Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Major Robert Anderson to Simon Cameron, 10:30 a.m., April 18, 1861

STEAMSHIP BALTIC, OFF SANDY HOOK,
April 18, [1861] 10.30 a.m. – via New York.

Having defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four hours, until the quarters were entirely burned, the main gates destroyed by fire, the gorge walls seriously injured, the magazine surrounded by flames, and its door closed from the effects of heat, four barrels and three cartridges of powder only being available, and no provisions remaining but pork, I accepted terms of evacuation offered by General Beauregard, being the same offered by him on the 11th instant, prior to the commencement of hostilities, and marched out of the fort Sunday afternoon, the 14th instant, with colors flying and drums beating, bringing away company and private property, and saluting my flag with fifty guns.

ROBERT ANDERSON,
Major, First Artillery, Commanding.
Hon. S. CAMERON,
Secretary of War, Washington.

SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 1 (Serial No. 1), p. 12; Samuel Wylie Crawford, The Genesis of the Civil War: The Story of Sumter, 1860-1861, p. 449.

John Brown to George L. Stearns, May 23, 1857

Akron, Ohio, May 23, 1857.
George L. Stearns, Esq., Boston, Mass.

My Dear Sir, — On my arrival at Cleveland yesterday, I found with O. M. Oviatt, Esq., your favors of the 16th and 19th inst. I had made no previous arrangement with Mr. Smith about the land, other than to say that I wanted the contract with the Thompsons made over to me on payment, or to that effect. He had given me no encouragement of any help about it from him; and when I met one of the Thompsons there,1 all I could do was to get both parties to agree to the arrangement, and to wait until the money could get on from Boston. Mr. Smith had before written me that his last year's efforts for Kansas had embarrassed him, but that when the struggle was renewed he would do all he could. He gave me fifty dollars, Mrs. S. ten dollars and some little useful articles; Peterboro’ friends gave me thirty-one dollars, and I came on with the understanding that probably the thousand dollars would soon be sent on to Mr. Smith. I lost about one week on my way to my family with ague and fever, and left home feeble, and am still so. I could promise Colonel Carter no more than pay for primings, which I had not bargained for. I shall redeem my promise to you as soon as I am able to do so. Please write me next to Dr. Jesse Bowen, Iowa City, Iowa, on envelope. I send my earnest good wishes to Mrs. S. and the children. Am disappointed in not having Mr. Foster and child for company.

Very respectfully your friend,
John Brown.
_______________

1 At Peterboro’.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 409-10

Diary of Gideon Welles: Monday, June 1, 1863

Gave the President this A.M. a list of applicants for appointment to the Naval Academy. A great crowd was in attendance; I therefore left the list for him to examine and deferred action until another interview.

Gave Admiral Lardner written instructions at some length, and had a pretty full conversation in regard to his duties. He is discreet, prudent, perhaps over-cautious, and I fear may want energy and force, but until he is tested I will not pass judgment.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 319

Diary of John Hay: March 1, 1864

Fernandina. I opened my books this morning and got a few more names. Some refused to sign on the ground that they were not repentant rebels. . . . The Dictator came in this afternoon and reported to me for orders. I will start for Key West in the morning.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 170; Michael Burlingame, Editor, Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 172.

Diary of Lieutant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: August 31, 1862

Upton's Hill (near Washington). — Mustered the men for July and August. A rainy, cool day. The great battle of yesterday and the day before, so near here that we heard the roar distinctly, is supposed to have resulted favorably to our arms. How decisively is not yet known here. We hear all sorts of rumors, such as the capture of Jackson and sixteen thousand men and the like; but nothing definite is known. The appearances are favorable. We inquire of every one to get facts and get only vague rumors.

This Sunday evening the reports from the battlefield are less favorable than the morning rumors. There is talk of “no result,” a “drawn battle,” and the like; that our army has fallen back four miles to Centreville. Another [report] says McDowell withdrew a division from one outlet and let Jackson escape. A report says our loss is ten thousand; the enemy's much heavier. No firing all day today. This evening after dark firing of heavy guns was heard for a few minutes, apparently in the same place as before.

Received a dear letter from Lucy dated August 13 and directed to Flat Top. She says she is happy in the thought that we are doing our duty. This is good. Darling wife, how this painful separation is made a blessing by the fine character it develops, or brings to view! How; I love her more and more!

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 334-5

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: March 19, 1864


A good deal of fighting going on among us. A large number of sailors and marines are confined with us, and they are a quarrelsome set. I have a very sore hand, caused by cutting a hole through the car trying to get out. I have to write with my left hand It is going to be an awful place during the summer months here, and thousands will die no doubt

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 43

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: April 8, 1863

We learn to-day that the enemy bombarded our forts at Charleston, yesterday, two hours and a half. But few of our men were injured, and the forts sustained no damage of consequence. On the other hand, several of the iron-clads and monitors of the enemy were badly crippled; one of the latter, supposed to be the Keokuk, was sunk. Since then the bombardment has not been renewed. But no doubt the enemy will make other efforts to reduce a city which is the particular object of their vengeance. Every one is on the qui vive for further news from Charleston. Success there will make Beauregard the most popular man in the Confederacy, Lee excepted.

Speculation is running wild in this city; and the highest civil and military officers are said to be engaged, directly or indirectly, in the disgraceful business of smuggling. Mr. Memminger cannot be ignorant of this; and yet these men are allowed to retain their places.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 288

Diary of 1st Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Monday, September 19, 1864 – Part 11

The following pertaining to Sheridan's battle of Winchester has been discovered since writing the foregoing. It will be answered in detail. Says Col. Aldace F. Walker in his “History of the Vermont Brigade in the Shenandoah Valley, 1864,” pp. 91-100:

“Our movement commenced at 3 o'clock Monday morning, September 19th, Getty's Division having the advance, the Vermont Brigade being the last in the Division. Striking directly across the country, at first in the darkness, we presently reached the main road from Berryville to Winchester, and moved down it to the crossing of the Opequan. This stream is considerably below the level of the adjoining country, and the road on its further side keeps the low level of the stream for a mile or more, winding through a long, tortuous wooded ravine, our unobstructed passage whereof was for the time a mystery. It seems that Wilson's Division of cavalry had already cleared the way and was then holding desperately a position that it had gained with considerable loss, but which proved a most admirable one in which to deploy our line of battle.

“As we filed out of the ravine which toward the last was lined with wounded cavalrymen, we found Sheridan, his headquarters fixed on a conspicuous elevation, personally superintending from the commencement the operations of the day. It was to be our first battle under his command, as well as his first independent battle; the troops were hitherto destitute of all enthusiasm for him; fortunately, however, no impression save a favorable one had as yet been received, it being universally conceded that he had so far handled his army handsomely. And it was with great satisfaction that we found him in this early twilight at the very front, and under the fire of the enemy, carefully attending to details which we had been accustomed to see more celebrated commanders entrust to their staff.

“Our Division promptly relieved the cavalry and formed its line facing west, the Third Brigade which was in advance going to what was to be the extreme left of the infantry line, resting on Abraham Creek; the First Brigade following, took up its position on the right of the Third, and our own Brigade filled the remaining distance between the First and the road on which we had reached the battlefield. It had been intended to place us in two lines, but the unexpected extent of the ground we had to cover forbade that formation. We were just on the hither edge of a narrow fringe of wood that concealed us from the enemy; the Sixth Vermont was thrown forward as a skirmish line perhaps one hundred yards to the further side of the little forest, and at once engaged the enemy's skirmishers.”

About three regiments, I believe, of the First Brigade, Third Division, Sixth Corps, were to the left or south of the road, so the Vermont Brigade didn't reach to the pike.

“Near us in the road at our right was a rebel field work, taken by Wilson in the night. The hill on which it was situated commanded the country in both directions, and it was already occupied by a battery engaged in feeling the enemy, which was answered vigorously, many of the rebel shell plunging over into the troops as they successively came up the road.

“Our Division thus formed in a single line was the only Division on the south or left of the road. The Third Division, Ricketts’, followed us and prolonged the line across and on the north of the road, placing its two Brigades in two lines. The First Division, Russell's, came next, and was drawn up behind the Third as a third line or reserve, also somewhat overlapping the right of our Brigade.”

About three regiments or more of the Third Division, Sixth Corps, I believe, were south of the road, on the right of the Second Division. When General Russell's Division charged it was about two hundred yards to the right of the Tenth Vermont, or about seven hundred yards or more to the right of Col. Walker's brigade.

“Then to our surprise no more troops appeared, and our Corps was alone confronting the enemy. There were two or three anxious hours, but Early was engaged in hurrying up his detachment from Bunker Hill, which this delay gave him ample time to do, and made no assault. It was said that the Nineteenth Corps, being ordered to follow the Sixth, had filed into the road behind our wagon train, instead of keeping closed up on our column. It is certain that with this loss of time, from whatever reason it occurred, we lost the opportunity of attacking the enemy in detail, and gave him time to prepare for our reception. It was noon before the Nineteenth Corps had reached its place and was formed in three or four lines on the right of the Sixth.”

The Nineteenth Corps was formed in two lines on the right of the Sixth.

“Our men during the forenoon had been resting, sitting or lying on the ground. When at last the disposition was completed and the signal gun was fired, they sprang to the ranks, and the line advanced. Particular instructions had been received to the effect that the road was to give the direction of attack, and that the guiding regiment was to be the left regiment of the Third Division, just across the road from our right.”

The guiding regiments were the Tenth Vermont and Fourteenth New Jersey, on the right of the First Brigade, about the center of the Third Division.

“In passing through the bit of trees in our front, which was filled with underbrush, our line was necessarily thrown somewhat into confusion. When we emerged from the wood and the ground over which we must make our attack was developed, the prospect was appalling. The hill gradually sloped away before us, for a quarter of a mile, to a long ravine, irregular in its course, but its windings extending either way as far as we could see. The ascent beyond it was in most places sharp, and the enemy held its crest in force, perfectly commanding with musketry and artillery the long slope down which we must pass, though the acclivity on the further side of the hollow was so steep as to actually present a cover from their fire—if it could once be reached.

“When this fearful prospect opened the line involuntarily halted, and the men threw themselves on the ground as was their wont when under fire. Our own Brigade was properly waiting for the movement of the guiding regiment which lay across the road a little to our rear, and which could not be prevailed upon to stir. To add to the peril of the situation, the road, instead of continuing straight on, as seems to have been expected, here made a bend to the left so that our original orders could not be obeyed without an amount of obliquing that would have resulted in demoralization; from this cause our own Brigade was soon afterwards thrown into temporary confusion, and the Third Division was presently so disorganized as to be unable to resist a counter-charge made against it by the enemy.”

The whole line in front of the enemy's infantry in the ravine in front of the Third Division halted after through the narrow belt of timber behind which we had formed, as the trees, brush and terrible shelling had broken the lines and the advanced men where I was laid down to avoid the storm of shells which filled the air till the men got together, which they soon largely did. It was here found the Second Brigade on my right had excusably gone to pieces, the ground in its front being untenable, which caused some delay; but soon we advanced alone without that Brigade, as did the Nineteenth Corps. This was why the Tenth Vermont or guiding regiment, at this time where I was, didn't move forward sooner. The bend to the left in the road is largely a myth. The line of battle wasn't formed at right angles with it which, as the line advanced led to some confusion, as our colors had to be kept on the pike. There was no counter charge in front of where I was in the Tenth Vermont or disorganization, except in the Second Brigade, but what was soon remedied. The enemy could do more effective work by remaining in cover with little loss, which it did.

“At length the commander of the Brigade at our right crossed to our side of the road and urged us to set his men the example. Col. Warner took the responsibility, brought the Brigade to its feet, corrected the alignment, and gave the command to advance, which was promptly obeyed. The Third Division followed and the line was again in motion. But our point of direction was lost, for we were in advance of our guides, and when it was seen that owing to a curve in the ravine before us the cover on its further side could be reached much sooner by obliquing sharply to the left, we took that direction almost by common consent, and left the road-side.”

Why shouldn't Col. Warner with virtually no enemy in his immediate front be able to set an example of advancing his line when the Third Division was up against the real thing, it being confronted with overwhelming numbers of the enemy's infantry in the ravine and artillery back of it in our immediate front pretty much all that confronted the army in that midday assault? The situation in front of our lines is fully explained in this work elsewhere, and an alleged “bend” in the road or a “curve” in the ravine will not suffice to excuse the troops on our immediate left for not at once helping to flank the enemy's infantry from in front of us in the ravine, at once when on high ground across the ravine instead of running off on the field on a comparatively useless easy task and then have to come back. Where was there any infantry of any amount except in the ravine in front of the Third Division? Why not give the Third Division its due? The killed and wounded tell the story. Didn't our Division have about as many killed and wounded as both the First and Second Divisions together, although smaller than either? No fair-minded soldier or person can study the illustrations even, in this work, and fail to see the facts.

“Our whole Brigade, every man at the top of his speed, making for the coveted protection of the hill beyond us, plunged pell mell into the hollow. The troops at our right and left were lost sight of. The ravine was of some considerable width and its bottom was marshy, being the head waters of a little branch of Abraham Creek. The steep slope on its further side was covered with evergreens six or eight feet high. To our intense consternation, as we reached its swampy bottom, we saw at our right, at short pistol range, at least a full regiment of the enemy drawn up in line near the point where the road crosses the hollow, in anticipation of our taking precisely the course we did, and firing coolly, as rapidly as they could load, directly along our line, thus enfilading us completely. Its position is indicated on the plan. The slaughter was for a few moments murderous. We could not retreat, for we should again enter the fire that had been mowing us down in the charge, now cut off by the hill before us. We therefore floundered on, our coherence entirely lost, entered the clusters of evergreens through which the cruel bullets whistled fearfully, and at last, a confused mass at best, those of us who escaped unhurt reached comparative safety under the very crest of the hill, and high above the deadly hollow.”

The probabilities are that old soldier-like seeing or suspecting the true situation, the men intuitively or purposely obliqued away to an easier place of attack; at any rate they did it. Yes, the rebel regiment which was seen in the ravine was in front of the left of our brigade, but crossed to the north side of the pike to my front early in the fight leaving no rebel force in the ravine south of the pike in front of the Second Division on the left of ours.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 180-6

Diary of Private Charles Wright Wills: August 11, 1861

Cairo.  Our Canton boys came down on time, and right glad I am to have them here. Colonel Ross's 17th Regiment got here the same day by the river. The boys were sworn into our company the day after they arrived, and the day following a lieutenant in the Fulton Blues came over to get them to join his company. I am glad he was too late. We have all been over to the Point to visit the Canton boys of the 17th, and found them looking very well. Will Trites, alone, looks unwell. A few weeks at home is what he really needs, for he will not give up work and go on the sick list as he ought to, as long as he can stand. Billy Stockdale, Chancey Black, George Shine, Billy Resor and Jesse Beeson are in No. 1 condition. Their tents are pitched in old Bird's cornfield from which the corn has just been cut and you can imagine that the stubble is not equal to feathers to lie upon. They call us boys that live in barracks in Cairo, Sunday soldiers and Fourth of July braves; the same names we applied to them when they were in Camp Mather. The Canton boys in our company get along finely. They are in the best of spirits and already appear quite soldierly. They are well satisfied with the company which now numbers 90 men and will be full this week. We all room together except John Wallace and Milo Farewell. We are now drilling about six hours a day, but the greenhorns act as though they think it fun. We don't suffer from the heat as much as one would think, and can you believe it the health of the camp is better now than ever before. We have not in our company a man on the sick list. Major Smith (our old friend Marion), says that the 17th have been healthier at Bird's Point than they ever were before; and so every regiment says that comes here. If there are any very old people in Canton that want to live 50 or 60 years longer, advise them to come to Cairo. Mosquitoes and fleas are around these times. The whole family are here.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 24

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: April 11, 1863

Left town soon after breakfast. Two negro slaves were snatched from the horses — oh how shameful! Am glad I did not witness the scene. Afterwards several such incidents transpired. How shocking. Major Burnett delivered up one on the word of two Ky. officers. Met the Third Batt. at Mount Sterling. Very pretty country all the way. Letters from Fannie, Will and Fred. Wrote to F. Chaplain at supper. Drake most sick.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 65

123rd Indiana Infantry

Organized at Greensburg, Terre Haute and Indianapolis, Ind., December 25, 1863, to March 7, 1864. Left State for Nashville, Tenn., March 18, 1864. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of the Ohio, to June, 1864. 4th Brigade, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps, to August, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 23rd Army Corps, to December, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of the Ohio, to February, 1865, and Dept. of North Carolina to August, 1865.

SERVICE. – March to Charleston, Tenn., April 7-24, 1864. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1 to September 8. Demonstrations on Dalton, Ga., May 8-13. Rocky Faced Ridge May 8-11. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Movements on Dallas May 18-25. Operations on Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Muddy Creek June 17. Noyes Creek June 19. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Ruff's Mills July 3-4. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Utoy Creek August 5-7. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. Operations against Hood in North Georgia and North Alabama September 29-November 3. Nashville Campaign November-December. In front of Columbia November 24-27. Battle of Franklin November 30. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. At Clifton, Tenn., till January 15, 1865. Movement to Washington, D.C.; thence to Morehead City, N. C., January 15-February 24. Campaign of the Carolinas March 1-April 26. Advance on Kinston and Goldsboro March 1-21. Battle of Wise's Forks March 6-8. Kinston March 14. Occupation of Goldsboro March 21. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. Duty at Charlotte and Raleigh, N. C., till August. Mustered out August 25, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 47 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 131 Enlisted men by disease. Total 183.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 3, p. 1155

Monday, April 24, 2017

Diary of Gideon Welles: Sunday, May 31, 1863

Captain Simpson, who has been selected by Admiral Foote as his Fleet Captain and special confidant, arrived to-day from Newport. Both he and F. were waiting for me, and met me at the church door as I came from morning service, and accompanied me to my house. We had some general talk in regard to propositions and duties. Foote desires to leave this evening for the North and Simpson goes with him.

Admiral Lardner called this afternoon. Came on from Philadelphia for instructions and final orders. He will sail on Tuesday in the Ticonderoga to take command of the West India Squadron. I am to encounter the resentment of Wilkes and Du Pont at the same time. They are not friends, but may suppress mutual dislike in a mutual assault on me. Wilkes does not disappoint me, but Du Pont does. The former is the least dangerous, though the most rash and violent.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 318

Diary of John Hay: February 29, 1864

This morning, as we neared Fernandina, I persuaded the General to go on to Jacksonville and send boat back here for us. We landed. . . .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 170; Michael Burlingame, Editor, Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 172.

Dr. Joseph T. Webb to Marietta Cook Webb, August 30, 1862

[Camp On Munson's Hill, Near Washington, August 30, 1862.]

We are in hearing of a battle that is progressing some ten or fifteen miles distant. The cannonading has been kept up pretty steady all day long; at times it is quite brisk; what would you think of it were you here? This country presents the same appearance as western Virginia, save only on a grander scale. There is not a fence between here and Alexandria, although it is almost a continuous village; splendid residences line this road that have had fine parks of trees around, all of which have been cut down to clear the way for the artillery; every mile almost, you come upon a line of forts. This point was for some time held by the Rebels, and between the armies this section is pretty badly used up. Many of the finest residences are deserted, some have been burnt. It is a sorry sight to witness it.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 334

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: March 18, 1864

There are about fifteen acres of ground enclosed in the stockade and we have the freedom of the whole ground. Plenty of room, but they are filling it up. Six hundred new men coming each day from Richmond. Guards are perched upon top of the stockade; are very strict, and today one man was shot for approaching too near the wall. A little warm to-day Found W. B Rowe, from Jackson, Mich.; he is well and talks encouraging. We have no shelter of any kind whatever. Eighteen or twenty die per day. Cold and damp nights. The dews wet things through completely, and by morning all nearly chilled Wood getting scarce. On the outside it is a regular wilderness of pines. Railroad a mile off and can just see the cars as they go by, which is the only sign of civilization in sight. Rebels all the while at work making the prison stronger. Very poor meal, and not so much today as formerly. My young friend Billy Havens was sent to the hospital about the time we left Richmond. Shall be glad to hear of his recovery. Prevailing conversation is food and exchange.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 42-3

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: April 7, 1863

Nothing definite has transpired at Charleston, or if so, we have not received information of it yet.

From the West, we have accounts, from Northern papers, of the failure of the Yankee Yazoo expedition. That must have its effect.

Judge Campbell, Assistant Secretary of War, has decided in one instance (page 125, E. B. Conscript Bureau), that a paroled political prisoner, returning to the South, is not subject to conscription. This is in violation of an act of Congress, and general orders. It appears that grave judges are not all inflexibly just, and immaculately legal in their decisions. Col. Lay ordered the commandant of conscripts (Col. Shields) to give the man a protection, without any reason therefor.

It is now said large depots of provisions are being formed on the Rappahannock. This does not look like an indication of a retrograde movement on the part of Gen. Lee. Perhaps he will advance.

This afternoon dispatches were received from Charleston. Notwithstanding all the rumors relative to the hostile fleet being elsewhere, it is now certain that all the monitors, iron-clads, and transports have succeeded in passing the bar, and at the last accounts were in readiness to begin the attack. And Beauregard was prepared to receive it. To-morrow we shall have exciting intelligence. If we are to believe what we hear from South Carolinians, recently from Charleston (I do believe it), Charleston will not be taken. If the ground be taken, it will not be Charleston. If the forts fall, and our two rams be taken or destroyed, the defenders will still resist. Rifle-pits have been dug in the streets; and if driven from these, there are batteries beyond to sweep the streets, thus involving the enemy and the city in one common ruin.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 287-8

Diary of 1st Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Monday, September 19, 1864 – Part 10

So far as this first assault is concerned it can be summed up quite briefly. The only considerable amount of the enemy's infantry in the immediate front of the Union infantry line of battle was in the ravine in front of our division, and it was about two hundred and fifty yards away from where we formed line behind the woods; it was a very strong force. If the troops to our right and left instead of instinctively obliquing away from us veteran like to an easier place in their right and left fronts respectively, had guided on our division as it is claimed they were directed to do, they would have had an enfilading fire on the enemy on our front, the same as General Russell's division would have had when it filled the gap to my right which the enemy knew would make their position untenable and so instantaneously retreated in a rout when it saw him coming dangerously near, his right flank overlapping their left. When Russell's movement was executed the Nineteenth Corps' lines of battle hadn't even broken. There was no considerable number of the enemy before it within striking distance so far as I could see, and therefore nothing to break its lines so far as the enemy was concerned until it reached the breaks in its front.

The Vermont Brigade could have easily advanced at any time of the assault or any other part of the Second Division, as there was nothing to speak of — as virtually acknowledged by Colonel Aldace F. Walker of that brigade in his “History of the Vermont Brigade in the Shenandoah Valley, 1864”— in its immediate front except about a regiment of the enemy which crossed the pike from his right and the left of our Brigade to my front.* (See No. 7 illustration). Had the Vermont Brigade borne to its right instead of its left it would have done much more effective service, as it would have been on high ground overlooking the enemy in my front when out of the ravine. In this instance the credit given this excellent brigade in at least one Civil War history is erroneous, without the Third Division was expected to whip at once and alone a considerable part of the infantry and artillery of Early's army in its immediate front, no small part of which was in our regimental front and its immediate right. In proof that there was no considerable rebel force in front of the Second Division to the left of the pike until Early's second stand, the reader is invited to examine the official War Department map of this battle and note the fact; but aside from this I know there was none. What, therefore, was to prevent the Second Division or Vermont Brigade from advancing? Unlike our front, where the strip of timber was narrow, with the enemy strongly posted just beyond, the scrub or second growth oak, etc., in front of a part of the Second Division next to us, extended from the top of the ridge or divide which ran several hundred yards southerly, down to the bottom of the ravine a hundred yards more or less, which covered here the Second Division's advance and the cleared ground beyond, after emerging from the wooded side hill and ravine towards Winchester, contained no force of the enemy, as there was no immediate protection for it, sufficient to prevent its or even the Vermont Brigade's advancing, or the enemy would have done so. (See Nos. 3, 7 and 8 illustrations.) I mention this here because I know the facts in the premises, and because this Division is complimented —unfortunately, but probably unwittingly so — in one or more histories for advancing, in unpleasant contrast to our Division, which was up against the real thing, and its advancing depended largely on the help or enfilading fire along our front, we had a right to expect from the troops which should have guided on us from both flanks, but which we never got, as they pulled away from us. It was useless to try to take such a place as confronted the right of our regiment and Division by assaulting from its immediate front (see Nos. 5 and 6 illustrations), as the enemy had to be flanked out of its position, which is what Russell's men would have done on the rebel left in case the enemy hadn't seen them in season to get away and thereby saved many casualties on both sides, and probably largely there the enemy's capture.

There were none of the Second Brigade of our Division on my right after advancing through the woods, nor had there been up to the time General Russell's command filled the gap occasioned by the Second Brigade's absence, together with the space caused by the Nineteenth Corps obliquing to its right. It being level, shell and bullet swept, it was untenable until a force came large enough to drive the enemy's infantry from cover, as Russell did. (See No. 5 illustration). I was the only officer except Adjutant Wyllys Lyman, who is deceased, so far ahead at that time on my part of the battlefield, and I can make affidavit to this statement. We and a goodly number of scattering men who generally led in most assaults were within a rod of the enemy's strongest manned works, which no map in existence shows that I have seen, where I was twice almost instantaneously wounded when the enemy ran as it saw General Russell's Division coming, as though their lives depended upon it, and I know whereof I am writing.

General Sheridan made no mistake when he selected the First Brigade for the centre and most important point of his line of battle, nor was it a mistake to place our regiment and the Fourteenth New Jersey — with direction for the rest of the army to guide on our Division in the first assault, for the road was practically straight — squarely across the pike, with their colors on it, with such men as Corporals Alexander Scott, F. H. Hoadley, Tenth Vermont, and other of the color guard like them, to keep them there, for such men would go wherever told to, if into the very jaws of death. The leaving off from the official map of this battle of the enemy's infantry in the ravine in front of the Third Division (see Nos. 6 and 8 illustrations), is a great injustice to our regiment, which never wholly fell back, but the usual per cent. of men under such circumstances stubbornly pressed forward under the most trying circumstances at any rate where I was. The leaving off of the enemy's infantry in my front, where it was strongest, is misleading and is doubtless what has caused so many wrong descriptions of this fight. No one can give a correct description of it where I was except at that point during the fight. The enemy contested this point more stubbornly than any other during the day and it was here the most intrepid of our men assaulted; it was the doorway to the great battlefield, and if the enemy couldn't hold this point it couldn't hope to any other, and didn't. Although our division was smaller than either of the other divisions of our Corps, its loss was much heavier. General Grant had one hundred shotted guns fired on his lines in front of Petersburg in honor of this day's victory by Sheridan. A citizen of Winchester told me that one of the saddest things he saw during the day was a horse going through the streets of the city with two badly wounded and one dead Confederate soldiers on it — probably chums — the latter thrown over the horse's back with his head and arms hanging on one side and his feet on the other; but war is a cruel teacher and produces the most shocking sights imaginable. It is not pleasant to record and much less dwell on them.

No. 9 – Straight view of about a half mile of the pike looking westerly towards Winchester, Va., from the divide on Sheridan's battle-field, Sept. 10. 1864. Observe the cut through the divide for the road. 
_______________

* Haynes’ “History of the Tenth Vermont Infantry,” p. 253.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 175-80

Diary of Private Charles Wright Wills: August 2, 1861

Cairo.  Hot! You don't know what that word means. I feel that I have always been ignorant of its true meaning till this week, but am posted now, sure. The (supposed-to-be) “never failing cool, delicious breeze” that I have talked about so much, seems to be at “parade rest” now and — I can't do justice to the subject. The health of the camp is much better now than at any time before, since we have been here. There is not a sick man in our company. My health remains gorgeous. We drill now five hours a day, under a sun that cooks eggs in 13 minutes, but we think we feel the heat no more walking than lying around the quarters.

The seceshers this morning took the packet that has been plying between here and Columbus, and have run her off down to Memphis. I thought that Prentiss stopped her sometime since, but this at last closes all communication between the North and South at this point. Our “ossifers” we think are really scared about an attack here, but you could not make the soldiers believe in the like till they see the fight begin. About a thousand of our men were rushed off to Bird's Point to-day to work on intrenchments, and won't they sweat?

My chum heard Colonel Oglesby tell an officer two hours ago that there were 17,000 Rebels within 15 miles of the Point. The scouts reported this body at New Madrid, 40 mile's down the Mississippi, two days since. Yesterday 12 men from the Pekin company and 12 from our's with some artillerymen went 30 miles up the Mississippi to collect all the boats we could find on the Missouri shore. We found three large flats tied up to trees along the shore which we confiscated. One of them wasn't very good so we sunk it. The object was to prevent marauders from visiting Illinois. I had charge of the men from our company.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 23-4

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: April 10, 1863

Renewed our march soon after sunrise. Got some biscuit for lunch. Drake and I rode together some again. Got into Sharpsburg a little after noon. We of the commissary put our horses in a shed and slept in a hayloft. Issued one day's rations. Such a green Com., never saw. Ate supper at a sound Union family's Hart's. Sarah very pretty little girl. Saw quite a scene at the hotel about a slave. Four or five girls crying.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 65

Sunday, April 23, 2017

121st Indiana Infantry


SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 3, p. 1155

122nd Indiana Infantry

Failed to complete organization. Enlisted men merged into 120th Regiment Indiana Infantry.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 3, p. 1155

9th Indiana Cavalry

Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., December 7, 1863, to March 29. 1864. Left State for Pulaski, Tenn., May 3, 1864. Attached to District of North Alabama, Dept. of the Cumberland, to November, 1864. 1st Brigade, 7th Division, Wilson's Cavalry Corps, Military Division Mississippi, to March, 1865. Dept. of Mississippi to August, 1865.

SERVICE. – Post duty at Pulaski, Tenn., till November 23, 1864. Actions at Florence, Ala., September 1 and 12. Elk River September 2. Lynnville September 4. Sulphur Branch Trestle September 25. Richland Creek, near Pulaski, September 26. Pulaski September 26-27. Nashville Campaign November-December. Owen's Cross Roads December 1. Franklin December 10. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. West Harpeth River and Hollow Tree Gap December 17. Franklin December 17. Lynnville December 23. Anthony's Hill, Pulaski, December 25. Sugar Creek December 25-26. At Gravelly Springs January 16 to February 6. 1865. Moved to Vicksburg, Miss.; thence to New Orleans, La., February 6-March 10, Return to Vicksburg, Miss., and duty there March 25 to May 3. Expedition from Rodney to Port Gibson May 3-6. Garrison duty at various points in Mississippi May 3 to August 22. Mustered out August 28, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 28 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 204 Enlisted men by disease. Total 236.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 3, p. 1109

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Diary of 1st Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Monday, September 19, 1864 – Part 9

As I entered the long broad avenue running between the great tents at the field hospital later in the day where there were hundreds of wounded, dead and dying, Dillingham, Hill and others of my regiment, among the number, Dr. J. C. Rutherford, one of my regimental surgeons, seeing me with a man on either side — for here in sight of others I wouldn't let them support me — close to and keenly watching my unsteady carriage, came running, hastily examined my wounds, bade me sit on the ground, ran for his instrument case, placed my head upturned between his knees, sewed in place a triangular piece of flesh extending from the right corner of my nose down hanging at the lower right corner by a slight shred of flesh, which I had held in place from the battlefield with my fingers, and that job for the time being was done; but oh! my aching head, jaws and chest, as well as the extreme feeling of lassitude for the balance of the day. My face was like a puff ball, so quickly had it swollen, my chest at the point of the wishbone — so to speak — was mangled black and blue and resembled a pounded piece of steak ready to be cooked, and I was so nauseated, lame and sore all over, I dreaded to move. I guess the rebs came pretty near winging me — but Glory! Early was licked. To add to my feeling of depression, I was told Major Dillingham was mortally wounded and that he would soon pass away. He had been a good friend, a brave man, faultlessly courageous, was an elegant gentleman and good fellow, and was much beloved. A solid shot severed a leg going through the woods; his cry of anguish was distressing, and I shrink from thinking of it whenever it comes into my mind.

I fell just in front of the enemy's hastily thrown up breastworks of fence rails in the vanguard after advancing under a murderous fire about a hundred yards or more, in the open field after passing through the woods. I saw no other line officer with his men anywhere in my vicinity so far in front, and there was no other officer there in the open field except Adjutant Wyllys Lyman who was lauded for it, but I, being a boy, got nothing but my two wounds as compliments for my steadfastness, and they will stay with me through life. I wonder if when across the Great River and in another world I will be remembered any better for my faithfulness when so many others failed at such an important moment?*

I found the men of Company E good fighters, Corporal Walker and another big man of my Company whose name I can't recall, being so short a time with the Company — but believe it was one of the Brownells, also of Pownal, Vt. — who helped me occasionally going to the ambulance as I felt faint and weak, were brave fellows. They followed me closely all through the assault as though they expected me to be hit, fighting like heroes as they were at the same time, and when I fell wounded they dropped close by me, Corporal Walker, a giant, coolly saying: “Don't get up Lieutenant, they’ll riddle you if you do!” but I thought they already had. However, the nervous shock of both wounds was too great to think of rising at once, and almost immediately the rebs were running for dear life all branches of the service mixed together in confusion — a perfect jumble. We had licked them in a square stand up open field fight of their own choice — and a very poor one, too, for them in case of defeat, as it proved — and it was clean cut, the worst stampede and rout I every saw.

Sheridan was as brave as a lion, and unlike some commanders who hunt cover when their commands are fighting, went seemingly fearlessly anywhere he wanted to in order to see what was going on and what if any part of the line needed reinforcing. As before stated, my position on the battlefield was sufficiently high to see nearly all of it. It being a beautiful sunny Fall day with a clear atmosphere, it was the most spectacular, and before the Infantry broke, the most beautiful battlefield sight seen, and better yet, the most snappy, brilliant fighting witnessed during the war. Sheridan hovered near the centre in the neighborhood of the high ground where I was twice wounded, and dashed back and forth the line on horseback like a restless lion, an ideally alert fighter, almost as unmindful of shot and shell as though both deaf and blind. It was here that I formed my opinion that he was not only the ideal fighter, but the second, if not the greatest military genius developed by the Civil War, and I have never changed my opinion. Honest, alert, aggressive, dashing and brave with splendid judgment, his equal will be hard to find, and probably rarely surpassed. He was generally conceded a brilliant cavalry fighter, but if the world has ever produced a better planned, executed, dashing, brilliant spectacular, snappy battle or commander than he and this Battle of Winchester, where the different branches of the service were combined, take it from first to last during the day, it would be interesting to know on what occasion. It was so unlike any battle ever seen by me that all others sink into insignificance as dull affairs. Language or words even with the most gifted talkers or writers can never describe this battle; no pen picture, or ever so gifted talker can do it justice; it would have to be seen by an expert to be fully appreciated. Ever afterwards the Sixth Corps of all others was Sheridan's favorite. Said he later: “Give me the Sixth Corps and I will charge anywhere.”

Among the most admirable pictures of the fight — barring the orderly, majestic advance to battle of the whole army in unbroken lines — except after a little our division being unmercifully shelled from the start on the pike it could not withstand it, nor could any other have done so — as a whole after through the wood resembling an immense gracefully waving blue ribbon along the surface of the ground, caused by that enchantingly swinging, billowy motion characteristic of regulars when marching in large bodies, its fluttering banners, glittering arms, equipments and its blue uniforms looking prettier than ever in the bright September sunlight under a bright blue sky specked with fleecy white clouds making a picture beautiful with perfect harmony of color,—was the beauty, grandeur and majesty of both Russell and Custer's splendid debouch on the battlefield with their valiant, intrepid commands, the former's proudly and majestically en masse in perfect order and cadence, line and bearing, coolly confident as though at parade, and the latter's also in perfect lines and order, as well as dashing, intrepid, spirited and assured bearing even the horses as though vieing with each other in speed to run down the unfortunate enemy, entering into the spirit of the occasion and sweeping rapidly like an avalanche down on the demoralized, fleeing and awe-stricken enemy with the fury and apparently almost certain destruction of a tornado. These were pictures comprising awe, beauty, power, grandeur, order and disorder, dash, magnificence, valor, terror, confusion, inspiration and majesty to such an extent as to defy the pen picture of any writer however gifted. This battle was different from any other I ever saw. It was Sheridan's way of doing things—a revelation in warfare.
_______________

* Major Lyman was afterwards honored with a brevet as Major, but I was only mentioned in routine official papers as wounded. Why he, being Adjutant, and therefore representing the regimental commander, and the only officer who saw me, didn't see to it that my services were duly recognized as well as his, I have never been able to understand. It always stirs my spirit when I think of it, for if anyone deserved recognition for that day's work it was the leaders in such an assault, for on such largely depended its success; and certainly if Lyman deserved recognition who had no command, then why shouldn't one who did, whose men largely followed him, as well as some of the men of five other companies which I had successfully led in other fights? It is hard to be reconciled to such unfair discriminations. But brevets in many regiments were quite as apt to be given for scheming and favoritism as for merit, and some of the most meritorious line officers who fought gallantly on the front line of battle through almost the entire war, received no such recognition from their regimental commanders, although such line officers' exhibitions of dash and daring, especially in the Tenth Vermont, which was one thing that gave the regiment an enviable reputation both in the field and at home, were very frequent. The company commanders of this regiment did not follow their men into battle, at any rate to commence with, but led them continually when fleet enough to do so, and I always did. Being almost invariably selected when a lieutenant to command a company without an officer, I was with one exception alone with no company commander to observe and report my work, and my different regimental commanders didn't take sufficient interest to do so, even if where they could observe it; but the fact that I was almost invariably selected to command different companies in battle when needed and that I overslaughed several lieutenants when promoted Captain, should have been reason enough for at least one brevet during the war, if nothing more, which since, in the regular army, would have saved me from frequent undeserved embarrassment. A long experience, however, both in the Civil War and the regular army since in the observance of the bestowal of brevets and medals of honor has caused me to regard with very little respect in many instances the recipient's methods in obtaining such favors, and especially the system of bestowal of the same, which is a sacred trust. And certainly if in most cases such consideration was warranted, then many of my acquaintances who were not recognized even once, especially in the Civil War, could have been repeatedly decorated with the far greater propriety. But with me such distinctions were not worth having except earned in the estimation of others competent to judge, and came unsolicited. Such, however, is rarely the case, even when repeatedly deservedly won, and the only reward for such is to tell the truth about it historically whenever the opportunity offers, regardless of criticism.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 168-75

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: April 4, 1863

Went up for the bread and beef. Visited the barber shop. Sleeked up. Examined our new arms. Like them well. We ought to be able to accomplish something with them. At school in the evening. A. B. has telegraphed for Melissa. Hope she can come tonight. He goes to town. Beat and was beaten one game of chess.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 64

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: April 5, 1863

Orders for our Battalion to move today to Cincinnati. Received orders to go along a little while before starting. Went up with the Battalion. Drew my pay. Went and called on Sister Melissa in P. M. and evening. Sent $125 home. Wrote to Fannie and home. Left on the cars at eight. Rather tiresome ride. All glad to go into the field but sad at leaving again.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 64

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: Monday, April 6, 1863

Got into Cincinnati at 8 A. M. Stopped a mile from the depot. Watered and fed horses. Then marched down town to the market. Dismounted and were given a very good dinner and breakfast. Election in the city. Crossed the river and passed through Covington to the barracks. Dod and I stayed at the stables in an old building.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 64

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: April 7, 1863

After doing stable duty, went up to Co. H and got some ham, bread and coffee. Read the morning paper and wrote to Delos. A little after noon received orders to march. Fed, packed up and marched down to the boat. Saw Al Bushnell. Other battalion along. Took supper with Capt. Stewart on the boat. Had a berth with A. B. Good sleep.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 64

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: April 8, 1863

Ohio River.  Had a very pleasant morning ride up the smooth, glassy water in the sunshine. Reached Maysville at nine. The people received us with open arms. All seemed very hospitable. Waved handkerchiefs and flags and invited the boys to breakfast. Never were treated so well before. Took dinner at hotel with Thede and Burt. Horse at stable. Marched at two. Rode with Drake. Had a very pleasant visit with him. Beautiful rolling country, grass green. Encamped at Lewiston, 7 miles from Maysville. Slept out with Drake. Cooked ham and made tea for supper. Many boys and officers drunk.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 64

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: April 9, 1863

A little after sunrise, went to breakfast at a private house. So many slaves about here, more than white folks by far. Started on at 8 P. M. After nine miles passed through Flemingsburg. Men, women and children were out with flags and handkerchiefs. It did our hearts good. Passed through Tilton. Drake and I stopped at a house and got dinner. Went on to Sherburne and camped. Chamberlain got thrown and hurt badly. Got wagon for the boys.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 64

119th Indiana Infantry


SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 3, p. 1155

7th Indiana Cavalry

Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., and mustered in October 1, 1863. Left State for Union City, Tenn., December 6, 1863. Attached to District of Columbus, Ky. 6th Division, 16th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, December, 1863. Waring's Cavalry Brigade, 16th Army corps, to January, 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, 16th Army Corps, to June, 1864. 1st Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division, District of West Tennessee, to November, 1864. 2nd Brigade, Wilson's Cavalry Corps, Military Division Mississippi, to December, 1864. 1st Brigade, Cavalry Division, District of West Tennessee, to June, 1865. Dept. of Texas to February, 1866.

SERVICE. – Expedition to Paris, Tenn., December 14-23, 1863. Action at Huntington, Tenn., December 27. Expedition from Union City to Trenton January 22-24, 1864. Bolivar February 6 (Detachment). Smith's Expedition to Okolona, Miss., February 11-26. West Point February 20-21. Okolona February 21-22. Ivey's Hill February 22. Hudsonville February 25. Regiment complimented by Generals Smith and Grierson for soldierly bearing and conduct during the Expedition. Near Raleigh, Tenn., April 3. Wolf River April 8. Near Raleigh April 9 (Detachment). Cypress Swamp April 10. Sturgis' Expedition to Ripley, Miss., April 30-May 9. Sturgis' Expedition to Guntown, Miss., June 1-13. Ripley June 7. Brice's Cross Roads (or Tishamingo Creek), near Guntown, June 10. Ripley June 11. White's Station June 20 and 26. Byhalia Road, near Colliersville, July 2. Action at Port Gibson, Miss., July 17. Grand Gulf July 19. Expedition to Oxford, Miss., August 1-30. Tallahatchie River August 7-9. Hurricane Creek August 9-13-14 and 19. Oxford August 9 and 11. Lamar August 14. Colliersville August 28. White Station October 4. Near Memphis October 4 (1 Company). Memphis, Tenn., October 20 and 24. Nonconah Creek October 29 (Co. "F"). March through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Price September-November. Action at Little Blue, Mo., October 21. Independence October 22. Big Blue and State Line October 22. Westport October 23. Mine Creek, Marias des Cygnes, October 25. At the Marmiton, or Battle of Chariot, October 25. Grierson's Expedition from Memphis to destroy Mobile & Ohio R. R. December 21, 1864, to January 15, 1865. Capture of Verona December 25, 1864. Egypt Station December 28. Lexington January 2, 1865. Duty at Memphis and along Memphis & Charleston R. R. till June, 1865. Expedition from Memphis to Marion, Ark., January 19-22 (Detachment). Expedition from Memphis into Northern Mississippi March 3-11, 1865. Moved to Alexandria, La., June 6-16. Consolidated to 6 Companies July 21. March to Hempstead, Texas, August 5-26. Duty there and at Austin, Texas, till February, 1866. Mustered out at Austin, Texas, February 18, 1866.

Regiment lost during service 1 Officer and 47 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 Officers and 243 Enlisted men by disease. Total 294.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 3, p. 1108

120th Indiana Infantry

Organized at Columbus, Ind., December, 1863, to March, 1864. Left State for Louisville, Ky., March 20, 1864; thence moved to Nashville, Tenn. Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of the Ohio, to June, 1864. 4th Brigade, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps, to August, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps, to December, 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of the Ohio, to February, 1865, and Dept. of North Carolina to August, 1865. Dept. of North Carolina to February, 1866.

SERVICE. – March to Charleston, Tenn., April 7-24, 1864. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1 to September 8, 1864. Demonstrations on Dalton May 8-13. Rocky Faced Ridge May 8-11. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Movements on Dallas May 18-25. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Cassville May 27. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Muddy Creek June 17. Noyes Creek June 19. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Utoy Creek August 5-7. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Hood September 29-November 3. Nashville Campaign November-December. In front of Columbia November 24-27. Battle of Franklin November 30. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. At Clifton, Tenn., till January 15, 1865. Movement to Washington, D.C., thence to Morehead City, N. C, January 15-February 24. Campaign of the Carolinas March 1-April 26. Advance on Kinston and Goldsboro March 1-21. Battle of Wise's Forks March 8-10. Kinston March 11. Occupation of Goldsboro March 21. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. Duty at Raleigh till May 10. At Charlotte and Greensboro, N. C., till August 21, and at Raleigh till January, 1866. Mustered out January 8, 1866.

Regiment lost during service 1 Officer and 26 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 140 Enlisted men by disease. Total 168.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 3, p. 1155

Friday, April 21, 2017

Annie Davis to Abraham Lincoln, August 25, 1864

Belair Aug 25th 1864
Mr president 

It is my Desire to be free. to go to see my people on the eastern shore.  my mistress wont let me    you will please let me know if we are free. and what i can do.  I write to you for advice.  please send me word this week. or as soon as possible and oblidge.

Annie Davis
Belair [Harford]
County, MD.

SOURCE: National Archives and Records Administration. Record Group 94: Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1762-1984. Series: Letters Received, 1863-1888, National Archives Identifier 4662543.

115th Indiana Infantry

Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., and mustered in for 6 months' service August 13, 1863. Moved to Nicholasville, Ky., September 16. Attached to Mahan's 1st Brigade, Willcox's Left Wing Forces, Dept. of the Ohio, to February, 1864.

SERVICE. – March from Nicholasville, Ky., to Cumberland Gap September 24-October 3, 1863, and to Morristown October 6-8. Action at Blue Springs October 10. Duty at Greenville till November 6. Moved to Bull's Gap November 6, and duty there till December. March across Clinch Mountain to Clinch River. Action at Walker's Ford December 2. Guard and patrol duty in East Tennessee till February. 1864. Mustered out February 25, 1864.

Regiment lost during service 1 Enlisted man killed and 69 Enlisted men by disease. Total 70.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1154

116th Indiana Infantry

Organized at Lafayette, Ind., and mustered in for 6 months' service August 17, 1863. Moved to Dearborn, Mich., August 31, and guard arsenal till September 16. Moved to Nicholasville, Ky., September 16. Attached to Mahan's 1st Brigade, Willcox's Left Wing Forces, Dept. of the Ohio, to October, 1863. 2nd Brigade, Willcox's Division, Left Wing Forces, Dept. of the Ohio, to January, 1864. District of the Clinch, Dept. of the Ohio, to February, 1864.

SERVICE. – March from Nicholasville, Ky., to Cumberland Gap September 24-October 3, 1863, and to Morristown October 6-8. Action at Blue Springs October 10. March to Greenville and duty there till November 6; thence march to Bull's Gap and across Clinch Mountain to Clinch River November-December. Action at Walker's Ford, Clinch River, December 2. Duty at Tazewell, Maynardsville and in East Tennessee till February, 1864. Action at Tazewell January 24. Mustered out February 29 to March 2, 1864.

Regiment lost during service 1 Enlisted man killed and 64 Enlisted men by disease. Total 65.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1154

117th Indiana Infantry

Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., and mustered in for 6 months' service September 17, 1863. Left State for Nicholasville, Ky., September 17. Attached to Mahan's 1st Brigade. Willcox's Left Wing Forces, Dept. of the Ohio, to December, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps, to January, 1864. District of the Clinch, Dept. of the Ohio, to February, 1864.

SERVICE. – March from Nicholasville, Ky., to Cumberland Gap September 24-October 3, 1863; thence to Morristown October 6-8. Action at Blue Springs October 10. March to Greenville and duty there till November 6. Moved to Bean's Station November 6. Action at Clinch Mountain Gap November 14. Duty at Tazewell, Maynardsville and Cumberland Gap till February, 1864. Action at Tazewell January 24, 1864. Mustered out February 23-27, 1864.

Regiment lost during service 95 Enlisted men by disease. Total 95.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1154

118th Indiana Infantry

Organized at Wabash, Ind., July and August, 1863, for 6 months' service. Left State for Nicholasville, Ky., September 16. Attached to Mahan's 1st Brigade, Willcox's Left Wing Forces, Dept. of the Ohio, to October, 1863. 2nd Brigade, Willcox's Left Wing Forces, Dept. of the Ohio, to January, 1864. District of the Clinch, Dept. of the Ohio, to March, 1864.

SERVICE. – March from Nicholasville, Ky., to Cumberland Gap September 24-October 3, and to Morristown October 6-8. Action at Blue Springs October 10. March to Greenville and duty there till November 6. March across Clinch Mountain to Clinch River. Action at Walker's Ford, Clinch River, December 2. Duty at Tazewell, Maynardsville and Cumberland Gap till February, 1864. Action at Tazewell January 24. Mustered out March 1-4, 1864.

Regiment lost during service 3 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 86 Enlisted men by disease. Total 90.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1154-5

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Diary of 1st Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Monday, September 19, 1864 – Part 8

The Tenth Vermont, Fourteenth New Jersey and the rest of our brigade as usual, not only proudly led the Division at first by a good deal in the advance through the woods but in this instance the whole army. It was therefore not only the most aggressive and conspicuous part of — being on high ground where I could see our line of battle each way — but the most important point in the line; was first seen when through the wood and the most dreaded by the enemy being on the pike, and in consequence its artillery fire within reach was concentrated on us, and it was a hot place. But soon, after recovering from the collapse of the Second Brigade on my right which wholly disappeared and nothing more was seen of it by me, with the valor of the old-time “Green Mountain Boys” on we went undaunted until, after we had advanced about seventy-five yards beyond the woods now extinct behind which we had formed in the open field where I was, being then on a high point where I could see the whole battlefield, I glanced to my right and left and was appalled to see that the troops on both flanks of my Brigade were obliquing rapidly away from us, the whole Nineteenth Corps in perfect lines of battle by an oblique movement to the right having pulled away from the right of our Division until there was a gap big enough including that made by the Second Brigade, to more than admit a Brigade line of battle although it is said that Corps had been directed to guide on our Division and that a similar state of affairs existed on our left flank where the Vermont brigade was.* (See No. 3 through opening in woods showing No. 7; also see No. 5 where I was in the foreground). With a feeling of dismay I slackened my pace and nearly halted for I saw that through the gap in the very center and most vital point in our line on my right towards the Nineteenth Corps opposite which point was a strong force of the enemy's infantry awaiting us behind its works on the near edge of a little valley which protected it from our fire until right on it, it would throw its force so situated opposite the gap on our right and left flanks caused by the gap and have us completely at its mercy; but glancing almost immediately again to my right and rear, hearing loud military commands there, my spirits rose as I saw the gallant Russell leading his splendid Division en masse through the opening in the timber in his front, magnificently forward as though at drill to fill the gap. The appearance of his column greatly relieved us, as it drew the concentrated artillery fire from our column by the enemy largely to his. The whole battle scene at this moment at this point was one of appalling grandeur, one which no beholders could ever forget, provided they could keep their nerve well enough to preserve their presence of mind sufficiently to take in the situation midst the screeching shells and appalling musketry fire. The splendid appearance of General Russell’s Division elicited a cry of admiration from all who saw it. It was the supreme moment or turning point in the great tide of battle, and as Russell’s men rapidly deployed latterly under a galling fire on the march either way in perfect order enough to fill the gap, it was magnificent — beyond description — the grandest, best and most welcome sight I ever saw in a tight place in battle, and so inspired me — seeing the danger of a flank movement had passed — I again pushed forward to be in front and was there when the intrepid General Russell, one of the best fighters in the army, was twice shot and soon died a short distance to my right rear just about the time I was also twice hit; (see Nos. 5 and 6 illustrations) but when the enemy in my front and all along the little valley caught sight of our reserve coming at them so majestically and in such solid phalanx and splendid order, it seemed to me the rebs couldn’t run fast enough apparently to get away. It was the most sudden transformation on a battlefield I ever saw, as well as the most perfect stampede and rout; and it was the enemy’s last volley when it saw our reserve coming at them so determinedly that put a stop to my fighting for several months; and but for our reserve coming on the field just as it did I would have been worse riddled than I was by the enemy and killed even lying on the ground wounded, as I was wholly exposed where I lay close on their works not a rod away, the ground sloping towards them.

No. 8. – View from near the head of the ravine occupied by the enemy's infantry looking southerly towards the pike running along the edge of the distant forest. This is now (1908) a fine farm: its building on the left and those dimly seen in the edge of the distant wood along which the sunken pike runs have been built since the Civil War. Observe the perfect cover next to the pike for the enemy: it was here the Tenth Vermont assaulted, and the Second Brigade, this side as far north as the figure (Mai. Abbott), while the enemy's infantry behind rail breast-works and its artillery several hundred yards in rear to the right on higher ground swept the flat open field over which we charged in their front. It was almost a forlorn hope. Who would wish to criticise troops unfairly under such circumstances? The divide running east and west was about a hundred yards to Mai. Abbott's right. On its opposite or north side the Nineteenth Corps charged.

General Sheridan’s plan of battle was perfect and I shall never cease to admire him as the greatest military genius I have ever seen on a battlefield, for by this and his pluck and dash, I see the secret of his great successes. The plan of battle was fully developed by the time I fell twice badly wounded — at first I supposed mortally — only a few feet in front of the enemy’s works, and as I arose partially recovered from the shock of being twice hit, quivering and bleeding profusely, one of the first things my eye caught was Sheridan all alone without a staff officer or even an orderly near him, about forty yards in my rear, sitting his splendid thoroughbred horse like a centaur looking — all animation his very pose suggesting it — intently through his field glass toward the fleeing routed enemy and later after the third and last assault of the day all in a jumble with our undaunted dashing cavalry in perfect order sweeping across the great comparatively level plain bordering Winchester, like a tornado, with banners, arms, brasses, etc., brightly gleaming in the blazing autumn sunlight — a battle scene, as badly as I was wounded, the forepart of which held me entranced. As I again soon turned after the first assault, Sheridan put spurs to his horse and off he dashed all animation to another part of the field to reform his line and so on, going finally like the wind into the very midst of the great congested jumble, the enemy trying like a frightened flock of sheep to force itself through the streets of Winchester all at one time, the men literally piling themselves at the main street entrances on top of each other in order to do so. No battle scene will remain photographed so vividly on my memory as the first part of this for I could see nearly the whole field from where I long remained.

The fatal wounding in my sight near enough to hear his cry of anguish of my old Captain — Major Dillingham — and the killing of Major Vredenburg of the Fourteenth New Jersey from his horse by having his heart torn out, and others; General Russell’s brilliant debouch with his dauntless division marching proudly on the battlefield en masse with all its enchanting glitter and precision to take a hand at the sacrifice of his life — unfortunate, gallant, dashing Russell — Merritt, Averill and Custer’s brilliant spirited final charges on the fleeing enemy, its disorder and worst possible rout all beggar description, our retreat at the battle of Monocacy, July 9, 1864, being one of order and dignity comparatively speaking. I felt revenged for my wound and at having to run so in retreat at the Monocacy, and for my two wounds that day even if I did totteringly tarry, maimed and speechless with paralyzed tongue, chin and blanched face to look at such a brilliant battle scene until I became so faint from loss of blood, shock and partial reaction, I could hardly go steadily and finally did accept help, having declined at first, from two faithful men of my Company who, when I fell instead of stampeding stayed by me in one of the hottest places I have ever been in on a battlefield, one of whom was Corporal Joel Walker of Pownal, Vt. My first wound was from the butt end of an exploding shell in the breast which maimed and knocked me down and simultaneously as I fell a minie ball fired but a rod away in my front just grazed my forehead, torn through my upper lip crushing both jaws and carrying away eleven teeth, the most painless dentistry I ever had done; but, Oh! The shock it gave my system and the misery I suffered that night!
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* It is alleged by one or more writers that this gap was partly caused by a turn in the pike to the left, and as the Tenth Vermont had been ordered to guide on the pike its colors being on it, this alleged turn in the pike caused the regiment to oblique to the left. This is incorrect. The turn in the pike when this dangerous gap was caused partially by the obliquing of the Nineteenth Corps to its right, which General Russell's Division filled, was about six hundred yards behind the rebel line of battle, a little beyond the enemy's battery close to the right of the pike, an exploding shell from which knocked me down, and this turn in the road at this time was within the enemy's lines in the rear of this battery, and it was then shelling us. The pike was perfectly straight from us to this turn, about a quarter of a mile away, or about a half mile from where we formed line of battle, the road being virtually straight, as can be seen from Nos. 2 and 9 illustrations. Our line of battle wasn't formed at right angles with the pike, hence the obliquing alleged.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 163-8

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

110th Indiana Infantry

Organized July 12, 1863, to repel the Morgan Raid. Mustered out July 15, 1863.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1153

111th Indiana Infantry

Organized July 13, 1863, to repel the Morgan Raid. Mustered out July 15, 1863.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1153

112th Indiana Infantry

Organized July 10, 1863, to repel the Morgan Raid. Mustered out July 17, 1863.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1153

113th Indiana Infantry

Organized July 10, 1863, to repel the Morgan Raid. Mustered out July 16, 1863.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1153

114th Indiana Infantry

Organized July 9, 1863, to repel the Morgan Raid. Engaged in the pursuit of Morgan July 11-21. Mustered out July 21, 1863.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1153

Diary of Private Charles Wright Wills: 1 p.m., Sunday, July 28, 1861

I have just woke up from a two hours' sleep that had more dreams than all the sleeping I ever did before. I dreamed everything from being a partner of Adam and Eve in their orchard down to seeing Stephens’ iron battery.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 23