 
nonade grew fainter and fainter. At last there was evidently a 
stand our men obstinately refusing to be driven any further 
and then commenced such a roll of musketry as I never heard 
before and hope never to hear again. It made us both pause in 
our work, and raise up, and wait, looking in the direction from 
which it came, and my heart sank for a moment, as I thought of 
the awful slaughter that must ensue ; for in a battle, it is such 
musketry as that which cuts down men. Happily such fighting 
never lasts long one side or the other must give back. This 
time it was the enemy. Our columns were evidently advancing 
the firing came nearer the last line, with its battery, that 
had gone past us, came back, and formed very near us, as though 
to cover the retreat of the advance line, and finally a friendly 
cannon ball from one of our guns came whistling over our heads, 
and by our looks, and remarks uttered in a low voice, we began 
to congratulate ourselves that the day was not as disastrous as 
we had supposed, but that perhaps we might yet sleep at night 
within our own lines. But no more shots came over us ; our 
columns had evidently ceased their advance, and we worked on 
to alleviate the mass of suifering around us. But as hour after 
hour passed by in this labor, it seemed as though nothing had 
been done, so constantly were we met with the cry, accompanied 
by such a piercing look as only a wounded man can give, " 
Doctor, won't you do something for me ?" Go where we would, 



350 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

on every hand, in that spacious house, in the numerous tents and 
outhouses, and laid all over the yard, were the suffering, the 
mutilated, the dying and the dead. 

Exhausted, we sat down to rest a few moments. In my pocket 
I found some hard bread, which was duly divided. Dr. P. 
objected against my robbing myself, but I insisted that in our 
captivity we should share alike. It then became a matter of 
interest to find how much money could be raised between us, for 
who could tell how long our captivity would last ? But again 
the suffering soldiers called for help. After this, Major Pickett, 
Inspector General on Hardee's staff went round, taking the names 
of the wounded soldiers for parole. Dr. Pierce inquired of him 
as to the prospect of our being able to return to our former hos- 
pital, where we supposed we should find the wounded of our own 
regiment, for whom we felt the greatest responsibility and inter- 
est. He replied that at any time we desired to go he would fur- 
nish us with a pass. We continued at work about an hour 
longer, still uncertain whether all this ground might not be 
fought over again. But at last, being convinced that for that day, 
at least, all likelihood of such a thing was past, Dr. Pierce pro- 
cured the requisite pass, and he on his horse and I on foot, 
retraced the ground we crossed in the morning. 

The field was strewn with dead horses, saddles, harness, parts 
of artillery carriages, and not a few of our soldiers, who had 
died where they fell. In a few moments we arrived at Hospital 
Harding, and if there had been any lingering doubt as to our 
duty, it would have been instantly dispelled by the hearty wel- 
comes which made the old house ring. To every wounded man 
the well-known face and voice of Dr. Pierce, in whose skill every 
one that knew him had confidence, was peculiarly cheering. It 
was now as we passed from room to room, that we began to real- 



SCENES IN HOSPITAL. 35l 

ize the fearful slaughter which the obstinate struggle of the 36th 
against overpowering numbers had cost. It was sad, too, to con- 
clude that many of these must die. The slightly wounded had 
either escaped before the enemy came up, or had been marched 
to Murfreesboro ; those that remained being nearly all severely, 
and many of them mortally wounded. Dr. Pierce declared their 
wounds the worst, as a class, that he had ever seen. In a cor- 
ner of one room was a ghastly sight. Three men lay dead and 
another was dying. They had been brought in from the field 
and laid there and their wounds given some attention, when a 
cannon ball from one of our guns struck the house, piercing the 
siding and washboard just above the floor, crossing the corner of 
the room, and glancing on the washboard of the other side, broke 
off two legs of the pianoforte. In the corner, between the two 
washboards, lay the four men, who all lost their lives by that one 
shot. The old man of the house, on having the sight pointed 
out to him, remarked, "It is a great pity to have the piano 
broken !" 

But there was no time to be wasted, for with the utmost 
despatch, many hours must elapse before all of them could receive 
even slight attention. I devoted myself to handing water to the 
thirsty, and in preparing the men to have their wounds dressed ; 
as it commonly takes much more time to take off clothing, &c., 
than to dress the wound itself. At the time we were enclosed 
by the enemy at the upper hospital, there stood a box nearly 
filled with sanitary goods, chiefly such as were necessary for the 
wounded ; this box, of course, became Confederate property, 
there being great lack of such stores in Secessia. We thought 
there would now be a general lack for our wounded, as we were 
effectually cut off from all our supplies. 

Dr. P. seized the opportunity to step up to the box and take 
from it a small bundle of lint and a large piece of cotton cloth, 



352 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

which, whilst assisting him, I employed myself in tearing into 
bandages, and having made them into rolls, filled my pockets 
with them. They were now found of great value. One of the 
surgeons of the 21st Michigan was present with his medicine 
case. It was necessary, also, to send out parties to bring in the 
wounded, who in large numbers still lay where they fell. Another 
party, at the head of which was Chaplain Thomas, of the 88th 
Illinois, was engaged in preparing soup from such scraps of meat 
as could be found in the house and in the haversacks of the men. 
And thus the work went on. 

As the afternoon wore away, straggling officers and men from 
the Confederate army began to gather in the yard, partly to see 
us and our sad charge, to talk about the battle, give vent to 
their feelings generally, and to see what could be picked up in 
the way of loose property ; for U. S. was known to clothe and 
"fix up " his army pretty well, and C. S. found it profitable to 
make various requisitions upon him. At this time an officer 
drew a valuable horse. " Prince " was a noble animal, bought 
by Dr. Pierce in Kentucky. For a long time after the enemy 
came up he was held by the halter for fear some one would take 
him off. On bringing him down to our hospital, he was hitched 
to one of the outbuildings. A Colonel came round inquiring 
where he could find a horse, as he had two shot under him dur- 
ing the day. His attention was soon directed to "Prince," but 
no one could give any information about him except ourselves. 
Dr. P. removed the saddle, carried the blankets into the house, 
and tried to make some arrangements with the owner to have 
him stabled. In a little while the Colonel returned the old 
man had told him who owned the horse insisted on receiving 
the saddle, also, and then rode him off. Subsequently Dr. P. 
had his blankets and overcoat taken ; nothing seemed safe from 



CARING FOR THE WOUNDED. 353 

their thieving hands. With me it was "blessed be nothing." 
I had only my overcoat that could be stolen, and that I kept on 
all the time I was not asleep. 

About sundown, wearied and hungered, we looked for some- 
thing to eat. The cooks had found a small quantity of corn 
meal and fat pork. So there was pork and mush for supper. We 
had about twenty wounded soldiers as nurses and helps, and it 
was evident that a more thorough organization was necessary in 
order to an equal division of labor, and that nothing might be 
neglected. I therefore suggested that Dr. Pierce, who was the 
ranking surgeon, should be placed in charge, and that we all 
should consider ourselves under his command. This was at once 
acceded to, and Dr. Pierce immediately called together all the 
nurses, &c. ; stated to them their duties, divided them into reliefs, 
and placed a non-commissioned officer to see that every man per- 
formed his assigned duty. For the first twenty-four hours they 
worked almost incessantly, waiting on the wounded and also 
bringing them in from the field stragglers from the Confeder- 
ate army continually coming in to tell us where our men were 
lying. At last, when we could do no more, and every building 
was full, fires were built in the woods, and the remaining wounded 
were carried and placed near them for the night. 

In the evening, while busily engaged with the wounded, we 
were visited by some officers connected with a battery stationed 
in the cornfield above. After a little conversation about the con- 
dition of our wounded men, they commenced a discussion upon 
the points of difference between the two sections. This they 
were all anxious to do on every possible occasion that offered. I 
do not know but the same was true of our officers with 
the prisoners that fell into their hands. I am very much of the 
opinion of " Autocrat," in the Atlantic Monthly. " It is fair 



354 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

"to take a man prisoner. It is fair to make speeches to a man. 
" But to take a man prisoner and then make speeches to him 
"is NOT fair." 

On this occasion they commenced by assuming that the whole 
purpose of the war was the destruction of slavery, and that it 
originated in the unwillingness of the North to allow them their 
rights under the .Constitution. I explained to them my own 
position ; that I regarded slavery as a local institution, to be 
regulated by the people of each State for themselves, and that I 
never had any disposition, as I believed I had no right, to 
interfere with slavery in the States where it was established, and 
that the masses of the Northern people regarded the subject, 
before the breaking out of the war, in precisely the same light, 
although interested newspapers and politicians had succeeded in 
making the Southern people believe otherwise. That Mr. Doug- 
las whom none could accuse of prejudice against the South 
declared in his last speech that the rights of the South were 
never so safe as they were at the time of the rebellion, and that 
this was corroborated by the fact that according to the census of 
1860, fewer fugitive slaves had escaped from those States between 
the years 1850 and 1860, than during the previous ten years. 

These statements they did not deny, but replied that we had 
refused them their just rights in the common Territories. To 
this I answered that whether slavery should or should not be 
admitted into Territories belonging to the whole nation, was not 
decided by the constitution, but like thousands of other ques- 
tions arising under it, must be decided by the votes of the peo- 
ple ; that when the voice of the people has been made known in 
proper form, their decision was binding on the whole until it was 
changed by the same authority ; otherwise there was no free gov- 
ernment. That a majority at the election in 1860 decided that 



NEW YEAR'S EVE. 355 

slavery should not be extended into the Territories ; that if the 
position of the South was correct, they ought to have striven to 
enlighten the nation and influence public sentiment, so that at 
some future election the verdict might have been reversed. But 
when instead of this they sought to break up the Government 
itself, the question was changed. It was not so much whether 
slavery shall or shall not be tolerated in the Territories, as 
whether the voice of a majority, constitutionally expressed, shall 
be binding upon the minority that is, whether we shall have a 
free government at all, for it can only exist on the principle that 
the will of the majority, constitutionally expressed, must prevail. 

To this argument they not only made no reply, but attempted 
none, going of into another vein that the South thought it 
more to her interest, and could acquire greater wealth to separate 
than to continue in the Union. 

Just at this point the calls of some wounded men required my 
attention, and when I returned, our visitors thought it necessary 
to return to their quarters, and bade us good evening. When 
we had made all necessary arrangements for the night, detailing 
nurses for each room, &c., the Chaplain of the 88th and I spread 
some borrowed blankets on the floor and tried to sleep. But for 
a long time sleep fled my eyes ; the past day seemed more like a 
month, when measured by events and especially by the contrast 
between my feelings and anticipations in the morning, and our 
actual condition at night. This was New Year's Eve, such an one 
as I had never before seen. Our army, from which so much had 
been confidently expected, had not only been checked, but if the 
report of the enemy's officers could be relied on, was in immi- 
nent danger of total destruction, being entirely cut off from 
Nashville, and its immense train of stores captured. Coming 



356 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

as this did closely upon the heels of the Fredericksburgh dis- 
aster, from which the people had not yet recovered, what des- 
pondency might be expected to fill every loyal heart, and what 
exultation the hearts of traitors! Would it be surprising if 
foreign nations, after waiting to give us time to bring our 
augmented army into the field, should now conclude that the 
work we had attempted was too great, and that the South 
had fairly earned her recognition ? And then it was the eve of 
the day appointed for the President's Proclamation ; would he 
issue it ? And if he did, would it not, under existing circum- 
stances, injure the cause it was designed to help ? A mighty 
weapon when proclaimed by a victorious army, would it exhibit 
anything but impotent rage when heralded by disaster and 
defeat ? These were the questions that would rush through my 
mind, pressed home by the events of the day, and made increas- 
ingly emphatic by the groans of the wounded, which never 
ceased for a moment through all that sad and restless night. 

But knowing how much depended upon our husbanding our 
strength, I strove hard to banish these intruding thoughts, an 
effort which for a short time proved successful. For three or 
four hours I forgot alike the sorrows of the past and the fore- 
bodings of the coming day. 

Thursday, Jan. ls, 1863. At home my ears would have 
been saluted by the cheery welcome, u Happy New Year!" but 
this morning, the only sounds I could hear were the cries or 
suppressed moans of wounded men. On rising, the first inform- 
ation I received, was that nine men had died during the night. 
I received into my care such articles of value as had not been 
taken from them by the enemy on the field, and which their 
friends would prize highly if we should ever be so fortunate as 
to return to our own lines. I succeeded this morning in finding 



SEARCHING FOR RATIONS. 357 

water for a wash, a blessing I prized highly, my hands and face 
being innocent of any contact with that element since Monday 
morning. 

Perhaps it was because of my presentable appearance arising 
from my ablution, that Dr. Pierce requested me to undertake the 
task of finding rations for our hospital. We had then upwards 
of a hundred wounded, besides a number of nurses ; not a few 
were still out on the battle-field, and must be brought in to such 
accommodations as we could provide and yet, for the whole 
there was only to be found a few pounds of cornmeal. No time 
was to be lost, and so, armed with the pass given us the day 
before, and which in the sequel proved a friend indeed, I started 
on my mission, not, however, without some appreciation of its 
perilous nature. 

Making my way first to the battery in the corn-field, I found 
the officer who visited us the previous evening in command. He 
did not know to whom we could go for supplies ; the Generals 
were out in the field and I could not go to them thought that 
my best plan was to go in the direction of Murfreesboro, where 
I should find some of their hospitals, and probably one of their 
surgeons would draw rations for us, at least he would be able to 
direct me how to proceed. 

Following these directions, my track lay through the woods 
where a portion of the fighting had been. It was sad to see, 
scattered around, the bodies of those who had fallen the day 
before, and that sadness was not relieved by noticing that they 
had been stripped of whatever clothing was considered sufficiently 
valuable to be carried off. It is a fact too plain to be denied 
that Southern soldiers not only took the clothing of our pris- 
oners, but stripped the wounded and dead. Indeed, to an extent 
really surprising, the clothing of their army was obtained from us, 



358 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

and so numerous are the blue overcoats in their ranks that our 
men were often prevented from firing upon them, supposing them 
to be Union soldiers. 

After walking about a mile, I came to a large house which had 
been used as a Confederate hospital the day before. Most of 
the wounded, however, had been removed into Murfreesboro, 
and there was no surgeon left. There seemed no alternative 
but to go forward, and as I had often found it both wiser and 
pleasanter to deal with principals than subordinates, I deter- 
mined to go at once to Gen. Bragg's headquarters, and lay our 
situation before him. I had scarcely resumed my journey when 
there came over me such a sense of the loneliness of my situa- 
tion personally, and of the woe and misery through which for a few 
hours I had been passing, that for a few moments I was almost 
unmanned. I never before felt such force in the words fre- 
quently used, "a stranger in a strange land," for I never before 
had drawn a single breath under a hostile flag. Then came the 
thoughts of home ; the dread suspense the loved ones there 
would endure while waiting for the full details of the battle 
which even then would not be relieved by finding my name 
among the missing, but perhaps would have to be endured for 
weeks or months before my true situation could be made known 
to them. Against these thoughts it was hard to stand up, and 
for a moment I felt as though it would be a relief to sit down 
and weep. 

But the remembrance of the mass of wounded men, and how 
much depended upon my exertions, came to my rescue, and with 
a quicker step' and stouter heart I hastened on. All along the 
.'way I met numerous squads of soldiers, who inquired the loca- 
tion of their different regiments and divisions. Fortunately I 
was taken all along for one of their own surgeons, perhaps 



THE ENEMY'S FORTIFICATIONS. 359 

because of my shabby appearance generally, for when they 
took me prisoner every convenience for personal adornment 
was left within our lines, and the enemy very unceremoniously 
allowed me no opportunity to procure them. I was, therefore, 
" not to put too fine a point upon it," decidedly shabby, and 
perhaps for that reason, if not for my lean and professional 
look (!), was taken for one of themselves, their army as a whole 
being more remarkable for some other things than for its external 
appearance. I carefully studied the ground as I went along, to 
judge of the degree of difficulty we would have found in enter- 
ing Murfreesboro, had our right wing maintained its posi- 
tion, for it would have fought over this precise ground. The 
country presented but a continuation of the same features as that 
which constituted the battle-field alternate strips of timber and 
open country, each of which probably would have been stoutly 
contested. On reaching their picket line I presented my pass, 
and although it was given for an entirely different purpose, it 
was not questioned, but the officer gave me all the information 
in his power. On arriving at Stone river I found the bridge 
destroyed. Rails were thrown in on which footmen could cross, 
but the ford for teams was very bad, the banks on each side 
being steep and rocky. 

This position could have been 'stoutly held against our men, as 
it would have been very difficult to cross with artillery, and the 
opposite bank, beside being steep, was covered with huge rocks, 
forming a natural fortification, behind which sharp-shooters could 
operate with almost perfect impunity. Just before entering the 
town itself, I came" upon a line of rifle-pits, prepared to defend 
the approach from this side. On the opposite side of the town 
there were no defenses at all, and it is evident that Rosecrans 
was fully informed of all this ; hence his decision to swing his 



360 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

left into Murfreesboro, while the right was simply to hold the 
ground, and thus make the advantages the enemy possessed on 
the route I have been describing of no effect. His plan was 
admirable, and richly deserved success. 

After passing the rifle-pits, I came upon an encampment at 
the edge of the town. Thinking this would be a good place to 
find a surgeon, I enquired, and was pointed to one immediately. 
I told him frankly my situation and errand, and asked for any 
directions which his knowledge of their army regulations might 
enable him to give me. He treated me with a good deal of 
courtesy, told me to apply to Major Hilly er, Chief Commissary 
on Bragg's staff, who, he assured me, would not fail to make 
every necessary provision for our wounded. 

After a little desultory conversation, he insisted on my remain- 
ing until he could make me acquainted with their Chaplain. 
We had a few moments of very pleasant interchange of thought. 
He was a Protestant Methodist, and I should judge a sincere 
and conscientious man. Despite, however, all our efforts to 
steer clear of the painful subject, the conversation would turn 
on the war and the battle of yesterday. I found that some of 
their best men had fallen, particularly the Colonel of the 5th 
Georgia, whose body they were just preparing to send home. 
Considering that the victory was already won, they stated, what 
probably they would have been less ready to say could they have 
foreseen the final result, that Bragg's reputation had suffered a 
great deal since the battle of Perryville and his evacuation of 
Kentucky ; that in consequence he had determined " to whip at 
this fight, or lose the last man;" that all the 'Generals and men 
under him felt as he did, and even the citizens partook of the 
same spirit, hence the victory of yesterday. I have often won- 
dered since how they felt when Bragg, after fighting, was com- 



CONCERNING MURFREESBORO. 361 

pelled to abandon a large portion of Tennessee, precisely as 
after Perry ville he abandoned Kentucky. 

The crushing depression which was felt at the South after the 
surrender of Murfreesboro shows, however, that my acquaint- 
ances reflected truly the prevailing public sentiment. 

At the time I called upon the doctor, the camp table was spread 
for breakfast. As I turned away and hastened forward into 
town, the hour of day (it was about nine o'clock), my tedious 
walk, the sharp air (there had been a keen frost), with perhaps 
a few grains of generosity, all combined on an empty stomach 
to form in me a distinct resolution shall I tell you what it 
was ? that if ever I should find a Confederate officer in a posi- 
tion similar to mine that morning, I would certainly ask him to 
eat with me. 

Murfreesboro was a rather pleasantly located city of a few 
thousand inhabitants, considered quite an important place in the 
South, but not larger than many of the thriving towns to be 
found on the lines of our railroads, of which Sandwich might be 
named as an example. The most important building was a neat 
and substantial court house in the public square. It was built 
of brick, surmounted by a cupola with a clock attached. The 
city stood on a knoll, at the foot of which ran a creek, and close 
by was the railroad and depot. As I passed up the hill into 
town, I met numbers of slightly wounded men who enquired the 
way to the depot. They were to be removed probably to 
Chattanooga. 

On arriving at the public square I found a long line of our 
men, who had been taken prisoners, marching off. probably to the 
Chattanooga depot. The court house yard was also full of them. 
As soon as I came near I was saluted by the cry, " Why, Chap- 
" lain, are you a prisoner too ?" I approached to find what num- 



362 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

her of the boys was there, but the guards interfered, and would 
allow no conversation. My mind was too much absorbed in the 
urgent business that brought me to town to allow me to pause, 
so, exhorting the boys to "keep up good heart," I passed on. 

When I had time to reflect upon it, I sincerely regretted that 
I had not used a little of that ingenuity which soldiers know how, 
to practice, and thus ascertained the names of the prisoners con- 
nected with the regiments from our own section, which would 
have enabled me to relieve the dreadful suspense of friends who 
read that some loved one was " missing." 

After some inquiry, I found the quarters of Major Hyllier. 
Just as I stepped in he was calling to some friend in the next 
room to look at the line of prisoners as they passed by. u See,'* 
said he, in a gleeful tone, " what a string of Yankees !" It was 
somewhat embarrassing to introduce myself and business at such 
an unlucky moment, but I must do the Major justice to say that 
he appeared quite as much embarrassed by the circumstance as I 
was, and that his readiness to forward my object, and the kind 
attention he showed me throughout, went far to atone for the 
seeming breech of military courtesy. (It is a point of honor with 
fine military men, to abstain from all appearance of triumph over 
those who may be so unfortunate as to fall into their hands.) He 
said he should be glad to supply me with food necessary for our 
hospital, but that it would be necessary first to procure an order 
from Brig. Gen. Brown, Commander of the Post, and that I could 
find him at the court house. 

In a few moments I was at the General's quarters, and agam 
presented my pass and made known my errand. The General 
said that as soon as the battle now pending was decided, they 
would make permanent provision for the wounded, that they 
hoped to have a supply of hard-bread, rice, beef, &c., and such 



ENEMY'S SUPPLY OF PROVISIONS. 363 

food as was most suitable for the sick ; that in the meantime if 
we could make such rations as they issued to their soldiers answer 
our purpose, he would supply me with enough for one day. I 
told him the wants of the men were urgent, and therefore I should 
accept whatever he could do for them. His Adjutant made out 
an order for one hundred rations, and finding I had no means of 
transportation, he told me that if the commissary could not sup- 
ply me with a team and .wagon, I might return, and he would 
make provision. Returning to Major Hyllier, he countersigned 
the order and sent me to the Post Commissary at the depot. I 
had some difficulty in finding the officer, and my attention was 
thereby directed to the conclusive evidences that everything had 
been arranged beforehand for an evacuation, should it prove to 
be necessary. The rooms occupied by all the officers I had yet 
seen were bare of furniture, and had the appearance of being 
used only for a temporary purpose. No one seemed able to inform 
me where the Post Commissary's office was, and when found, it 
proved to be the warehouse of a business firm, used only tempo- 
rarily. The supply of provisions on hand for such an army was 
very small, and a large portion of it was on the cars, on the track, 
ready to be run off at a moment's notice. Close by were also 
a number of cars, loaded with brass field pieces and carriages, 
while the haste with which the slightly wounded and the prisoners 
were being taken off was also suspicious. 

I read in all this that they had not been by any means sure of 
their position previous to the battle ; but I did not suppose that 
they would yet be obliged to use all these facilities for 'making 
their escape. And yet I noticed particularly that while the citi- 
zens were very jubilant over their victory, the military invariably 
spoke of the conflict as being undecided. 

The Commissary received me courteously, and seemed anxious 
to do all in his power to help me. While waiting to have the 



364 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

order filled, a citizen entered the store with a copy of the morn- 
ing paper, " Murfreesboro Rebel Banner" about the size of a 
tolerable hand-bill, the paper being what we would think rather 
inferior wrapping paper, and only printed on one side. It pro- 
fessed to give an account of the previous day's battle. It seemed 
that military men were not allowed to subscribe for a copy, and 
as it was only published for civilians semi-occasionally, the people 
did not suffer very keenly the evils resulting from a free press. 

Those in the office gathered around, the citizen reading aloud. 
He had read just about far enough to give the number of killed 
and wounded on their side, together with the general effect of 
the battle on themselves, when I noticed one whisper to him, 
evidently informing him that a "Yankee" was present. He 
immediately stopped, and it was amusing to see the expedients he 
adopted to find out which was he. He asked some, and having 
ascertained which were not, naturally concluded that I was the 
person. 

He was anxious then to see the order I had brought, which 
was lying on the desk, and on finding out its purport, wondered 
(loud enough for me to hear) " how long such things were to 
last." At intervals he gave us a piece of his mind, gloating over 
Jeff. Davis' proclamation against Butler, just issued, and longing 
for the time when the hanging on the first limb should commence. 
All this, of course, was for my particular benefit, and I could 
not resist the conviction, as he every little while looked askance 
at me, that it would have afforded him extreme gratification to 
make me the first victim. I simply folded my arms and took it, 
but I inwardly rejoiced that I had dealt with principals instead 
of subordinates, and thus was safe from all interference. The 
Commissary found it impossible to provide transportation. I 
therefore reported the fact to Gen. Brown. 



RATIONS FINALLY OBTAINED. 365 

I could see that it was extremely inconvenient to spare a team 
at that time, when all their resources were taxed to the utmost 
but he nevertheless gave me an order on the Quarter-master for 
a conveyance. While the order was being written he made a few 
enquiries as to what State I was from, &c., and remarked that he 
had two relatives in the Northern army, one a minister, and, I 
think, a Chaplain. On reporting to the Quarter-master, I was 
again an object of curiosity to the hangers-on, but my order was 
imperative, and in a few minutes a six-mule team, with an officer 
to accompany me, was at my disposal. We returned to the Com- 
missary's, loaded the rations, and started for the hospital. The 
wagon was marked U. S., and had evidently been captured at 
some time from our forces, and that not long since, for inside 
were pieces of hard-bread, showing that it had been used for 
carrying provisions. The sight of the hard-bread was really 
pleasant, reminding one of our old friend, Uncle Samuel ; and 
the taste, to one who had not broken his fast, was not bad. The 
officer who convoyed the team was a true gentleman. On the 
way we had quite an interesting conversation, and I found him 
both candid and reasonable, more so than any one with whom I 
came in contact while within their lines. He performed his duty 
so pleasantly that I shall always remember him with gratitude, 
and have only regretted that I did not learn his name. 

Our blockade was so strict that they were cut off from all articles 
of fancy manufacture, and even their officers smoked pipes made 
of wood, corn-cobs, or roots. Among the articles belonging 
to boys who were dead, were some rather neat pipes which we 
had no means of preserving, but which would be stolen by strag- 
glers. I selected the best one, and gave it to this gentleman, as 
the only article within reach by which we could express our 
appreciation of his kindness. He received it with much pleas- 



366 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

ure, and when we parted he extended his hand with all the warmth 
of old friendship. 

My prolonged absence had given rise to the suspicion that 
perhaps I had been "gobbled up." My return, therefore, after 
a successful mission, was a pleasant surprise. It was certainly 
time for breakfast, being noon, if not after* Some fat pork was 
fried, and pancakes made of flour and water, which were eaten 
with a relish. I am happy also to say, a posteriori, that I suf- 
fered no harm therefrom, a result which, a priori, I should 
scarcely have considered possible, for if you suppose that they 
were anything like what usually pass under the name of pan- 
cakes, you are certainly mistaken. They were only equalled by 
some biscuits which we had for several days, and which it was 
suggested should be tried by some one before the rest ventured 
on them, for fear of fatal results. It is saying a great deal for 
that wonderful organ, the stomach, when I announce that we all 
survived the hazardous experiment of eating them. During the 
day an additional number of the wounded were brought up, and 
as there was no more accommodation in the building, they were 
wrapped in their blankets and laid in the yard, and large fires 
built near them. It was now absolutely necessary to take a list 
of the names, as several had died already whose names we could 
not find. This work devolved on me. In addition to the name, 
regiment, and location of the wound of each man, I determined 
also to take the name and post office address of his friends. It 
was indeed a laborious task. The condition of many made it 
very difficult to converse ; many were foreigners, whose pronun- 
ciation of names it was sometimes impossible to understand, and 
required the aid of an interpreter, while many seemed so con- 
fused with their sufferings that even such simple enquiries were 
answered with difficulty. One man could not remember for some 



ANOTHER EVENING DISCUSSION. 36? 

time the name of the place where his friends lived, although he 
knew quite well the county and State. One case was peculiarly 
painful. In due course I came to a young man who evidently 
could not live long. He gave me his name, company and regi- 
ment, then his father's name. He hesitated about the post office 
address ; I asked him again, but he gave no answer. I looked 
up ; he was dying ; he had spoken for the last time, in a few 
moments he was gone. 

In the evening the officers who visited us the night before came 
again, accompanied by others. They were in high glee. Their forces 
were certainly between us and Nashville. Wheeler's cavalry, 
which we had seen go out in the morning, was operating on our 
rear ; our provision trains, numbering hundreds of wagons, had 
fallen into their hands ! the victory was certainly theirs, and 
they should enter Nashville at once ! External appearances 
favored these reports, and we began to credit them, and supposed 
that we were in for a lengthened captivity. We imagined that 
the force which still kept up occasional firing with the enemy was 
a strong guard to hold them in bay until Rosecrans could draw 
off his main force, or else to-day's comparative rest was prepara- 
tory to another vigorous and probably decisive struggle to-morrow. 

Again our visitors commenced the discussion of our sectional 
differences. Their new companion, also a captain of a battery, 
took the most prominent part. He was evidently a well educated 
man, and a fluent speaker. He was principally to be remem- 
bered for his fierce denunciations of Gen. Butler, whom he named, 
as did the South generally, "Beast Butler," and whom he could 
scarcely tolerate that we should call by. his official title. 

For hours that night I laid awake imagining the dread disasters 
which this unfortunate campaign had brought upon our cause. 
In fact I experienced, in their full effect, the measures by which 



368 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

the Southern army was encouraged to believe in the ultimate tri- 
umph of their cause. Admitting the simple truth would dispel 
a large share of their illusions. 



Friday, January *Znd, 1863. Rose at daylight. Several 
more had died during the night. After breakfast, resumed 
the work of taking names. Before noon a number of officers 
came in, telling us with great glee that our train was certainly 
captured, that Gen. Davis was killed, and that our forces had 
been repulsed at Vicksburg and driven back to their boats. 
Indeed our situation appeared more and more gloomy. At the 
same time we judged from occasional firing that our forces were 
moving more to their right, and were certainly not retreating, 
which to us was unaccountable. Officers rode around, some of 
whom held council with Harding, the owner of the house, and 
for several hours he was busy gathering up whatever loose prop- 
erty he could, and manifested great anxiety to get away, as he 
said, to Murfreesboro. 

During the day, movements of the enemy's lines seemed to us 
to indicate falling back, and had we known the exact condition of 
our army it would have been easy to interpret the different 
occurrences of the day. About noon a Confederate officer arrived 
to parole in due form all of our men, whether wounded or not. 
On the first afternoon they had been required to swear not to 
take up arms, but according to the terms of the cartel it was nec- 
essary that each man should receive a printed parole as evidence 
of the transaction. Assisted by one of the surgeons, this work 
proceeded all the afternoon, and was not completed until twelve 
o'clock at night. At the time it appeared strange that the work 
was thus hurried when we were entirely in their power. In the 
sequel, however, their haste was perfectly intelligible. 



ROSECRANS' CANNONADE. 369 

About three o'clock I finished my list and my self -together. 
The intense excitement of the past few days was subsiding, 
our hospital was gradually assuming an air of order, and I 
began to realize that I was flesh and blood. For the first time 
I sat down and rested awhile. About four o'clock commenced a 
most fearful cannonade on the left of our lines, accompanied with 
heavy musketry. If Rosecrans was cut off and his army well- 
nigh destroyed, it was evident that his spirit was undaunted. 
Indeed, all his movements were mysteries to us. The furious 
fighting continued until after dusk. In the evening, just before 
dusk, a number of us were standing out in the yard, when a ball 
from one of our Parrott guns came whistling over us. What 
could it mean ? It was evident that our lines were advancing, 
and were probably not much more than a mile away. At last we 
concluded it was a friendly message, telling us to keep up cour- 
age and all would yet be well. 

My time had hitherto been almost exclusively occupied in 
efforts to supply the temporal wants and alleviate the sufferings 
of the men. As occasion presented, I had spoken to one and 
another of the precious Savior, who alone could give true com- 
fort ; but anything like connected effort was out of the question. 
And yet something must be done. That evening, therefore, I 
went into some of the rooms, where it was most convenient, and 
spoke a few words of earnest invitation to come to Christ and 
accept his pardoning mercy. May they prove to have been words 
in due season. 

This evening the officers from the battery gave us another call. 
They seemed quite perplexed with Rosecrans' movements. They 
said that Gens. Polk and Hardee and others had been all day on 
an eminence whence they could overlook our lines, arid they 
reported great activity on our right, wagons moving and troops 



370 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

marching. Indeed their Generals were as much perplexed by 
the movements of our army as we were. According to all 
accounts their provisions were cut off, and according to all the 
ordinary rules of warfare Rosecrans ought to have been looking 
for his "lines of retreat " and "base of supplies," instead of 
which he was holding on desperately to his position, and refused 
to retreat. Our visitors had evidently an inkling of what was 
passing in their own lines, for they said it would not be surpris- 
ing if within the next twenty-four hours we should occupy this 
ground. "We may retire," they said, "but if we do, it will only 
be to fight you again when you are still further removed from 
your supplies, ani still more open to attacks in your rear." 

One of our number unwisely allowed himself to be led into a 
dispute as to the barbarities said to be committed by both armies. 
Such discussions at best are unprofitable, for often things 
occured which no man of integrity would justify, and any attempt 
to arrive at the merits of the question in dispute by bringing up 
the conduct of either army was simply foolish. Crime, lawless- 
ness, cruelty, are the inseparable concomitants of war, and those 
who, by striking down the national emblem, brought on this war, 
should have counted beforehand its fearful cost. In the heat of 
the dispute, while "Beast Butler" was unmercifully condemned 
by the one and Gen. Butler was upheld by the other, a personal 
encounter seemed for a few moments nearly inevitable. But by- 
and-by the subject changed, the works of nature and art came up 
for discussion. The principal speaker was a well educated man 
with a good deal of taste and refinement, and the remainder of 
the evening was passed as pleasantly as though we had all been 
friends for years and were gathered in some social parlor. 

To give you a clue to. the animus of the South, other portions 
of the conversation may be worth recording. While the wordy 



HATRED OF THE YANKEES. 371 

duel was going off, and some statement was made by one and 
denied by the other, said the disputant on our side, " I will bet 
you a can of oysters on it, and you will be coming some time to 
Detroit and then we will eat them." 

" I come to Detroit ?" was the answer, " never, sir, unless I 
go there as a prisoner of war. No, sir, we do not want to have 
anything to do with you. Give us our independence, and we 
will never set foot on your soil." 

It is impossible to describe in language the utter contempt 
they (the officers) feel for u the Yankees," and their furious 
determination never to have anything more to do with them. 
We enquired whom they called Yankees. 

" We call all Federals Yankees, now ; but strictly we do not 
include Northwestern men. Yankees really are the men from 
New England, New York and Pennsylvania, and we think that 
one of our men is as good as three of them, any time." 

"What do you think, then, of Northwestern men?" we said. 

" Oh, we find it hard enough to take man for man of them. 
We have great respect for the N. W. men." 

All day the wind had been blowing from the South, threaten- 
ing a rain storm. We had about forty of .our wounded laid out 
in the yard, with huge fires to keep them warm. It was evident 
that some other arrangement must be made. By re-arranging 
the various rooms, removing furniture, &c., the largest part were 
put under shelter, and for the rest we gathered all the shelter 
tents we could find. We had scarcely finished setting them up 
when the storm fairly set in. It contributed no little to a quiet 
night's refreshing sleep to know that the poor fellows were not 
lying in the drenching rain. 

Saturday, Jan. 3df, 1863. The rain which had been falling 
all night still continued, giving everything a gloomy and com- 



372 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

fortless appearance. But " it is an ill wind that blows nobody 
any good," and even this storm proved a blessing. It supplied 
us with good, soft water. One of the greatest disadvantages of 
our position at this hospital was the want of good water. There 
was a well, to be sure, but the enemy's battery camped near by 
appropriated that to themselves, leaving us no alternative but to 
draw our supply from a pond at a distance, which, besides being 
so far off and thus taxing the overworked nurses to procure it, 
afforded only the poorest description of water. So much, too, 
was required to quench thirst, that much washing was out of the 
question. This morning, however, we had a large barrel of pure, 
soft water ; the battery had disappeared during the night, leaving 
us the undivided possession of the well. The nurses, as the 
result of their being regularly relieved, were recovering from 
their fatigue, and were now contemplating plans for the perma- 
nent rather than (as heretofore was necessary) the temporary 
comfort of their wards. The first thing done was to have every 
man wash, at least his hands and face. 

The moral effect of this was remarkable. Men with an arm 
broken or injured began to practice what would be to many of 
them,, poor fellows, a life-long lesson, of helping themselves with 
the other, and felt better by the effort. Their attention was 
occupied and turned off from the contemplation of their pain and 
misfortunes, and as a consequence they became more cheerful and 
contented. Some of the wards, where the nurses were particu- 
larly hopeful, were completely transformed, and though my heart 
was weighed down by sorrow, I strove in every way to cheer up 
the men and strengthen their courage. But when every improve- 
ment possible was made in our situation, I came, unconsciously 
to myself, to feel that it was a happy lot when men were killed 
outright upon the field, and thus saved the lingering tortures and 



GENERALS POLK AND CHEATHAM. 373 

numberless trials of an extemporized hospital within the enemy's 
lines. By dint of crowding, and several having died, we succeeded 
in getting all safely under cover, and the yard for the first time 
was clear. 

During the forenoon Gens. Polk and Cheatham called at the 
house. They conversed for some time with Dr. Pierce. Speak- 
ing of the battle and of the army opposed to himself, Gen. Polk 
remarked, " I have had the honor of fighting Gen. McCook 
before; I think he will have reason to remember me." They 
enquired if we had everything we needed ; if not, they would do 
their best to supply us. Dr. Pierce replied that our small stock 
of medicines was giving out, and we needed an additional supply. 
"Oh," said he, "your people have blockaded our ports so that 
we cannot obtain medicines. You ought to have thought that 
you were liable to fall into our hands, and might need them." 
We heard very little those days about a "paper blockade." 

About noon, by order of these Generals, twenty-five men were 
brought from a hospital about a quarter of a mile off, and placed 
in the barn and cotton-gin. They had been from one to three 
days on the battle-field, and then been removed to the hospital 
yard where they had lain ever since. Most of their wounds had 
not been touched, except what they had done for themselves. A 
considerable part of the time they had been without food, and to 
complete the sad list of their sufferings they had been out in this 
soaking rain all night and so far of the day. As I looked at 
them, shivering with cold and writhing with pain, vainly striving 
to gather a little warmth from their soaked blankets, I could but 
wonder that they lived at all. Indeed, some did not. One was 
dying as he was lifted from the wagon, and another never mani- 
fested consciousness, but died in a few hours. 



374 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

The place to which they were brought was enough to fill them 
with despair. The barn was built of huge logs, without chink- 
ing, and the cold wind rushed in while the rain leaked through 
the roof. The cotton-gin was a dryer but even colder place, and 
in either of them an Illinois farmer would think it hard for his 
horse to stand on such a day. Dr. Pierce summoned his assist- 
ants, and they proceeded at once to dress every man's wounds, 
while I took his name and description. They were chiefly from 
Negley's Division, Indiana and Kentucky troops. A number of 
Confederate soldiers crowded around, some of whom gave them 
a portion of their none too ample rations, while others piled 
cotton upon those who suffered most from the cold. One nurse 
was left with them, while Dr. Pierce and I started off to the large 
hospital to procure additional nurses, and some food more appro- 
priate than any we had for men in such reduced condition. 

On the way we picked up a good frying pan off the battle- 
field, and as we needed cooking utensils very much, we were glad 
to carry it along. On arriving at the hospital it was with diffi- 
culty we could persuade three men to undertake the care of our 
new cases, until one, finding that I had a list of the wounded, 
inquired very earnestly after a brother, who he knew was wounded, 
but whom he had vainly sought in every direction. On refer- 
ring to my list, I found that his brother was one of the unfor- 
tunate ones just brought into the cotton-gin. He was overjoyed 
at the information, and gladly volunteered, with two others, to 
accompany us ; and I must say that they did their duty to their 
charge day and night, alleviating suffering not a little. After 
procuring a few pounds of hard-bread, which was all within reach, 
we returned to our quarters, and night settled down upon us, 
with the rain still falling, but the wounded better cared for than 
before, indeed, better, for the facilities we had, than any hospital 
in the vicinity. 



REBELS ENTIRELY DISAPPEARED. 375 

During the day I had several interesting conversations with 
some of the wounded, whom I found under, as I believe, real con- 
viction of sin, which had burdened their minds long before the 
battle. Such cases were very common in the army, and should 
encourage Christians both to pray and to labor. One of the 
cases I met was a young man whose mother was a Christ- 
ian, and as I spoke to him the tears began to flow, and he told 
me he had been anxious for some time, and if it could only be 
told his mother that he was a real Christian, it would be all his 
desire. But both he and another, notwithstanding their religious 
training, were seeking to fit themselves to come to Christ, and 
scarcely seemed to credit the thought that they must come then 
and come as sinners ; and yet their evident sincerity led me to 
hope that this error, so natural to a sinner under conviction, 
would be quickly laid aside, and they would embrace Christ as 
jeir all-sufficient Savior. 

Sunday, Jan. 5th. The rain stopped during the night, and a 
beautiful day, such as gives us some idea of the " Sunny South," 
broke upon us in the morning. The first fact which attracted the 
attention of all was that the rebels had entirely disappeared. , 
Those who had been awake all night said that their wagons and 
artillery had been moving for hours, and just at break of day 
Wheeler's Cavalry filed past, going towards Murfreesboro, and 
from that time not even a straggling soldier was to be seen. We 
thought this was a "change of base," but did not allow ourselves 
to be sufficiently elated to suppose it was an actual retreat. And 
yet all the morning we kept remarking to each other how quiet 
everything was, and how strange that not a single Confederate 
was left. 

On rising that morning I resolved, if possible, to hold a short 
religious service in each room, that those who were capable of 



376 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

attention might be benefitted. With this view I revolved in my 
mind a few thoughts suggested by the wounded Israelites look- 
ing to the brazen serpent, which I hoped might prove in season 
to some of these afflicted ones. Dr. P. also encouraged the 
effort, but in going the rounds, I found that the care which every 
man needed in having his wounds dressed once a day, would make 
any services impracticable until afternoon. And as there was 
nothing to be done for the men that others could not do as well 
and even better than myself, I felt that the time had come when, 
without neglecting public duty, I could seek to relieve my anxiety 
for the fate of my brothers. I had confidence that Henry, hav- 
ing my horse, and being an old soldier, would be able to take care 
of himself; but there were two others belonging to the Railroad 
Regiment, in Johnson's Division, about whose welfare I felt a 
painful anxiety. The day before, when such a number of shiv- 
ering, wounded men, all soaked with the rain, were brought into 
the cotton-gin, I could not but think, what if my two brothers 
had been lying day and night exposed to this storm, and perhaps 
neglected by some inhuman surgeon ! And yet I could not recon- 
cile it with my duty to leave those who had a right to look to me 
for help, until I saw them as well cared for as under the circum- 
stances was possible. But this having been done, I seized the 
first moment to start in search of the hospital and ground near 
which Johnson's Division had operated. The large house to the 
northwest, with rows of tents surrounding it, was occupied chiefly 
with the wounded of Davis' Division, while Johnson's were in 
houses and barns still farther to the west. After careful search, I 
found one man from the Railroad Regiment there, who could 
answer many of my inquiries and who assured me of the safety 
of both my brothers. This information afterwards proved 
incorrect with regard to one of them, who was taken pris- 



EVIDENCES OF CARNAGE. 377 

oner, but for the time my anxiety was allayed. In going from 
tent to tent I found the list of wounded more precious than gold, 
as I was able to answer the inquiries of not a few, and my book 
was looked upon by the boys as though there was a charm about it. 
Before the day closed I came to the conviction that next in import- 
ance to feeding these poor fellows and dressing their wounds was 
the procuring of a correct and minute list of all who came 
under one's care. Finding that some of the 89th with whom I 
was acquainted were dangerously wounded and were lying in 
buildings further to the west, I set out to find them. 

Leaving the house, I started in the direction pointed out, which 
led me over a portion of the ground occupied by Davis' and John- 
son's Divisions. Near by was a long row of dead, gathered dur- 
ing the last few days, and an immense grave was being dug for 
their burial. Every moment I came upon fresh evidences of the 
fearful storm that had swept over these fields and through these 
groves. 

Mangled horses were strewn in every direction, while the dead, 
more or less stripped of their clothing by the enemy lay where 
they fell on that fatal morning. After searching for a long dis- 
tance and failing to find the hospitals to which I had been directed, 
I concluded that my informant was mistaken ; and as the time I 
could be spared had nearly expired and I was unmistakably weary 
with my tramp, I retraced my steps as quickly as possible to 
Hospital Harding. A circumstance we all thought very notice- 
able was, that I had not seen a single " butternut " the whole 
morning ; but the time had arrived when the mystery which 
hung over, not only the conduct of the enemy, but the opera- 
tions of both armies since our capture, was to be suddenly 
and delightfully dispelled. We had just seated ourselves at din- 
ner in an outhouse, which served the manifold purpose of dining- 

25 



378 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

room, cookhouse, storehouse and general rubbish receptacle, and 
had begun to eat what was set before us, when one of the boys 
ran in with the exciting intelligence that our cavalry had emerged 
from the woods and were advancing towards us. Dinner was 
left, and out we went to see the sight, and sure enough, there 
they came, deployed as skirmishers, advancing slowly and peer- 
ing in every direction to find the retreating foe. Murfreesboro 
was evacuated ! But still, though we could understand the 
disappearance of the enemy from all about us for the past twen- 
ty-four hours, yet how Bragg, who, according to what had been 
told us, had been operating so successfully in our rear, capturing 
our trains, and every few hours doing some new and wonderful 
thing in the way of damaging Rosecrans, should find it necessary 
to retreat, and Rosecrans, who had been harassed at every 
hand, who was without food and ammunition and well-nigh 
destroyed, should be the victor, and march unopposed into Mur- 
freesboro, remained to be explained. 

But on came the "blue coats," and in a few minutes we 
exchanged glad greetings with our Union brethren. Who they 
were or from what State they came it mattered not ; they were 
the representatives of our country, of all that was dear to humanity 
in the present, and hopeful in the future. And none can tell how 
good for the eyes and the heart was the sight of the lovely stars 
and stripes, and the blue uniform of our men, to those who 
had been compelled to see flaunting in their faces the emblem of 
tyranny, and to meet at every turn the loathed and detested 
" butternut " uniform. 

Our line was only about a mile away from us, and in a few 
minutes several boys had started for the regiment to tell of our 
condition and learn the news. The excitement among the 
wounded was most intense, and men forgot their sufferings in the 



ANXIETY FOR COMRADES. 379 

triumph of our arms. It was not long before numbers of our 
boys, who had been lying out day and night keeping the foe at 
bay, rushed to the hospital to see their comrades still living and 
to learn about the dead. Every room was crowded, and such 
shouting and shaking of hands, such a wild mixture of emotion, 
must be seen and felt to be comprehended. For a while a 
stranger would have taken Hospital Harding for an extemporized 
lunatic asylum, and I, for one, felt I had important qualifications 
for an inmate. But who could be staid and sober amid such 
scenes ? Here were men driven back by overwhelming numbers 
from a hard-fought field, and compelled to leave their comrades 
in the enemy's hands. From that moment they had been unable 
to obtain any definite information regarding them. Who were 
but slightly wounded, and who mortally, they could only con- 
jecture, and heavy had been their hearts day and night. How 
they rushed from room to room ! and as they caught sight of 
some well known face, finding some alive who were reported dead, 
that old building resounded with their shouts. On the other 
hand, here were the suffering and the mutilated, who, after the 
most heroic bravery, had fallen, only to see their comrades driven 
back, leaving them not only in the hands of the foe, but in a 
state of dread suspense as to the results of the whole campaign. 

Day and night they had lain in their agony, aggravated by 
the flying stories the self-deceived Confederates brought in from 
day to day. But now, for the first time, they learned the truth ; 
how Sheridan, though compelled to retire to avoid annihilation, 
had checked again and again, four times, the advancing tide, 
saved time for reinforcements to arrive and change the fortunes 
of the day, thus indelibly inscribing his name upon the history 
of his country ; how when sad at heart with the loss of their 
companions and the check on the right, the cheery voice of 



380 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Rosecrans would be heard ringing out often in the stillness of 
the night, as he moved from place to place, ordering everything 
himself, and seeing with his own eyes that it was done ; how his 
tone and whole manner inspired confidence of final success, as 
he taught not only Generals and Colonels but privates how to 
use 'their guns and snatch victory from the very jaws of defeat ; 
how on that memorable Friday afternoon, when the friendly shot 
came whistling over our building, he had massed his men and 
guns so rapidly and with such skill that in forty minutes the 
enemy was driven back a broken and confused mass, leaving two 
thousand slain upon the field. When all these truths were related, 
we might be pardoned for our excitement and joy. Indeed, we 
could tell the feelings of the ancient Jews when they sung, 
" When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were 
like them that dream, then was our mouth filled with laughter, 
and our tongue with singing. The Lord hath done great things 
for us, whereof we are glad." Never was language more fitly 
used than when our heroic General closed his account of the bat- 
tle, not with self-gratulation, but with, " Non nobis Domine, non 
nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "Not unto us, Lord, not 
unto us, but unto Thy name give glory." 

All idea of religious services which had been contemplated in 
the morning was laid aside. It was imperatively necessary that 
a correct list of the killed and wounded should be immediately 
prepared and despatched North, that the dreadful suspense of 
friends at home might be relieved, as well as incorrect accounts 
be rectified. In a little while Dr. Swift, the Department Medi- 
cal Director called to ascertain the number in our charge and 
what supplies we needed. He also requested that a list might 
be forwarded at once to headquarters. 



THE PRECIOUS LIST. 381 

This work, of course, devolved on me ; but in spite of every 
effort my progress was tedious and slow, and interruptions were 
momentary. First we learned that a mail would speedily be 
made up for Nashville, and the Doctor and I could not lose the 
opportunity of sending a line to relieve anxiety at home. Then 
Henry arrived, and I could not postpone listening to his story, 
As the afternoon wore away, officers, privates, cavalry-men, 
artillery-men, infantry, friends and strangers, trooped into the 
enclosure, and as I had the only list, they rushed into the room 
where I was, shouted through the back window or through a 
broken pane in front, that they might learn the fate of men, 
comrades or relatives. Again and again did I search through 
my long list, my answers sometimes leaving the questioner still 
in doubt, sometimes lighting up his face with joy, sometimes 
crushing out the last hope from his heart. One case I shall 
never forget. A young man who seemed to act as orderly to 
some officer, came up to the window to make enquiries about 
some near friend, I believe a brother, who had been wounded on 
our portion of the field. As I turned over leaf after leaf, he 
was very nervous, saying that he was afraid he could not stay ; 
and still as I found no trace, he said he must leave, and started 
off. I had a lingering impression that I had met with the name 
mentioned, so I continued my search. Just before he got out of 
sight round one of the buildings, I found it, and immediately 
called out to him, " It is here." With face lighted up with joy, 
and with buoyant steps he hastened back to the window, but no 
sooner had I turned my eye once more to the page, that I might 
give him the particulars, than it caught the fatal announcement, 
" Died " on such a day. I hesitated a moment, as he stood with 
wistful look, waiting for me to speak, for how could I dash his 
hopes at one stroke ? Then, as gently as possible, I broke to 



382 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

I 

him the sad news. I saw on the instant a change in his coun- 
tenance, hope die out of his young heart, and he stood for a 
moment stunned by the blow. Then recollecting that duty 
called him, with a gentleness that I never saw surpassed, he 
said, " Thank you, sir," and hastened away. 

I never saw him before and have never seen him since. Our 
whole interview was not longer than two or three minutes, but 
in the few words he spoke, and in the changing aspects of his 
youthful face, I thought I could read his story. I thought of a 
home somewhere in some State, in city or in country, but wher- 
ever it was, one where affection reigned, and where the gentle influ- 
ence of a loving mother had proved so strong that cruel war had 
only bound its ties the closer, and made the heart, while yearn- 
ing for the lost one, even grateful for the news which relieved 
suspense, though it crushed the last hope. 

The remainder of the afternoon and evening I pursued my 
task, till weary eyes and aching head compelled me to pause for 
rest. 

Monday Morning, Jan. 5th. We were called up early in the 
morning by the arrival of a surgeon in charge of forty ambu- 
lances for the purpose of removing all the transportable wounded 
to Nashville. For several hours all was bustle and confusion 
while these mutilated men were being prepared for their long 
and painful ride. That morning I had another conversation 
with the young man mentioned in a previous letter. He seemed 
still waiting to better himself before coming to Christ. I shall 
never forget his earnest look as I repeated to him the verse com- 
mencing, " Just as I am, without one plea." He said he had 
never seen the subject in that light before and I hoped that the 
true light had shined into his soul. I found a fragment of a 
soldier's hymn-book lying near, and on examination found that 



SPIRIT OF THE CONTRABANDS. 383 

it contained the whole of that beautiful hymn. This I placed 
in his hands just before he was lifted into the ambulance. I 
have not seen him since. 

When Mr. Harding removed his family from the plantation, 
just before the battle, he took his negroes, numbering about 
fifty, leaving two or three to preserve what they could. The 
negroes were quite shrewd, and took care not to commit them- 
selves except where it was safe to do so but none could doubt 
for a moment their hearty sympathy. One of them using in my 
hearing the expression, * our army," " I pray which is your 
army?" said I. "Oh, de Norf," said he, "we's allfor deNorf." 
To show their spirit I cannot, perhaps, do better than give you 
a conversation which Dr. Pierce overheard. He entered the cabin 
known among the black people of the place as " Aunt Car'line's 
house," and among us as Ward No. 5. He found an interesting and 
exciting colloquy in progress which had been started by Tom, a 
wild, rollicking boy of about twelve years, with important orders. 
He said he was stopped at Murfreesboro, as he was coming back 
from the other plantation, where the servants of Mr. Harding 
had been sent for safety, by the order of Col. Somebody, who 
had detained all the rest of the company and sent him for those 
who were at the old place. 

" La me," said Aunt Car'line, " I never was in sich bothera- 
tion in all my life. I'se been brought up in sich a kinder guv- 
'nment dat I hates to be gwine off till I'se seed all de parties. 
Now ef I could only jes' see ole Missus, and she was agreeable, 
I'd go quick enough. To tell de truf, I dun know what to do." 

" Well," says Tom, " dem's de orders. De Kurnel sent me 
up to tell you'ns to come down to town ; dat you wer'nt to work 
any more for ole Massa Harding, 'case he's secesh." 

" la ! what shall I do ? What will become of ole Missus ? 
her as I used to nurse if she was only agreeable. I tell you 



384 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

I'se not dat kind of pusson dat runs away from her ole missus." 
" Look'e here," says an old man, the husband of Caroline, a 
patriarch among the darkies, and, by the way, the intellectual 
head of the Harding family. "Look'e here ; don't ye see we's 
prisoners of war ? We must do what dem tells us as took us 
prisoners. Yesterday all round here was dese Rebels ; now 
ebery one has 'treated, and de Union soldiers, God bress dem, 
has come on, and we's in de hands ob de Union we's prisoners 
ob war. Now don't you see we wont run away from Massa 
Harding, but we only obeys de orders ob dem as took us prison- 
ers. I told ole Massa long time ago dat he better be on de side 
ob de Union, dat God would bress de Union yet ; but he only 
git mad, and cuss, and say de Souf will whip every time. You 
see ole Massa wants to be allers on de side dat whips. Dat's de 
kind ob man he is." 

"Oh, oh," said Caroline, "I'se nebber in sich trouble in all 
de born days ob my life. I'se completely flustrated. I don't 
like to leave ole missus, I don't." 

" Do you think you're gwine to stay here when you get your 
orders, and de whole army what made de rebels skedaddle close 
by to force de orders ? Tears to me you han't got good sense 
to-day, Car'line." 

" Well, 'pears to me I don't know nothin' at all. I never 
seed sich times afore. I allers said I'd stay with missus while I 
last, but 'pears like I must go now." And the old couple pro- 
ceeded to gather up their earthly goods to leave. If this should 
ever meet the eye of the white Mr. Harding he has my testi- 
mony that his negroes did not run away. 

During the forenoon Gen. Sheridan called, making inquiries 
for the body of the lamented Sill. By his orders a detachment 
of the 36th, under command of Captain, now Major, Sherman, of 



BtTRIAL OF THE DEAD. 385 

Elgin, was sent to bury the dead of our regiment. It was a mourn- 
ful sight. One portion was engaged in digging a huge trench at 
the edge of the woods and close to where the struggle was 
so desperate on the 31st another in gathering the bodies 
together and arranging them side by side according to their com- 
panies, just as they had stood in the ranks while another was 
engaged in carving the name, &c. of each on a head-board, that 
the body might be identified, and the Captain kept a record of 
each burial, with any particulars requiring mention. Next to 
the patient endurance of the wounded, there was nothing more 
touching than to see the tender care with which these men per- 
formed the last rites for their fallen comrades. When all was 
done, and a fence had enclosed the long grave in which forty- 
one had been laid to rest, the men were drawn up in line, and in 
a few words I referred to the sorrows of the week and the heavy 
affliction which had fallen upon us. I thought I had felt for the 
soldier before, but it was at that moment / knew a soldier s 
heart. I tried to turn their minds to Christ as to him who alone 
could comfort and make things work together for our good. We 
then called upon God in prayer, asking him that our sorrows 
might not be unsanctified ; that he would graciously comfort the 
wounded, sustain the loved ones at home amid their anxious sus- 
pense and when the news of bereavement should reach them ; 
and that there might be few such struggles between us and the 
'ultimate deliverance of our sorrowing land. 

We turned away, but the memory of that hour and spot can 
never be eifaced. Often afterward, when the regiment had 
been exposed to rain and storm, and hour after hour passed 
and still they failed to come, I found myself unconsciously 
rising and peering into the darkness, and I asked whence came 
this strange interest in these men? Immediately the vision 



386 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

of that long lone grave would rise before me, and I felt it was 
born there. And while I mused there seemed to rise from those 
many silent lips, a low, sad wail, which in a moment was caught 
up from a thousand cots of pain, and then echoed back from ten 
thousand desolate hearth-stones, and it said, (what I heard when 
wading through the mud at Triune) " Oh, my country, how much 
do I suffer for thee !" 

And when the day shall come, for come it will, that the tree 
of liberty, more firmly rooted for this fearful hurricane, shall 
embrace this continent with its giant arms, and our posterity, 
reposing safely beneath its grateful shade, shall ask whose blood 
and agonies purchased for them this fair inheritance, then, among 
the thousands of others, shall they be pointed to that grave, 
where, side by side, hard by the spot on which they fought and 
fell, sleep th,e patriot martyrs of the 36TH ILLINOIS. 




CHAPTER XXIII 



BATTLE OF STONE RIVER CONTINUED. 



HAT we may have a full account of all the 
movements of the Regiment during these event- 
ful days, I will present extracts from the official 
reports, supplemented by such incidents and 
comments as the journals of officers and men 
afford. 
CAPT. P. c. OLSON'S REPORT. 

HEADQUARTERS 36TH ILL. VOLS., ) 
JANUARY 9, 1863. ( 

The 36th Illinois Regiment, Col. N. Greusel commanding, 
jwas called into line at four o'clock on Tuesday morning, Dec. 30th, 
1862, and stood under arms until daylight, to the left of the 
Wilkinson pike, our right resting upon it, five miles from Mur- 
freesboro. At 9 o'clock A. M. we moved forward to Murfrees- 
boro. Two companies were deployed as skirmishers to the right 
of the road and were soon engaged with the enemy's skirmishers. 
When two miles from Murfreesboro, the regiment was deployed 
in the cornfield to the right of the pike, and two companies were 
sent forward as skirmishers, as ordered by Gen. Sill. The regi- 
ment lay in line in this field until two o'clock P. M., at which 
time the whole line was ordered to advance. The skirmishers 
kept up a sharp fire the enemy's line retreating and ours 



388 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

advancing. We drove the enemy through the timber and across 
the cotton-field, a low, narrow strip, stretching to the right, into 
the timber. A Rebel battery, directly in front of the 36th, 
opened a heavy fire upon us. Our skirmishers advanced to the 
foot of the hill near the cotton-field, and here kept up a well- 
directed fire. We were ordered to support Capt. Bush's Bat- 
tery, which was brought into position in the point of timber i 
where our right rested, and opened fire with terrible eifect upon 
the enemy. We remained as a support until nearly dark, when ' 
Capt. Bush went to the rear, the enemy's battery, or rather its ! 
disabled fragments, having been dragged from the field. In this 
day's engagement, the regiment lost three killed and fifteen 
wounded; total, eighteen. We occupied the hill during thei 
night, arid our skirmishers were in line at the edge of the cot- 
ton-field. 

On the morning of Dec. 31st, soon after daylight, the enemy; 
advanced in strong force from the timber beyond the cotton-field, 
opposite our right. They came diagonally across the field, and 
upon reaching the foot of the hill made a left half-wheel, coming 
up directly in front of us. When the enemy had advanced up 
the hill sufficiently to be in sight, Col. Greusel ordered the regi- 
ment to fire, which was promptly obeyed. We engaged the 
enemy at short range, the lines being not over ten rods apart. 1 ' 
After a few rounds, the regiment supporting us on the right gave 
way. In this manner we fought for nearly half an hour, when 
Col. Greusel ordered the regiment to charge. The enemy fled 
in great confusion across the cotton-field, into the woods oppo- 
site our left, leaving many of their dead and wounded upon the 
field. We poured a destructive fire upon them as they retreated, : 
until they were beyond range. 

The 36th again took position upon the hill, and the support 
for our right came forward. At this time Gen. Sill was killed 
and Col. Greusel took command of the brigade. A fresh brigade | 
of the enemy advanced from the direction that the first had come, < 
and in splendid order. We opened fire on them with terrific 
effect. Again the regiment on our right gave way, and we were 



CAPTAIN OLSON'S REPORT. 389 

igain left without support. In this condition we fought until 
mr ammunition was exhausted and the enemy had entirely flanked 
is on our right. At this juncture, Maj. Miller ordered the reg- 
ment to fall back. While retreating, Maj. Miller was wounded, 
ind the command devolved on me We moved back of the corn- 
ield to the edge of the timber, a hundred rods to the right of 
;he Wilkinson pike and two miles from Murfreesboro, at eight 
>'clock A. M. Here I met Gen. Sheridan and reported to him 
hat the regiment was out of ammunition, and that I would be 
eady for action as soon as I could obtain it. We had suffered 
everely in resisting the attack of superior numbers. I had now 
>nly one hundred and forty men. The regiment fought with 
;reat obstinacy, and much is due Col. N. Greusel for his bravery 
n conducting the regiment before being called away. Adjutant 
3iddulph went to find the ammunition, but did not succeed. I then 
nformed Quartermaster Bouton that I needed cartridges, but he 
ailed to find any, except size fifty-eight, the calibre of most of 
he arms being sixty-nine. I was ordered by Maj-Gen. McCook 
o fall back to the rear of Gen. Crittenden's corps. I arrived 
here about ten o'clock A. M.. I here obtained ammunition, and 
iespatched the Adjutant to report to Col. Greusel the condition 
nd whereabouts of the regiment. He returned without seeing 
he Colonel. Lieut. Watkins soon rode up and volunteered to 
ake a message to Col. Greusel or Gen. Sheridan. He also 
eturned without finding either officer. I now went in search of 
5ren. Sheridan myself; found him at twelve o'clock, and reported 
o him the regiment (what there was left of it) ready to move to 
he front. He ordered that I should hold the regiment in read- 
less and await his commands. 

At two o'clock P. M. I received orders from Gen. Sheridan to 
dvance to the front to the left of the railroad, and connect my 
ommand temporarily with Col. Leibold's brigade. We were 
ere subject to a very severe artillery fire. A twelve-pound 
bell struck in the right of the regiment, and killed Lieut. Loren 
'. Olson (a brave and faithful officer, commanding Company F), 
'orp. Riggs, and wounding three others. At dark we were 



390 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

moved by Lieut. Denning one-quarter of a mile to the rear, 
where we remained for the night. At three o'clock in the morn- 
ing of the first of January, 1868, by order of Gen. Sheridan, 
we marched to his head-quarters on the Nashville pike, a dis- 
tance of half a mile, where at daylight I reported to Col. Greu- 
sel. As ordered by him, we took position to the right of Capt. 
Bush's battery, fronting west. We built a barricade of logs and 
stone, and remained through the day ready to receive the enemy, 
but no attack was made. On the morning of the 2nd, the regi- 
ment was in line at four o'clock ; stood under arms until daylight. 
We remained ready for action through the day until four o'clock 
p. M., when, by order of Col. Greusel, we moved to the right on 
the line formerly occupied by Gen. Davis. During the night 
considerable skirmishing occurred on our front. On the morn- 
ing of the 3rd inst., the regiment stood under arms from four 
o'clock until daylight. At eight o'clock A. M., by order of Col. 
Greusel, we changed position to the right and somewhat to the 
rear, letting our right rest upon the Nashville pike. On the 
morning of the 4th we were under arms at four o'clock. No 
fighting occurred on our part of the line during the day. In 
the action throughout, the regiment behaved in the most gallant 
manner. The officers, with only a single exception, distinguished 
themselves for bravery and coolness. The men with unflinching 
courage were always ready, and met the enemy with a determin- 
ation to conquer. I tender my thanks to Adj. Biddulph for the 
gallant and efficient manner in which he assisted me, and also to 
the other officers for their gallant action throughout the strong 
conflict, which resulted in victory. I append to this report a 
list of casualties. PORTER C. OLSON, 

Captain, Commanding 36th Illinois Vols. 
The journals of the boys make special mention of the march 
back to Gen. Sheridan's head-quarters on the Nashville pike at 
three o'clock A. M., January 1st, and no wonder, for they were 
hungry as well as exhausted, and were allowed to help themselves 
to rations, which they were not slow to do. Behind the barri- 
cades, mentioned by Capt. Olson in his report, one-half the men 



STAMPEDE OF CEDAR SWAMP. 391 

sat up during the nights of January 1st and 2nd, while the oth- 
ers slept, thus securing themselves against a surprise. On the 
2nd, while holding their position all day, heavy firing continued 
along the lines till afternoon, when the enemy was drawn into a 
general engagement, which continued with terrible fury till dark. 
" We lay," says one, "with our muskets in our hands, breath- 
lessly listening to every change in the battle, every moment 
expecting it would begin with us. Now could be heard the 
cheers of our gallant boys as some advantage was gained, then 
the loud yell of the enemy. At last a long, loud cheer broke 
from our lines as the firing grew distant, and we had gained the 
battle." It is to this engagement on our left reference is made 
in my journal, and of it Gen. Rosecrans says in his report : 
" The firing was terrific, and the havoc terrible. The enemy 
retreated more rapidly than they had advanced. In forty min- 
utes they lost two thousand men." 

The hospital steward, J. C. Denison, gives a lively picture of 
the stampede through the Cedar Swamps, the remembrance of 
which will never be effaced from the mind of any one who saw 
it. He says of Dec. 31st : " The fighting commenced very 
heavy, and soon Johnson's whole brigade was running, and a 
greater stampede I never saw. We all ran through a large cedar 
swamp, over stones, across the railroad, through fields, the secesh 
throwing shells right among us. They got so near that they 
took teams all around us, but George Woods and our team got 
away." Soon he adds: " The ambulance drivers got up another 
big scare and ran off and left us." The day after he says : 
"Very soon the cannon commenced to boom and the drivers 
mounted in hot haste and started again, but soon we got them 
back." 

J. L. Dryden, of Company C, says: "At the opening of 
the battle on Wednesday morning, Dec. 31st, I fired one shot 



392 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 



while lying down behind our little breast-work of cedar rails, 
but not liking the situation as far as loading was concerned, I 
rose up and remained standing during the battle. With the 
second shot I received a buck shot in my right arm, (which 
remains there yet) and which felt at the time more like the prick 
of a pin than anything else. This kept me off duty for about 
one week. At the time the second charge was made, when our 
forces on our right had given way, the old regiment fell back one 
at a time, until when I started for the rear there was not a man 
of our regiment on my right, and the Johnnies were rapidly 
forming a 'bull pen' around us. 'Thinks I to myself,' Old 
Broadhorns is a goner sure. I started for the rear, dragging my 
old musket in my right hand, and some man, I never knew who, 
ran along beside me for quite a distance, when all at once a 
musket ball struck him in the back of the head, coming out of 
his nose, throwing him face up right in front of me, and his 
dying groan I never can forget. I found my way to the hospital 
wagon, had my pin-hole wound dressed, and returned to the 
company next day, but had no more fighting that time." 

Among the bravest of the brave should be mentioned Sergt. 
0. Smith, of Company E, whose gallantry was so conspicuous 
as to win the special commendation of his officers, and after the 
battle he was promoted to the 2nd Lieutenancy of his Company. 

There were well authenticated cases of soldiers prophesying 
their own death. Such an one occurred in this battle. Samuel 
Young, Company D, before the engagement of the 31st Dec., 
said to his comrades, " I have passed through two battles, but 
this is my last," shook hands and bade "good-bye" to nearly all 
his Company. His premonition proved true, for after the fight 
his comrades, some of whom had ridiculed his prophecy, found 
his body, face to the enemy, and as there was nothing terrible 






COMMENDATION OF OFFICERS. 393 



depicted on his countenance, it was felt that Sam was ready to 
meet death as he had been ever ready to meet the enemies of 
his country. 

Charles J. Miner, 'of Company K, had an enormous Roman 
nose, which won for him the name of " Nosey." This promi- 
nent organ was the source of much fun, and his companions 
declared that if ever he was shot, his nose, which overshadowed 
his face, would be the object hit ; and sure enough, at this battle 
he was shot through his nose. The damage disfigured him more 
than ever until the wound was healed, when it was found that 
the quantity of nose shot away materially improved his looks, so 
that the name " Nosey " was afterward dropped. 

All spoke enthusiastically of the hopeful courage of Gen. 
Rosecrans, who seemed to be everywhere. He visited our lines 
during the night, showed the men how to rear up rails against 
their breastworks of logs and stones, and, while firing between 
the rails, have their own heads well protected from attack. 

Gen. Rosecrans says in his report, " Col. Greusel. 36th 111. 
Vols., and Col. Bradley, 51st 111. Yols. are especially commended 
for skill and courage." 

Gen. Sheridan's report says of Col. Greusel and other officers 
who took charge of brigades at the death of their commanders : 
u These officers behaved gallantly throughout the day." Gen. 
S. also adds : " I refer with pride to the splendid conduct, bravery 
and efficiency of the following regimental commanders, and the 
officers and men of their respective commands: Maj. Silas Mil- 
ler, 36th 111. ; wounded and a prisoner. Capt. P. C. Olson, 
36th 111., Company B Cavalry." Capt. Sherer's command was 
on duty at Gen. Davis' headquarters, and of them Gen. D. says in 
his report: " The enemy's pickets were discovered by my cavalry 

26 



394 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

escort composed of Company B, 36th Illinois Vols., under com- 
mand of Capt. Sherer within a few miles of our camp. This 
small squad of cavalry being the only mounted force under my 
command, I ordered them to the front, with instructions to drive 
in the enemy's pickets, and to attack him on his flanks at every 
opportunity. So effectually was this done that the infantry and 
artillery were enabled to move with little interruption to within 
a mile of Nolensville. By this time I had learned from reliable 
information, through citizens, as well as ca,valry scouts, that the 
enemy occupied the town in some force, both of cavalry and 
artillery." 

Col. Carlin, commanding 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, reports : 
" Of my orderlies, Private Pease, Company B, 36th Illinois 
Vols., had his horse shot under him while carrying my orders. 
Private Knox, same company, also had his horse shot under him, 
and while endeavoring to procure another horse for me, was 
wounded by a grape shot, and again by a minnie ball." 

LIST OF KILLED AND WOUNDED. 

OFFICERS KILLED. 

2nd Lieut. Loren P. Olson, Company F. 

OFFICERS WOUNDED. 

Major Silas Miller, 1st Lieut. S. H. Wakeman, Company A ; Capt. B. 
F. Campbell, Company B ; Capt. Albert Hobbs, Company E ; Lieut. G. 
W. Mossman, Company F; Capt. O. B. Merrill, Company I; 1st Lieut. 
John F. Elliott, Company K. 

OFFICERS MISSING. 

2nd Lieut. Myron Smith, Company H. 

NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS KILLED. 

Corp. Thomas Fenner, Company A; Sergt. David McClorg, Company 
B; Sergt Alexander Stickler and Corp. William C. Benedict, Company 
D; Sergt. Michael Boomer and Corp. Alfred Riggs, Company F ; Corps. 
Wm. Hutchings, Orlando W. Nash and Alvin S. Bunker, Company H; 
Corp. Asaph Adams, Company K. 



KILLED AND WOUNDED. 395 

NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS WOUNDED. 

Sergt. Alexander Robinson and Corporal Benjamin D. Rowland, 
Company A; Corporals Henry B. Latham and Wm. F. Blakeslee, Com- 
pany B; Corp. John C. Taylor, Company D; 1st Sergt. O. Smith, Sergt. 
L. F. Hemenway, Corps. D, Darnell and D. Burnside, Company E; 
Sergts. S. L. Smith and Win. Eybond, and Corp. Wm. Mossman, Com- 
pany F ; 1st Sergt. H. N. Crittenden, and Sergts. Nelson B. Sherwood, 
J. C. Wolfe and D. Hartman, Company H ; Sergt. T. Folsom and Corp. 
Frank Weeks, Company K. 

LIST OF THE MISSING. 

Sergt. D. Smith, Company I. 

PRIVATES KILLED. 

Henry Clayton, Thomas Staunton, Frederick H. Burmaster, Moses F. 
Gibbs and George M. Johnson, Company A ; Frank Thompson, Com- 
pany B; Joseph Baxter, James Elder, Daniel H. Buchanan and Wm. F. 
Arthurs, Company C ; James Thorp and Samuel Young, Company D ; 
Benjamin Sayers, Nicholas Meehan, Augustus Kastin, William Burgess 
and James Baird, Company E; James Foster, Cornelius Seward, Rich- 
ard H. Spaulding, Charles Wangler and Augustus Vanorden, Company 
F ; Zalman F. Hulse,Henry D Norton and David Vandorsten, Company G ; 
Robert Archibald, Washington M. Floyd, William H. Jones and Lorenzo 
D. Keyes, Company H ; Leander Ellis, Company I ; George Lenheart, 
George Monroe, George Pollock and George Hall, Company K. 

PRIVATES WOUNDED. 

Alexander C. Lind, Leroy Salsbury, Cyrus F. Dean, John W. Aid- 
rich, Charles A. Brown, Freeman S. Dunkle, John Flood, Alexander F. 
Henderson, John A. Hewitt, David Munro, Merrill H. Sabin, Charles L. 
Themur, Milton S. Townsend and John A. White, Company A; Ornery 
D. Haseltine, Henry Alcott, Vanwyck Race, John Ott, Adam Reitz 
William Vanohlen, James Campbell and Thomas McConnell, Company 
B; Robert J. Colwell, James L. Dryden, Albert O. Eckleston, John B. 
Edgar, Thomas B. Gormley, William Hartsell, Ferdinand Hercher, 
Warren Kintsee, Ethan Keck, Francis McClanahan, Walter Reeder, 
John Shook, James H. Smith, Abraham Steward and Joseph Young, 
Company C; O. H. Thompson, Joseph A. Smith, Harvey Kimball, 
Henry F. Burch, Lynder K . Banister, Thomas Welch, Samuel Tucker, 
Nelson Eckerson, 0. N. Johnson, O. W. Oleson and Lewis R. Seymbr, 
Company D; Frederick Beir, Alfred Bullard, James Brown, Charles C. 
Doane, Charles W. Doty, Aaron Darnell, Uriah Foster, Oscar Howe, 
Henry Haigh, James Harral, William Hunter, James S. Hatch, Gilbert 
Ketcham, Elisha E. Lloyd, George W. Lanigan, Henry Mullen, James E. 
Moss, George E. Merrill, Cyrus Perry, Walter S. Ralston, Charles H. 



396 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Scofield and Joel Wagner, Company E ; William Curtis, Stephen Cum- 
mings, Edwin Dopp, William A. Haggett, John Jordan, Anton Myer, 
Lewis Oleson, Alfred Tomlin, Albert H. Wulff and William Thompson, 
Company F ; William Goold, Robert B. Horrie, Daniel Kennedy, Peter 
Bradt, William Chamberlain, Joseph Hebert, Robert Jordan, George 
W. Moody, Wilbur Roseman, William F. Severans, Peter Buchanan, 
Frank Small and Milton G. Yarnell, Company G ; Charles Crawford, 
Jackson Conroe, Jerome Ford, John Sackett, David D. Warwick, Myron 
Harris and Munroe Throop, Company H; Frederick Witzkey, William 
Varner. John Roth and Anton Miller, Company I; John Gordon, 
Eldridge Adams, Frederick Hazelhurst, Sydney Wauzen, Henry Buten, 
Charles Miner, Owen Wood, Henry Hogue, Lemuel Grundy, John 
Peterson, Paul VanWicklin, Eugene Albso, Harlem Sanders and Lucien 
Button, Company K. 

PRIVATES MISSING. 

Isaac N. Miner, Edwin H. Robinson, Albert Shan, John F. Scott, 
Company A; Elnathan Weeden, Adam Campbell, Jacob Winn, Carl 
Eckhart, Joel Wilder,Company B ; Frank Henning, Oliver Edmond, Com- 
pany D ; William Woolenwiber, Company E ; Canute Phillips, Company 
F; Jesse Brown, Company G; Robert Kee, Company H; D. M. Carry, 
Company I ; Allen Bursse, Edward Reader, Joseph Leurman, George 
Gates, Company K. 




CHAPTER 

PRISON LIFE IN THE SOUTH COL. MILLER'S STORY. 



NOW come to that portion of my experience which 
is not interesting to me, but is perhaps to you. 
Immediately after my capture I was offered a parole. 
I remarked, I did not believe it would be recog- 
nized by Gen. Rosecrans. In holding me, I pro- 
posed there should be some one held in my place, 
and there was, until a week ago last Tuesday. We 
were hurried immediately, as fast as we could walk, 
to Murfreesboro, where we found from one to three 
thousand men from Johnson's Division and some from Davis', 
cooped up in a yard in that place. We were put in the upper 
room of a very handsome house, of course, and when their lines 
began to fall back, they hurried us off to Chattanooga, and from 
thence to Atlanta, arriving at that place on the 21st of January. 
On that day Jeff, said he should exchange no more prisoners, 
but was going to try them all for negro stealing, the penalty for 
that offence being death. 

At Atlanta, during the first two months we were no better treated 
(than I supposed we should be. Your treatment as a prisoner of 
war in the Southern Confederacy will depend much into whose 
hands you fall. As a whole, I did not complain, for I fared as 
well as other officers did, yet never as hard in the Federal lines. 



398 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

I do verily believe that if our army was fed as bad, fifty per 
cent of them would desert, officers and all. 

Prison life is a very different thing from what you may antic- 
ipate. It is not very pleasant to be there and know you can't 
get outside ; to know there is a bayonet and musket pointed at 
you if you try to get by. At the same time, there is no place 
in life where I could not enjoy myself to some extent, and T 
enjoyed myself there. There was a jolly set of boys there, from 
Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, &c., and they 
were all good company. What time we could not use up playing 
cards, sledge, euchre, &c., was spent in reading light literature. 
Our rations consisted of all we wanted to eat of cornmeal, mixed 
with water, thrown by not a very clean negro into a pan and 
baked, and venerable beef beef that ought to exact reverence 
from any man who looked at it. 

Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever go where there are prison- 
ers of war, go with a civil tongue in your head. If you cannot 
go to see prisoners without offering an insult, let them alone. It 
is mean yes, it is downright cowardice to insult a man when 
he is in your power. Rebels were very liable to get into dis- 
cussions with us. Rebel newspapers are the most consummate 
set of liars to be found anywhere. The press of the South have 
done more to deceive the people than anything else in the whole 
South. Their ardor does not consist so much in their patriot- 
ism, a love of their cause based upon truths they know, as the 
knowledge they have is from the lies of Rebel newspapers. I know 
they lied some, because they said we could not sing, which was 
not so. During my incarceration I never was interrogated but 
once with regard to my political feelings. A man asked me what 
I was in the army for. I told him I would not argue with him, 
because it would make him none the better. He said he did not 
believe I knew what I was fighting for ; that we were all mis- 
guided, were all abolitionists, and all we went into the war for 
was the nigger ; that we would all soon get sick of it, and get 
out ; the South was not going to give up till we drove them to 
the last ditch. The guard gave me permission to say what I was 



COL. MILLER'S STORY. 399 

a mind to. I asked him about the origin of this rebellion ; 
if there was anything honorable, honest or consistent in the mem- 
bers of the United States Senate from the Southern States swear- 
ing upon the Bible to support the Constitution of the United 
States, when they were secretly plotting to break up this glorious 
Union, thus swearing to a lie? that they were malicious per- 
jurers. I asked him if they could succeed and exist in such a 
cause, cradled and swathed in crime, and kept in existence by 
the worst form of slavery, by the most diabolical measures ; that 
my platform was annihilation and re-population of the Southern 
Confederacy. 

That is my platform still ! and if it costs the life of your son, 
the life of my brother, my life, and a million of other lives, what 
is that compared with the support and preservation of this gov- 
ernment ? 

We remained at Atlanta till the majority were taken to Rich- 
mond. All supposed we were to be exchanged. We got our 
blankets packed up, and felt very happy, but the man came and 
said he guessed some of these fellows were going to remain, 
because Gen. Rosecrans had got some of their legislature men in 
Louisville, and till they were released we were to suffer the same 
penalty inflicted on them ; if they were shot, we were to be shot. 
This was very pleasant after thinking you were to be free. We 
hostages were left in the best prison, the others went to the Libby 
prison. After this time our treatment in Atlanta was excellent, 
our guard being one of the very best in existence. The first 
party went to Richmond by way of Augusta, and we went by 
way of Knoxville and Lynchburg. 

There is a great deal of loyalty in East Tennessee. In Knox- 
ville, officers were offered any amount of money they wished. 
There was upwards of four thousand dollars offered to the officers 
if they would only accept it. For natural beauty it is next to 
Kentucky and the Fox River Valley. In Richmond, our old 
friends, except a few, were still remaining, but many officers were 
in Libby prison. In the New York Herald there was published 
a full description of the prisoners and their position. 



400 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

The first thing you would hear in the morning was a big negro, 
hollering "great news ;" but he would not sell any of his papers 
till all were awake. The price was very reasonable. One-half 
sheet seven columns, and price only fifteen cents apiece. The 
next thing after reading the papers, was to find out when your 
turn came to cook. Sometimes we had a chance to cook twice, 
and sometimes but once. If you had the first chance, you might 
cook twice ; if not, you ate just as little bread as you could get 
along with, and hung off till dinner time. Our rations in Libby 
prison were not anything to brag of. The meat was not much 
worse than we had while in Atlanta a little older and somewhat 
more venerable. We could not get very near it until it had been 
boiled in two or three waters. Some of it had been pickled in 
the same brine that had been used for pickling oysters, and all 
that you would have to do to distribute it around, was to take off 
its shackles and order it to go, which it could do without further 
assistance. With this beef we had a one-half pound loaf of hard 
bread, and I have seen the time I could eat the day's rations at 
one meal very comfortably. 

Bread was worth $2.25 ; butter, $2.50, and molasses could be 
bought at from $13.00 to $16.00 per gallon. We used to have 
pretty high living when we had plenty of money. 

The most amusing occupation we had, was what we called 
skirmishing. A class of individuals were disposed to dispute our 
sovereignty to a certain portion of our property. Our blankets 
were of a curious nature. I don't know how many men had died 
in them ; I don't know where they came from ; but I do know 
they had a great many inhabitants in them. Mine had, and it 
was absolutely impossible to rid them of their tenants. You 
might sit and search your clothes ; the floor on which you slept ; 
might look at your blankets ; boil them in hot water, and you 
could not expect to exterminate the heavy division called " Grey 
Backs," which came down upon us like an avalanche every night. 
One of our principal sources of amusement in Libby prison, was 
punishing these fellows. Sleeping on the floor is very nearly as 
good as sleeping on the ground ; but not quite, because you could 



COL. MILLER'S STORY. 401 

make a hole in the ground. We used to sing there, very consider- 
bly, " Old John Brown," &c., and by this means passed away many 
a happy hour. We were in Richmond till a week ago Tuesday. 
A week ago last Sunday, the doctor conveyed the idea that we 
were going to be carried to City Point. If you ever saw a panic 
anywhere ; if you ever saw men concerned about their prop- 
erty and negroes ; if ever men were in a panic, they were when 
Stoneman's cavalry neared the city. I believe fifteen hundred 
cavalrymen could have gone into that city burned all the gov- 
ernment stores, cars and transportation, which, by the way, is 
one of their very greatest supports. No train was permitted to 
run more than ten miles an hour, and when you destroy a full 
train of cars, you do them more damage than if you destroy a 
whole brigade of infantry. The following Tuesday morning we 
were taken to City Point, where we saw a flag-of-truce boat, and 
for the first time in four months we saw the American flag. When 
you come out from under the tyrannical power of the S. C., and 
compare it with the control under which you now live, you will 
then know what relief is. 

The order and system that exists in Fortress Monroe, com- 
pared Avith that of City Point, presented a most glowing contrast. 
I don't see how any man who has ordinary observation, judging 
from what he can see, can have any sympathy whatever for the 
Southern Confederacy. I don't see how any man here can pos- 
sibly grumble at the deprivation of his liberties under the Gov- 
ernment, at the enormous taxes, duties, &c. Nothing makes me 
so completely exasperated as to hear a man complain of the right 
to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, when in the Southern Con- 
federacy it has been suspended without any right. All you have 
to do there is to be suspicioned, and that is enough to throw you 
into prison. I have seen gangs of from forty to sixty, with iron 
bracelets on each hand, marching into prison, to remain not till 
they take the oath of allegiance, but till they volunteer to go 
into the Confederate army, or stay till the war is over one or 
the other they have to do. 



402 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

CAPT. MERRILL'S STORY. 

We, Col. Silas Miller, Capt. Albert Hobbs, Capt. 0. B. Mer- 
rill, Capt. Frank Campbell, Capt. Wakeman and Lieut. Smith, 
prisoners taken at Stone River on the last day of December, 
1862, after a stay of three weeks at Atlanta, arrived at Libby 
via Augusta, Ga. ; Sumpter, S. C. ; Wilmington, N. C. Our 
advent, in company with many other officers of other regiments 
at the old tobacco mansion, was the signal for great rejoicing on 
the part of the denizens of Richmond, who came in large num- 
bers to see how Western soldiers looked, they having never seen 
any such before. We were given quarters on the first floor, adja- 
cent to the room of Major Turner, the commandant of the prison. 
The prison was about 60 by 30 feet, with a very good view, from 
the two back windows, of the James River, the cotton mills on 
its opposite bank, and the surrounding country. The view from 
the front was not so pleasant. Most of the time it was a home 
guard carrying a musket. The furniture was plain and substan- 
tial : one twelve-foot bench. Toward evening we were furnished 
with a blanket each, well lined with u grey-backs;" and wrapping 
the frisky drapery around us, we lay down to sleep, or dream, or 
scratch our first night in Libby. 

The morning came, dark, heavy and dreary, and upon every 
face were hidden glances of solicitude, of reflection. But the 
dreariness soon passed away in the presence of new duties and 
new scenes. There were twenty-two officers, all from the West- 
ern army, Brig. Gen. Willich, of Johnson's Division, among the 
number. At ten o'clock came the roll-caller (one Ross, who 
perished at the burning of the Spottswood House in '74), and 
then came rations for the day : two table-spoonsful of black beans, 
two of rice, six ounces of meat (generally mule), and three small 
slices of bread. With this was a dozen tin plates. This neces- 
sitated the dividing of the company into messes of twelve, and 
with the conviction that in union there is strength, we put the 
twelve rations together into one kettle, boiling to a soup. It was 
soup, soup, twice a day for five months, with but a few excep- 
tions. It was also a lucky thing for the cooks that so many men 



CAPT. MERRILI/S STORY. 408 

of different nationalities were fond of soup. About the com- 
mencement of the soup season we purchased an old stove for one 
hundred and sixty dollars, making an everyday detail from each 
mess of two as cooks, thus enabling us to cater to our appetites 
more fully by occasionally having soup. 

The prisoners were generally disconsolate for the first month, 
from the fact that we were continually reminded that an exchange 
was about to take place, but we soon learned that this was for 
effect, to keep the gathering force resigned. Then it was that 
some of the prisoners, whose home ties were strong, became dis- 
heartened and sick, resulting in their being taken to the hospital, 
which they rarely ever left except in a pine coffin. It was 
at such times that inducements were offered to enter the Confed- 
erate service, but we have no record of a single one accepting or 
even giving it a thought. The monotony and close confinement 
was beginning to tell upon us, and give signs in the gaunt faces, 
listless eyes and stupid utterances. But Gen. Willich, a thorough 
soldier, came to the rescue by organizing games of exercise, one 
of which was "Fox and Geese." This soon became the game of 
all others, which was practiced twice a day for four months, and 
to its highly entertaining qualities many were in debt for their 
rescue from gloomy thoughts, the hospital and death. Our " Fox 
and Geese" was similar to the old game, with the exception of 
which the Fox must hop from his corner on one leg, having a 
knotted handkerchief, and whoever received a blow must "git" 
to the goal, after having to run the gauntlet of all the geese who 
also had knotted handkerchiefs to help the victim along. There 
were some strong arms there, and some knots larger than others, 
and some officers who wore jackets and were possessed of rotund 
forms, not over active, and for such the running of the gauntlet 
had its terrors. New recruits were brought in almost every day. 
and this was our mode of initiation. It may seem to those not 
acquainted with the situation that there was folly in this, but in 
the absence of reading matter or any occupation whatever, it was 
the very best thing to do. At times the discipline around the 
prison was very severe. The guards on the James river side, on 
the slightest pretext shooting through the windows, but there was 



404 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

no one hit, though there were some narrow escapes. The rim of 
Col. Miller's hat was perforated during one of their shooting 
scrapes. 

The floor above us was used as a prison for Southern Union 
men, and through a hole in the floor, we opened a correspondence 
and an exchange bank. 

Finding that a dollar of our money went no further than a dol- 
lar of Confederate when sent out by the guard for rice and 
tobacco, we were not long in finding out, too, that we could do 
better, the Union prisoners above offering four, five and six dollars 
for one of greenbacks, we always taking the highest bidder. A 
string was let down, the greenback tied on and hauled up and its 
price returned. About the first of April the small-pox appeared. 
As a " preventative," they smoked us twice a day. "Uncle 
John," a colored prisoner, appeared at such times with his camp- 
kettle half full of burning leather, crying out, " Good mornin', 
gentlemen; here's yer nice warm smoke." All " business" was 
immediately suspended. Weeping, sneezing, and feeling around 
for what was once a handkerchief, in the smudge of half an hour, 
was about all that was done. But there were many things said. 

Our room was full, and, perhaps owing to the prevailing epi- 
demic, a large number were removed to a room on the third floor, 
all officers being selected above and below the grade of captain, 
thus separating the 36th squad; leaving Capt. Hobbs, Capt. 
Waterman, Capt. Campbell and the writer below; Col. Miller 
and Lieut. Smith above a change not all desirable. 

About this time, Brig. Gen. Stoughton arrived, captured from 
the army of the Potomac, and taken at the same time was a Rus- 
sian baron, a Captain of Lances in his country, taking "items" 
at the general's headquarters. He was assigned to our mess, and 
Capt. Campbell, who was cook for that day, conducted him to the 
table, placing before him a tin plate and a wooden spoon, asking, 
"Will you have some of the soup, sir?" He looked thin and 
hungry, but he said gracefully, " No, tank you ; I haf never eat 
soup." This being the first and last "course," he fasted, we 
knowing full well the cause. For three days the Baron held out, 



CAPT. MERRILL'S STORY. 405 

but hunger levels the best of us, and so it did him, for on the 
afternoon of the third day he left the table filled with disgust, but 
he was filled with soup, too. To say that he was shocked at the 
kind and manner of dispensing rations, was nothing compared to 
his unutterable disgust at finding, on examination, his garments 
covered with " gray backs." This completely knocked the dignity 
out of him, but being a very sensible baron, he finally laughed the 
thing off by saying that when he got back to Russia he ' vould 
hav a good long shoke on ze boys." He remained with us about 
six weeks, when he was exchanged through the Russian Minister, 
and on his arrival at Washington, wrote for the press a very faith- 
ful account of our trials, which was copied in the Richmond 
Examiner, we, through our " warm smoke " man, obtaining a 
copy. 

Commissioner Ould came in about the first of May, informing 
us that there seemed no hopes of an exchange, and that our Gov- 
ernment had sent us clothes pants, shirts and blouses. We 
needed the clothes. Being without needles and thread, some of 
the company would have made a very distressing appearance in 
any garden. 

The goods were brought in a box containing about twenty- 
five suits, for three hundred officers. " More were sent, but they 
were captured (?) by the Confederates," said the Commissioner. 
Our 36th squad of four, in the lower room, received one shirt, 
which we wore by detail, two days on and six days off. The 
duty in this case was light. One blessing we had, and that was 
water plenty of it, and good. We had, too, some very fine 
singers, and they fairly inocculated the walls of that prison with 
our national and patriotic melodies. So touching were they to 
the ears of the guards at times, that they often came in to listen 
always giving an order on such occasions. Of the many offi- 
cers together and constantly arriving, but one feeling actuated 
them that of liberty to again take the field. The best of har- 
mony prevailed throughout the whole time of imprisonment. 

Near the first of June, at midnight, guards appeared with 
lights, the Adjutant commanding us to prepare for immediate 



406 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

departure from the prison. In silence a silence that was almost 
mournful each one proceeded to obey the command, for all 
thoughts were busy at the unexpected relief and the future. All 
filed out into the street, where we remained for half an hour, then 
were ordered back into the prison, as " some little difficulty with 
the enemy had interrupted communications," said the Adjutant. 
The " little difficulty " proved to be a cavalry raid, in which our 
troops got within eight miles of Richmond, so we learned from a 
wounded officer brought in the next morning. All took the mat- 
ter of returning coolly, feeling assured that release would soon 
come. 

And so it did. On the third of June, again at midnight, we 
were marched out and to the depot, took the cars for City Point; 
arrived about three o'clock in the afternoon, boarded the steamer 
" State of Main," and were under the old flag. Without bustle 
or confusion she steamed from the dock, and when our captors 
were no longer in sight, as if an unseen hand had touched the 
magnet, there broke from those four hundred and fifty throats in 
song, "The Star Spangled Banner." The silence was broken, 
and the five months of captivity ended. 

Of the six prisoners of the 36th at Libby at that time, but 
two are living, Lieut. Col. Frank Campbell and the writer. 
Capt. Wakeman and Lieut. Smith were killed at Chicamauga, 
Col. Miller at Kenesaw Mountain, Capt. Hobbs died about two 
years ago from a wound received at Chicamauga. A great many 
incidents relating to the imprisonment may have passed from my 
memory during the past thirteen years, but the main features are 
as fresh to-day as then, and I hope they may remain so in time 
to come. 




CHAPTER XXV. 

MURFREESBORO. 

FTER the battle, the army was disposed to the south 
of Murfreesboro, in such a way as to defend the dif- 
ferent approaches to the town. Our brigade was 
stationed on the banks of Stone river, about three 
miles south of town, on the Shelbyville Pike. The 
encampment was named " Camp Bradley," in com- 
pliment to Col. Bradley, Commander 3rd Brigade. Some one 
has said that the worst thing next to a defeat is a victory ; and 
certain it is that a great battle, even if it results in victory and 
holding the objective point, brings terrible exhaustion and dis- 
order. Men and officers are literally worn out, and life for a 
time seems a burden, while the gaps which death and wounds 
have made in the ranks of both officers and men, not only weaken 
very materially the force of the army, but necessitate such 
changes as for a time throw business into almost inextricable 
confusion and perplexity. The wounded must be cared for, the 
dead buried, the promotions and changes necessary to carry on 
army life must be made ; then reports, company, regimental, 
brigade, division and corps, must be made out, and every care 
taken to secure the property and pay of every wounded and dead 



408 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

man, and whoever is familiar with the minute details connected 
with army reports, knows that this is a stupendous task. Yet 
all the routine of military life must go on. The enemy must be 
watched, the army clothed and fed, defences thrown up, and 
everything done to make past success secure and prepare for fur- 
ther efforts. 

Everything that could be was done at once for the care of the 
wounded. As early as Monday morning after the battle, a train 
of ambulances took to Nashville a large number that could be 
moved, and on the following Thursday, Dr. Pierce and I accom- 
panied another train from our division. It was long after night 
when we arrived, and as we went around from church to church, 
and from building to building, all occupied as hospitals, it seemed 
for a time as though we should scarcely be able to dispose of our 
suffering charge. And indeed it was not until after midnight 
that we secured a resting place for our last man, and could our- 
selves lie down and sleep. 

The next day we spent in visiting the wounded of our imme- 
diate acquaintance, many of whom could not contain their joy at 
seeing some one from the regiment. The severely wounded who 
could not bear so long a journey were brought into the Court 
House and the private houses of Murfreesboro. Surgeons were 
detailed to care for them, and everything possible for their com- 
fort and recovery was done. The wounded of the 36th who thus 
remained were cared for incessantly, not only by our own sur- 
geons, Young and Pierce, but by the officers and men of their 
own companies, and it was particularly touching to see the tender 
interest which the men felt in their suffering comrades. They 
would send their gifts by me as I started to visit them, and on 
my return to camp I was plied with every enquiry as to their 
condition and prospects. But for many of them there was no 



A DOUBLE VICTORY WON. 409 

hope, and one after another, after exhibiting a patience and hope- 
fulness truly heroic, succumbed to their fate, and quite a number 
whose names appear in the list as wounded, were soon counted 
among the dead. 

Among all the feelings which characterize a soldier, none is 
more worthy of notice than the solicitude with which he waits to 
learn how the news of his deeds is received at home. The Army 
of the Cumberland was conscious of having achieved a great vic- 
tory, and it waited to learn what the country, and especially the 
loved ones at home thought of it. For awhile communication 
was broken and uncertain, but at last there came pouring into 
camp, bushels of letters and papers, filled with praises and con- 
gratulations. No language seemed too strong to express the 
pride and joy of the people. 

It was found, too, that we had been fighting a double battle 
and had won a double victory. The sympathizers with the South 
in some of the Northern States, and especially in Illinois, embold- 
ened by the delays and the recent disasters in the army of the 
Potomac, had determined on an attempt to embarrass and even 
change the administration in Springfield, and call home the Illi- 
nois troops. But the victory at Stone River, and especially the 
determined spirit of the army, checked their plans. They felt 
that the army was in earnest and would stand no trifling, and 
when, by and by, Gov. Yates prorogued the Legislature, even 
without any appropriations for carrying on the Government, the 
people felt relieved. All these events were discussed in camp 
with the intensest interest, and joined with the enthusiastic praises 
of all loyal hearted people, seemed to make some compensation 
for the sacrifices and agonies of the battle-field. But the friends 
at home were not contented with sending letters and congratula- 
tions they sent delegations of citizens to visit us and, if possible, 
27 



410 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

to aid us. Though Gen. Rosecraris issued orders against civilians 
visiting the army, a few of the many who came down to Nash- 
ville succeeded in reaching the front. Among these were Messrs. 
Sherman, Rosecrans and Mallory, from Elgin ; Dr. R. Hopkins, 
of Bristol, and a pastor, from Warren County. Some of these 
gentlemen and quite a party of officers, spent one whole day in 
exploring the battle-field, going over especially that part in which 
the 36th had been' most engaged. We stood together on the spot 
where the deadly attack of the 31st was made, and listened to a 
description of its wild horrors from the lips of Major Sherman 
and others who were present, and read in the twisted and riven 
trees a silent confirmation of the terrible story. 

We then passed through the Cedar Swamp and out near the 
Nashville road, where were remaining the very barricades which 
the regiment threw up in the first days of January. After rid- 
ing fifteen or sixteen miles, we returned, weary and hungry, but 
more than ever impressed with the greatness and importance of 
the deadly struggle. 

In January and February, although there were many bright, 
beautiful days as warm and genial as May, yet we were much 
tried by heavy rain storms, some of which ended in sleet and 
snow. Our encampment was very unfavorable for such weather, 
and many of the tents were flooded at one time or another, while 
the sound of the river was like the rumbling of the cars. The 
journals of the boys at this time were filled with accounts of these 
terrible inundations. " The rain ran into the tent so hard," says 
one, " that Fin and I had to get up on to some boxes to sleep. 
The water was six inches deep." The rain was no respecter of 
persons, for Dr. Young wrote : " Last night was a terrible night. 
Everything was afloat ; our tent leaked badly ; our bed was sat- 
urated. The water was from three to six inches deep all over our 



A SOAKING STORM. 411 

tent. Our things swam about generally. I did not sleep much, 
I was too wet and cold. Got up after daylight and stood up on 
the bed to dress myself; then went down and waded out. The 
whole camp was overflowed and looked like a vast sea. We cast 
about and found a high piece of ground, and then took up our 
bed and walked. We soon moved our tent and commenced busi- 
ness on a new basis, from a higher standpoint in society and Ten- 
nessee. After awhile, we succeeded in getting our regular hard- 
bread, bacon and coffee for breakfast." At headquarters they 
only had two meals that day, owing to the storm. This unpleas- 
ant weather, when for several days we could not see the sun, 
was a time for feeling lonesome and homesick ; but when the 
sun came out again, every one cheered up. We were com- 
forted, too, with the knowledge that these floods would swell 
the Cumberland River, and thus vastly increase our facilities 
for supplying the army, which hitherto had depended on the 
single line of railroad and the wagon-train from Mitchellville. A 
good deal of extra duty also was performed through all this 
stormy time. Gen. Rosecrans ordered the building of extensive 
and elaborate fortifications to the north of Murfreesboro, designed 
not only to hold the point, but to be a vast storehouse of supplies, 
from which we might draw after we had advanced further south. 
These works were admirably constructed, so as to defend the 
approaches from every direction, and were supplied with bomb- 
proof magazines and a railroad track connecting the different 
sections and wings. On these works the regiment was some- 
times detailed, and the different journals unite in mentioning one 
wet Sunday when they were so engaged. 

Sometimes, also, the whole brigade was sent out on picket, and 
quite often something lively would occur on the front line, as on 
January llth, when the outposts beyond our pickets were driven 



412 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

in by the enemy, shortly after noon. The whole command was 
under arms for about three hours, when all became quiet. It 
proved to be a reconnoitering, party and did not trouble our pick- 
ets. Sometimes the boys went out to guard a forage train, and their 
journals make glad mention of the supplies which the different 
messes obtained on these excursions, though they were dreadfully 
fatiguing. Not always, however, were they so safe, for Adju- 
tant Biddulph writes, February 4th: "A forage train was 
attacked at noon and cannonading kept up all the afternoon. 
Re-inforcements were sent for, and one brigade and four pieces 
of artillery were started out from our division, to which they 
returned at dark. Some of the Union boys were killed and 
wounded during the skirmishing." 

About this time a number of important changes took place 
which ought to be mentioned. Assistant Surgeon William P. 
Pierce, formerly Captain of Company F, received, January 16th, 
the appointment of Surgeon of the 88th Illinois Volunteers. 
This was a most worthy and creditable promotion. There was 
but one feeling throughout the regiment in regard to it, for Dr. 
P. was a universal favorite. From the time of my joining the 
regiment we had been almost uninterruptedly together, traveling 
night and day, enduring the hardships of the tent, the march and 
the battle, while our startling experience at Stone River had given 
us more than a common interest in each other. The Doctor was 
well read, a delightful and intelligent companion, while his pro 
fessional skill was of a high order, and his devotion to the men 
most exemplary. His sunny face and ringing voice were welcome 
everywhere. 

Alas, that there were some of whom this could not be said, but 
whom in the days of extremity it would have been a relief to 
boot out of the army. In looking over the diary of Dr. Young, 



COL. GREUSELS FAREWELL. 413 

I find the following: " Dr. Pierce received the appointment of 
Surgeon in the 88th, and left us this afternoon. How lonesome 
I shall be without him. We have been together continually for 
the past year ; have messed together, rode and slept together. 
I regretted to have him go. May success and happiness attend 
him in his new position." 

Col. Greusel, who had continued in command of the brigade 
since the battle, felt constrained, from the state of his health, to 
tender his resignation, which was accepted February 9th. On 
the 15th he started for home, but before doing so the following 
farewell address was read to the brigade and regiment on dress 
parade : 

CAMP SHERIDAN, SALEM, TENN., February 9th, 1863. 
To the Officers and Soldiers of the 26th Regiment Illinois Vol- 
unteers, and to my Brigade : 

FELLOW SOLDIERS : I am about breaking the ties that for 
nearly two years have bound us together, having received an 
honorable discharge from the General commanding this Depart- 
ment, on account of my health, and will return to my family in 
Illinois. In parting with you, beloved soldiers, I feel as bad as 
you can possibly do, for we have gone through hardships together 
that will form many fireside entertainments in our after life, until 
the battle of this life is ended, and we join those brave men who 
fell by our side at Pea Ridge, Perrysville, Stone River, and those 
who fell by the wayside. Your bravery and courage in the face 
of the enemy have won for you a glorious renown, and the 36th 
Illinois will be looked upon as one of the bravest of the brave. 
I have led you into many a battle and I feel proud to say that 
not one of you have ever faltered or turned your face from the 
enemy. In parting with you I feel like a father parting from his 
family ; and in looking back to Rolla, Mo., and seeing how you 
showed your love for your old man, by standing by me through 
that eventful trial, I shall always remember that it was your love 
that kept me at that time. This war is not yet ended, and I 



414 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

fervently hope you will stand by the flag until our common enemy 
is subdued and humbled in the dust. Many of you may fall, but 
always remember, what would your homes be worth if you and 
your children should be the abject slaves of our country's foe ? 
Younger men will lead you, and may God direct them to lead 
you not as some do, but as soldiers and brave men should be led. 
I have one thing more to say, and that is, not one of you has 
ever received or deserved any punishment at my hand. My aim 
was love to you all. Tyranny in a commanding officer is one of 
the greatest faults of some men. Show me a regiment of care- 
less, shiftless soldiers, and I will show you a regiment commanded 
by a tyrant. 

To you, my brigade, receive my hearty thanks for valor during 
battle, your kindness while in camp, and for the mode in which 
you have always obeyed every order, no matter if death stared 
you in the face and how many fell, in order to do your whole 
duty to your country. I am glad to say that I have not an 
enemy in the whole brigade. Our intercourse has been pleasant. 
Often when short of rations we suffered alike, and I have yet to 
see a complaint from one of you. 

Now I bid you farewell, and may God soon bring this strife to 
a close and allow all of you to join your families at home. 

N. GREUSEL. 

Lieut. Col. Jenks was promoted from the Captaincy of Com- 
pany A Cavalry, which was at the time in Mississippi. He 
immediately started for the regiment and took command January 
29th. Col. Jenks was a man of excellent abilities, of fine taste 
and culture, a man whom to know was to esteem. But unfortu- 
nately he found himself in a position equally unpleasant for him- 
self and the regiment. 

It was felt that the two companies of cavalry being so distinct 
in organization and service, ought not to be reckoned in the line 
of promotion, but that the regimental officers should be taken 
from the regiment itself. This feeling was so intense that neither 



A NOVEL tJSE FOR PHYSIC. 415 

kindness nor discipline could overcome it. At one time it seemed 
so high that it almost threatened mutiny, when Col. Jenks wisely 
resigned and returned to his profession, in which he has proved 
himself so successful. Capt. Olson again took command of the 
regiment. Near the same time Dr. Young, who had been attacked 
with a severe sickness doubtless a premonition of the disease 
which finally ended his life decided to resign also, and his papers 
returning in time, he left the regiment February 26th, in com- 
pany with Lieut. Col. Jenks. 

Dr. Young had been identified with the regiment from the 
first, and was enthusiastically attached to its name and history. 
He took a deep and personal interest in all its concerns, and 
contributed much to the hardy and healthy character of the men. 
He was the unmitigated foe of all shirks, and many a man who 
was really needing medical treatment, preferred to wait until the 
last moment before presenting himself among the " quinine bri- 
gade." Without doubt, deserving cases were sometimes classed 
unjustly among the pretenders, but on the other hand it must be 
confessed that Surgeon Young had reason sometimes to keep wide 
awake. One of the boys relates the following, which accounts 
for what seemed to me at first a strange and disgusting practice, 
that of requiring the men who needed oil to take it from the 
bottle at the Surgeon's quarters. Several members of Company 
G received some new boots from home, and knowing that castor 
oil was a good preserver of leather, they made repeated visits to 
the Doctor's quarters for physic, always carrying the oil to their 
tents to take it (so they told the Doctor). Mistrusting that cer- 
tain parties needed a good deal of oil for a common camp com- 
plaint, he finally found out they oiled their new boots at the 
expense of Uncle Sam. The Doctor ordered physic as usual 
to the next man who called for it, but when the victim begged the 



416 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

liberty of carrying it to his quarters to take in coffee, the Doctor 
requested him to swallow the nauseous dose then and there. 
Being fairly caught he obeyed, but not needing any oil inwardly 
just then, the result was anything but satisfactory. 

Dr. Young was in many respects a remarkable man ; his 
ability as a Surgeon was of a high order, and with him nothing 
seemed too much to do for his friends. I had one instance of 
such kindness which I valued much. A personal friend in 
another regiment, who had been sick, was taken into Murfrees- 
boro and placed in the erysipelas hospital. It was some time 
before I could find him, and then he was in such a terrible con- 
dition by reason of sores, that the Surgeon in charge evidently 
thought there was no hope for him, and no use in bestowing any 
particular care on him. On mentioning the case to Dr. Young, 
he proposed going with me, which he did. We had a conver- 
sation with the Surgeon, who was quickened to bestow more 
effort on him. We continued to visit him, giving help in an 
unofficial way, until the Surgeon found it was important to do his 
best, although the case was so bad that I read in Dr. Y's journal 
" he will die in a few days." But he did not. Those visits 
were the crisis in his case, and after the Doctor resigned, I con- 
t inued to visit him until he was able to be removed to the rear. He 
subsequently recovered, and is now a prosperous and influential 
business man. 

Dr. F. W. Lytle, Assistant Surgeon of the 51st Illinois, became 
Surgeon, and entered on his duties March 2nd. The same week 
with these changes we were ordered to make camp on the south 
side of Stone river, where the ground was higher and much 
better adapted for the purpose. Here we remained until March 
18th. 



VISIT OF THE PAYMASTER. 417 

A good deal of interest centered in the building of a bridge, 
under the direction of some of the officers of the 88th. The interest 
was turned into sport when the bridge was nearly completed, by 
its suddenly falling, broken by its own weight. u Board of 
Trade bridge" became a standing joke. 

A still deeper interest was felt about this time in the visit of 
the Paymaster, for over six months pay was due. This meant 
with many men, heavy debts to their comrades, the sutler, or 
both, and with many more, hardships for the families at home. 
The daily enquiry was, when will he be here ? and as he visited 
one regiment after another, his course was watched with 
unwearying solicitude. If the importance of any man is to be 
judged by the interest felt in his movements by others, Major 
Mclntyre was a great man. He proved to be an excellent man, 
of whom we all came to think very highly, for the uniform kind- 
ness with which he discharged his delicate and often perplexing 
duties. 

Immediately after receiving pay for two months the regiment 
was called out on a ten days expedition toward Duck river. 
On the 4th of March they marched at seven o'clock A. M., with 
four days rations, leaving the hospital department, &c., behind. 
Dr. Lytle accompanied the troops. During this absence we 
were subjected to the usual rumors and counter-rumors which 
visit camps at such times, and were kept in a state of constant 
suspense and anxiety. The day after they left we heard very 
heavy firing in the direction of Nolensville, and were, of course, 
sure that our boys were engaged. Two days after, firing was 
heard again, and reports reached us that sixty of Companies A, 
C and G were prisoners. On the 9th, orders came to move 
everything, with the report that Bragg and the Vicksburg army 
were just upon us. So the sick were sent to town, everything 



418 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

was packed, and we waited and waited, but no orders came, and 
we pitched our tents and staid all night. During the night it 
stormed heavily, also next day, when orders came to remain 
where we were. The day after, we had the pleasure of welcom- 
ing Dr. Hatch, our new Assistant Surgeon, who, to distinguish 
him from Dr. Lytle, generally passed by the name of " Little 
Doc," but who, in activity, faithfulness and imperturbable good 
humor, was always able to hold his own, and was a general 
favorite. 

But still time dragged heavily, and we wished that either the 
regiment would come in, or we might be sent to it. At last, on 
Saturday night it made its appearance with a regular 36th 
shout, and each man running to be first in camp, Capt. Olson 
crying out to his cook, " Supper for two," by which we knew 
the men were tired and hungry. 

They told us that the division went out on the 4th as far 
as Salem, there waiting until a large train of wagons, escorted 
by a brigade of cavalry, had passed by, when they resumed their 
march through Versailles toward Eagleville, marching in all 
about sixteen miles. They learned that the advance cavalry had 
charged into a Rebel camp at Eagleville, captured fifty men and 
all of their camp equipage. Resuming the march next day they 
saw at Eagleville the prisoners and wagons captured the day 
before, and shortly after turned off the road and bivouacked for 
the night, the 36th being sent on picket. Considerable cannon- 
ading was heard to the left. 

Next day (6th), the pickets were called in at daylight, and 
joining the division the march was resumed until ten o'clock, 
when they bivouacked again. Company E was sent out to pro- 
cure some meat for the regiment. They brought in several head 
of cattle. It rained all day. At night there was a severe thun- 



A HEAVY RAIN. 419 

der storm, and the rain fell in torrents. They managed to keep 
pretty dry, however, having put up a kind of shelter called 
" shebangs." Next day it was still raining, making the roads 
horrible for artillery and marching, but at half-past one P. M. 
they started, drawing two days rations at Triune, and then turn- 
ing off the pike towards Franklin, marching until half-past five 
p. M., went into camp. 

During the night the rain fell in torrents, and the ground was 
flooded, but the march was resumed for about eight miles, and 
camp was reached about one mile from Franklin, the right wing, 
under Capt. Sherman, going on picket. The next day, after 
passing through Franklin, they halted until the artillery came 
up, then moved on south, passing the evacuated camp of the 
Rebels, who retreated before them through Spring Hill, the 4th 
regular cavalry having a skirmish with them, losing three men. 

Marched about fourteen miles, and camped at Spring Hill. 
It rained all night, and they were pretty wet when the morning 
dawned. At eleven o'clock they marched seven or eight miles. 
At two o'clock halted and formed line of battle to the left of 
the pike. The cavalry were skirmishing at a creek about half a 
mile from them. Some came in that were wounded. The Rebels 
.were posted on the opposite side of the creek. At five o'clock 
went into camp on the crest of a hill overlooking the creek, the 
left wing going on picket under command of Capt. Olson. 
Rain had fallen all day. 

On the morning of the llth a few shots were fired at some 
Rebels on the other side of the creek, but they elicited no reply. 
At eight o'clock A. M. the right wing of the regiment was 
ordered to move down the creek about a mile, as a support to 
Col. Minty's Cavalry, and at eleven o'clock Gen. Sheridan 
ordered the left wing to be relieved from picket by the 88th and 



420 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

brought up. The cavalry commenced crossing the creek, and a 
strong line of skirmishers was posted to the right and left of 
the ford. A battery in the rear sent a shell through a building 
on the opposite bank in which Forrest was said to be, and caused 
a general scattering. The boys got a shot at some of the Rebels, 
one of whom was seen limping off as if he had been struck 
with a bullet. Returned to the division at nine P. M., the 
cavalry pursuing the enemy to Columbia. They commenced the 
return march on the 12th, making twenty miles to camp north 
of Franklin by four p. M. At eight o'clock next morning 
they passed through Franklin, crossed the country to the Wilson 
Pike, leading to Triune, near which they camped about five o'clock, 
after fifteen miles march. Next day (Saturday, 14th,) the bri- 
gade was rear guard, and so, late in starting and in coming in, 
arrived at Camp Bradley just before dark, having marched 
twenty- three miles. 




CHAPTER XXVI. 

MURFREESBORO CONTINUED. 

|N TUESDAY, March 17th, Major Mclntyr* 
paid off the regiment again, and next day we 
moved camp to a fine piece of ground very near 
Murfreesboro, on the Franklin Pike. At Camp 
Schaffer we remained until our march south, 
June 24th. On going out on picket duty next 
day, the whole picket line was drawn in to the north of Stone 
River. For some time a constant alarm was kept up that some 
part of our line was to be attacked. On Saturday, 21st, the 
Rebels attacked our pickets in strong force. The Brigade was 
ordered out and marched as far as Gen. Sheridan's headquarters, 
remaining under arms for several hours, when the enemy being 
driven off, we returned to camp. In the afternoon there was a 
division review by Gen. Sheridan, in preparation for a more 
elaborate one by Gen. Rosecrans on Monday. This day was also 
to be noted for the arrival of a number of commissions among 
them that of Major Miller, as Colonel; Capt. George D. Sher 
man, as Major, and Adj. George G. Biddulph, as Captain Com- 
pany K. Major Sherman commanded the regiment. Gen. 
Sheridan was highly sensitive about the condition of his com- 



422 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

mand, and always sought to have it in the best possible state. 
He was anxious in the forthcoming review that his division should 
appear worthy of its reputation. His desire communicated itself 
to all the officers and men, and on Saturday, Sunday and Mon- 
day great pains were taken to bring everything into presentable 
appearance; every man's clothing, arms, accoutrements and 
boots underwent a thorough cleansing. At noon the review took 
place, the Commanding General being accompanied by Gens. 
Garfield, McCook and Sheridan. These officers made a magnifi- 
cent appearance, and Gen. Rosecrans complimented the 36th. 
As he passed our flag and saw the name on it, he said, ''Well, 
they say the old 36th will march further and do it easier than 
any regiment we have got." "Well, boys," said he, ''does 
Gen. Sheridan take good care of you?" Some one answered, 
though as the drums were beating he did not hear it, "Yes, only 
he don't give us vinegar enough." Mrs. Rosecrans, Mrs. Mc- 
Cook, Mrs. Sherman and Mrs. Pierce were among the reviewing 
party as the regiment marched by the General. 

On the 26th the whole brigade, with Col. Bradley 's brigade, 
went out one and a-half miles on the Salem pike, remaining five 
days. These were trying days, as the rain fell heavily and the 
enemy made several attacks upon our videttes, so the troops had 
to be under arms at daylight, and fall in quickly when the alarm 
was given. 

On Sunday, 29th, I went out to the regiment and held ser- 
vices both morning and afternoon for the first time since I joined 
the army. During all the time we remained in this camp I went 
out and preached to the regiment when it was away on the Sab- 
bath ; once, in a manner which excited some interest. April 5th, 
the brigade was out on picket to the west of town, the right of 
the 36th resting on Wilkinson pike. In the morning Col. Sher- 



A SEKIES OF PRESENTATIONS. 423 

man sent an order for every officer without exception to go out. 
Although not customary for a Chaplain to go on such occasions, 
the men being divided for the different stations, yet I obeyed 
the order, and Major Sherman accompanying me, I passed from 
station to station, and preached a short vSermon to the men not 
out on the line. While thus 'engaged at one point, Col. Sherman 
and his staff rode up inspecting the line, and of course the men 
were expected to turn out and salute him as he passed ; but I 
went on with the service, and the Colonel lost his salute, which 
gave considerable amusement to the officers who had been per- 
emptorily ordered out. On this same day we were agitated by 
learning that a spy had attempted to pass through Crittenden's 
lines. He was caught, but being confined, tried to escape, and 
was shot by the guard, but that not stopping him, a soldier, who 
had been in the guard house for some fault, caught up a gun and 
shot him dead. In his stockings were found all necessary 
information about our forces and drawings of the fortifications. 
The General said the soldier need not return to the guard-house. 

Early in April we had quite a series of presentations. On 
the 2nd I presented a beautiful sword to Capt. Cass, in behalf 
of Company D, on the occasion of his promotion to the Cap- 
taincy. The next was one of very general interest to the regi- 
ment and finds a place in the journals, but I have failed to 
obtain a copy of the proceedings as printed at the time, and so 
am compelled to give some extracts from a private letter written 
a day or two after. 

On the 18th, at the close of dress parade, instead of dispers- 
ing as usual, Major Sherman brought the regiment into the shape 
of a half moon, the officers in advance, when a messenger was 
sent for me. On repairing at once to the Major, I found Dr. 
Pierce and a number of officers from the 88th. Dr. Pierce and I 



424 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

were requested to step forward, when Capt. Olson addressed us, 
describing the feelings of himself and officers at having to retire 
on 31st December, and leave such a number of our dead and 
wounded in the hands of the enemy ; how at last tidings were 
brought that we had volunteered to remain with them ; how their 
hearts were relieved, and that they desired to express their 
appreciation of what we did in some form which should be a 
memento of their regard. He then addressed me, saying, it was 
often remarked that Chaplains were of no use in the army, but 
I had shown that a Chaplain could be as useful and more so than 
any other officer in the regiment, &c. He handed me a most 
beautiful sword and belt. He then addressed Dr. Pierce, and 
gave him one of a different pattern but equally fine. I felt just 
on the point of crying, and motioned to Dr. Pierce to speak 
first, which he did, doing first-rate, but he said he had to stop or 
he should have been crying. I then spoke, but made a botch of 
it. Then came hearty congratulations from both officers and 
men. Dr. Pierce proposed to stay with the 36th, but a number 
of his 88th officers being present threatened to get up another 
for him in their regiment. This was the first presentation ever 
made by the regiment, and when they make a demonstration 
they meant it. It was no sham, but a heart-felt act, undeserved 
on our part but exceedingly gratifying. 

The third presentation consisted of a splendid sword, with 
jeweled hilt, sash, belt, revolvers, etc., made April 16th, to Gen. 
Sheridan, by all the officers in his division, as a personal com- 
pliment to him on his promotion to the rank of Major General. 
The whole cost from twelve to fourteen, hundred dollars. The 
presentation speech was made by Col. Sherman, and the General's 
reply was a model of neatness and appropriateness. The 36th 
had felt an unflagging interest in Gen. Sheridan from their first 



RESULTS OF BATHING IN THE RIVER. 425 

acquaintance with him when he was a Captain in the regular 
army, and Quarter-master in Missouri, and not a few were ready 
to prophesy his rapid advance in rank if the war continued. 
His conduct at the battle of Stone River brought him into promi- 
nent notice and opened the way for his brilliant and honorable 
career. 

By this time the weather was becoming inconveniently warm, 
and the regiment engaged pretty generally in building sheds over 
their tents, to keep them cool. By allowing them to extend over 
the front of the tent and then planting large evergreens at inter- 
vals, a cool verandah was secured, and, at least until the leaves 
withered, a very pretty effect was procured. 

One of the favorite recreations at this time was bathing in 
Stone River, and no doubt many a record could be made like 
that given by Dry den, Company C, who says : " In camp at 
Murfreesboro I received my first and only black mark. A num- 
ber of us were swimming in the river one evening, and by hard 
running reached Company I just as Wilson got through calling 
the roll. Next morning we took a wagon and built a brush shed 
over Lieut. Turnball's quarters as 'fatigue duty,' (?) all the pun- 
ishment I ever received in the army." 

A favorite amusement all through our Murfreesboro stay was 
base ball, and many an hour was spent at Camp Schaffer in this 
absorbing game. Sometimes the fun was varied by a contest with 
some other regiment, and though the 36th were very skillful, they 
sometimes met their match, as one record very candidly says : 
"In the afternoon eight boys of the 24th Wisconsin played ball 
against eight of ours and beat us (!) by fifty a very interesting 
game." 

April 14th we were again paid off, and on that day the whole 
regiment was made to sympathise with a heavy affliction which 

28 



426 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

fell upon Lieut. Clark, Company E. His wife had been danger- 
ously sick for some time, and two weeks before he had used every 
effort to secure a leave of absence for a few days to visit her. 
But leaves of absence were discouraged at headquarters, and one 
was refused him, and when a telegram was sent informing him 
of her death, the whole regiment felt it as a personal -affliction. 
A leave of absence was now procured for him, and in a few hours 
he started for his desolate home and motherless children. 

On the 18th we had a meeting of which officers and men have 
been proud ever since. An act of Congress made it the duty of 
every chaplain " to report to the colonel commanding the regi- 
ment to which he is attached, at the end of each quarter, the 
moral and religious condition of the regiment, and such sugges- 
tions as may conduce to the social happiness and moral improve- 
ment of the troops." In my report for the quarter ending March 
31st, were the following passages : " Our volunteer army sustains 
peculiar relations to the country. It is not composed of men 
who have taken up arms as a chosen profession, but of men from 
every calling and walk in life, who, because their flag has been 
insulted and their loved country imperilled, have laid all aside for 
awhile, that treason may be rebuked and our glorious Govern- 
ment saved. This done, they expect to return to the quiet pur- 
suits of civil life ; the student to his books and profession, the 
merchant to his desk, and the farmer to his land. This army, 
then, is not only at present the bulwark of the republic, destined 
to beat back the waves of sedition, but being composed in a great 
measure of the young and promising, it will for years to come 
constitute the very strength of our land, while the spirit our sold- 
iers cultivate and the habits they form will be a controlling ele- 
ment in the nation long after the war has been brought to a suc- 
cessful issue. In the meantime, the volunteer is the object of 



REST ON SUNDAYS. 427 

intensest solicitude to his friends at home, not only on account of 
physical dangers which stand thick on every hand, but of the 
vices and habits which army life, away from the restraining and 
refining influences of home, is found frequently to foster. Respect, 
then, for the feelings and wishes of the good and honored at home, 
anxiety for the present and eternal welfare of the soldier and an 
enlightened regard for the future of our country, combine to press 
upon all in situations of authority, the importance of surround- 
ing the soldier with every influence that may foster virtue and 
repress vice. Foremost amongst these powers for good is the 
observance of the Sabbath. The President of the United States 
and Commander-in-Chief, feeling his responsibility in this regard, 
issued his general order about four months ago, and the general 
commanding this department has since given to this army Sab- 
bath rest, except when the pressing necessities of the service pre- 
vented. It is probable that this course will be pursued in the 
future. But the full benefits of Sabbath observance are enjoyed 
only, when besides rest for the body, the mind is turned to the 
contemplation of the works and will of God. Our facilities for 
doing this are much fewer than in civil life, rendering it import- 
ant to make the best use of the means we possess, that as much 
of the day as possible may be occupied, and the soldier be not 
left to that vacuity of mind which is the sure parent of vice. I 
therefore respectfully recommend that whenever the weather and 
military duties will permit, arrangements be made for two public 
meetings on the Sabbath, believing that the interest which has 
hitherto been manifested in one service, and the good which has 
flowed from it, will justify the step. A second most potent influ- 
ence for good, is well selected reading. 

I propose to continue my past course with respect to religious 
reading. I find no difficulty in obtaining money for this purpose, 



428 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

as the report read a few weeks ago to the regiment clearly shows, 
but I have frequently to refuse contributions, as we have not trans- 
portation sufficient to justify keeping a large assortment on hand. 
It is necessary that the men should be supplied with read- 
ing of a more general character, which shall combine amuse- 
ment with instruction, thus contributing to the contentment and 
mental vigor of the soldier, and preserving him from the deleteri- 
ous effects of the debasing trash which he often reads because it 
is all he can obtain. The small libraries now in the hands of dif- 
ferent companies, suggest a feasible plan by which this lack may 
be supplied. One hundred or one hundred and fifty volumes 
might be selected from the catalogues of different publishers, 
which being divided into five or six libraries, would add but little 
to the transportable property of a company. At intervals, each 
library might be changed, until the whole had been within the 
reach of the entire regiment, and the advantages of a regimental 
library be enjoyed without the embarrassment which would arise 
from keeping the books all together. I would respectfully 
recommend that whenever the prospect of the regiment's remain- 
ing in camp is such as to warrant the experiment, such a plan 
should be adopted, convinced that it would conduce to the social 
happiness and moral improvement of the troops." 

Both these recommendations were heartily adopted. Until our 
removal from Murfreesboro we held two public services on the 
Sabbath, whenever other duties did not interfere, and our camp 
on that day became as quiet and orderly as a New England vil- 
lage, and all not by order, but by the voluntary choice of the 
regiment. The second recommendation found a hearty response 
from the officers, and on Saturday night, April 18th, just before 
dark, a meeting was called of the whole regiment, and the plan 
of the regimental library laid before them. An eye witness says : 
" When the motion was put to go into the plan, you should have 



THE SOLDIER'S LIBRARY. 429 

heard the ' Aye.' Whoever thinks that soldiers are degraded, 
would learn something from that sound. If they are degraded, 
it is because no one tries to elevate them. Good seed never found 
richer soil than here in the army." Subscription papers for each 
company had been prepared and were now distributed, and after 
singing, "My Country 'Tis of Thee," the meeting broke up. In 
about an hour $200 was brought in, which was soon swelled to 
$350. The only danger now seemed to be that our library would 
be too large, but we hoped by dividing it into thirteen sections 
placing one in the care of each company and one for headquar- 
ters that it would not prove burdensome, while at the same time 
aifording every facility for self-improvement. The Chaplain was 
prouder of his regiment that night than ever, and especially as 
both officers and men insisted that the books should be of sterling 
value. The task of selecting and organizing such a library so as 
to give variety and appropriateness to each section, proved to be 
very heavy, and having to be accomplished at such a great dis- 
tance from the publishers, necessarily took a good deal of time, 
and was only finished at last by the kind assistance of Rev. Mr. 
Cass, of Como, who, while on a visit to his brother, Captain of 
Company D, volunteere4 to take the oversight of the purchase of 
the works and to issue the catalogue after all the lists had been 
prepared. Messrs. Griggs & Co., of Chicago, furnished the books 
and presented us with a copy of " Webster's Unabridged." 
Although the work was pushed with all speed possible, we did 
not receive our library before we left Murfreesboro and the 
interruptions of our advance south hindered still more, so that it 
was not till we had camped at Bridgeport that the library arrived 
and was distributed. Further reference will be made to it when 
we reach that point. 

On the 21st, Brig. Gen. Lytle took command of the brigade. 
He was from Ohio ; had distinguished himself in the campaign 



430 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

in West Virginia, and at Perryville, where he was wounded. 
On his recovery he was assigned to the command of our brigade. 
He was a brave and competent officer, highly respected by 
all who came in contact with him. On the 29th an order was 
issued requiring all the wall-tents, except one for each company 
and three for the field and staff, to be turned over to the Quar- 
ter-master. This made a great fluttering, as it confined all the 
men to their shelter tents, and brought the officers into tight 
places. But necessity is the mother of invention, and the men 
procuring boards and other material for the sides of their quarters, 
and using the shelter tent for the roof only, succeeded in making 
themselves comfortable. The order fell specially hard on 
the hospital department and the chaplains, indeed the latter were 
thereby deprived both of all personal accommodations and all 
opportunity for doing their work. At this time, besides our pub- 
lic services, I had regular meetings in my tent five nights every 
week. Our officers would not hear of my tent being taken. The 
Quarter-master did not touch it, and Gen. Lytle very kindly sent 
me word to hold on to it. In the end the position of chaplains 
was actually benefitted by the order, for Gen. Rosecrans had 
been supposed for some time to make distinctions in favor of 
Catholic chaplains, but now the three Corps Commanders, who 
were strong Protestants, threatened to appeal to Washington if 
the chaplains were deprived of their tents. Gen. McCook 
invited all his chaplains to meet at his quarters, where they filled 
a large room. He spoke to them kindly and with evident 
understanding of the annoyances to which many of them were 
exposed. He said he had made arrangements that all his chap- 
lains should have a tent of any kind they chose, to be their own, 
not to be touched by any other officer, nor controlled by the 
Quartermaster; that transportation should be afforded by the 



A WEDDING ON THE BATTLE FIELD. 431 

Colonel ; that he wanted to receive a report from each as to 
whether they were comfortable and well cared for, and that so 
long as he had a place to sleep and food to eat they should have 
both. Before we separated an order came from Gen. Rosecrans 
giving to each chaplain his own tent, thus ending the agitation, 
and making comfortable and useful many a chaplain who received 
no attention from the officers of his own regiment. In the 36th 
it made no difference except to make their Chaplain feel how 
strong both he and his work were in the hearts of officers and 
men. 

At the close of this meeting the chaplains were invited to 
attend a wedding to be celebrated next day on the spot at the 
extreme left of our line, where had been the hardest fighting on 
January 2nd. Inviting Maj. Sherman to accompany me, the news 
spread, and the result was that the Major, Dr. and Mrs. Pierce, 
Mrs. Sherman, Mrs. Cushing and Quarter-master Sutherland, all 
went over together, arriving just as the ceremony was being per- 
formed. Immediately after, Gens. McCook, Crittenden and 
Johnson arrived. We were all introduced in turn to the bridal 
party, and extended our congratulations. The bridegroom held 
a position in the army, the bride was a lady who had been in the 
service of the Sanitary Commission. 

Any description of our camp life in Murfreesboro would be 
defective if it did not make special mention of the intense inter- 
est with which all the movements of other armies were regarded. 
The army of the Potomac was watched and criticised unsparingly. 
The army of the South-west, which at this time was concentrat- 
ing for the capture of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, excited the 
deepest solicitude, for we were destined to feel the effects of its 
movement, whatever they proved to be. Many and fierce were 
the debates to which the daily events gave rise, and men and 



432 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

officers grew hot as they discussed the various phases of the war 
and the competency and incompetency of Generals in com- 
mand. No better example of camp excitement could be given 
than that afforded by the report which thrilled the whole country 
on Sunday, May 10th, that our troops had entered Richmond. 
For twenty-four hours the camps had been full of anxiety, but 
when the news finally came, about noon, even Gen. Sheridan was 
so much carried away by the excitement that he galloped to the 
headquarters of one of the brigades without his hat. It was 
quite dispiriting when we found that only our cavalry had been 
within sight of Richmond, giving the Confederate rulers a terrible 
scare, but nothing more. 

On the llth of May, Capt. Olson became Lieut. Colonel, and 
took command of the regiment. This promotion was highly hon- 
orable to that worthy officer, whose fidelity and courage, tested 
both in camp and field, had won the confidence of the regiment. 
The appointment, too, will never cease to be equally honorable 
to Major Sherman, who, though himself the ranking officer, and 
entitled to retain the position, by recommending Capt. Olson as 
Major, a course which was often taken in the army, and did not 
lack for advocates on this occasion, yet voluntarily recommended 
him for the position of Lieut. Colonel, himself retaining the 
Majorship, an instance of self-abnegation as honorable as it was 
rare. 

About this time we were in daily expectation of welcoming the 
return of the officers who had. been wounded and captured on the 
ever memorable December 31st. These were Maj. Silas Miller, 
Capts. B. F. Campbell, Albert M. Hobbs and 0. B. Merrill, and 
Lieuts. S. H. Wakeman, John F. Elliot and Myron Smith. They 
had been sent after the battle, first, to Atlanta, and then to Libby 
prison, Richmond, which at that time was at the height of its 



RETURN OF COL. MILLER. 433 

reputation for filth and wretchedness, and its keepers for general 
heartlessness and bitter hatred of all who came into their hands. 
Although for the most part we were kept in ignorance of the con- 
dition of our officers, yet now and then a few meagre items of 
information were obtained, sufficient to whet our curiosity and 
awaken the liveliest interest in their welfare. 

Our solicitude was not a little increased by learning that Gen. 
Willich and Maj. Miller had been selected as hostage, and were 
threatened with death. But as time wore on and the exchange 
of prisoners proceeded we began to anticipate the pleasure of wel- 
coming them home. On the 16th day of May, Maj. Miller 
addressed the citizens of Aurora, giving a glimpse not only of 
army, but also of prison life, from which much of his story in a 
former chapter has been taken. 

The interest of the regiment in his return was increased by his 
promotion to the rank qf colonel ; not simply his by virtue of his 
seniority, but felt to be well earned by his singular fidelity and 
courage. On the 5th of May, Capts. Wakeman and Campbell 
returned and received a hearty welcome, but it was not until the 
23rd that Col. Miller arrived. For several days he had been 
eagerly expected, and on the 22nd we learned that he and Capt. 
Hobbs had arrived in Nashville and would be out next day, 
Lieut. Col. Olson and a number of officers met him at the train. 
His horse, which fortunately had been saved from the battle was 
led down, and as soon as word was brought that the party were 
approaching camp, the whole regiment turned out and stood 
waiting until the Colonel appeared, when they broke into their 
wildest cheer, which with the 36th meant a great deal of noise. 
He galloped at once among them, grasping the hands of the men 
as they crowded around his. horse, and gave himself up to as 
hearty a welcome as was ever given by a regiment to its com- 
mander. Soon the officers of the other regiments in the brigade 



434 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

made their appearance, crowding the head-quarters tent. The 
band of the 24th Wisconsin came over and played in their best 
style "Home Again," and for several hours nothing seemed 
thought of but congratulations and joy at the return of one who 
had led the regiment so bravely, and suffered for it so greatly and 
so long. At the first dress parade, held a few days afterward, all 
endeavored to be present, Surgeons and Chaplain, too, in com- 
pliment to the Colonel, to whom it was a great gratification to be 
surrounded by those so enthusiastically attached to the cause and 
to himself. About the same time quite a number of our paroled 
men returned from parole camp, and gave us quite a re-inforce- 
ment, making us feel more thoroughly at home than at any time 
since the battle. 

From this time until our final march from Murfreesboro, much 
attention was given to every description of drill, even the officers 
being drilled in the use of gun and bayonet by Major Sherman. 
As the weather was now intensely hot, these drills were often very 
exhausting, and one man, Charles Irish, of Company H, was 
sun-struck. 

Great excitement continued to prevail in regard to the cam- 
paigns on the Potomac and the Mississippi. We were in daily 
expectation of hearing that Vicksburg and Port Hudson had 
fallen, while in "the East, the failure of the campaign under 
Hooker, followed by Lee's invasion of Maryland, kept us in con- 
stant anxiety. It was doubtless, too, to hide the weakening of 
the force in our front that the enemy made several attempts to feel 
our lines, and exhibited signs of activity, while in reality all his 
available force was used elsewhere. Our own War Department 
was extremely anxious that Rosecrans should advance to make 
a diversion in favor of Hooker and Grant, and were impatient at 
the long delay. When, however, the great difficulties of our 










SOLAS RC 

3 6^ Illinois. 



LIBRARY 

OF VHE 

UNIVERSITY of ILLINOIS 



BREAKING UP CAMP AT MURFREESBORO. 435 

advance into Southern Tennessee and Georgia stood revealed, the 
caution of Rosecrans appeared to be vindicated. But all signs 
pointed to an early advance, and we waited to hear the word 
"forward," which at last came on June 24th, and our long 
encampment at Murfreesboro was over. 

This record should not be closed, however, without a word upon 
the religious interest which prevailed at that time. For some 
months increased attention had been given to religious services 
throughout the army, and quite a number of the leading officers 
sustained Sabbath services at their headquarters. Gen. McCook 
had preaching every Sabbath afternoon, which was attended by 
many Generals and regimental officers of his corps. Series of 
night meetings were also held, and a large number of the men 
made professions of religion. At the Chaplains' meetings, held 
every Monday morning, the reports from the different regiments 
were highly encouraging. The last Sabbath before we marched, 
thirty were baptized in Stone River. On that day the Chaplain 
of the 36th, on going to the camp on Salem pike, where the reg- 
iment was, found that the place selected for the pulpit had been 
carefully and beautifully ornamented by an arch of evergreens, 
giving evidence at once both of the interest and taste of those 
who had prepared it. After an interesting service, thinking to 
enjoy the privilege of hearing a sermon, he went to Gen. Mc- 
Cook's headquarters, but the appointed preacher having failed, 
at the General's request the Chaplain officiated. Before another 
Sabbath both officers and men were once more amid the excite- 
ments and confusions of a campaign. 




CHAPTER XXVII. 

ON TO THE TENNESSEE. 

[HE ENEMY'S center was Tullahoma, while its 
wings extended to Shelbyville, which was 
strongly fortified, and McMinnville. The 
country through which we were now to operate 
presented increased difficulties in the way of 
military operations, as we were gradually near- 
ing the mountain region, penetrable only through certain passes, 
which of course it was necessary to seize, but were comparatively 
easy for the enemy to hold unless they were manoeuvered out of 
them by superior strategy and celerity of movement. 

On Wednesday, June 24th, the army left Murfreesboro in three 
columns, Thomas on the right, McCook in the centre, and Critten- 
den on the left. Our brigade being out on the Salem pike, had its 
preparations made the day before. Early in the morning the 
pickets were drawn in, and after breakfast the brigade joined the 
rest of the division near the " Board of Trade Bridge," and we 
marched out on the Shelbyville pike. The army was in fine 
spirits and hopeful of success. We had scarcely started, how- 
ever, before it began to rain, inaugurating what might truly be 
called "the campaign of mud and slush." About six miles out we 
struck the enemy's lines, and at the distance of nine miles we were 



THE ENEMY ENCOUNTERED. 437 

halted for several hours while the cavalry skirmished, supported 
by two regiments of our brigade. The enemy used artillery in 
checking us, and two or three shots fell in front of our regiment. 
Soon a part of Thomas' corps came up and went forward toward 
Shelby ville, while our division was turned eastward on a dirt road, 
on which we marched about six miles and went into camp in a 
dense wood. The headquarters' wagon not coming up, the 
officers were in poor plight. The rain poured down all night and 
next day, and though we were up at three o'clock A. M. no orders 
came until three P. M. We could hear, however, the sound of 
firing in the advance, where Johnson's Division was taking Lib- 
erty Gap, which they did in fine style, not, however, without con- 
siderable loss. The next day we were up at three o'clock, 
marched a little way, and then halted until eleven o'clock. 
Again it commenced to rain if rain it might be called which 
came in such torrents that rubber was no protection and the 
water varied from ankle to waist deep, with mud in proportion. 
The men pronounced it the hardest they had ever seen. We 
went through Liberty Gap, captured the day before, and camped 
at the entrance of Hoover's Gap, on the McMinnville pike, hav- 
ing marched only about four miles. Next day, the 27th, we were 
up at three o'clock, and reached the Manchester pike, where we 
found our train and rations. We made a halt for some time, then 
leaving the pike, struck off to the right, through a small town 
called Bedford. Here our division encountered some force of 
the enemy, and for about half an hour the 36th was thrown out 
to the left as a protection. We soon went forward, however, and 
turning east again, marched on until nine o'clock, when, thor- 
oughly exhausted, we went into camp in an orchard, about two 
miles from the Manchester pike. 

On the 28th (Sunday), we struck the pike about nine o'clock, 
and went into camp near Manchester about eleven o'clock. The 



438 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

day was fine, and the boys used it to bathe and wash up, for 
which they had unusual facilities, there being a dam with a fifty 
feet fall. All they had to do was to stand under the descending 
water and their clothes were cleansed from the mud with which 
they had been covered. This day's rest helped the troops much, 
and we were encouraged by learning that our forces occupied 
Shelbyville the day before. In the evening, arrangements were 
made for a union service of all the regiments in the division 
camped together. The Chaplain of the 36th preached the ser- 
mon to a vast audience, gathered in an immense circle. At the 
close, those who desired to give themselves to the Lord's service 
were invited to step into the center, where they kneeled as 
prayer was made for them. It was a solemn sight, for soldiers 
do not commonly profess such an interest unless they deeply 
feel it. 

On Monday, 29th, we resumed the march about noon, the inev 
itable rain beginning to fall just as we left camp, and pouring 
in torrents as we plowed our way along. We had to make sev- 
eral halts to rest, for sometimes the battery and wagon wheels 
sank so deep that it seemed almost impossible to move them. We 
went into camp about seven o'clock and remained there all next 
day, as it was impossible to move artillery. As we were now 
within a few miles of Tullahoma, of whose great strength we had 
been hearing for months, there was much speculation as to what 
reception we should meet there. We marched again about two 
o'clock July 1st, and had scarcely gone a mile before we learned 
that the enemy had evacuated. A rapid march was made under 
a burning sun so hot that a large number of men fell out and 
our division was the first to enter Tallahoma. We found the 
deserted fort, with several sixty -four pound siege guns spiked and 
quite a quantity of tents and ammunition. Next day we started 



FORDING ELK RIVER. 439 

at five o'clock and began to receive into our lines a number 
of prisoners, who represented themselves, and large numbers of 
their comrades, as disgusted with the war and determined to desert 
to us rather than leave the state as Bragg was preparing to do. 
About ten o'clock we made a long halt at Estelle Springs, and 
finally found it necessary to leave the direct road in order to ford 
Elk River, the enemy having burned the bridge. This was a 
difficult and dangerous operation, as the recent rains had swollen 
the river to a roaring torrent, and the enemy were on the other 
side. We commenced crossing about six o'clock. It was a ludi- 
crous sight to see so many men wading the stream, with their 
clothes and accoutrements raised in the air, to keep them out 
of the water, which with some men came almost to the neck. The 
current was so rapid, that in places it was difficult to urge 
horses through, but at last they became so accustomed to it that 
some of them made a number of trips, carrying over special 
friends. We went into camp at eight o'clock, having marched 
fifteen miles. 

Starting next morning at six o'clock, we soon came in sight of 
Winchester, and the rear guard of the enemy could be plainly 
seen. A line of battle was at once formed, with Company B 
thrown forward as skirmishers to support the cavalry, who charged 
into town, capturing fifty prisoners. After wading a stream 
waist deep, the infantry stacked arms in Winchester. At another 
stream beyond, our cavalry received a check, and the infantry was 
formed again in line of battle, but the enemy soon retired and we 
advanced, wading another stream and passing a house where a 
small boy had been accidentally killed in the skirmish. We con- 
tinued our march till we reached the foot of the Cumberland 
Mountains, and went into camp at Cowan Station at six o'clock. 
Further pursuit being fruitless, the Nine Days' Campaign ended 



440 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

here, and Middle Tennessee was once more in possession of our 
forces. The boasting with which Gen. Bragg made his advance 
a year before, and the assurance he had given the farmers that 
no second invasion should ever interrupt their ordinary pursuits, 
were seen to be vain, for the army of the Cumberland had returned 
with more strength and determination than ever. 

At the conclusion of this campaign, the War Department were 
incessant in their demands for an advance against the enemy south 
of the Tennessee ; but they scarcely realized the difficulties which 
such a movement would encounter and the risks which would 
be incurred when it was actually made. In the meantime the 
railroad bridges were rebuilt, and as fast as supplies could be 
brought up, the troops were thrown forward to the line of the 
Tennessee, preparatory to the fall campaign. During this time, 
the regiment had the usual variety of picket, forage and outpost 
duty, interspersed with events which were startling at the time 
and are now interesting to recall. 

The day after our arrival at Cowan, the glorious Fourth was 
duly observed by a national salute, and a patriotic sermon by 
the Chaplain on the 5th, it being the Sabbath. About sun- 
down on the 7th we were attracted by tiring of heavy guns in 
the direction of Tullahoma, Gen. Rosecrans' headquarters. Many 
were the speculations as to what it meant, but next morning we 
were roused at sunrise by our own batteries making a similar 
salute in honor of the fall of Vicksburg and the victory of Meade 
at Gettysburg. For several days the excitement was most 
intense, and we watched the papers for every scrap of informa- 
tion about both armies, many prophesying Lee's utter destruc- 
tion and the near end of the war, little dreaming that two weary 
years must yet elapse before peace would come. 

On the 13th the regiment went out to Anderson Station, near 
the Alabama line, marching on the railroad track through the 



RESUMPTION OF RELIGIOUS MEETINGS. 441 

Cumberland Tunnel, 2228 feet long. They returned on the 16th. 
Orderly Sergt. Hunt, of Company G, died on the 17th, and 
was buried with military honors the next day. 

By this time the railroad was repaired, and on the 21st we 
were greeted by the first passenger train. During these two 
weeks' stay at Cowan we suffered constantly from the heavy rains 
which fell, and on the other hand were wonderfully favored with 
an abundance of blackberries, which were devoured all the time 
and in every possible shape, off the bush, out of the pail, in 
sauce, shortcake, pies, &c., a diet as healthy as it was acceptable. 

Our religious meetings, too, were resumed, and on Sunday, 
July 19th, we had two excellent services under trees by the banks 
of the creek. Col. Miller had promised that when the prospect 
of our remaining in camp would justify it, we should build a 
chapel for public worship. After making the tents comforta- 
ble, volunteers and a detail of men were set to work, the plan 
being furnished by the Chaplain, and the erection superintended 
by Capt. Wakeman, of Company H, and Lieut. Smith, of Com- 
pany E. As the chapel was altogether the most attractive of 
any that was seen in our army, and was highly prized by the 
regiment, a further description of it may be desirable. Against 
a picket fence as a base was described a semi-circle, thirty-six 
feet across the widest part and sixty feet long. At intervals on 
this circle and through it diagonally were erected strong posts, 
on which poles were placed for plates and rafters, the whole 
bound together strongly. The roof was covered with branches 
of trees, while evergreens, about five feet high, were planted all 
along the outer circle between the posts. Similar evergreens, 
points downward, were hung from the plates above, making 
a complete evergreen siding to the whole building, which, while 
keeping out the sun, admitted the air through the waving branches. 

29 



442 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Next to the fence the lower tier of evergreens was omitted for 
purposes of light, and here was placed the pulpit, from each side 
of which an aisle was drawn in line with the posts supporting the 
roof and leading to two Gothic doors built in the sides. The 
spaces between the aisles and on each side of them were filled 
with seats, arranged in the same shape as the building, so that 
every hearer faced the pulpit, and the congregation was brought 
into a compact form. As the work proceeded, much enthusiasm 
was manifested, and those who had special tastes devoted them- 
selves to special parts. The pulpit was trimmed with sunk panels 
of arbor vitas, by J. C. Denison, Kelly and Burch ; 'some trimmed 
the Gothic doors, while others made and covered with evergreens 
the figures 36, so large that when placed on the front plate of 
the chapel they could be seen all over the camp. Right over the 
centre of the chapel was built an evergreen cupola, arranged so 
as to hold the regimental flag. When finished it surpassed the 
expectation of those who planned it, and was the admiration of 
the whole camp. 

On Sunday, the 26th of July, the morning opened most 
beautifully, the flag was hoisted^ and at ten o'clock the men 
assembled, Capt. Wakeman and Lieut. Smith acting as ushers. 
The seats which would accommodate about five hundred were 
comfortably filed. Gen. Lytle and Col. Miller were seated in 
the pulpit with the Chaplam. The sermon was from Ps. LXXXIV-! : 
"How amiable are Thy tabernacles, God!" and was a discus- 
sion of the influence of the Christian sanctuary upon individuals 
and nations. A collection was taken to purchase a new supply 
of reading for the regiment. In the afternoon we organized a 
Sabbath School and Bible Classes, and in the evening held a 
prayer and conference meeting, and when the day closed all felt 
abundantly repaid for the toil. The chapel was so airy and cool 



MAKING PICTURES OF OUR CHAPEL. 443 

that it became a favorite resort, many coming there to read or 
write letters. 

The next day, finding that a Lieutenant of topographical engin- 
eers on Bragg's staff, had come in and given himself up, who was 
an excellent draughtsman, having in his possession some very 
fine drawings of Lookout Mountain and other scenery near Chat- 
tanooga, we proposed to him to make two drawings of our chapel 
for preservation. He was in need of money, and gladly accepted 
the offer at five dollars each. The pictures were excellent, and 
taken by the Chaplain to Chicago and lithographed by Shober, 
a thousand copies of each being eagerly purchased by the regi- 
ment and are now carefully preserved. 

Monday, the 27th, Maj.McIntyre arrived with four months' 
pay, and permission being given the Chaplain to proceed to Illi- 
nois with such funds as might be entrusted to him, the day, and 
far into the night, were spent in writing letters and preparing 
packages of money for the dear ones at home. Next day he 
started, carrying over $15,000, and taking also the regimental 
flag, to have inscribed on it the names of the battles in which it 
had been carried. 

On Thursday, July 30th, we broke camp for the march over 
the mountains, which proved rough and weary indeed. Many 
wagons broke down and again the rain did not forget t'o fall. 
Halted for the night three miles from Anderson Station and next 
day arrived at Stevenson. On Saturday we went forward to 
Bridgeport, the advance of Sheridan's Division. Here an island 
divides the Tennessee River into two channels, each of which 
was spanned by a fine railroad bridge. That on the west had 
already been partially destroyed, and the enemy's pickets occu- 
pied the island. Our men frequently held conversations with 
them and the pickets exchanged papers. Trains ran through to 



444 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Bridgeport, bringing up the baggage, and a permanent camp was 
once more made, where we remained until the general, advance. 
The weather at this time was intensely hot, and there being little 
or no shade, united with the miasma from the river, caused quite 
an increase of sickness in the regiment. The usual routine of 
picket and foraging duty was varied with bathing, fishing, &c., 
and now and then a flag-of-truce boat put out from one or other 
army, transferring persons and carrying messages. 

The event of this camp, however, was the receiving, after so 
long a delay, of our regimental library. It arrived August 9th. 
The work of cataloguing and dividing it into sections having 
been done before it was ordered, a force immediately proceeded 
to cover the books with stout paper, put on the numbers and 
labels, and next day each company was in possession of its sec- 
tion. The eagerness with which the books were taken out and 
read was a sight good for the eyes. It must be remembered, too, 
that they were not flashy books, but the choicest literature in the 
English language, comprising the works of such authors as Wash- 
ington Irving, Macauley, Motley, Scott, Dickens, Hughes, &c. 
The enthusiasm pervaded all classes. Strong boxes were fitted 
up and every provision made for the safe preservation of the 
books. The library was used whenever we were long enough in 
camp to justify its being brought forward, and at the muster out 
was divided among the survivors of the regiment. On the 17th 
and 18th of August, meetings were held to organize a literary 
society, for the purpose of encouraging and directing an intelli- 
gent use of the library. Speeches were made by various officers, 
patriotic songs were sung, and the following officers of the society 
were elected : Pres't Chaplain Wm. M. Haigh ; Vice-Prest 
Maj. Geo. D. Sherman ; Secy Thos. P. Hill : Board Capt. 
Geo. G. Biddulph, Sergt. J. J. Wilson, Nath. McCutchen, Com- 
pany B, and George Wood, Company D. 



\ 

PERPETUAL SUPPPY OF READING MATTER. 445 

About this time another arrangement was made, which proved 
of the highest benefit in providing reading matter. Hitherto 
our papers had been chiefly religious, but our funds were now 
sufficient to provide a larger variety on which we might depend 
during the march. Accordingly we procured twenty copies weekly 
of the N. Y. Evening Post ; twelve copies each of Atlantic, 
Harper s, Continental and Eclectic Magazines, and also the Army 
and Navy Journal, which, with the large number of religious 
papers, gave us all the benefits of a perpetual reading room. 
This plan was found so beneficial that it was kept up to the last. 

On the night of the 14th, the enemy fired the remainder of 
the bridge. A few shells were thrown during the night and the 
next day, but with no particular effect. 

All signs began to indicate a movement. Companies B and 
C, supported by D and E, made a reconnoissance, followed in 
a few days by Companies A, F, H and G. . At the close of the 
month, trains came in loaded with pontoons and materials for 
building, and September 2nd, the bridge being completed, the 
word ''Forward " was sounded and we were once more on the 
march. 




CHAPTER XXVIII. 



BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA. 



, the objective point of our next 
campaign, was the "gateway of Georgia," and, in a 
sense, of the whole South, for from it opened val- 
leys, through which operations could be carried on 
and supplies furnished in almost every direction. But 
the very features of the country which gave such 
advantages to forces holding Chattanooga, presented the most 
formidable obstacles to any force operating against it, especially 
from the north . Protected as it was by a rapid stream over two 
thousand feet wide, on the banks of which were cannon ready to 
sweep away any army that should attempt to cross, it was still 
further inaccessible by the mountainous region to the north, over 
which it was exceedingly difficult to operate an army, and even 
more difficult to supply it so far away from any practicable base. 
Its lines of communication south were protected by mountainous 
ridges running south and south-west, through which the openings 
were but few and easily defended, but across which it was a stu- 
pendous task to throw an attacking force. Indeed, much as the 
War Department had complained of Rosecrans' delay, the event 
showed that he had not overrated the difficulties of the task, 
especially when his deficiency of mounted men was considered. 



A FLANK MOVEMENT. 447 

A flank movement being the only one which promised success, 
and the country north and north-east being unfit for army oper- 
ations, it remained to cross the mountain ridges on the west and 
south-west and strike the enemy's communications south, com- 
pelling either the evacuation of Chattanooga or fighting a battle 
on equal terms. 

The success of such a movement, involving the passage both 
of the river and several high mountains, depended upon keeping 
the enemy in ignorance of our real plan, by diverting its atten- 
tion and resources to a different quarter. This was most effect- 
ually done by a brilliant feint by Crittenden, whose corps crossed 
Athe Cumberland Mountains into the Sequatchie valley in four 
days, though they had to drag their cannon over precipices by 
hand. Thence he despatched four brigades, two of cavalry, Col. 
Minty's and Wilder's mounted infantry, and Gen. Hazen's and 
Wagner's brigades of infantry, to proceed to points on the river 
opposite Chattanooga, above and below the town, and make a 
feigned attack. This was done. Some of Wilder's troops above 
the town let ends of logs, rails and bits of timber float down past 
Bragg' s front, as if they were preparing a bridge ; other troops 
slapped boards together to make a lumbering noise, while Wilder 
unlimbered his artillery and shelled the town. In the meantime 
the other corps of the army had been concentrating at Steven- 
son, Bridgeport, Battle Creek and Caperton's Ferry, the pon- 
toons and other preparations being kept out of sight, and when 
the time for crossing had come, Bragg's attention had been so 
completely absorbed by the movement on his front that the whole 
army was transferred across the river without opposition. 

The passage of Sand Mountain involved the necessity of 
making and repairing roads, and when this had been done as far 
as practicable without too mnch delay, such was the steepness of 



448 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

the ascents on the different routes of advance that teams were 
often doubled to move the artillery and wagons. By September 
6th these movements in the main had been completed, and the 
army, except what was left to threaten Chattanooga on the north, 
lay along the western base of Lookout Mountain from Wau- 
hatchie, a point six or seven miles from Chattanooga, to Valley 
Head, thirty-five miles distant. 

It was on Sept. 2nd that Sheridan's Division, to which the 
36th belonged, received orders to cross the river. As there were 
not pontoons enough to reach across both channels, the engineers 
had finished the bridge by setting down trestles and planking 
them over a device which came near costing us dearly. It was 
an exciting time. Thoughtful men realized the peril of putting 
such a river in their rear with such mountains in front, while the 
measured tread of infantry, the rattle, shout and crack of the 
whip, as the heavily laden wagons bounced from the banks on to 
the narrow pontoon causeways ; the heavier jar and crash, as the 
huge artillery vehicles rumbled over the planks, must be heard 
to be appreciated. The troops passed over safely and in fine 
spirits, and marching forward about four miles, went into camp 
in Hog Jaw Valley, where Gen. Negley, of the 14th Corps, had 
preceded us and was preparing to ascend the mountain. We 
soon found that the officers were destined to an unpleasant night, 
for word was brought that in attempting to cross the bridge 
some of the trestles had broken, precipitating several wagons into 
the river. This meant that we must shift for ourselves for shel- 
ter and food. Good use was made of the abundance of soft 
corn growing near, which, with salt, was quite a pleasant change 
from army diet. Next morning troops were under arms early, 
but we did not march. By and by our wagons arrived, the 
bridge having been repaired during the night, though it gave 



ASCENDING THE MOUNTAIN. 449 

way a second time. It seemed little less than miraculous that, 
in accidents so dangerous, no men were lost, and only one mule. 
Two men, however, were much injured in camp by the fall of a 
tree. 

It was an interesting sight to watch Negley's Division ascend- 
ing the mountain road, which in many places was as steep as an 
ordinary house roof. The teams of six horses or mules had to 
be doubled to accomplish the task. Some of the men were so 
impatient of the delay that they went to the top to reconnoitre, 
and brought exciting news of the scenery and prospect. By 
and by they had as much of mountain climbing as they desired. 

It was not till Friday, about three o'clock, that the way was 
cleared and we began to ascend. It took our battery four and 
a half hours to go up. On reaching the top we continued our 
march for about five miles and went into camp at dark, much 
exhausted with the heat and dust. It took most of the night 
for the train to come up the hill, and, with all the care that could 
be exercised, several wagons fell over the precipice on the road- 
side, which varied from ten to one hundred feet deep. The next 
day we crossed the mountain, and descending a hill even worse 
than the one we ascended the day before, went into camp near 
Trenton about three o'clock. Our train came in early, so that 
we made ourselves quite comfortable, and were especially grati- 
fied to find a creek of most beautiful water, supplied from a spring 
which gushed out of the rock in a stream as broad as a man's 
body. Such water in so great abundance makes a soldier happy. 
On Sunday we resumed our march down the valley, passing 
numerous houses with rich and beautiful farms. We found here, 
too, more men at home than usual, and quite a number who had 
been paroled at Vicksburg. The heat and dust that day were 
almost intolerable. One man sank down by the roadside and 



450 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

another when we reached camp. On Monday we went eight 
miles further and then camped, where we remained until Thurs- 
day. It was during these three days that the object of this hard 
marching was accomplished the evacuation of Chattanooga. 

As soon as the main army had been transferred to Lookout 
Valley, Crittenden on the left was instructed to advance over the 
mountain, Thomas to penetrate and hold the gaps in the centre 
(Cooper's and Stevens' Gaps), while McCook was to push for 
Broomtown Valley, his outpost being at Alpine. These move- 
ments revealed the real plan of Rosecrans, and Bragg at once 
commenced to evacuate, as his line of supplies and reinforce- 
ments were falling into our hands. Besides, the lull of opera- 
tions, both east and west, was allowing reinforcements to be sent 
him from Virginia and beyond the Mississippi ; Buckner was on 
the way from East Tennessee with fifteen thousand men, and 
time was needed to concentrate these forces. His evacuation 
was evident to our troops on the north side of the river, on Tues- 
day evening, September 8th, and on the 9th our men entered. 
This success, as the result of strategy alone, gave great joy to 
the army and gratification to the whole country, and all thought 
now not of battle, so much as pursuit and capture of the retreat- 
ing forces. Orders were therefore given for Crittenden to occupy 
Chattanooga, and push towards Ringgold and Dalton; Thomas 
to penetrate the gaps on his front and reach Lafayette ; McCook 
to enter Broomtown Valley and communicate with Thomas, while 
cavalry was sent out towards Rome. Accordingly we marched 
from our camp in Nill's Valley, September 10th, and moved fast 
up to Valley Head, where a spur of Lookout juts across the 
valley. Here we joined Davis' and Johnson's Division, which 
had come over the mountain from Stevenson, and our corps was 
now together again for the first time since leaving Murfreesboro. 



ON LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN. 451 

After resting two hours, we began to scale the mountain through 
Winston's Gap, which was very steep, and both men and horses 
were exhausted with our previous march. After reaching the 
top (Lookout is 2,200 feet above tide), we went on about two 
miles and camped beyond Davis about four o'clock. 

These mountain tops were a grea.t curiosity, this being, as a 
writer has said : " Some dozen miles wide, so level and gently 
rolling that one laughs at his preconceived ideas of the tops of 
mountains, if he does not forget that he has left a valley. No 
peaks from which to unfurl a flag, if any one should be geo- 
graphically poetic ; no sugar loaves where one can clamber, and 
feel like a giddy explorer standing on a heavenward land's end. 
There are groves, fields, and smooth flowing streams, where the 
imagination pictures verdant crags and cascades." 

We camped that night in a most picturesque spot, named very 
appropriately " Falling Waters," where the water poured over 
the rocks, two hundred feet high, into a deep basin. Next day 
we went forward until we reached the opposite brow of the moun- 
tain, where we were halted for a while by some obstruction in 
front, but had a most glorious view of the country, its succession 
of hills and valleys extending as far as the eye could reach. We 
then descended into the Broomtown valley, and went into camp 
about two miles beyond. Here we remained until Sunday, the 
13, the reports from the cavalry making any further advance 
unwise. Indeed, the real position of affairs was only now begin- 
ning to be understood. If Rosecrans had succeeded in mislead- 
ing Bragg enough to compel him to evacuate Chattanooga, he was 
himself mislead in his belief that Bragg was in full retreat. He 
had, in fact, been all the time concentrating his army near 
Lafayette, with the purpose of striking ours in detail, as we sought 
to penetrate the gaps at various points stretching from Chatta- 



452 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

nooga to Alpine. At this time our situation was all that he 
could desire. Negley found as he advanced to the gaps in his 
front that he was in the presence of a heavy force that was able 
to attack him through gaps on either flank, and Bragg made 
immediate dispositions for doing so, but by some unaccountable 
delay was hindered long enough to give time to Negley to with- 
draw his division to a safe point. Crittenden's reconnoisance 
toward Ringgold revealed the fact that Bragg was not retreating, 
and compelled Crittenden to draw his corps, together. As soon 
as the movement against Negley failed, an attempt was made to 
overwhelm Crittenden, which also came to naught by the 
latter sending VanCleve with one brigade on a reconnoisance 
toward Lafayette, who, meeting the enemy with cavalry and 
artillery not far from Gordon's Mills, drove him three miles, dis- 
concerting. Gen. Polk, who, instead of attacking as ordered, 
halted in defense, and called for reinforcements. This failure 
saved our left. McCook also found from the reports of his 
cavalry that the enemy were not retreating but concentrating, 
and as we were so far away and isolated from the centre and 
open to attack from Lafayette, our position, too, became quite 
critical. Indeed, the whole army was in danger, for Bragg was 
nearer to either of our wings than it was to the other. Crit- 
tenden could not hold the road to Chattanooga until Thomas 
could close up on him, and Thomas could not do this until 
McCook joined him. For four days, while we were crossing the 
mountain to join Thomas, the fate of the army hung in the bal- 
ance, and as we now look back and see the advantage Bragg had, 
we are amazed that with opportunities so vast his achievements 
were so meagre. 

It was at midnight on Saturday, the 12th, that Gen. McCook 
received the first intimation that he was to join Gen. Thomas. 



MARCHING TO MEET THE ENEMY. 453 

At first, he prepared to send his trains under the protection of 
three brigades, Gen. Lytle commanding, back on the route of 
advance, and with the remainder of his corps to move along the 
eastern base of Lookout to Dougherty's Gap. But this was soon 
abandoned and another route was sought on the mountain to 
Stevens' Gap. As the citizens concurred in denying the exist- 
ence of such a road, and having no guide, he determined to move 
by way of Valley Head. This necessitated a march of forty-six 
miles instead of seventeen, and the loss of four days and a-half, 
instead of one and a-half. It was on Sunday we received orders 
to march on this return, but our brigade being rear guard to the 
trains, we lay round all day until five o'clock, when we marched 
back two miles to the foot of the gap by which we had descended 
from Lookout two days before. Here we lay exposed to the cold, 
which was very severe, while the trains continued to ascend the 
hill ; huge fires being kept up all night to facilitate the move- 
ment. At daylight, the teams were all up, and we followed, 
accompanied by about fifty prisoners who had been captured, and 
who all united in declaring that their generals were preparing 
for battle. 

We marched back to Falling Waters, where we remained until 
Wednesday, Sept. 16th, and returned to Dougherty's Gap. 
Here we had a magnificent view of the Alpine Valley. The 
cavalry marched past us most of the night. Next day we started 
early, moving north to Stevens' Gap and keeping in sight of the 
valley all day. We then descended a hill two miles long, the 
worst we had yet found, and entered McLemores' Cove, where 
Negley had first found the enemy and where we were for the first 
time in supporting distance of Thomas, who proceeded at once 
to close up on Crittenden. As soon as we entered the cove, the 
proximity of the enemy was evident, and the troops were thrown 



454 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

into line of battle. We lay down, expecting to be called at any 
moment, but notwithstanding this and a threatened rain, we slept 
soundly, for our day's march had been one of the hardest we 
had known, over twenty miles of a mountain road, for the greater 
part without water and almost insufferable from dust. Next 
morning we were up at three o'clock, and at daylight began our 
march up the valley, toward a gap held by the enemy. After 
going about four miles, we halted and formed line of battle, and 
in about two hours moved a mile or so further, then went into 
camp with the expectation of staying all night. Just before 
dark the "general " sounded, and immediately we prepared to 
march, but hindered, probably by the teams, we waited and 
waited, and at half past eleven we had moved but a few rods, 
while the men built huge fires of rails for warmth and light. 
After we got started our progress was extremely tedious, many 
of the men lying down by the roadside to sleep, and officers in 
danger of falling from their horses through sleep ; but on we 
went, lighted by burning fences, until we bivouacked at Pond 
Spring about three o'clock, and in a few minutes were fast asleep. 

We were up next morning, 19th, about six o'clock, and imme- 
diately began to speculate as to what all this marching and 
counter-marching, this turning night into day, could mean for 
though it is all plain now, then it was mere conjecture. We 
could see, however, that our aimy was concentrating, and that 
we were in constant danger of being attacked by the enemy. 
As the morning advanced, a muttering sound as of distant thun- 
der was heard to the north-east, and every ear was turned, listen- 
ing for it again. Before long it was repeated again and again, 
and we took in the situation at once, for 

" Nearer, clearer, deadlier than before, 
It is, it is the cannon's opening roar." 



OPENING OF A GENERAL BATTLE. 455 

Bragg, after failing to strike our three corps in detail, had 
been waiting for reinforcements from Virginia. On the 17th 
our cavalry discovered his columns from Dalton to our left, with 
the purpose of crossing the Chickamauga and occupying the 
roads to Chattanooga, north of Gordon's Mills, which Critten- 
den was holding. Had this movement been executed with vigor 
on the 18th, as Bragg ordered, it might have been' successful ; 
but that unaccountable delay by his subordinate officers, which 
had already lost him such golden opportunities, ruined this also, 
by giving Rosecrans time to bring up Thomas and McCook. 

While this movement to our left was taking place on the 18th, 
the enemy made some demonstrations against Gordon's Mills and 
Craw-Fish Springs to cover its real plan, but the revelations of 
our cavalry left no doubt of its ultimate design. Accordingly 
our forces were brought up on the 18th as rapidly as could be 
done with safety, and during the night while we marched up to 
Pond Spring, Thomas was marching past Gordon's Mills, taking 
up a position which protected the main roads leading from the 
crossings of the Chickamauga to Chattanooga. Neither force 
knew of the proximity of the other, but Gen. Thomas, being 
informed that a Rebel brigade was isolated on this side of the 
creek in consequence of the burning of the bridge by our cav- 
alry, sent forward two brigades to reconnoitre, who encountered 
a heavy body of the enemy that had crossed during the night. 
This merely tentative movement proved the opening of a general 
battle, whose first shots had attracted our attention. Thomas 
was reinforced by a division from Crittenden, and by Johnson's 
division of McCook's Corps, which w^s arriving on the ground 
and were able to check the enemy inflicting heavy loss on him, 
which so occupied his attention that he did not discover fdr some 
time a large opening between Thomas and Crittenden which our 



456 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Generals strained every nerve to fill. A portion of their force at 
Gordon's Mills was thrown to the left, and soon Gen. Davis 
arrived from McCook. These dispositions were scarcely made 
before a heavy body of the enemy, concentrated for the purpose 
of filling this gap in the line and cutting our army in two, broke 
upon them. They resisted manfully, drove back the enemy, but 
soon, little by little, gave ground, specially on the flanks of the 
line, until Davis' right and left rested upon the Lafayette road. 
In this position, supported by Wilder's mounted infantry, he fought 
successfully the superior forces of the enemy through several 
hours. It was while resisting this attack that our division came 
up to help. 

In the morning the wagons were sent to Chattanooga, and 
Sheridan's Division made a rapid march to Craw-Fish Spring. 
Here every man filled his canteen, and extra boxes of cartridges 
were distributed to the companies, men being detailed to carry 
them on their shoulders. Then on we went again at a rapid 
pace, until the sight of Negley's flag showed that we had struck 
the right of the army holding one of the gaps and thus protect- 
ing our rear. Soon we arrived at McCook's headquarters, Avhere 
all was excitement. Says an eye witness, "An aid with pallid 
face rides up to McCook and exclaims, hastily, 'For God's sake, 
General, send somebody down to hold Gordon's Mills ! Bushrod 
Johnson has crossed with a division, and is hugging the bank of 
the stream. He will be in our rear in fifteen minutes.' * Where 
is Wood ?' asked the General. ' Gone into the fight long ago 
and left the position vacant.' " McCook orders Sheridan to take 
his division down to the Mills and hold them. The first brigade 
files by, Gen. Lytle at its head, calmly smoking a cigar, receiv- 
ing his orders with that stately courtesy at once so becoming and 
winning. There was not the slightest change in the manner or 



VALUE OF FULL CARTRIDGE BOXES. 457 

intonation of the chivalric Lytle. I felt, as his horse bore him 
quickly away, that I was gazing upon the incarnation of manly 
courage and nobility. His brigade swept by with a graceful 
swing. One of his regiments, the 36th Illinois, whose banners 
were blazoned with "Pea Ridge," " Perry ville," and "Stone 
River," had a number of men carrying heavy boxes of cartridges 
on their shoulders. Noble fellows! Experience has not been 
lost upon them. They, perhaps, had learned the value of full 
cartridge boxes. The next moment an aid from Rosecrans 
dashes up. " Where are your reserves, General," he asks. " I 
have none, save Negley holding Owen's Gap," was the reply. 
" Tell him to report immediately to Thomas, who is hard pressed 
again," rejoins the aid and gallops off. Negley is quickly sum- 
moned and streams by towards the left, and so Sheridan's Divi- 
sion is the extreme right of the army. But even a single division 
could not be spared for so important a point, for the pressure 
upon Davis and Wood became so heavy that Bradley's and Lai- 
bold's Brigades were ordered to their assistance, leaving our 
brigade alone to guard the mills. The same eye witness says : 
" Reaching an open field, I find two of Sheridan's Brigades 
moving by the left flank from the position just assigned them. 
' Where are they going ?' I ask. 4 They go to reinforce the right,' 
I am informed. Gen. Lytle's brigade alone was left at Gordon's 
Mills, and there were no more to come up. Glancing at the sun 
my very heart sank to see it still an hour and a-half high. The 
left had already absorbed the centre, and the centre and right had 
absorbed every brigade in the army, except one holding a vital 
point. I followed Sheridan's swift brigades and soon saw the 
right of our line in confusion, falling back rapidly under an 
appalling fire. Sheridan's third brigade, commanded by that 
true gentleman and soldier, Col. Bradley, deployed into line, and 

30 



458 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

the very instant its flanks turned to the front it pushed into an 
open field at a double quick, while behind it Wood's two brigades 
rallied and gathered up their scattered groups. I heard a cheer, 
loud and ringing, and riding up behind the line of Col. Bradley's 
charge, saw four noble regiments far across the field pouring 
swift volleys into the flying foe, and flapping their colors in tri- 
umph. Their cheers subsided, and a sharp shower of balls warned 
me away from the inspiriting sight. In a moment Sheridan 
dashed back to the rear, hatless, but his eyes aglow with pride for 
the brilliant charge of his brigade. His practiced ear had caught 
the warning musketry rattle of a counter charge, and he threw 
his second brigade into line for another charge if the other one 
was compelled to give way. But it did not give way. Inspired 
by Sheridan and Bradley it withstood the shock, and its assail- 
ants hastily retired. A few more straggling shots, and firing 
ceased along the whole line, as if both parties had exhausted 
themselves. Just as night fell, a terrific fire of musketry opened 
on our centre where Negley was moving into position, but it lasted 
not ten minutes, then all was quiet again. The moon, which in 
a few nights had grown from the slenderest of silver sickles into 
a graceful, golden canoe, was far on its nightly voyage, shining 
faintly on two weary armies, bent on destroying each other, and 
waiting only for the line and gold of sunrise to renew the struggle." 
With the exception of Granger's Reserve Corps, Lytle's Bri- 
gade was all of our army that did not participate in the battle. 
As for us, while holding that important point, so vital to the 
safety of our right, we expected every moment to take a share 
in the fray ; but it was ours only to listen to the whistle of scat- 
tering bullets, dodge an occasional stray shell that came whirling 
over our heads, and witness the agonies of the wounded and dying. 
Night closed the scene, and we lay on our arms expecting to 



A HEAVY NIGHT CONFLICT. 459 

be called in any emergency, for we could plainly hear the enemy 
busy in their preparations, ahead, and now and then the crack 
of a rifle and the whiz of a stray bullet fired by an advanced 
picket. It was a chilly as well as an anxious night as we lay on 
the cold ground. Still it brought us some rest from our long and 
tiresome forced march. About eight or nine o'clock we were 
startled by a heavy night conflict on the left of our line, where 
two of Thomas' Divisions had been suddenly attacked, resulting 
in heavy losses on both sides, and final repulse of the enemy. 

The battle of Saturday resulted in our general success! The 
contest raged along hillsides and amid forests and ravines. The 
army lines extended over nearly three miles of ground, and only 
by the smoke that rose above the heights, the dust that ascended 
above the forest trees in the valley, or as the cannon's roar and 
the rattling discharges of musketry were heard upon surround- 
ing hills, could the observer note the ebb and flow of the tide of 
battle. Besides the beginning of the conflict, being on the part 
of both Generals rather accidental than intentional, the lines had 
a great deal of an extempore character, and on our side the dif- 
ferent divisions were arranged without any reference to their 
place in the corps, each being thrown in where it was most needed. 
But we closed at night with a continuous line and with a more 
compact and favorable formation than we had had any time during 
the day. Gen. Bragg had one marked advantage, in that he had 
more troops in reserve available for the next day than Rosecrans. 
He had three divisions almost untouched, and Longstreet with 
several fresh brigades reached Ringgold in the evening. But 
still he had cause to' feel uneasy with regard to the work before 
him. He had been completely foiled in his strategy and tactics. 
He had expected to find Crittenden's corps on the left of the 
national army, but his own enveloping lines had been taken in 



460 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

flank, and the right half had been fearfully shattered. At the 
opening of the hattle his army had been well in hand for offence 
or defence, while Gen. Rosecrans had been compelled often to 
throw forward divisions and brigades without support on right or 
left, and the national army was now before him with continuous 
lines, having the choice of strong positions in the rear. Besides, 
this army was yet upon the roads to Chattanooga, which he had 
expected to grasp after he had doubled its left upon its centre and 
pressed it back upon the mountain passes. In all his special 
expectations and dominant aims Gen. Bragg Jiad been disap- 
pointed and defeated. 

Gen. Bragg received reinforcements during the night, and with 
them, their commander, Lieut. Gen. Longstreet. He transferred 
all his infantry to the west bank of the Chickamauga; divided 
his army into two wings, placing Gen. Polk in command on the 
right and Gen. Longstreet on the left. He ordered the former 
to attack from his right at daylight and to bring his divisions into 
action consecutively to his left, and the latter to await develop- 
ments on the right and then attack in similar manner. While 
thus ordering an attack along his whole line, the special object 
to be sought and gained was the possession of the Lafayette road 
to Rossville and Chattanooga. 

On our side, about midnight, after a conference wi^h his corps 
commanders and other general officers, Rosecrans gave orders 
relative to the battle front for the next day. Thomas was to main- 
tain his line as formed on Saturday evening ; McCook was to 
withdraw Sheridan's and Davis' Division and form a new line, 
further to the north and west, with the right resting at the Widow 
Glenn's and the left joining to Thomas' right, thus making a 
shorter but a stronger line. Crittenden was to withdraw Wood's 
and Van Cleve's Divisions to the rear of the junction of Thomas' 



DISPOSITION OP THE TROOPS. 461 

right and McCook's left, to be ready for the support of either. 
The cavalry were to connect with McCook and receive orders 
from him, which proved in the end to be the pivot on which 
the misfortunes of next day's engagement turned. Negley, at 
Gen. Thomas' request, was to be relieved from his place in the 
line and transferred to the extreme left, to aid in defending that 
flank, which it was anticipated would be the chief point of attack 
by the enemy. 

Before daylight, the divisions designated for new positions, 
except Negley 's, made the movements required, while those in 
position, as far as practicable, covered their fronts with barricades 
of logs and rails. Gen. McCook placed Lytle's Brigade, of Sher- 
idan's Division, to the right and rear of Widow Glenn's, and 
Laibold's and Bradley's to the rear and right of Lytle, and 
the two brigades of Davis' Division, Carlin's and Heg's, in rear 
of the line thus formed. Wilder's Brigade of mounted men was 
divided, two regiments being placed on the right and two on the 
left of Sheridan. Gen. Crittenden posted his two divisions on 
the eastern slope of Missionary Ridge, in readiness to support 
either the right or the left. It is not too much to say, in view of 
all subsequent events, that had this line remained substantially 
undisturbed and Negley been sent before daylight to his place on 
the left, our right would have held its ground, and night would 
have seen a complete victory for our army. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, these dispositions did not command the approval of Gen. ' 
Rosecrans, when he inspected the lines after daylight. He 
wished to hold the space from Widow Glenn's house to Brannan's 
right with McCook's six Brigades, including Wilder's, and keep 
Crittenden' s corps .wholly in reserve. He therefore ordered Mc- 
Cook to fill the space to be made vacant by the withdrawal of 
Negley, if practicable. But it was not practicable to cover the 



462 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

space from Widow Glenn's to Brannan's right, except with an 
attenuated line, and after some delay Rosecrans called upon Crit- 
tenden to furnish troops to fill the division interval which Negley 
was holding. Gen. Wood, therefore, was ordered to relieve Negley, 
while Van Cleve took position behind Wood. Rosecrans also 
ordered Davis to form his brigades some distance to the north 
and east of where they were in the rear of Sheridan. As this 
change exposed his right flank, Gen. McCook posted Laibold's 
Brigade, of Sheridan's Division, to the right and rear of Davis 
and held Lytle's and Bradley 's Brigades in reserve. This left 
Lytle's Brigade and the 36th in their old position near Widow 
Glenn's, but with a line much weakened. Other changes were 
soon made, which still further favored disaster. 

A heavy fog hung over the battle-field during the early hours 
of the day, and Gen. Polk did not attack as ordered. Gen. Bragg 
waited near the center of his army until his patience was exhausted, 
and then proceeded to his right, to find that the commander of 
that wing was not on the field and that the necessary preparations 
for battle had not been made. During the progress of prepara- 
tions, Bragg ordered a reconnoisance beyond Thomas' left flank, 
and was gratified to learn that the Lafayette road was open to his 
possession. This condition of affairs was owing to the fact that 
Negley's Division was still in position on the right of Brannan. 
Thomas felt great uneasiness, for though his troops had con- 
structed barricades, the flank could not be strong while the prom- 
ised division was absent; yet Gen. Bragg was forming a combi- 
nation against it, both in pursuance of a general plan and with 
special reference to its weakness, and he was sure that an attack 
would not long be delayed. He therefore sent a staff officer to 
hasten Negley, two of whose brigades were yet in line, the reserve, 
Gen. Beatty's, being alone free to move. This was the only sup- 



OPENING OF THE SECOND BATTLE. 463 

port on Thomas' left flank, in room of a whole division promised 
for the coming battle. 

At half-past eight A. M. the character of the skirmishing plainly 
indicated that the enemy was preparing for an attack, and within 
an hour from that time he made a furious assault upon the left of 
the general line, which was rapidly extended to the right. The 
single brigade protecting the flank was soon displaced, and 
Thomas' left flank was greatly overlapped; but the attack against 
the main line was so stoutly resisted that the enemy dare not 
swing his right flank into our rear, the other divisions being so 
fearfully shattered. Gen. Cleburne reported the loss of five 
hundred men in a few minutes. Breckenridge's left brigade was 
almost annihilated, having lost its commander, Gen. Helm, and 
four Colonels, two killed and two wounded. The national artil- 
lery was especially effective. 

Thus their second battle opened auspiciously for our army ; 
but as the attack progressed along the line and Longstreet 
advanced to continue it, he found only isolated fragments of a 
battle line before him. This state of things resulted from a com- 
bination of circumstances. As the promised division had not 
been sent to Gen. Thomas, he repeated his requests for reinforce- 
ments, especially after the opening of the action. These calls, 
and the quietness of the enemy on the right, induced Gen. Rose- 
crans to believe that Bragg was moving his army to his right. 
So strong was this belief that he finally decided to withdraw his 
own right altogether. At ten A. M. he ordered Gen. McCook to 
make dispositions looking to the movement of his troops to the 
left, and soon after gave him a specific order to send two brigades 
of Sheridan's Division to Gen. Thomas, with all possible dispatch, 
and the third as soon as the line could be sufficiently withdrawn 
to permit it. He also directed Gen. Crittenden to send the two 



464 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

reserve brigades of VanCleve's Division to the same destination. 
These orders put in motion to the left every brigade in reserve 
except Wilder 's. 

Another misapprehension was still more favorable to the enemy. 
Gen. Rosecrans having received information that Brannan's line 
was refused, on the right of Reynolds, he ordered Gen. Wood to 
" close up on Reynolds and support him." Regarding this order 
too explicit in requirement and too imperative in tone to warrant 
any discretion as to obedience, Gen. Wood withdrew his division 
with promptness. His left was aligned with Brannan's right, 
and he saw no way to close upon Reynolds but to withdraw from 
line and pass to the left, in the rear of Brannan. Having advised 
Gen. McCook that this change would be made, Gen. Wood moved 
his division rapidly from line. Brannan was not out of line, 
Reynolds was not under pressure, and just as Wood moved out 
the enemy advanced to the attack, Wood's last brigade being 
severed as it retired, and Brannan was struck in flank. Gen. 
Davis threw his reserve brigade toward the wide, vacant space, 
but the heavy columns of the enemy were soon upon it. His 
troops resisted bravely, but assaulted in front, flank and rear, 
they were lifted from position and hurled in fragments toward 
Missionary Ridge. The attack and issue were too sudden for 
Laibold's brigade to move to his assistance, and the latter was 
quickly routed. It was then that Lytle's and Bradley's brigades 
at the time ordered to the left, were halted and thrown in to 
occupy the ground from which the second brigade had been 
driven, and gallantly did they face the fearful task ; but with a 
force flushed with sudden success swarming on both flanks and in 
front, it was a task hopeless and vain from the first, and after a 
deadly and desperate struggle they fell back to the road where 
they rallied, but after checking the enemy were again overpowered 



WAITING TO RESUME THE BATTLE. 465 

by superior numbers, and the shattering of our right wing was 
complete. After this general view of the situation, let us now 
retrace our steps and gather up the story of the first brigade and 
the 36th. 

It was about three o'clock on Sunday morning that we were 
ordered with the brigade further to the left. The hospital depart- 
ment with the ambulances did not follow until about daylight, 
when, as they approached the lines, they found the cavalry guard- 
ing the flank, so that for some time they had been outside our 
lines, and in coming in, had passed so near the enemy that they 
could have been fired on and taken, had it not been for the heavy 
fog which covered everything until eight or nine o'clock. Our 
new position proved to be the Widow Glenn's house, Gen. Rose- 
cran's headquarters, which had been selected the preceding day, 
as being the rear of the center of our line of battle, but which 
this morning was our extreme right. Here the men had break- 
fast, the 88th kindly giving our boys one day's rations. By and 
by Rosecrans came round accompanied by his staff and escort. 
He looked in bad plight, but his voice was ringing and cheery. 
"Boys," said he, "I never fight Sundays, but if they begin it we 
will end it." 

The men lay round, ready at a single bound to reach their 
places, while all speculated as to the coming events of the day. 
Some of the officers of the 51st, which was close by, came over, 
and gave us a full account of their part in the battle of the day 
before, declaring it the hottest place they were ever in. Gradually 
the fog lifted and a warm and beautiful day greeted us ; a day for 
praising and serving God, rather than for destroying man. Every- 
one felt that it would not be long before the enemy would show 
his intentions. There were conversations, too, and words that 
proved to be the last with many, which will long be remembered 



466 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

by the survivors. There was Gen. Lytle, as he sat calm and 
dignified at the head of the brigade, to all appearance unmoved 
by the circumstances, though comprehending all the gravity of 
the situation. As soon as the brigade had taken its place near 
Widow Glenn's, he called aside one of his aids, Lieut. J. M. 
Turnbull, of Company E, and told him that he felt a great battle 
would be fought that day and that he would be killed. He said, 
" Turnbull, I want you to stay with me to-day. I will have 
orders carried by others, and I want you to stay with me." His 
reply was, " General, if that is your wish, while I live and you 
live we will be together." There were Capt. Wakeman and 
Lieut. 0. Smith, who had taken such an interest in the erec- 
tion of our chapel and who had officiated as ushers at the ded- 
ication. Capt. Wakeman had been sick for a number of days 
and unable to march, and Surgeon Lytle had offered to send him 
back, but he had repeatedly declined to go. The Chaplain remon- 
strated with him that morning, but he adhered to his resolution to 
stand by the boys. 

Every little while, scattering shots from the picket line were 
heard, but between nine and ten o'clock, the thickening sounds 
began to tell that the day's work was opening. It was not long 
before the musketry increased to a continuous roll, and then the 
booming of artillery began, telling us that our left was attacked. 
Fierce and long did the terrible roar continue, and then it came 
nearer, making every man feel that it could not be long before 
the terrible storm would break on us. And nearer it did come, 
till the crash seemed almost upon us. Troops near by moved up 
at quick pace, aad batteries of artillery were started off at a 
jump, but, unlike what we had experienced before, we seemed 
left till the last, whereas our place had hitherto been at the front. 
Those who were present will never forget the awful silence in 



GALLANT CONDUCT OF LIEUT. TURNBULL. 467 

which these movements were watched and orders were waited ; 
every man grasping his gun and every officer standing to his 
place. Soon there came an orderly at full speed and dashed up to 
Gen. Lytle. It was but a word, and his voice like a trumpet rang 
out, " Fall in!" Every officer took up the word and every man 
was in his place. " Forward double-quick !" and in a moment 
the regiment was dashing down the slope and on to the scene of 
conflict. 

A little while before this order was received, Lieut; Turnbull 
was sent forward to the skirmish line in our front, commanded 
by Capt. Bross, of the 88th. On reaching the left of tfie line, 
which rested just in the edge of the woods, he found that it did 
not connect with the troops on the left. Enquiring of the Ser- 
geant about it, he learned that the line had been withdrawn a 
few minutes before (the result of moving Wood to the left). 
Telling the Sergeant to caution the men not to fire on him, he 
rode to the front to reconnoitre. Proceeding about a hundred 
yards through the thick brush, he heard troops moving before 
him and so near that he could hear the command, "Halt," 
" Halt," continuously given. He divined at once that the enemy 
were massing, after crossing Chickamauga, preparatory to a move- 
ment through our broken lines. Turning, no time was lost in 
reaching our skirmishers whom he ordered at once to face to the 
left and move into the woods, the right of the line to rest where 
the left then was. He returned as fast as his horse could carry 
him to the brigade, which he found moving, as we have described, 
under the guidance of one of Rosecrans' staff officers, whose 
name (happily for him) we do not know. On taking his place 
beside Gen. Lytle, Turnbull protested against moving by the 
flank as they were then doing ; told him we should move in line 
of battle, that the enemy were close to us in our front and we 



468 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

should have to form line of battle under fire. The General 
called the staff officer and told him. He laughed, and said he 
had just come from the front, and intimated that Turnbull was 
scared. So on they went, through dust enough to choke, and heat 
to melt, soon meeting the wounded and demoralized of the first 
line which had been routed and driven back, while the second 
line was beginning to give way. It seemed but a few moments 
when a most terrific volley was opened on them. (Turnbull 
looked around for our staff officer who was acting as guide, and 
saw him riding rapidly to the rear and has not seen him since.) 
Gen. Lytle turned in his saddle and gave the command to the 
officers at the head of the column, "By company, into line." 
It was taken up by the line officers, and it is questionable whether 
such a command was ever executed under such terrible fire so 
gallantly and so well as was this one by these brave men. They 
were falling on every hand thick and fast, but they formed a good 
line and moved rapidly to the crest of the hill. This was the ground 
which the second brigade had tried to hold, and their wounded 
and dead obstructed the way, while men, horses and artillery 
were scattered in great confusion. One battery wagon swinging 
round with almost lightning speed struck a dead tree, which 
caused the top to break off, coming down into Company F and 
striking two men, one of whom was Oscar Hobbs, supposed to be 
killed, but he afterwards revived. 

In the order of march our battery was in the centre of the 
brigade, which delayed very much the formation of the second 
line of battle. Becoming -restive under this delay Gen. Lytle 
turned to Turnbull and ordered him to superintend the forma- 
tion of the second line of battle with all possible speed. The 
Lieutenant looked at him ; seeing that he was terribly in earnest, 
saluted him for the last time, and turned to execute his order. 



DEATH OF GEN. LYTLE. 469 

Directing the artillery to the rear, the second line was speedily 
formed, the front line in the meantime having advanced to the 
brow of the hill, where it took but a moment to comprehend the 
situation and realize the terrible danger to which they were 
exposed. The sight was truly appalling. " We were in an old 
field where the ground was covered with dry grass and old logs 
which the bursting shells had set on fire. A thick cloud of smoke 
had risen about as high as our heads and seemed hanging like a 
funeral pall in the air. Under this we could see, away down the 
slope of the hill and across the little valley just as far as the eye 
could reach, moving masses of men hurrying toward us. In our 
front, not more than seventy or seventy-five yards distant, the 
enemy's front line lay secreted behind a low rail fence. We set 
to work with a will, while the ranks of the enemy belched forth 
a stream of fire, and a battery of artillery on the right flank tore 
the ground with grape and shell." 

But more quickly than we can tell the story, death was doing 
its terrible work. Gen. Lytle had bravely fronted his brigade. 
Riding up before our regiment and praising its conduct, he drew 
his sword close by our colors and was apparently about to give 
orders to charge, when he was struck in the head with a bullet, 
and fell into the arms of one of his aids, while his horse galloped 
to the rear. This was the General's third battle and third wound. 
Struck at Carnifex Ferry, and grievously hurt at Perryville, on 
both occasions he had requested those around him to leave him, 
exclaiming that he was mortally hurt. Now he again begged to 
be abandoned, but not until the enemy had almost closed around 
him did the aid obey his desire, and then the General was appar- 
ently dead. 

In the meantime the fiery conflict grew more desperate and 
deadly. Col. Miller, n whom the command of the brigade 



470 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

devolved, gallant as ever ; Lieut. Col. Olson, brave to a fault, 
and Major Sherman, true and unflinching, were everywhere con- 
spicuous, encouraging the men by their example to wring from 
unwilling hands of fate the victory which was denied. Our 
exposed left was not unseen. " Who will take care of our left ?" 
said a man to Major Sherman. "Never you mind the left," he 
replied, " take care of what is in your front." And well did 
they do it against ever increasing forces, sending well directed 
volleys into their ranks which staggered and checked them ; while 
the gallant color-bearer, William R. Toll, of Company C, seem- 
ing to know no fear, stood erect, waving in the very faces of the 
foe our glorious flag, already, blazoned with the names of "Pea 
Ridge," " Perry ville " and "Stone River," soon torn and the 
staff shattered by many a bullet aimed at the brave bearer. 
Ezra Parker, Corporal Company B, one of the color guard and 
a true man, fell pierced by a bullet through the forehead. Sergt. 
Hitchcock, of Company B, at the extreme left, was notified to 
detail another corporal to fill his place. He designated Corp. 
Charles G. Ayers, who, like the true and brave soldier that he 
was, shouldered his musket and ran to his stern post of duty, and 
afterwards he could show forty bullet holes through his blankets 
and uniform. Fearful was the havoc which the storm of lead 
was making. Capts. Mitchell, Campbell, Hobbs, Austin, Wake- 
man ; Lieuts. 0. Smith, Company E, Denning (on Gen. Sheri- 
dan's staff), Myron A. Smith, Company H, and a host of non- 
commissioned officers and privates were falling victims. The 
air seemed alive with bullets, and every moment the ranks were 
growing thinner. The column which had dashed on to the field 
fifteen minutes before with three hundred and seventy men, had 
already lost one-half, while the enemy in growing ranks were 
swarming around both flanks as well as pressing on the front. 



TERRIFIC ATTACK OF THE ENEMY. 471 

The command was given to fall back, which was executed in good 
order, every step of the ground being contested, until they 
reached the valley through which they had come, when fighting 
behind rocks and trees they checked for a little while the advanc- 
ing foe. It was a bitter thought that they should have so many 
of their comrades wounded and some dying in the enemy's hands. 
Quite a number were helped off the field, others were assisted to 
sheltered places behind trees, &c. But time was short on 
again came the hosts of the enemy, bringing artillery with grape 
and canister to bear, until slowly the retreat was continued across 
the road and into the woods beyond, halting and checking their 
advance from time to time, until all hope was gone our right 
had been utterly shattered. 

At the time the brigade was ordered in, the Hospital Depart- 
ment with the ambulances followed and took position on the west 
side of the road, sending in the men detailed with stretchers, 
and waited to render assistance to the wounded at the earliest 
moment. As the last file of men disappeared in the woods now 
half hidden in dust and smoke, the roll and crash of musketry 
was so terrible that it seemed impossible for any one to come out 
of such a storm alive. Here they gazed in the direction of the 
battle, expecting every moment some poor, wounded soldier would 
be brought for relief, instead of which only here and there a 
straggling one appeared with a slight wound, able to take care of 
himself, while the firing, instead of being checked, seemed to 
come nearer. Soon the bullets struck spitefully in the tree-tops, 
and gave warning that the ambulances must be moved further 
back. Taking them back a little way they were halted again, 
while the number of slightly wounded and straggling soldiers 
seemed to increase every moment. It was but a few minutes and 
again the bullets were striking snappishly in the tree-tops, and 



472 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

streams of men, wounded and unwounded, began to pour forth. 
Reaching the next ridge, and passing along it, we found Gen. 
Sheridan and Lieut. Turnbull riding up and down, begging the 
men to halt and form line. The Lieutenant, after executing 
Gen. Lytle's last order, to form the second line, had his horse 
shot under him, saw the General's galloping riderless, and soon 
the whole line gave way. He made all haste to procure another 
horse, then rode back to the ridge where we saw him, and with 
the help of other officers undertook to organize by pressing into 
the ranks every person that came to the rear. When they had 
got about a hundred men in line, Gen. Sheridan and a staff 
officer or two rode up and said, " You are doing a good work ; 
have the men fall back to the next ridge and gather up every 
straggler." As we passed on we heard him say, " 0, my men, 
wont you make a stand here ?" By following too much the lay 
of the country we were unconsciously facing too much to our right 
where we should be exposed to capture, and so were directed to 
bear to the left. Passing over a ridge we foun$ a road in the 
next hollow, on which were streaming wagons, ambulances, cais- 
sons, officers and men, mounted and unmounted, wounded and 
unwounded. Here we gathered more of our wounded. Capt. 
Austin and Lieut. Denning, who had both been helped off the 
field, were taken up. The ambulances were loaded. Surgeons 
Lytle and Hatch and the Chaplain gave up their horses for the 
wounded to ride, and so we pressed on, expecting every moment 
to see the Rebel cavalry coming down upon us and capture this 
long train. By and by we came to a cross road, near a high 
ridge, on which were cavalry men and a part of McCook's escort, 
stopping every straggler and beginning to form a line. Here all 
the ambulances, wounded men and hospital arrangements were 
ordered to make their way with all speed to Chattanooga, about 
twelve miles distant from this point. 



SERGEANT BROWNLEE'S HEROISM. 473 

While they were wending their way to the city, the work of 
re-organization went on rapidly. Lieut. Turnbull with his 
co-workers had gathered two or three hundred men by the time 
they made their second halt, and it was not long before Gen. 
Sheridan had quite a force ready and willing to follow him any- 
where. Then came a short council of war, which is a good illus- 
tration of the fertility of that General's brain on a battle-field. 
" Officers," said he, " we are cut off from the main army and 
must reach Gen. Thomas with the least possible delay. This, I 

think, from my field notes, is Ridge, and, if I am right, 

by following it we shall come to a cross-road, where, I hope, we 
can communicate with the General." He was right, and on the 
march thither fragments of each regiment in the brigade were 
gathered up. Among them was French Brownlee, Sergeant 
Company B, who had been sick for some time and was directed 
by his officers and Surgeon to stay with the ambulance and aid 
the wounded. But his spirit had no rest, and as our line retired 
he kept near enough to use his Springfield rifle. The 98th 
Illinois coming near where he was, one of their captains requested 
him to lead some skirmishers. He soon found three rebels roam- 
ing over the field, ordered them to halt, promising them safety. 
One came in ; he sent the contents of his musket after another, 
giving him a close call, but not being supported by the skirmish- 
ers he retired with his one prisoner and handed him over to the 
98th. In following the regiment he passed the killed and 
wounded, gave the latter what water he had, and soon found the 
color bearer of the 22nd Illinois wounded. He carried his flaer 

o 

and assisted him to walk until he gave him into the care of one 
of his own men, then, aften two hours of painful search, succeeded 
in finding his own regiment as it moved under Sheridan. 

On reaching the Dry Creek Valley road, the force having 
increased to fifteen hundred, some delay occurred, and the troops 

31 



474 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

re-organized. The commanding officers of each regiment were 
stationed at a designated spot, and the members of the different 
regiments directed to report to them. Here the brigade again 
took form. Col. Miller was put in command, and Turnbull 
ordered to report to him for duty. It was soon ascertained, how- 
ever, that the enemy had moved on a parallel line with us, and 
were already in possession of the Dry Valley road, so the Gen- 
eral determined to make a rapid march through Rossville and 
join Gen. Thomas on the Lafayette road. This was successfully 
accomplished about half-past five P. M., Sheridan reporting with 
more men and guns than he carried originally into the fight. 

When the right was compelled to give way under the over- 
whelming force brought against it, it was the general opinion of 
all in that part of the line that the disaster extended to the whole 
army. Rosecrans, McCook and Crittenden, all shared this con- 
clusion, but as the afternoon proceeded it was found that the 
right and centre still held their ground. Bragg made another 
and still heavier attack on our right, but was repulsed with great 
slaughter. Brannan, a part of whose division was broken with 
the right wing, succeeded in rallying and taking up a very strong 
position to the right and rear, and by throwing up barricades 
made it impregnable. Other dispositions were made to the right 
and left of him as emergencies arose, and at last Longstreet, who 
had been massing his forces through the afternoon, made a most 
desperate attack, which, however, though repeated again and again, 
was successfully resisted. But there was a depression on the west 
of Brannan which afforded easy passage around it. This pas- 
sage the enemy started to seize, and thus take- in reverse the 
line which had repelled every direct attack. This was the crisis 
of the whole battle. A few moments more and the day would 
have been utterly lost to us. At this critical juncture Gen. 



LONGSTEEET REPULSED. 475 

Granger with his reserve troops which had hastened from Ross- 
ville, reported to Gen. Thomas, who directed him at once to our 
threatened right; and as the enemy moved down the northern 
slope towards our rear, Steedman's Division, with a fury born of 
the impending peril, charged the foe and drove him over the ridge. 
In gaining their position one thousand men were lost, " but if 
the issue of battle has ever given compensation for the loss of 
valuable lives, it was in this action, for the opportune aid of these 
two brigades saved the army from defeat and rout." Longstreet 
afterward massed his whole force to carry thes"e positions, but he 
failed in every instance, the configuration of the ground proving 
very much to the advantage of our men, who could advance and 
deliver a plunging fire from the brow of the hill, and by a slight 
recession while loading were entirely covered from the bullets of 
the enemy. Indeed, the greatest danger at last was the scarcity 
of ammunition, the average to the man being not more than three 
rounds, and it was quite common to search the cartridge boxes of 
those who fell. Whenever ammunition failed entirely, the order 
was given to fix bayonets and hold the hill with cold steel. Thus 
was the enemy repulsed at every point until night fell, and in 
the final attacks this was accomplished in no slight measure with 
the bayonet and clubbed muskets. 

After Sheridan had reported to Thomas, his division was sent 
toward Rossville to bring off a train which was falling into the 
hands of the enemy. After marching some miles, they went in 
perfect silence to within rifle shot of the enemy's camp-fires 
without discovery, secured the train, and returned five miles, 
where they bivouacked for the night as best they could. A more 
tired and hungry set of men it would have been hard to find, 
some having had nothing to eat all day, and others had break- 
fasted on bran pudding. But saddest of all was the thought 



476 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

that so many comrades were gone, partners and mess-mates, 
killed, wounded or missing. Not a few have never been heard 
of since. During the night the army was withdrawn, and took 
a strong position around Rossville. 

The train of ambulances with the wounded whom we left on 
the road to Chattanooga pursued their way all the afternoon and 
evening, being much delayed by various causes, but arrived in 
the town about nine o'clock. Wagons, ambulances and all kinds 
of army baggage, with wounded and unwounded men, had been 
streaming in on the different roads all the afternoon. The 
teams filling the main streets in rows four and five deep, were 
ordered across the river. Breastworks were planned and com- 
menced in the rear of the place, ready for a new and last line 
of battle should such a struggle come. The stragglers were 
set to work, and many of them reformed and sent back to the 
army. We had about eighty men in the ambulances of which 
we had charge, and it was a long, tedious task to find accommo- 
dations for them all, dress their wounds, and supply them with 
food. But this was done before we stretched our own tired limbs 
to rest long after midnight. 

Next morning we were up early, went down to see the boys, 
had all the 36th removed to one of the churches, of which Dr. 
Lytle was put in charge, drew rations for them, and had their 
wounds dressed. The other hospitals also were visited to find 
any of our men. By and by the hospital wagon with the nurses 
arrived, the big tent was set up, and our men were made 
tolerably comfortable. Lists and descriptions of the wounded 
were made out to be sent home the first opportunity, and it was 
observed that the wounds as a class were specially light, which 
was easily accounted for by the fact that the worst wounded men 
were unable to leave the field when our troops fell back. In the 



PREPARATIONS FOR RETREAT. 477 

meantime every kind of wild report was brought by stragglers 
from the front, and it was the confident expectation of all that 
our troops would fall back. Every man capable of walking was 
sent over the river, where a field hospital on a large scale was 
being laid out. 

After the most pressing work had been done, it was arranged 
that the Chaplain and Dr. Hatch should go to the regiment, 
while Dr. Ly tie should remain with the wounded. As they rode 
out toward Rossville it was evident from the streams of wagons, 
caissons, &c., coming in, that preparations were being made for a 
retreat. They found the division a short distance to the south 
and west of Rossville, with a strong line of barricades protect- 
ing their front and flank. During the night the army had with- 
drawn from the position occupied at the close of the battle, and 
was now grouped on the roads concentrating at Rossville. Dur- 
ing the day the enemy with a strong force of infantry and cav- 
alry approached on the direct roads from the battle-field, and in 
the afternoon they felt our lines and there was considerable skir- 
mishing, succeeded later in the day by a brisk artillery fire. 
What remained of the three left companies of the regiment, aided 
by a company from the 21st Michigan, were sent forward about 
one-quarter of a mile as skirmishers, but were relieved at night. 
Our army seemed terribly shrunk in size, but they were undaunted 
in spirit. 

The movement to Chattanooga was commenced at nine p. M. 
It was made by divisions in supporting distance, one after 
another, from left to right. Sheridan's Division being on the 
right, we did not start until two or three o'clock, although we 
were called up about midnight. The air was chilly; we were 
forbidden all lights, fires or noisy movements, and it seemed as 
though the order to move would never come. At last, however, 



478 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

we filed out to the road, and found Sheridan sitting calmly 
on his horse, waiting until the very last of his division had safely 
retired. His subsequent history only confirmed the confident 
judgment of his men that night that had he been in a superior 
instead of subordinate command, the results at Chickamauga 
would have been much more satisfactory. Our march was in 
double column, filling the whole road so that the retreat was 
speedily made. At five o'clock we reached the suburbs of Chat- 
tanooga, where, after breakfast, the brigade was set to digging 
rifle pits, and the siege and defence of Chattanooga had begun. 

The battle of Chickamauga has provoked the most active crit- 
icism from both sections of the country. But the verdict of 
time is not very different from that which our army gave as they 
entrenched themselves at the foot of Lookout, that provided we 
held Chattanooga it was for our army a great triumph. For, if 
to attain and hold the objective point of the campaign, to throw 
ourselves across such a river, and by wise and vigorous marching 
day and night over mountains and through mountain gaps, 
threaten communications and then elude attack in detail, gather 
up our widely scattered forces and concentrate in the face of an 
outnumbering enemy, foil his plans to throw himself on our 
flanks, and then in a great battle not only hold him at bay, but 
inflict upon his overwhelming force such terrible losses that he 
was incapable of any but the most cautious following when we 
fell back to occupy the place for which we had been contending 
if all this was not success, what was it? 

On the other hand, for Bragg to have his own army reinforced 
by large bodies from both the east and west, a veteran corps from 
Lee in Virginia, Buckner's corps from East Tennessee, troops 
from Mississippi and Georgia, until this force was superior to 
ours by twelve or fifteen thousand, with the expectation not 



BRAGG'S GENERALSHIP CRITICISED. 479 

simply of retaking Chattanooga but annihilating the army of 
the Cumberland, and then to have failed to strike our scattered 
forces in detail, to fail to prevent their concentration on his 
chosen battle-field, fail to drive them from their position even 
when mistakes on our part gave him the advantage, and then, 
notwithstanding the preponderance in numbers, to suffer such 
immense losses especially in men and officers, that though pos- 
sessing the field he was too exhausted and beaten to follow to any 
purpose, thus making whatever success he had barren of any 
real results if this was not failure, what was it ? No wonder that 
Bragg's generalship was criticised, and that the Southern people 
complained that the battle of Chickamauga gave no results com- 
mensurate with the resources it represented or the losses it 
entailed. Bragg admits in his report the loss of two-fifths of 
his army ; two Major Generals were wounded, three Brigadiers 
killed and three wounded, and one of the latter was captured. 

As regards our own division and brigade and the 36th, every 
man feels that it was an honor to have served amid such perils 
and contests. Not to mention the weary marches, day and night, 
over mountains two thousand feet high, the dust, heat, lack of 
water and rations, the spirit of the men in battle was something 
to be proud of. Virtually deprived of the direct handling of 
their trusted Sheridan by the over-ruling orders of his superiors, 
and thrown into the battle after the enemy had made the attack 
in overwhelming numbers, success was hopeless before they fired 
a shot; while the large number of both officers and men who fell 
in the front line, attests the persistent courage of all in the face 
of the most terrible odds. Instead of counting it any lessening 
of their honor that they finally fell back, it would have been no 
disadvantage if they had done so sooner, for the forces both in 
front and on each flank were simply overwhelming. Sergt. 



480 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

Hitchcock, who was wounded in both arms just before the regi- 
ment retired, and paralyzed and bleeding was captured in a few 
moments by the rushing foe, was afterwards led under guard over 
that ground and found large bodies of troops yet undeployed, 
while Lieut. Col. Thurston, chief of staff to McCook's corps, 
returning from Craw-Fish Springs with our cavalry about fifteen 
minutes after our forces had retired, saw a long line of the enemy 
reaching far to the south of Widow Glenn, moving up to con- 
tinue the fight. To have remained longer would have been to be 
captured bodily. As soon as re-organized they were ready again 
for the sternest work, and on the succeeding days and during 
the long siege of Chattanooga, and then on Mission Ridge, gave 
proof that though they had been checked their spirit was simply 
invincible. 

This chapter must not be closed' without one more reference to 
our noble brigade commander, who fell close to our colors on that 
fateful day. Under a flag of truce his body was recovered for 
honorable burial by faithful and loving hands, and long will his 
name and memory be fragrant to the survivors of the First Brig- 
ade. Gen. Lytle was a classical scholar and a poet, and every 
member of the 36th will be glad to possess a copy of the follow- 
ing poem written by him, and published immediately after the 
battle : 

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. 

BY GEN. WM. H. LYTLE. 



From the Memphis Bulletin. 

The following poem was written by the gifted and gallant 
Gen. William H. Lytle, of Ohio, who fell in the recent battle in 
Georgia. It was published a few years ago in the Cincinnati 
Commercial, and pronounced by W. W. Fosdick, himself an 
eloquent poet, "One of the most masterly lyrics which has ever 



LIBRARY 



GENERAL LYTLE S POEM. 



481 



adorned American poetry ;" and he predicted for it " a popular- 
ity and perpetuity unsurpassed by any Western production." 

Both of these gifted men are now dead. One died in a quiet, 
happy home, in a peaceful land, surrounded by his friends ; the 
other " perished like a Roman" went down amid the " Stygian 
honors " of battle, surrounded by his " scarred and veteran 
legions." 

u Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" C. L. T. 



" / am dying, Egypt, 
I am dying, Egypt, dying, 

Ebbs the crimson life-tide fast, 
And the dark, Plutonian shadows 

Gather on the evening blast. 
Let thine arm, oh ! Queen, support me, 

Hush thy sobs and bow thine ear, 
Hearken to the great heart secrets, 

Thou, and thou alone, must hear. 

Though my scarred and veteran legions 

Bear their eagles high no more, 
And my wrecked and shattered galleys 

Strew dark Actium's fatal shore ; 
Though no glittering guards surround me, 

Prompt to do their master's will, 
I must perish like a Roman 

Die the great Triumvir still. 

Let not Caesar's servile minions 

Mock the lion thus laid low ; 
'Twas no foeman's hand that slew him, 

'Twas his own that struck the blow. 
Here, then, pillowed on thy bosom, 

Ere his star fades quite away, 
Him who, drunk with thy caresses, 

Madly flung a world away ! 



dying." [Shakespeare. 

Should the base plebeian rabble 

Dare assail my fame at Rome, 
Where the noble spouse, Octavia, 

Weeps within her widowed home ; 
Seek her say the Gods have told me, 

Altars, augurs, circling wings, 
That her blood, with mine commingled, 

Yet shall mount the throne of kings. 

And for thee, star eyed Egyptian ! 

Glorious sorceress of the Nile, 
Light the path to stygian honors 

With the splendors of thy smile. 
Give the Caesar crowns and arches, 

Let his brow the laurel twine : 
I can scorn the Senate's triumphs, 

Triumphing in love like thine. 

I am dying, Egypt, dying ! 

Hark ! insulting foeman's cry ; 
They are coming quick, my falchion ! 

Let me front them ere I die. 
Ah ! no more amid the battle 

Shall my heart exulting swell ; 
Isis and Osiris guard thee, 

Cleopatra ! Rome ! farewell ! 



LIST OF CASUALTIES AT CHICKAMAUGA. 

COMPANY A. 

Capt. W. H. Mitchell, left knee; Corp. John S. Long, finger; Fred 
Krahan, wounded and missing; Dorus Murus, Bounded and captured 
since died; John O'Connell, killed; Ed. H. Robinson, lungs, and cap- 
tured died at Anderson ville ; Chas. B. Rapp, killed ; Michael Seisloff, 
wounded slightly ; Ed. Nute, slightly. 

COMPANY B. 

Capt. B. F. Campbell, wounded and captured; 1st Sergt. Samuel 
Hitchcock, both arms, and captured; Corp. Ezra W. Parker, killed. 
Privates -Jacob Winn, died at Andersonville ; Rudolph Berger, slightly; 
O.F. Brownlee, knee; Frank Dugan, both hips; Fred. Haeni, face, and 



482 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

captured ; Chas. Heinzie, thigh ; Henry Levoy, finger ; John Ott, left arm ; 
Daniel B. Roberts, face ; Daniel Terry, slightly ; Christian Brunemeyer, 
face; Thomas McCutcheon, never heard from. 

COMPANY C. 

Corp. James L. Dryden, wounded and captured; Corp. William S. 
Allen, killed ; Corp. M. L. Bute, wounded and captured never heard 
from; Sergt. Geo. N. Mercer, wounded; Ethan Keck, wounded; Thos. 
Leggett, wounded; Geo. H. Knox, wounded, and died at Chattanooga; 
Hugh W. Harper, wounded ; John H. Ward, wounded ; John G. Cavis, 
wounded, captured and never heard from ; Geo. W. Thompson, wounded 
and captured; William Ward, captured; Elisha L. Atkins, captured, 
and died in the enemy's hands; Benj. Sawins, the same; Orlando 
Hayes, captured; Geo. Monro, wounded and captured. 

COMPANY D. 

Sergt. W. I. Maycroft, neck and shoulder ; Corp. J. M. Leach, foot ; 
Corp. Harvey Kimball, killed ; W. W. Gifford, leg, and captured ; Edward 
Seymour, arm, captured and never heard from ; Ezra Taylor, body, and 
missing; Francis Phelps, elbow; C. H. Bissell, finger; Joseph Shaw, 
leg, slight; Peter A. Johnson, wounded and captured; Miles Murray, 
William P. Burgess, Joseph Apply, captured. 

COMPANY E. 

Capt. A. M. Hobbs, wounded and captured ; Lieut. Orison Smith, 
killed; Sergt. William Willett, killed; Corp. D. Burnside, hip, and cap- 
tured; Corp. John Phansteil, slight; Comfort Brace, killed; Henry C. 
Baxter, killed ; Herbert Dewey, wounded and captured ; William Han- 
son, face; James Hatch, neck; Henry Hennes, hips; Reuben Perrin, 
killed; Oscar Pecoy, right arm; Henry Smith, head, and captured; 
Jacob Wolfe, killed ; William Zellar, left arm ; Elisha Lloyd, wounded 
and captured ; Barney Wheeler, captured. 

COMPANY F. 

Sergt. Burgo Thompson, head ; Sergt. Geo. Neff, hip ; Corp. Gunner 
Gunnerson, shoulder; James H. Hall, died in enemy's hands, Sept. 22; 
Ira M. Johnson, neck ; Oscar Hobbs, head ; Walter E. Partridge, head ; 
William McLary, finger; Chas. Sweetland, captured. 

COMPANY G. 

Capt. Linas J. Austin, thigh; Lieut. Robert Denning, thigh; Sergt. 
William Rolla, face; Sam. Saltmarsh, face; Alex. Still, dangerously, 
and captured; Daniel Kennedy, severely, and captured. Corp. L. B. 
Dawson, left arm; James Lear, left side; Robert Jordan, leg, slight; 
Joseph Hebert, slight ; Peter Bradt, head and breast ; Frank Bradshaw, 
hip; Isaac Carson, killed; Joseph Vogt, shoulder; George Haltz, killed 
Lewis Jones, wounded and captured ; Charles Landon, wounded and 
captured. James Meacham, shoulder ; Sylvester Meachain, killed; Henry 
Spehnan, elbow; Seth Slyter, hand; Benj. Stevens, killed. 



KILLED AM) WOUNDED. 483 

COMPANY H. 

Capt. S. H. Wakeman, killed; Lieut. M. A. Smith, killed; Ebenezer 
Lamb, killed; David Warwick, killed; John C. Wolfe, arm; Day 
Elmore, lungs; S. Z. Carver, leg; M. W. Goold, back; Charles Dygert, 
breast; Chas. Irish, arm; John Holderman, head; Harrison Montgom- 
ery, lun^s, died Sept. 26; Addison M. Throop, head; Cornelius Vanness, 
arm; Henry C. Murray, shoulder; Geo. Jackson, James K. Perkins, 
captured. 

COMPANY I. 

James Scully, killed; Corp. J. Barth, head; M. Manning, face; F. 
Shoger, finger; F. Schulenberg, hand; F. Witski, mouth; S. Mall, 
mouth; Fred Miller, captured. 

COMPANY K. 

Sergt. David H. Dickenson, leg; Sergt. James C. Hogue, leg; Corp^ 
Peter Barnet, hip; Corp. E. Pratt, leg; James Delany, slight; James 
H. Hogue, back ; William N. Hall, neck ; Abram Long, shoulder ; Sid- 
ney 0. Munger, left leg, amputated ; Allen Burroughs, killed ; William 
Adams, Lem Grundy, J. Levereau, Edward Mayberry, Harlow Slate, 
captured. 



CHAPTER XXIX 




CHATTANOOGA. 

HEN the Army of the Cumberland fell back 
into Chattanooga, it was with no certainty 
that it could be held. Gen. Rosecrans ex- 
pressed his fears to the President, the day after 
the battle, that he should not be able to hold 
his position. This will partly account for the 
lines of defence which he adopted, and the disposition of his 
forces. He made no attempt to hold Lookout Mountain, the 
railroad, or the river below Chattanooga, and was therefore shut 
out from all direct communication with Bridgeport and Stevenson, 
our base of supplies. That is to say, he made his disposition to 
save the army from immediate disaster, by protecting his bridges 
and presenting strong lines to the enemy, rather than to prepare 
for resisting a protracted siege. 

As soon as we reached Chattanooga on the morning of the 
22nd of September, heavy details were made for working in rifle 
pits. Every hour added immensely to the strength of the 
position and the courage and determination of the men. The 
lines selected were admirably adapted to their defensive purpose ; 
extending from Chattanooga Creek at its mouth, near the foot 



SHERIDAN'S HONORABLE MENTION. 485 

of Lookout, to the mouth of Citico Creek, north of the town. 
After the work had progressed some hours, heavy cannonading 
was heard in front, as the enemy felt his way towards our posi- 
tion, and the brigade fell in, the 36th being put in reserve. 
Probably it was here that occurred that honorable mention of the 
regiment which the boys were glad to repeat. It having been 
suggested to Gen. Sheridan that an additional battery was needed 
to strengthen a certain point, " No," said the General, u the 
36th Illinois is stationed there ; no battery is needed." But no 
attack was made, the enemy being content with skirmishing and 
finding out our position. 

It is worthy of mention that even in these critical circum- 
stances, our mail came in, bringing a good supply of Atlantics 
and Harpers, besides the usual letters, so long looked for and so 
welcome. Towards evening, things having quieted down the 
wounded having been all transferred to the field hospital Sur- 
geon Lytle and the Chaplain determined to ride down to the 
river crossing, below the town, and ascertain for themselves the 
the prospect of an evacuation, which it was supposed would be 
made that night, if at all. It was a beautiful moonlight night, 
and as they rode by the foot of Cameron Hill and looked upon 
the placid river, with the pontoon bridge sleeping quietly on its 
bosom, the contrast with the stir, confusion and agitation of 
the camp was most marked. It was evident that there was no 
present intention on the part of our commander to evacuate the 
town, which had already cost us so much. As they continued 
their trip through the principal streets of the town, saw its 
public buildings, railroad facilities, hospitals, &c., they thought 
it ought not to be evacuated, but held at all hazards. On their 
return to camp, voices were heard on all sides, asking for the 
news. "Are we going to evacuate?" " No," was the reply, 



486 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

"no evacuation; we must hold Chattanooga." We had a splen- 
did night's rest, and a marked improvement in the spirits of 
the men was visible next morning. 

Digging entrenchments and felling trees was the order of the 
day on the 23rd, quickened by the report that the enemy was 
advancing upon us. After dinner there was heavy firing to the 
left, and all was excitement, as we looked for a general attack 
along the lines. As the afternoon wore away, Gen. Rosecrans 
passed along from left to right, encouraging the men and receiv- 
ing hearty cheers wherever he went. " We started for Chatta- 
nooga;" said he, " we are in Chattanooga, and we will stay in 
Chattanooga." The same day he telegraphed to Washington 
more confidently than on the 21st, saying : " We hold this point, 
and cannot be dislodged, except by very superior forces and after 
a great battle." Another good night's rest helped the spirits of 
the men wonderfully. 

We were up at three o'clock on the 24th, and that day the 
enemy took possession of Lookout Mountain. An attack in 
force was still looked for and every preparation made to meet it. 
Our brigade was the extreme right of the army, resting upon the 
Tennessee River, and, when on the front line near Chattanooga 
Creek, was in the vicinity of a huge foundry and tannery, which 
had done good service to the Southern army. In these buildings 
the 36th was set to pile up combustibles, so that they might be 
destroyed if we had to abandon them. The enemy, without 
making a general attack, succeeded in lodging his batteries so 
near that a shell exploded in our brigade and wounded one man 
in the 88th. The ambulances were ordered back out of range, 
and at eight o'clock P. M., the left wing went to work on entrench- 
ments, working till one o'clock A. M. The right wing went out 
later and worked until morning. At ten o'clock, P. M. there was 



BRAGG ON RIFLE PITS. 487 

heavy skirmishing and cannonading near the centre of the line, 
lasting about two hours. Next morning the brigade was moved 
back on to a hill, in preparation for a permanent camp, and a 
detail was sent out to work on a fort being erected at our right, 
which overlooked the river. The day was quiet along the lines 
until about sundown, when cannonading was resumed for awhile, 
but it did us no damage. The nights were now growing intensely 
cold. Next day (Saturday) was spent in felling trees and work- 
ing on rifle pits, which was continued till late at night. 

On the 27th, just one week after the fight, we began to, make 
our regular camp and resume something like regular habits. The 
mail being once more allowed to go out, lists of the killed and 
wounded were sent north for publication, and for the first time 
since we left Bridgeport, we were able to have service. A large 
congregation assembled, and the Chaplain preached. About 
eleven o'clock P. M., we were roused by a fierce attack of mus- 
ketry in front, and the regiment went into the rifle pits, remain- 
ing about an hour, and then returned to camp. 

It was now evident that Bragg had no intention of driving us 
from Chattanooga by assaulting our lines, but had determined to 
compel our retreat by cutting off our supplies. The bitter lessons 
he had learned at Stone River and Chickamauga, about assault- 
ing our men when only partially entrenched, were not lost upon 
him. After the last battle Gen. Johnston thus accosted him: 
" Having beaten the enemy, why didn't you pursue the advan- 
tage?" "Well," replied Bragg, " my losses were heavy, you 
see, my line was pretty long, and by the time I could get under 
motion the Yankees would have been ten feet under ground!" 

From Van Home's history we now learn that "Longstreet 
insisted on a flank movement instead of a siege. He suggested 
to his chief to cross the river above Chattanooga, and make him- 



488 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

self so felt in the rear as to force Rosecrans to evacuate the posi- 
tion and fall back to Nashville, then, if not able to continue the 
northern movement from inadequate transportation, to follow the 
railroad to Knoxville, destroy Burnside, and from there threaten 
Rosecrans' communications in the rear of Nashville. Bragg, 
however, did not deem this suggestion feasible. His transpor- 
tation was not considered adequate, and in his view purely mili- 
tary considerations forbade the step. He thought that the inter- 
ruption of Rosecrans' communications with Bridgeport, south of 
the river, promised better results, and he disposed his army to 
accomplish this object. He confided the holding of this impor- 
tant route to Gen. Longstreet, and threw his cavalry across the 
river to operate against the transportation of supplies by wagons 
over the mountains to Bridgeport. He judged wisely that his 
superiority in cavalry and the length and condition of the roads, 
rendered wagon transportation a precarious means of supply for 
the army shut up in Chattanooga. His success was assured if 
he could maintain his hold upon the river and the shorter roads 
to Bridgeport. The situation of the beleaguered army was crit- 
ical from the first," for though immediate steps were taken to 
transfer two corps under Gen. Hooker from the army of the 
Potomac, and bring assistance from Gens. Hurlbut and Sher- 
man, yet " the movement of troops from points so remote, gave 
no promise of immediate relief, and as the enemy was on the 
direct line of approach, their passage from Bridgeport to Chat- 
tanooga was itself an intricate problem." The maintenance of 
our position against such fearful odds, the ultimate raising of the 
siege, and the successful defeat of the investing army, will ever 
furnish one of the most thrilling chapters in the history of our 
war. 

On Monday, September 28th, one hundred ambulances were 
sent out to the battle-field to bring in our wounded, and in two 



CAPT. HOBBS OF COMPANY E. 489 

days a similar train went on the same errand. At the picket 
line our drivers were compelled to give way to Rebel drivers, 
who took charge of the ambulances until they were brought back 
with their sad loads. The tender mercies of these drivers will 
be perpetuated in the narratives of some of our men. 

Among the first to be brought in was Capt. Hobbs, of Co. E, 
reported among the killed, but who proved to have been wounded 
in the knee. Capt. Hobbs had been identified with the regiment 
from the first, had participated in all its marches and battles, had 
everywhere proved himself a worthy and efficient officer, and 
was highly esteemed by both officers and men in the command. 
At the battle of Stone River he was wounded in the breast 
captured, and shared with other officers in the five months cap- 
tivity and wretchedness in Southern prisons. He and Lieut. 
Turn bull, Company C , were selected by choice of their com- 
rades, on account of gallant conduct in battle, to represent the reg- 
iment on the "roll of honor," which was made up by order of Gen. 
Rosecrans. After his arrival in Chattanooga, he remained in one of 
our hospitals in town, receiving every attention until he was able 
to be moved, when he was sent North. The situation of the ball in 
the knee was such that it was not safe to remove it, and as it 
would not hinder his walking when aided by a cane, it was con- 
cluded to allow it to remain. It brought, however, his army life 
to a close. He returned to Kendall County, where the people 
showed their appreciation of his services by electing him Circuit 
Clerk, an office which he retained until his death. In time, the 
presence of the ball in his knee gave him much trouble, and 
seemed to threaten his life; he therefore submitted to an opera- 
tion for its removal, which, instead of benefitting him, hastened 
his death, which took place a few days later, on January 4th, 
1872, over eight years after the battle in which he was wounded. 

32 



490 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

From Capt. Hobbs we learned more definitely about the others 
whose fate was uncertain. His 2nd Lieutenant, Orison Smith, 
was found to be dead. He was a gallant soldier and a true man 
everywhere, and his loss was deeply felt. All suspense, too, was 
ended about the fate of Capt. Wakeman. Some had assisted 
him to a sheltered spot behind a tree, after he was wounded, and 
we hoped, even against hope, that he might survive, but most 
probably he died almost at once after our line retired. " Dad," 
as he was familiarly called in Company A, while yet in a subor- 
dinate position, was one to be loved by those who knew him. 
Beside his noble qualities as a soldier, he was exceedingly com- 
panionable as a man ; well read, of fine tastes and elevated views, 
in sympathy with all that was pure and good. He had a special 
love for fine scenery, and his fellow officers call to mind many a 
pleasant talk they had over their pipes, while he would point out 
whatever was attractive in the scenery or the occurrences of the 
day. He was the fast friend of the Chaplain, and sought in 
every way to advance the highest interests of the regiment. 

His 1st Lieutenant, Myron A. Smith, reported wounded, was 
also found to be dead, and much other information was gained in 
regard to those who had been left on the field. Those who were 
brought into our lines gave sad proof, in their wretched condi- 
tion and haggard looks, of the rough treatment they had received. 
Some of them had had nothing to eat for four days. Two nar- 
ratives, which have been secured, may stand as representative 
of the rest. One from J. L. Dryden, of Company C, and one 
from P. A. Johnson, of Company D. 

DRYDEN'S NARRATIVE. 

The first Rebel I got sight of, I fired at; and while loading, 
a buck shot struck me in the knuckles of the left hand, caus- 
ing no inconvenience, however. I finished loading as quickly 



j. L. DRYDEN'S STORY. 491 

as possible, drew up and fired at a Rebel who was capping his 
gun. The instant I fired, a musket ball struck me, glancing 
across the upper side of my left wrist (which was then turned 
under, holding the gun in position for firing), and passing through 
my left shoulder and top of left lung, caused my left arm to drop 
as if struck with a club, turning me partly around, but not caus- 
ing me to lose my balance. My gun fell at my feet ; I saw at a 
glance that my share of the work was finished, and taking a fare- 
well look of my faithful Enfield, I started for the rear. I walked 
perhaps twenty rods before I fell, exhausted from loss of blood. 
A Sergeant of Company H passed just as I fell. I called him. 
He came, and with his knife freed me of my knapsack, cartridge 
box, haversack and canteen. He lifted me up and we managed 
to walk a little further until we met the fifer of Company G, 
Bennie Sawin, Lon Hays and Daniel Baldwin, with a stretcher. 
I was placed on this and carried to a little cabin where I remained 
until an ambulance came along, when I was conveyed to the 
hospital at Craw-Fish Springs, lifted out, and laid down under 
an oak tree, where I remained until Monday night. About sun- 
down of Sunday evening the black-whiskered surgeon of the 21st 
Michigan came along. I asked him to do something for me. 
He replied that it was useless, as I would riever see morning, 
and with this morsel of cold consolation, passed by on the other 
side. 

I have no distinct recollection of anything that passed from 
that time until Monday night. I was then carried into a tent, 
stripped, and my wounds dressed by Federal nurses and surgeons. 
I did not know until the next day that our forces were defeated 
and we prisoners. Tuesday afternoon the rebel cavalry came 
flocking in, stealing everything they could find. Fortunately, I 
had nothing left but my hat, and that they took, and would have 
taken my pants if they could have got them off. For nine days 
I lived on boiled wheat, and but little of that. 

On Wednesday, September 30th, five hundred ambulances 
reached us with crackers and coffee, and the work of assorting 
and paroling commenced. We were put to all manner of tests 



492 THIKTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

to discover how badly we were injured. The surgeons, nurses 
and those barely able to care for themselves were sent, God knows 
where, and such of us as were not able to take care of ourselves 
were paroled and sent back to Chattanooga. This was my good 
fortune ; and on the morning of October 1st they commenced 
piling us into the ambulances, filling them as full as they could 
hold. It was raining hard bitter, bitter cold to a man without 
clothes. About daylight we were ready for the road, and look- 
ing back, I could see the long line of my poor, starved, crippled 
comrades on foot, taking up their line of march for the nearest 
railroad station, and thence to Southern prison pens. It was the 
saddest sight I ever saw. In a short time after starting we 
passed through the fated battle-field of ten days before, and 
within fifty yards of where we formed our first line. I did not 
see a single Rebel unburied ; neither did I think it possible that 
one of our men could have been buried, they lay so thickly on 
the ground and so closely to the road that the driver, through 
carelessness or spite, ran our ambulance over many of them. It 
rained hard all day. Oh, the horrors of that day's ride ! Many 
of the streams we crossed were so swollen that our ambulance 
box would be filled with water, and the poor boys who were lying 
down in the bottom were nearly drowned once or twice. Our 
driver, a gruff, sour, old Rebel, wouldn't hear to one word of 
complaint, saying "it was all good enough for d d Yankees." 
About midnight we reached Chattanooga ; were carried up stairs 
in a large, brick building, washed, had our wounds dressed, and 
felt satisfied that we were "just inside the borders" of civiliza- 
tion once more. I remained in Chattanooga two days ; crossed 
the Tennessee river to the field hospital, two miles in the country, 
where I remained two weeks. All this time the " Cracker Line" 
remained closed, and our rations were by no means large enough 
to be used as evidence at the bar of " conscience " in making out 
an indictment against us for the sin of "gluttony." But here 
thanks to the Northern fingers which made it, and blessings on 
the Sanitary Commission which brought it I once more reveled 
in the luxury and gloried in the possession of a shirt, having 



DRYDEN'S STORY CONTINUED. 493 

been seventeen days without hat, coat, shirt or socks ; it was a 
blessing not lightly to be esteemed that shirt was. 

On Wednesday, the 21st of October, we started with a large 
ambulance train for Stevenson, Alabama, distant thirty-five or 
thirty-six miles by the river road, but by the "pole road," which 
we were obliged to take, it was almost one hundred, occupying 
five days and nights, and those were days and nights of the most 
fearful and most causeless suffering, hardship and privation that 
I ever endured in my life. The train was placed in command of 
an old German surgeon I know not who he was, where he came 
from, or where he has gone to, and I care less. His first care 
was to crawl into the ambulance containing the hospital stores 
and get drunk, and he remained drunk until we reached Steven- 
son. The train started, winding its way up miserable little 
ravines and cracks, on the east side of Waldron's Ridge, which 
we crossed on the morning of the third day after starting. There 
are not adjectives enough in the English lauguage to express the 
condition of that road. Rocks about the size of a sentry's box, 
lying right across the road, would raise the front end of the 
vehicle up straight, then the hind end, causing us one moment 
to be lying full length on the bottom of the ambulance, and the 
next standing on our head in the corner. Our driver was a jolly, 
good fellow, but he couldn't help the jolting, except as he light- 
ened our burdens by laughing at our odd predicament. The 
third day we crossed Waldron's Ridge, and started down the 
beautiful Sequatchie valley, when our road gradually became 
better as we neared the river. During the whole of this trip I 
know of no one who had his wounds dressed from the time we 
started until we reached Stevenson. We were almost starved. 
There was provision along, but our head being muddled with 
whisky, there was no one to issue it; the strong helped them- 
selves and the weak did without. At night the driver would 
gather me a hatful of persimmons, and after supper I would lie 
down under the ambulance and dream of the "gal I left behind 
me." I got but one square meal in the whole time, and I got 
that just as the skunk secures many privileges by my smell. 



494 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

We reached Stevenson, Alabama, at last, starved, wearied, 
jolted and used up generally, when I stretched my wearied limbs 
upon a bona fide hospital cot, and lay and wondered whether the 
whole world, inhabitants and all, had not been passing through 
"the mill of the gods." I seemed to be ground down exceed- 
ingly fine. Here Add. found me, after a long, dangerous search, 
furnished me with a new blouse and cap, and bound my feet in 
slips of red flannel, in lieu of socks. After many more ups and 
downs we started for home, and on the 22nd day of November 
we crossed Mason and Dixon's line, and were in God's country 
again. J. L. DRYDEN, 

Company C, 36th Illinois Volunteers Infantry. 

JOHNSON'S NARRATIVE. 

Sept. 20th, 1863, I was wounded at the battle of Chicka- 
mauga, and like a great many others, left on the battle-field. After 
we broke from the first line of battle, Gen. Sheridan ordered us 
to halt, face about, make another charge and drive the Rebs back. 
While making this charge, I was somehow a little in advance. I 
kept right on, and the first thing I knew, all our forces were gone 
and I was alone. I started back, when I was wounded in the 
leg. The Rebs came right on, and as soon as they came up to 
me, one asked if our men were in full retreat ; to which I replied, 
" Well, I guess they are going back rather lively." " Have you 
any cartridges ?" was his next question. "A few," said I. "Well, 
let's have them," said he. So I pulled off my cartridge-box and 
gave it to him, and while so doing, some other Reb stole my rub- 
ber blanket. By this time, the main line came up and all pushed 
on, so I turned my attention to my wound, I began to think I 
was going to bleed to death, so I tied a little bag, about the size 
of a common pillow case, around it, and poured some water on it. 
As soon as the water struck the wound I fainted. A couple of 
straggling Rebs happened to be near by, saw me faint and instantly 
came and rubbed my forehead with water and brought me to. 
Soon the Rebels retreated and stragglers began to come on to the 
field, among them our drummer, Billy Burgess. As soon as he 
saw me, he said, "Hallo, Pete, are you badly wounded?" " I 



CAMPBELL'S LETTER TO MILLER. 495 

do not know," said I. "I will go and get an ambulance," said 
he, " and take you to the hospital." So off he started, in his 
shirt sleeves, and that was the last I ever heard of him. We 
gathered ourselves together in a little group beside the road and 
did what we could for one another. Among us were Will Gif- 
ford, Company D, 36th, James H. Hall, Company F, 36th, and 
a great many from other regiments. It was here I witnessed the 
death of J. H. Hall, Company F, 36th, Sept. 22nd. He gave 
me some silver money, his pipe and pocket knife, to send to his 
folks at Newark, Illinois, when I should get through the lines, 
which I sent to the Captain of Company F, as soon as I reached 
Chattanooga. We all lay on this battle-field from the 20th to 
the 27th of September. After we were taken to the hospital 
and everything arranged for being paroled, we were about to sign 
the documents, when the Rebel officer having charge said to our 
doctor : " Doctor, I would like to have all your men sign this 
parole, if they can." To which the Doctor replied, " I want 
you to understand we have a class of men who are able to sign 
their own names." The Rebel officer replied, sharply, " None 
of your slurs." 

A letter received by Col. Miller from Capt. B. F. Campbell, 
soon after this time, gives his experience : 

FRIEND SILAS : You are no doubt aware of my misfortune 
in being wounded and captured by a force of the enemy, which 
moved in round the left flank of our regiment on the 20th of 
September. That part of the line giving way before the advanc- 
ing foe, exposed the left wing of the old 36th to a galling and 
destructive cross-fire, with a prospect of being bagged, as the 
force on our left could not be rallied to our support. Still, our 
brave boys worked on, never flinching, until the order sounded 
along the line to fall back and take another position, which Was 
done. I rallied my men about twenty yards in rear of the line 
from which we had just retired, and again moved forward. When 
near where the first line was, I was sent sprawling to Mother 
Earth, almost helpless, from the effects of a shot in the right 
breast, operating severely on my ribs, at the same time causing 



496 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

me to spit blood quite freely. In this plight I was soon sur- 
rounded by the enemy and called on for my implements of war- 
fare by a Lieutenant Colonel of a Georgia regiment, who coolly told 
me to go to the rear, which it was impossible for me to do then, 
being very weak. After recovering myself slightly, I with much 
difficulty rose to my feet, and was escorted to the rear with others, 
by the post guard. I arrived in Richmond, September 30th, and 
was put in Libby Prison. There are now eight hundred and 
twenty-five Federal officers confined here, awaiting exchange. 
We occupy six rooms, with privilege to visit any of those rooms 
at will. The old hospital room of this building has been fitted 
up for a dining hall, and we do our own cooking in the basement 
quite an improvement on the former style. In addition to this, 
we are permitted to send outside the prison and purchase many 
things we need, at rates that will make bankrupts of us all, if 
not soon exchanged. 

My wound is doing well ; hope to be with you soon. Do not 
fail to write me. My regards to all the boys. 

When the wounded were brought into our lines, we were already 
beginning to feel the effects of the siege, in the shortened rations 
that were issued, and even the hospitals found difficulty in obtain- 
ing a full supply. But Steward J. C. Denison, who had charge 
of the supplies for the field hospital, went direct to Gen. Sheri- 
dan and represented the destitute condition of the wounded com- 
ing in, and he promptly ordered full rations; saying, " We must 
take care of our poor wounded men." 

In pursuance of his general plan, Bragg soon began to make 
demonstrations against our communications, to embarrass us in 
our really vulnerable point our supplies. On the 1st of Oct., 
Wheeler crossed the river with a large force of cavalry, and 
before our troops could overtake him, he attacked and partially 
destroyed a large wagon train loaded with supplies, near Ander- 
son's cross roads. Our cavalry immediately pursued, but the 



DESTRUCTION OF SUPPLIES. 497 

enemy having the start, and heavy rain falling continually, they 
were much hindered. On coming near Anderson's, they saw the 
smoke of the burning wagons, and hurrying forward, drove a por- 
tion of the enemy's force past the fire, upon the main body, which 
was in line of battle about a mile off. Several attacks were made 
with continued success and the enemy was pursued across the 
Sequatchie Valley. Eight hundred mules were recaptured and 
some of the wagons saved, but three hundred were burned. Quite 
a number of the enemy were killed, wounded and captured. 
Another detachment of Wheeler's command had been sent to 
McMinnville. This also was pursued, but not in time to save 
the stores and garrison. . A similar movement against Murfrees- 
boro was headed off, and Wheeler, after several defeats, was com- 
pelled to make his way across the Tennessee River, while other 
forces, designed to co-operate with him, had to retreat. Upon 
the whole, while the loss of the train was a great one, the expe- 
pition proved very disastrous to Wheeler, and did not accomplish 
anything like what was expected of it. His loss was computed 
at two thousand men and six pieces of artillery. 

The first news of the burning of our train created a great 
excitement in Chattanooga, for it was felt that we could resist the 
enemy in front better than spare our supplies. But a worse 
enemy than Wheeler was beginning to work against us, and "the 
situation of our army was becoming exceedingly critical. At the 
commencement of the occupation, there were large trains in good 
condition, and the prospect of transporting supplies was some- 
what promising. But early in October the rain began to fall," 
and the rains of that mountain region are something to remem- 
ber. It seemed as though the very heavens had turned to water, 
which poured down incessantly, sometimes for three and four days 
and nights, until everything was soaked through and through. 



498 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

The roads became almost impassable. The sixty miles between 
Chattanooga and Bridgeport required a longer time with every 
trip, and the animals grew more and more exhausted with inces- 
sant labor and lack of forage. As the number of wagons grew 
less and the weight of supplies they could bring was diminished, 
the rations served out to the men were steadily reduced. The 
possibility of being starved out of our position stared us in the 
face. All along our front, extending from Lookout across the 
valley of Chattanooga and all along Missionary Ridge lay the 
Southern army, their flags flying, their tents in full sight, and 
every little while their heavy guns on the mountain-top belching 
forth defiance, only waiting until we should commence our retreat, 
when they would fall upon our flanks and rear and make the 
Army of the Cumberland one of the things of the past. With 
them and with President Davis, as he looked down upon us from 
the mountain height, our ruin and the consequent recognition of 
the South was only a question of time. 

But not so thought we, and as the situation grew more desper- 
ate the spirit of our army seemed to rise in stern and unquench- 
able determination to hold Chattanooga or die. Many were the 
jokes about the possibilities in store for us; headquarters and 
the hospital department had many a pleasantry about our six 
mule team, one of the sleekest and most attractive in the army, 
of which George took almost idolatrous care, as we prophesied 
the day when we should be taking our daily rations from their 
tempting flanks. The keenest minds were quickened to find 
some solution of this stern problem, which should save both the 
army and Chattanooga, and in due time it was found. Before 
we narrate the circumstances of our relief, a number of incidents 
occurring at that time should find record. 

Too much cannot be said of the benefit we derived from the 
coming of our mail. Next to his rations, the soldier always 



TRIBUTE TO FRANK W. RAYMOND. 499 

valued his letters, and that value was very much increased during 
the dreary time of the siege. At first, communication was stopped 
by the General, but after it was once resumed there was no further 
interruption, but through all the rain, mud and risk came our 
letters and papers. With the 36th this meant a good deal, for 
the regiment stood alone for the amount of reading matter which 
it provided through the mails in addition to our library. Twelve 
copies of the four monthlies, twenty copies each of several 
weeklies, beside all the religious reading, swelled the mail matter 
largely, so that after the blockade was partially raised the Chap- 
received at one time a bushel of magazines and papers. When 
our library came up, which it did about the same time, the moral 
effect on the men was most happy. 

No record of the regiment would be complete which should 
omit to make special mention of this peculiarity, or should fail 
to notice the untiring efforts and marked skill which characterized 
our brigade mail carrier, Frank W. Raymond, of Company A. 
Frank was a universal favorite, and was emphatically the right 
man in the right place. He knew every man, and the sight of 
his cheery face, the sound of his familiar voice, especially when 
he had a letter, was often better than medicine for a sick man, 
and he says, " If their friends could have seen their disappointed 
faces when I told them I had no letter for them, they would have 
been more frequent in writing." 

While the regiment was at Rienzi he made the trip to Corinth 
and back (fifteen miles) every day. After the Perryville cam- 
paign began, he followed with the mail, traveling as far as- his 
horse would carry him, camping either by the roadside or in the 
house or barn of some citizen at night, until we reached Bowling 
Green. When the railroad was repaired he took it from our 
base of supplies, wherever that might be. During the Tullo- 



500 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

homa campaign he encountered all the perils of that wet and 
muddy time, swimming Elk River when it was very much swollen, 
with his horse "Old Gabe," in the presence of a brigade of cav- 
alry, who expected to see him carried away by the current and 
drowned. As he came out on the south bank, a Major, one of 
Gen. Rosecrans' aids, on his way to Tullohoma with despatches, 
came to him and said, "Young man, I will give you ten dollars 
if you will swim my horse across." Frank replied, "No, Major, 
not if you give me your commission." When Gen. Sheridan 
heard that the mail carrier of the First Brigade had reached 
camp, he sent for him, questioned him at some length in regard 
to his trip, and then wrote him a very complimentary letter. 

Early in October, the Army of the Cumberland was reorgan- 
ized by the consolidation of the 20th and 21st Corps into what 
was now called the 4th Corps, and the reserve corps was incor- 
porated with the 14th. Each corps included three divisions, 
and each division three brigades. The 4th Corps was placed 
under command of Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, with Generals 
Palmer, Sheridan and Wood, commanding respectively the 1st, 
2nd and 3rd Divisions. About the same time, Gen. Hooker, 
with the llth and 12th Corps, took position on the Nashville & 
Chattanooga Railroad, and disposing his troops from Nashville 
to Bridgeport, gave security to our communications. The Army 
of the Cumberland thus comprised four corps, with three divisions of 
cavalry. The 36th was attached to the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 
(Sheridan's) 4th Corps. These changes necessitated a change of 
camp, we being moved over toward the left, and a portion of the 
14th Corps taking our place. Our former camp had its disad- 
vantages, for in heavy rains the water poured in streams down the 
hillside, and was with great difficulty kept out of the tents. But 
in our new location, we had peculiar annoyances, for the ground 



CHANGE OP CAMP. 501 

being very low and flat there was not only no opportunity for 
drainage, but it was at night and morning enveloped in thick fog, 
and justified the strong expression of Major Sherman as we took 
possession of our new quarters, "Here, gentlemen, is where you 
can get your ague in solid chunks." It was only by cutting deep 
ditches through the ground that we could keep the camp in toler- 
able condition, while again and again the heavy rains poured 
down, finding every hole in our tents, compelling us to select a 
seat somewhere between the leaks, soaking our clothing and even 
our books and papers, as the marks on many a man's diary and 
letters sent home now bear witness. The weather, too, was fast 
becoming extremely cold, and the thin, worn clothing of the men 
was but slender protection from the piercing wind. 

Necessity quickens though, and the dilapidated ruins of former 
mansions soon found their way to camp, and with mud for mor- 
tar, camp chimneys began to go up in all directions. It was not 
every man who knew the secret of constructing a chimney so it 
would not smoke, and bitter were the experiences of some who, 
after wearisome toil, succeeded in finishing their task, only to 
find that as soon as the fire was built all the smoke poured out 
into the tent ; only by lying down and breathing the lowest stra- 
tum of air could they stay in the tent, however stormy it might 
be outside. Great was the rejoicing when, after many failures, 
their efforts were crowned with success and the draught was all 
right; then the tent was cosy indeed. 

Our new position was a little south of the Western & Atlantic 
Railroad, not far from the point where the track turns to the 
north, and so we were almost directly opposite Gen. Bragg's 
headquarters on Mission Ridge. The Rebel camps were in plain 
sight, and their flag at headquarters and on the top of Lookout 
waved defiance day by day. Beyond this, and their watch over 



502 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

us, they did but little harm, much less than they might have done 
if they had tried. The second Sunday of our occupation, while 
we were still on the right, and the regiment was on picket near 
the foundry, the Chaplain went out to hold service. During 
the afternoon the attention of all was attracted to movements on 
the mountain side, the nature of which it was difficult to deter- 
mine, as they were much concealed behind the trees. Our sus- 
picions, however, were soon confirmed by the construction of an 
earth-work and the mounting of guns. Next day they opened 
upon our line with shot and shell. One rifled shell fell in Com- 
pany E, and sliding along the ground struck Henry Haigh, tak- 
ing the skin off the hip, but as it fortunately did not explode, no 
further harm was done. Very soon heavy guns were mounted on 
Lookout, from which shell were occasionally thrown even into 
town, and sometimes to Brigade Headquarters in our new posi- 
tion at the left, but we soon became perfectly indifferent to the 
whole performance, except as it afforded material for conversation 
or jests from day to day. We were able to return these compli- 
ments in kind, and sometimes with marked effect. 

It seemed at first as though E-osecrans had made a great mis- 
take in giving Lookout Mountain to the enemy, but it was soon 
found that the fort erected on Moccasin Point went far to neutral- 
ize the advantage, for it was perfectly easy to shell the base of 
the mountain and even the top when necessary, while the fort 
itself was strongly protected on both flanks by the river. The 
sharp, shrill voice of Moccasin, as she took care of our right 
flank, became one of the recognized institutions. Fort Wood, 
too, on our left and rear, in our second position, could easily 
reach the side and top of Missionary Ridge, and many a wagon 
train or detachment of men was glad to quicken its steps as 
Fort Wood planted a shell near its track. Indeed, Bragg evi- 



FAMILIARITY OF THE TWO ARMIES. 503 

dently thought that time, rain and mud would accomplish his 
purpose, and that he need not waste his ammunition upon us, 
but no hawk ever watched a feeble bird with keener glance than 
he watched the army which he counted as his lawful prey. At 
the time the army was re-organized, when all the camps were in 
confusion, regiments, brigades and divisions changing places, 
he thought his hour had come, and we were certainly preparing 
to evacuate, for he kept his troops ready all day to march at a 
moment's notice. Besides the singularity of two hostile armies 
thus watching and operating in plain sight of each other, the 
nearness and familiarity of the two forces was something remark- 
able. The camps were so near that when one night the Colonel 
and the Chaplain had walked out to the picket line at the time 
of tattoo, the sounds of fifes and drums from both armies were so 
intermingled that it was difficult, even when they attempted it, to 
tell them apart. The pickets, too, held conversations, exchanged 
papers and scraps of news, and as B. F. Taylor says, " An exam- 
ination of many a plug of the Indian weed in a picket's pocket 
would show the print of a Rebel's teeth at one end and a Yan- 
kee's at the other." " An officer belonging to a regiment in the 
front came across the neutral ground, and while standing with 
our picket until he could be brought in, actually heard them call- 
the roll of his company, and when his name was reached, cried 
out, 'Here!' ' 

During all this time of fortifying, watching and waiting ; these 
days of storm and rain and mud and ever shortening rations, our 
religious meetings were well attended, sometimes when it was 
scarcely to be expected. One week from the battle, Sunday, we 
held our first service on the hillside to the right, and though the 
men had been working day and night during the week, there was 
a large turnout from both the regiment and the brigade. Our 



504 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

evening meetings were also resumed, and continued as long as 
the weather would permit. On the following Sabbath, Oct. 4th, 
the regiment being on picket, the service was held near the Foun- 
dry, where the enemy's line was within hearing distance. From 
that time one or two services were held every Sabbath when prac- 
ticable, after which, the Chaplain visited one or more wards in 
the hospital, preaching a short discourse in each ward. Our sup- 
ply of reading matter enabled him to distribute a great many 
papers, &c., among the wounded men, which were most eagerly 
received and read. So little had many of the poor fellows 
enjoyed of such things, that they looked with wonder upon our 
excellent advantages in the way of reading. The field hospital 
across the river also was visited regularly, and reading matter 
distributed. If it was something never to be forgotten to notice 
the silent, patient determination with which the men in the ranks 
met the hardships of their lot, still more to be remembered is the 
quiet uncomplaining spirit of the sufferers in the hospitals, by 
whom the smallest kindness was esteemed a favor ; who received 
a cup of water, a paper or magazine, a short prayer or an address 
with a tender gratitude which would bring tears to the eyes that 
looked on it. 

The changes in the Army of the Cumberland proved to be but 
the precursors of still wider changes throughout the West. The 
departments of the Cumberland, the Ohio and the Tennessee had 
been hitherto independent of each other, and though attempting 
some sort of co-operation, had signally failed in aiding each other. 
This failure had proved very disastrous to us, when Buckner had 
re-inforced Bragg with 15,000 men, just before the battle of 
Chickamauga, while Burnside was not able to come to our help. 
Now that the enemy had concentrated his forces against Chatta- 
nooga, and had drawn upon the whole Southern Confederacy for 



NEW COMPLICATIONS IN THE COMMAND. 505 

troops, it became imperatively necessary to unify our strength 
and bring all our scattered forces under one control The coming 
of Hooker added new complications, for there were now two gen- 
erals who had commanded the Army of the Potomac, and it was 
difficult to reconcile questions of rank. The Department at 
Washington found a happy solution for all difficulties by creating 
the " Military Division of the Mississippi," and placing Gen. 
Grant in command. The same order (dated Oct. 18th) desig- 
nated Gen. Thomas to command the " Army of the Cumberland," 
which now included Hooker's two corps, in place of Gen. Rose- 
crans. Probably the Government had various reasons for the 
change, but it was certain that the tone of Gen. Rosecrans' 
despatches had caused a fear that he might evacuate Chattanooga, 
although he had no intention of doing so, except in the case of 
absolute necessity, and on the day of his removal he was engaged 
in maturing the very plans which under Grant, ten days after- 
ward were the means of opening the river and the direct road to 
Bridgeport. The Army was sorry to part with Rosecrans, but 
they could appreciate the situation and had every confidence in 
Thomas, who, they knew, was only prevented by his modesty 
from accepting the command of that army at Louisville, a year 
before, and who had actually saved it by his coolness, determina- 
tion and skill after the almost fatal break on the 20th of Sep- 
tember. 

Gen. Grant's first telegram on assuming his new command, and 
Gen. Thomas' answer, indicate the spirit which was to character- 
ize the new administration. " Hold Chattanooga at all hazards," 
was the order. "We will hold Chattanooga until we starve," 
was the reply. 

Before Gen. Grant reached Chattanooga, on the 23d, prepara- 
tions had been well forwarded for opening the river, and after he 

33 



506 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

had given the plan a careful investigation and approval, it was 
carried out with complete success. Although the 36th bore no 
part in the execution, yet the movement itself was of such vital 
importance that some account of it ought to be given. 

The Tennessee River makes a very circuitous course in the 
neighborhood of Chattanooga, of which most excellent advantage 
was taken. Winding to the west of the town in the shape of a 
half circle, it flows in a south-easterly direction, until it is arrested 
at the foot of Lookout and forced by rocky barriers to turn and 
flow north-west, then north, until opposite the town it again turns 
permanently north-west. By this strange course a tongue of 
land is cut out, which, when looked down upon from the top of 
Lookout, presents the appearance of the moccasined foot of an 
Indian, and is therefore called Moccasin Point. On the shore 
across the narrowest part of this foot, which is south-west from 
town, is Brown's Ferry, opening up to Lookout Valley, through 
which the railroad and wagon road to Bridgeport passes. This 
ferry is only about four miles from Chattanooga, while round by 
the river it is nine miles. 

The plan proposed was for Hooker to advance up the valley 
from Bridgeport until he could hold the roads connecting Brown's 
Ferry with Kelley's several miles below, and by a force from 
Chattanooga co-operating at Brown's we should take possession 
both of the shortest route to Bridgeport and up the river far 
enough to allow boats to come up to Kelley's, since Brown's 
Ferry was within range of the guns on Lookout. A steamboat 
at Bridgeport and another taken by us at Chattanooga were fitted 
in readiness for use. One of Gen. Thomas' first orders after 
assuming command was to Gen. Hooker to prepare his troops for 
that expedition, partially matured by Rosecrans. After Gen. 
Grant had given his approval, and everything was ready, Hooker 



BROWN'S FERRY MOVEMENT. 507 

designated October 27th to commence his march, and the night 
of the 26th was fixed for the Brown's Ferry movement. 

This was really one of the most delicately constructed and 
skillfully executed movements of the war. Pontoons had been 
prepared at North Chickamauga Creek, and brought by a circuit- 
ous route behind the hills to their starting point at Chattanooga. 
These were to convey 1,500 picked men under Gen. Hazen down 
the river, passing the enemy's pickets stationed for seven miles 
along the left bank, and then effect a landing at Brown's, while 
the remainder of Hazen's Brigade, Gen. Turchin's Brigade and 
three batteries of artillery, were to take position above the ferry, 
ready to cover the landing on the opposite bank, and cross in 
support as quickly as possible. Chaplain Van Home, in " Army 
of the Cumberland," thus graphically describes the scene: 

The boats moved from Chattanooga at three o'clock A. M. on 
the 27th. A slight fog veiled the moon, and the boats, directed 
by Col. T. R. Stanley, glided noiselessly with the current. Hug- 
ging closely the right bank, they rounded Moccasin Point and 
moved unperceived to the place of landing. The boats had been 
called off into sections before starting, and each section was placed 
under an officer, who knew beforehand his exact place of land- 
ing. As the foremost section neared the shore at its appointed 
place at early dawn, the surprised pickets fired a harmless volley 
and fled. In quick succession the several sections landed ; the 
men leaped upon the bank, and ascended the adjacent hill to meet 
and drive back a small force that had hurried forward in response 
to the warning volley. There was a sharp engagement for a 
moment, then all was quiet. The boats first brought over the 
remainder of Hazen's troops, and soon after Turchin's Brigade. 
Hazen took firm hold of the hill above the gorge through which 
the Bridgeport road passes to the ferry, and Turchin the one 
below it. As soon as skirmishers could be thrown sufficiently 
forward to prevent a surprise, detachments with axes went vigor- 
ously to work felling trees and constructing barricades and abatis. 



508 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

In two hours the defenses were such as to bid defiance to the 
enemy. This accomplished, the pontoon bridge was speedily 
thrown under the skillful supervision of Capt. P. V. Fox, First 
Michigan Engineers. Although the force engaged was exposed 
to a vigorous cannonading by the enemy's batteries on the front 
of Lookout Mountain, Gen. Smith's loss was six killed, twenty- 
three wounded and nine missing. The loss of the enemy was 
probably not less, as six of their dead were left on the field and 
six prisoners captured. Twenty beeves and two thousand bushels 
of corn were added to the slender rations of the troops. These 
supplies, of hardly appreciable value to a large army under 
ordinary circumstances, were of very considerable moment at a 
time when soldiers gladly gathered the fragments of crackers and 
grain which fell to the ground in transfer. 

This was a surprise to both armies, so secretly had every- 
thing been executed. To Bragg it was a great mortification, and 
it is only the more astonishing that he did not perceive the drift 
of it and prevent its entire success by defeating Hooker. The 
latter met no opposition until reaching Wauhatchie, when a faint 
demonstration was made against him and the force was shelled 
from the Mountain, but his advance went into camp one mile 
from Brown's Ferry, at five o'clock. On the night of the 28th, a 
sudden attack was made upon these troops, which, after a fierce 
struggle and one bayonet charge, was successfully repulsed, and 
our troops were in possession of the valley and the hills com- 
manding the roads. 

We were roused from our slumbers by the attack, which 
in the moonlight and the silence of the night, sounded distinctly 
through all our camps, and we realized that the question of our 
supplies was being settled by the musketry which echoed through 
the still air from the mountain side. That night the steamboat 
at Chattanooga successfully ran the batteries on Lookout, and the 
one at Bridgeport was soon in motion up the river, laden with 



A BRIGHTER OUTLOOK. 509 

supplies. This movement was made none too soon. The very 
day that Hooker went up the valley, our boys only went through 
the motions of having breakfast, dinner and supper all they had 
was some coffee, with the addition at supper of a little beef. On 
the 31st, one hundred pounds of hard bread a good share of 
which was green and yellow with mould, besides being wormy 
was all that could be allowed for the regiment. Even at head- 
quarters, about this time, we had a few flour pancakes, with a 
little bacon, and water to drink, while the men who had eagerly 
picked up bits of mouldy hard tack and gathered kernels of corn 
out of the mud and fried them in a little grease, thought them- 
selves specially happy. Indeed, the short rations, scanty cloth- 
ing, excessive picket and trench duty, the wet and stormy weather 
and cold nights, were telling fearfully on the men, whose sunken 
cheeks and spiritless manner gave token that their powers of 
endurance were being greatly tried. Sometimes they were so 
weak that they tottered and staggered like old men. The teams, 
too, which through the mud, rain and dangers of those weeks 
had kept on the mountain road, to our base, were fast perishing. 
Many of the deep ruts and ditches were filled with animals that 
had died in the harness, while dead horses and mules were 
scattered in every direction around Chattanooga. But the end 
had come, and though it was not until the railroad was completed 
that we might be said to have full supplies, yet by the 5th of 
November the change was so great as to justify the most cheer- 
ing comments in the journals of the men. For the sick and the 
wounded, too, the relief was most acceptable, for instead of being 
transferred to the rear over the rough mountain roads, they were 
sent on the return trip of the boats. 

The whole outlook for the future became more bright. We 
had no longer the prospect of choosing between evacuation and 



510 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

starvation. The siege was virtually raised, and it was simply a 
question of time when we should assume the offensive, tear down 
the flags now flaunting from Mission Ridge and Lookout, and 
plant there the stars and stripes. 

The most gigantic preparations were now undertaken for driv- 
ind the enemy from his strongholds. Sherman, who had been 
repairing roads as he advanced, was ordered forward with all 
speed. All available men in the rear were brought up, and 
arrangements made for mounting the forts with heavy siege 
artillery. The sight of these black monsters was particularly 
gratifying to those who had been so long penned up within 
entrenchments, and the rebound from the discouragements of 
Chickamauga, and the sufferings of the state of siege began to 
be felt. Nothing, however, has appeared more inexplicable than 
Bragg's strange ignorance of the situation, notwithstanding that 
from his post of observation all our operations were exposed to 
view. Even so vital a movement as the junction with Hooker 
at Brown's Ferry, he failed to comprehend until it was too late 
to arrest it, and now so little did he divine our plans or under- 
stand our situation that he detached Longstreet with his corps to 
recover East Tennessee by overwhelming Burnside, with the 
expectation, perhaps, of returning to attack us. Not content 
with this, other portions of his army were afterward sent to 
Longstreet's support. Perhaps it was to cover their movement 
that a general attack was threatened November 2nd, and all our 
forces were thrown into the entrenchments at night, remaining 
there about two hours and then returning to camp. Men were 
set to work building a bastion near our reserve line, to be mounted 
with artillery. As soon as it was ascertained that Longstreet 
had gone. Gen. Grant was anxious to attack Bragg, both to take 
advantage of his weakened force and to make a diversion for the 



FATE OP TWO DESERTERS. 511 

relief of Burnside. Indeed, an order was issued for an, attack 
on the north end of Missionary Ridge November 7th, but after 
a careful examination of the ground, the condition and paucity 
of the animals and the inadequacy of his forces, he decided that 
the movement was " utterly impracticable until Sherman could 
get up." This caused a delay of over two weeks, but the grand 
success which resulted showed the wisdom of it. It was not 
until the 15th that Sherman with his advance reached Bridge- 
port, when he immediately hastened to Chattanooga, and the 
plans were matured for the general attack. 

In the meantime some incidents occurred which are worthy of 
mention. On the 12th, the Chaplain was sent for to Brigade 
Headquarters by Col. Sherman. On his reporting there, he 
was informed that two men of the brigade, one belonging to the 
44th and the other to the 88th, had been sentenced by court 
martial to be shot for desertion, and the sentences, having been 
approved by the Commanding General and the President, would 
be carried out at twelve o'clock next day. The Chaplain was 
requested to prepare the men for their fate. A tent was set up 
and every facility afforded him for his melancholy task. Subse- 
quently a Catholic chaplain was procured for the man from the 
44th, he being a German Catholic. With the other it was found 
impossible to make any progress, as he insisted that his sentence 
was unjust, and that on proper representation being made his 
life would be spared. That no obstacle might remain in the way 
of his true preparation, the Chaplain waited on Col. Sherman, 
and subsequently inquiries were made as to the possibility of a 
reprieve. It was found that his desertion had been attended 
with such marked aggravations that not a man of his own com- 
pany could be induced to take a single step towards his deliv- 
erance. The Chaplain informing him of this, he resigned 



512 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

himself to his fate, and the rest of the day was spent in settling 
up his affairs, dictating letters, written by the Chaplain, and 
joining in reading the Scriptures and prayer. He professed to 
be penitent for his sins, but still maintained his innocence of 
any crime against the Government. The next morning was 
excessively cold, and on repairing to the Guard Tent, the Chap- 
lain found him standing with the guards near a rail fire, which 
had been built for his comfort. Instead of appearing in the 
penitent mood of the previous evening, he soon broke out into bitter 
accusations against everybody who had anything to do with his 
condemnation, exclaiming against their injustice, and declaring 
that they dare not execute his sentence. As this speech was 
evidently made for effect on the guards and those to whom it 
would be repeated, the Chaplain called his attention to the time 
and care that had been taken in his case ; to the unprejudiced 
character of the men who had tried him ; to the fact that the 
evidence and findings had been reviewed by the highest author- 
ities, and that even his own company would not make any move 
towards the mitigation of his doom, assuring him by all that was 
solemn, that the sentence would be executed, and that when the 
hour arrived he would be a dead man. He exhorted him to use 
his few last hours in preparing to meet his God, rather than 
accusing man. As soon as he saw he would not be allowed to 
prejudice the guards, he desisted from his attempts, and thence- 
forth gave himself up to conversation, prayer and sending his 
farewell messages and tokens of affection to his friends. Just 
before noon, the officers and guards arrived, the two men were 
brought out and the mournful procession started. 

In the meantime the whole brigade had been drawn up in an 
open space east of the railroad track. Four regiments formed 
three sides of a hollow square, the railroad bank making the 



A MILITARY EXECUTION FOR DESERTION. 513 

fourth side. The remaining five regiments formed a similar 
square outside the first one, and some twenty feet from it. The 
regiments forming the smaller square faced about, and through 
this passage between the squares the procession marched. First 
came the band of the 24th Wisconsin, playing a dead march ; 
next followed the guard and details from the two companies to 
which the condemned belonged, who were to execute the sen- 
tence; then eight men carrying the two coffins, followed by the 
doomed men, each attended by his chaplain. As they struck 
the right of the brigade where were Gen. Sheridan and Col. 
Sherman with their staffs, the 88th man, who had evidently 
determined to make the most of his situation, straightened him- 
self and saluted the officers with the grace of a Major General, 
and all through the march around the regiments he continued to 
salute the officers, and conduct himself with the loftiest bearing. 
On reaching again the railroad embankment the coffins were set 
down, and the guard and detail to fire took their places in front 
of the smaller square. The Chaplain addressed to his man a 
few last words, urging him, as he would appear so soon in the 
presence of God, to truly repent of his sins and cast himself on 
His mercy. They then knelt down by the side of the coffin 
while the Chaplain offered a short prayer, and then shaking 
hands with him, left him seated on his coffin. The other man 
had a crucifix placed in his hands by his Chaplain, on which he 
was exhorted steadily to gaze. The Brigade Adjutant stepped 
forward and began to read the sentences and orders under 
which the executions were to take place ; at the same time 
every regimental adjutant stepped out in front of his regiment 
and did the same, so that every man throughout the whole brig- 
ade heard the order. A white cloth was then bound over the 
eyes of the condemned. The regiments in the inner square 



514 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

faced inwards and with the guard knelt down, when the orders 
" Prepare take aim fire!" were given in a low tone, and the 
men fell dead without a struggle. The 88th man, as the order 
was given, pointed to his heart, indicating his wish to be shot 
there. The moment they fell, Col. Sherman gave the command 
"Forward." and leading the way with his staff, the whole brig- 
ade filed past the dead bodies and went into camp. 

Besides the brigade, there were thousands of men gathered 
from all parts of the army to witness this strange and mournful 
sight. It was the first time that this extreme penalty had been 
inflicted in the Army of the Cumberland, and was regarded by 
some as a doubtful course to take. The result was every way 
favorable to the interests of the army, for so far from exciting 
sympathy for the sufferers and their cause, the general, and it 
might almost be said the unanimous voice of the multitudes that 
discussed it was one of condemnation of the men, and of increased 
determination to uphold the flag and the welfare of the country. 
The common expression was, "Well, I am not going out of the 
army that way." The event was one of the most exciting in all 
our experience, and created much commotion for the time. On 
the following Sabbath a sermon was preached by the Chaplain 
from the text, "Prepare to meet thy God," in which the prac- 
tical lessons of the sad sight were enforced, and the necessity of 
true allegiance to Divine government was exhibited. 

On Saturday, Nov. 14th, the regiment was paid off, and if the 
men had been unable to procure a full supply of clothing, had 
compensation now in being able to draw a corresponding increase 
of pay. At the request of Col. Miller, the Chaplain received 
permission to carry home to the families of the soldiers their 
much needed money. His task was a very complicated and 
delicate one, owing to the many interests that had to be attended 



METHOl) OF TRANSMITTING MONEY. 515 

to. It may be interesting to notice how it was discharged in 
the 36th, and how the many dissatisfactions experienced by 
other regiments were avoided. Both now and when we were 
paid off at Cowan, the following course was adopted : Notice hav- 
ing been given through the regiment, each man prepared his let- 
ter, with the money enclosed ; then each company reported in 
turn at the Chaplain's tent, where several officers were present 
to assist him. Each letter was emptied of its contents and the 
amount entered on a roll the letters being filed away. When 
this was done, and the amount on the roll and the amount of 
cash were found to agree, the money was refunded to the Pay- 
master, who issued his draft on Louisville for the total sum, and 
then all risk of loss by capture of the train was avoided. On 
reaching Louisville, the Chaplain drew the full amount from the 
U. S. Depository and replaced the necessary sum in each letter. 
On reaching Chicago, all letters that could not be delivered in 
person were sent out by express, the agent signing the receipt roll, 
and the rest were conveyed to the families personally, they sign- 
ing the roll also. By this simple means all misunderstandings 
were avoided and entire satisfaction was secured. The amount 
thus distributed this time was about $17,000. 

As the men were suffering so much for lack of warm clothing, 
the Chaplain obtained permission from headquarters to bring 
back with him a box of goods, not exceeding five hundred pounds, 
not doubting that friends at home would gladly fill such a box 
with socks and mittens. Everything being arranged, he was 
sent over in an ambulance to Kelley's Ferry, on Wednesday, Nov. 
18th, taking the evening boat, which arrived at Bridgeport in 
the night. He there found that Gen. Sherman had been rowed 
down the river in a small boat ; had started his troops forward 
with all haste, and that the previous evening a force had crossed 



516 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

the river to penetrate the Trenton Valley, and thus begin that 
series of movements which in just one week drove the enemy 
from Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

MISSION RIDGE. 

N ONE respect, at least, the great battles of Chat- 
tanooga were in marked contrast to Chickamauga. 
The latter was fought on ground which afforded no 
points of view from which the nature and progress 
of the struggle might be seen and directed, and every 
division, and sometimes each brigade, had, in a sense, 
to fight alone. As a consequence, not only was the 
general conduct of the battle hindered, but the troops were 
deprived of that moral support which comes from the knowledge 
of what others are doing, and the consciousness that their own 
conduct is observed by the rest of the army. These conditions 
were now to be exactly reversed, for if the battles of Lookout 
Mountain and Missionary Ridge will always furnish one of the 
most thrilling stories of the war and of modern times, it is partly 
because the theatre of those battles was such as not only to give 




FORT WOOD AND LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN. 517 

scope for great generalship and wise direction, but also to evoke 
from every soldier all the heroism and patriotism of which he was 
capable. A brief description of this theatre is absolutely essen- 
tial to a correct understanding of the struggle by those who were 
not present. Every 36th man knows full well that country, and 
carries in his own remembrance a picture of it which will perish 
only with his life. 

One of the most prominent objects in that semi-circle of works 
erected by our army in front of Chattanooga was Fort Wood, 
remarkable not only for its great size and strength, but because 
from its location admirably adapted to reach the enemy's line 
even to the summit of Mission Ridge. From this fort the most 
comprehensive view of the situation could be obtained. Stand- 
ing on the parapet, the town in the rear, the general line of our 
works reaching from the river above the town to the river at the 
foot of Lookout was plainly visible, with lesser works for the 
grand guards and the pickets in front. The most prominent 
object, of course, was Lookout Mountain, which seems to stand 
guard over this whole region, go where we will. From Fort 
Wood it is nearly five miles, though appearing only two, and from 
its summit the Southern flag waved and heavy guns boomed from 
day to day. In front, stretching away to the north, as far as 
the eye could see, to the south and south-east, until nearly touch- 
ing Lookout, is Mission Ridge, itself a high mountain range but 
appearing low in contrast with Lookout. In front of this ridge, 
broken by detached hills, is the Chattanooga Valley, which 
sweeping south, turns to the south-east through a narrow open- 
ing between the ridge and Lookout range. Of these detached 
hills which break up the valley, the principal one is Orchard 
Knob, directly in front of Fort Wood and half way between it 
and Mission Ridge, while a little to the south was the beautiful 



518 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

mound shaped hill which afterwards was devoted as a national 
cemetery. All along the front, on the top of Mission Ridge, 
across the valley and on the top of Lookout, could be seen the 
tents and camps of the enemy, while directly in front of Fort 
Wood on the top of the ridge, Bragg's headquarters was in plain 
sight, with the flag waving over it. Through the valley, from 
north to south and in front of our line, were entrenchments for 
the grand guards and pickets of the enemy, and those on Orchard 
Knob and vicinity were quite strong w T orks. On the north end 
of Mission Ridge he had a position of great strength protecting 
his railroad communications, while Lookout on his extreme left 
was regarded as unassailable, although Hooker held the valley 
below. 

It was on Friday, the 20th of November, that the army in 
Chattanooga received orders looking to the coming battle, although, 
as we have just seen, movements had already been made from 
other points. On that day, every man was to be ready for action 
with two days' cooked rations in haversack and eighty rounds 
of ammunition. Dr. Lytle was detached from the regiment 
and placed in charge of Division Hospital No. 2, and the musi- 
cians, &c., were ordered to be ready with stretchers, to carry off 
the wounded from the field. Saturday, the 21st, was the day 
fixed for the attack, but a heavy rain commenced on the 20th 
and continued through the 21st, making it impossible for Sher- 
man to get into position on our left. Indeed, it is but just to 
have it understood that not only the day fixed for the battle was 
changed, but the whole plan of attack was so modified by cir- 
cumstances beyond control, that the final issue was entirely dif- 
ferent from the original intention of Gen. Grant, and several of 
the most important movements did not enter into his plans at all. 
The original plan contemplated the principal movement to be 



REMOVAL OF NON-COMBATANTS. 519 

made by Sherman against the position of the enemy on the 
north end of the Ridge ; the Army of the Cumberland to con- 
centrate toward the north end of the Ridge, and ultimately join 
with Sherman in dislodging the enemy from it altogether. 
Hooker was in the meantime to hold Lookout Valley, but no 
attempt was to be made to take the Mountain. On the 22nd, a 
further postponement was necessary, in consequence of the part- 
ing of the bridge at Brown's Ferry, preventing two of Sherman's 
Divisions from crossing. 

It was then that Gen. Thomas suggested the moving of How- 
ard's Corps to join Sherman and the using of the divisions 
left behind in an attempt to take Lookout. Howard was 
accordingly moved into Chattanooga and took his place to the 
left of the Fourth Corps. All this day the troops were in an 
excited condition, and Fort Wood shelled Mission Ridge heavily. 
Deserters came in who said that troops had been sent to McLe- 
m ore's Cove, and that there were indications that Bragg was 
about to retreat. This, joined to the fact that on the 20th he 
had notified Grant to remove all non-combatants from the town, 
induced the latter to order a reconnoisance, to find out whether 
Bragg was retreating or not. This reconnoisance proved to be 
ih* real opening of the battle, and its results were such as to 
have a marked effect on the subsequent movements. 

It was about noon of the 23rd that the order was received to 
"Fall in," arid Sheridan's Division was formed in line in front 
of the breastworks to the right of Wood's Division, which was 
to lead the movement by a demonstration against Orchard Knob, 
while our Division was to act as support. It was a grand and 
imposing sight, as these divisions moved out in plain view of 
the enemy and started forth on their desperate task. It must 
have been that Bragg thought his position too strong for even 



520 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

the thought of assault, or he would not have allowed this advance 
to be so slightly checked. 

Wood's Division, stirred with the consciousness that the eyes 
not only of the enemy, but of the whole army were upon them, 
moved rapidly forward, his left capturing the Knob with unex- 
pected ease, and his right, after a desperate bayonet charge, car- 
rying a lower hill. Sheridan moved up his Division to the right, 
and Granger's headquarters at four "o'clock were on Orchard Knob. 

All this was unexpected success, as simply a reconnoisance 
had been designed ; but Wood and Sheridan were immediately 
ordered to fortify and hold their positions, while Howard was 
thrown to the left of Wood, where, after a brief struggle he suc- 
ceeded in forming his line. Our brigade, advancing to this place, 
lay behind rail breastworks ; after dark the works were raised, 
capped with logs and banked up with earth. On Orchard Knob 
preparations were made for a battery, and Bridge's was moved 
there during the night. Thus auspicionsly did the work begin, 
for we had not only gained ground unexpectedly, but it was 
ground from which other movements could be most favorably 
prosecuted; for from these hills the enemy's positions could be 
plainly seen the Ridge, with its three lines of works and all 
the open space in front. Besides, the movement was so vigorous 
and imposing, that Bragg was compelled to transfer Walker's 
Divisions from Lookout Mountain to sustain his left thereby 
opening the way for Hooker's success next day. During the 
night the lines were perfectly quiet. About three o'clock our 
brigade was moved farther to the left, where the works were only 
some eighteen inches high, but we soon raised them to three and 
one-half feet. 

During this time, the most important movements were being 
made by both Sherman and Hooker. On the 23rd, another of 



GENERAL SHERMAN ADVANCES. 521 

Sherman's Divisions crossed at Brown's Ferry, when the bridge 
was again broken ; but Grant determined to wait no longer. For 
several days a large number of pontoons had been accumulated at 
North Chickamauga, prepared to float down and effect a landing 
at South Chickama.uga. 

Great care had been taken to preserve the secresy of these 
preparations, and the citizens throughout the region had been 
put under guard. Sherman being now ready to cross, at mid- 
night of the 23d, one hundred and sixteen boats with a brigade 
left the North Chickamauga and floated quietly down, landing on 
the enemy's side of the river. Troops were then brought rapidly 
over, and by daylight two divisions had crossed and the construc- 
tion of the bridge was well advanced. The steamer Dunbar also 
came up from Chattanooga and aided in crossing troops. Soon 
Gen. Howard, with a brigade of the llth Corps, came through 
the valley and joined Sherman, showing that the enemy had 
fallen back to his positions near the ridge. The bridge was fin- 
ished at eleven o'clock. At one o'clock Sherman began his 
advance, and in due time occupied the two northern summits of 
Missionary Ridge. He found, however, that the enemy was in 
strong position on the third summit which protected the tunnel. 

While all this was going on at the left, Gen. Hooker at the 
right was even more successful. As soon as it was ascertained 
that Osterhaus' Division could not cross in time to join Sherman, 
Hooker was ordered to make a demonstration against Lookout, 
and if found practicable, take the point. At eight o'clock Geary's 
Division and other troops began to move up the mountain side, 
hid by the fog, while other forces prepared to co-operate below. 
The attention of the enemy was concentrated on the latter in a 
vain attempt to prevent their crossing Lookout Creek, and when 
Geary had succeeded in reaching the rocky palisades of the 

34 



522 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

mountain with his right, sweeping on towards the point with his 
line, the troops below were ready to join him, thus taking the 
enemy's ranks in flank and rear. The artillery at the same time 
did fearful execution, and scattering in all directions they began 
to retreat around the front of the mountain. On this point the 
Moccasin battery had full range, preventing the concentration 1 
of forces, and so our line swept on, inflicting heavy loss and cap- 
turing a large number of prisoners. The noise of that battle 
created intense excitement in the rest of the army. Every avail- 
able spot was sought from which to catch a glimpse, if possible, 
of the conflict, and as the noise indicated its coming eastward, 
the agitation grew more and more wild, until through the rifts in 
the fog and smoke could be plainly seen the flying rebels, fol- j 
lowed by the blue line of our troops, stretching from the rocky 
face of the mountain, far down towards the valley, and appear- 
ing, as it slowly moved round the nose of Lookout, like the swing- 
ing of a huge pendulum. 

The 36th at this time occupied the hill south of Orchard Knob 
(which afterward became the National Cemetery), and had there- 
fore a fine view of the whole movement. It was an inspiring sight to 
men who had watched so long and so impatiently the waving of 
the Rebel flag on Lookout, to see now flag after flag, with the 
beautiful stars and stripes, borne gallantly round the point, and 
though two miles away, the firing and the cheering of each charge 
were plainly heard. At two o'clock in the afternoon, Hooker's men 
had exhausted their ammunition, and as it could not be supplied 
in the ordinary way, they had to wait. At five o'clock, a brigade 
from the 14th Corps crossed Chattanooga Creek and ascended the 
mountain, carrying on their persons a supply of ammunition for 
Hooker, beside what was needed for themselves. Heavy skir- 
mishing was resumed and continued until near midnight, and for 



SHERMAN RENEWS HIS ATTACK. 523 

hours the mountain side was illuminated by the constant flashing 
of musketry. 

Next morning, before daylight, a number of daring men from 
the 8th Kentucky scaled the rocky heights, and planting the 
National flag on the summit of the mountain, announced to the 
whole army the full success of the day before. As the morning 
light fell on the beautiful folds, cheer after cheer went up through 
all the lines, and a fresh inspiration was gathered for the crown- 
ing work of the day. Soon after, it was found that the whole 
mountain, as well as the summit, was evacuated, and that troops 
had been drawn off to re-inforce Missionary Ridge. Subse- 
quently Gen. Hooker was ordered to march his force, except what 
was necessary to hold the mountain, towards Rossville, and then 
in co-operation with the 14th Corps, to sweep north along the 
ridge. Delayed through the burning of a bridge, &c., Gen. 
Hooker did not accomplish his purpose as early as was expected, 
but succeeded far enough to draw troops from the centre to oppose 
him, and thus contribute to the final success of the day. 

In the meantime Sherman had renewed his attack. The orig- 
inal plan for the day contemplated a combined attack by Sher- 
man and Thomas, but as Sherman had not yet carried the ridge 
to the tunnel, the combined movement was delayed until later. 
All through the morning he continued his operations against 
what proved to be a very strong natural position, made well nigh 
impregnable by works and by the veteran troops which manned 
them. As Gen. Grant observed the contest from Orchard Knob, 
he ordered at ten A. M. Gen. Howard's Corps on the left of the 
Fourth, to report to Sherman, who soon renewed his effort against 
the enemy's right but was partially repulsed. About noon Grant 
detached Baird's Division of the 14th Corps to still further 
reinforce Sherman, but on reaching him Baird was informed that 



524 THIRTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS. 

he was not needed, and returning to the centre he formed his 
division with the left of Wood at half-past two o'clock. These 
movements declaring Grant's determination to carry the north 
end of the ridge were answered by corresponding ones of the 
enemy to his right ; but as the day advanced and Sherman had 
not turned the right and Hooker had not yet made his appear- 
ance on the left, it was evident that some new effort must be 
made if the enemy was not to be left in possession of Missionary 
Ridge. Soon after the return of Baird's Division therefore, Grant 
ordered an independent assault from the centre, not to take the 
ridge, but the rifle pits at the foot of the ridge, by, if possible, 
the skirmish Ime. The signal for the advance was six second 
guns from Bridge's Battery on Orchard Knob. 

Sherman's Brigade and the 36th had continued to occupy the 
ground assigned them early on the morning of the 24th, and 
from their position on cemetery hill had a splendid view of the 
movements on Lookout and all along the ridge. About ten o'clock 
three companies A, B and F were sent forward to be deployed as 
skirmishers, under the command of Major Sherman. At one 
o'clock the three regiments composing the front line of the brig- 
ade, of which the 36th was one, were ordered to what had been 
the front line of the enemy's works, about three-fourths of a mile 
from the foot of Mission Ridge. These three regiments were 
placed under the immediate command of Col. Barrett, Col. Miller 
having been assigned to the command of four other regiments. 
The command of the 36th thus fell on Lieut. Col. Olson. In 
the midst of all the other stirring events, about noon the boat 
from Bridgeport sent forth its piercing scream as it approached 
Lookout. In a little while it appeared around the bend of the 
river, and steamed up towards the town, giving to the boys the 
most cheering proof of all that the blockade was raised, by open- 



LIEUT. TURNBULL COMMUNICATES ORDERS. 525 

ing up the " Cracker line." The exciting events of the past two 
days, the splendid successes already achieved, stirred the men to 
the utmost, and they were ready to do and dare, while every 
soldier was general enough to see that with the enemy massing 
against Sherman we could not long remain idle. But where 
should we go ? 

It was about three o'clock when Col. Sherman was notified of 
the intended advance, and ordered to be ready at the firing of 
the signal. Lieut. Turnbull was directed by him to communicate 
the order to the picket line. He started at once, and commencing 
at the left passed along to the right, giving every man and officer 
the order and signal. "I shall never forget," he says, "the 
change of countenance exhibited by those men as they received 
the order and nerved themselves for the conflict. They seemed 
to me like men that understood fully what was required of them, 
and that nothing .but death would hinder them from carrying out 
the order." But what a task it was ! They must come out from 
the protection of the woods and charge across an open plain half 
a mile wide, in the very presence of the enemy, with sixty pieces 
of artillery playing on them, sweeping the ground with shot and 
shell ; then when the foot of the ridge was reached " a heavy 
work, packed with the enemy, rimming it like a battlement. That 
work carried, what then ? A hill struggling up out of the valley 
four hundred feet, rained on by bullets, swept by shot and shell ; 
another line of works, then up like a Gothic roof, rough with 
rocks, a wreck with fallen trees, four hundred more ; another 
ring of fire and iron, then the crest and then the enemy." For 
such a journey no wonder the men had to brace themselves. 

Turnbull had scarcely reached the right of the brigade line, 
when the signal guns from Orchard Knob were fired. As soon 
as the sixth gun was heard, Maj. Sherman's clear voice rang out, 



526 THIRTY-SIXTH ItLlttOlS 

"Forward, boys," and they sprang forward, emerging quickly 
from the woods and starting across the open meadow, while Fort 
Wood and Negley, and Bridge's Battery on the Knob, opened 
fire over their heads, and sixty pieces of artillery from Mission 
Ridge swept their path with deadly iron. It was a sight never 
to be forgotten, and every house top, fort and rise of ground had 
its spectators, and every man who was not under absolute orders 
was watching the wonderful charge, near two miles long. Nor 
was this true of our ranks alone, nor were Grant and Thomas, 
on Orchard Knob, the only generals who gazed down on that 
strange sight. The army on the ridge was equally excited, and 
Bragg stood near his headquarters and took the measurement of 
this new move. "0, General," said a woman who lived near by, 
u the Yankees are coming. What shall I do ? Where shall I go ?" 
"Woman," said he, "are you mad? There are not Yankees 
enough in Chattanooga to come up here ; those are all my prison- 
ers." But oriwurd went the skirmishers, until they reached the 
rifle pits at the foot of the ridge, out of which they drove the 
Rebs, some falling back to the next line, and large numbers sur- 
rendering and hurrying to our rear, hastened by the fire of their 
own comrades which swept the ground. The main line followed 
hard on the skirmishers, and the foot of the ridge was held in 
force, the men being glad to drop into the rifle pits for a tempo- 
rary shelter, and to gain a little rest. 

The order under which the line had charged was now obeyed, 
but it was evident that something more must be done. With such 
a storm of iron hail falling thickly around, it was impossible to 
remain they must either advance or retreat. To retreat was out 
of the question, after such a success, and over such a plain, and 
yet there were no orders to advance. "But," as Chaplain Van 
Home appropriately says, u there are occasional moments in 



T4YLOR DESCRIBES THE BATTLE. 527 

battle when brave men do not need commanders, and this was 
one." Says Turnbull, u the officers of the field and line, and the 
boys, were the generals ordering the advance ; in other words, I 
think it was a necessity understood alike by officers and men, and 
acted on at once. This movement along the line was almost 
simultaneous, yet I believe our brigade was the first to start, and 
it was done without any particular order as to lines or milita