Thursday, February 21, 2019

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: November 4, 1863

Mr. M——, Major Ruffin’s commissary agent, denies selling government beef to the butchers; of course it was his own. But he has been ordered not to sell any more, while buying for the government.

Mr. Rouss, of Winchester, merchant, has succeeded in getting some brown cotton from the manufacturer, in Georgia, at cost, which he sells for cost and carriage to refugees. My wife got 20 yards to-day for $20. It is brown seven-eighth cotton, and brings in other stores $3 per yard. This is a saving of $40. And I bought 24 pounds of bacon of Capt. Warner, Commissary, at $1 per pound. The retail price is $2.50 — and this is a saving of $36. Without such “short cuts” as these, occasionally, it would be impossible to maintain my family on the salaries my son Custis and myself get from the government, $3000.

How often have I and thousands in our youth expressed the wish to have lived during the first Revolution, or rather to have partaken of the excitements of war! Such is the romance or “enchantment” which “distance lends” “to the view.” Now we see and feel the horrors of war, and we are unanimous in the wish, if we survive to behold again the balmy sunshine of peace, that neither we nor our posterity may ever more be spectators of or participants in another war. And yet we know not how soon we might plunge into it, if an adequate necessity should arise. Henceforth, in all probability, we shall be a military people. But I shall seek the peaceful haunts of quiet seclusion, for which I sigh with great earnestness. O for a garden, a vine and fig-tree, and my library!

Among the strange events of this war, not the least is the position on slavery (approving it) maintained by the Bishop of Vermont.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 88

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 25, 1864

Christmas day and didn't hang up my stocking. No matter, it wouldn't have held anything. Last Christmas we spent on Belle Island, little thinking long imprisonment awaiting us. Us escaped men are to ride in a forage wagon. The army is getting ready to move. Are now twenty-four miles from Savannah and rebels falling back as we press ahead. Night.—At about nine o'clock this morning as we sat in the forage wagon top of some corn riding in state, I saw some cavalry coming from the front. Soon recognized Col. Acker at the head of the 9th Michigan Cavalry. Jumped out of the wagon and began dancing and yelling in the middle of the road and in front of the troop. Col. Acker said: “Get out of the road you lunatic!” Soon made myself known and was like one arisen from the dead. Major Brockway said: [“]Ransom, you want to start for home. We don't know you, you are dead. No such man as Ransom on the rolls for ten months.” All remember me and are rejoiced to see me back again. Lieut. Col. Way, Surgeon, Adjutant, Sergeant-Major, all shake hands with me. My company “A” was in the rear of the column, and I stood by the road as they moved along, hailing those I recognized. In every case had to tell them who I was and then would go up and shake hands with them at the risk of getting stepped on by the horses. Pretty soon Co. “A” appeared, and wasn't they surprised to see me. The whole company were raised in Jackson, Mich., my home, and I had been regarded as dead for nearly a year. Could hardly believe it was myself that appeared to them. Every one trying to tell me the news at home all at the same time — how I was reported, as having died in Richmond and funeral sermon preached. How so and so had, been shot and killed, &c., &c. And then I had to tell them of who of our regiment had died in Andersonville — Dr. Lewis, Tom McGill and others. Although Jimmy Devers did not belong to our regiment, many in our company knew him, and I told them of his death. Should have said that as soon as I got to the company, was given Capt. Johnson's lead horse to ride, without saddle or bridle and nothing but a halter to hang on with. Not being used to riding, in rebel dress — two or three pails hanging to me — I made a spectacle for them all to laugh at. It was a time of rejoicing. The Buck boys did not get out of the wagon with me and so we became separated without even a good bye. Before I had been with the company half an hour Gen. Kilpatrick and staff came riding by from the rear, and says to Capt. Johnson: “Captain, I hear one of your company has just joined you after escaping from the enemy.” Capt. Johnson said, “Yes, sir,” and pointed to me as a Sergeant in his company. General Kilpatrick told me to follow him and started ahead at a break neck pace. Inasmuch as the highway was filled with troops, Gen. Kilpatrick and staff rode at the side, through the fields, and any way they could get over the ground. The horse I was on is a pacer and a very hard riding animal and it was all I could do to hang on. Horse would jump over logs and come down an all fours ker-chug, and I kept hoping the general would stop pretty soon; but he didn't. Having no saddle or anything to guide the brute, it was a terrible hard ride for me, and time and again if I had thought I could fall off without breaking my neck should have done so. The soldiers all along the line laughed and hooted at the spectacle and the staff had great sport, which was anything but sport for me. After a while and after riding five or six miles, Kilpatrick drew up in a grove by the side of the road and motioning me to him, asked me when I escaped, etc. Soon saw I was too tired and out of breath. After resting a few minutes I proceeded to tell him what I knew of Savannah, the line of forts around the city, and of other fortifications between us and the city, the location of the rivers, force of rebels, etc. Asked a great many questions and took down notes, or rather the chief of staff, Estes by name, did. After an extended conversation a dispatch was made up and sent to Gen. Sherman who was a few miles away, with the endorsement that an escaped prisoner had given the information and it was reliable. General Kilpatrick told me I would probably not be called upon to do any more duty as I had done good service as a prisoner of war. Said he would sign a furlough and recommend that I go home as soon as communication was opened. Thanked me for information and dismissed me with congratulations on my escape. Then I waited until our company, “A,” came up and joined them, and here I am encamped with the boys, who are engaged in getting supper. We are only twelve or fourteen miles from Savannah and the report in camp is to the effect that the city has been evacuated with no fight at all. Fort McAllister was taken to-day, which being the key to Savannah, leaves that city unprotected, hence the evacuation. Communication will now be opened with the gunboats on the coast and I will be sent home to Michigan. I mess with Capt. Johnson and there is peace and plenty among us. I go around from mess to mess this pleasant night talking with the boys, learning and telling the news. O. B. Driscoll, Al. Williams, Sergt. Smith, Mell Strickland, Sergt. Fletcher, Teddy Fox, Lieut. Ingraham and all the rest think of something new every few minutes, and I am full. Poor Robt. Strickland, a boy whom I enlisted, was shot since starting out on this march to the sea. Others too, whom I left well are now no more. The boys have had a long and tedious march, yet are all in good health and have enjoyed the trip. They never tire of telling about their fights and skirmishes, and anecdotes concerning Kilpatrick, who is well liked by all the soldiers. Am invited to eat with every mess in the company, also at regimental headquarters, in fact, anywhere I am a mind to, can fill. And now this Diary is finished and is full. Shall not write any more, though I hardly know how I shall get along, without a self-imposed task of some kind.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 157-9

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Captain Charles Wright Wills: June 19, 1864

June 19, 1864.

This is the 50th day of the campaign. Our brigade has been under musketry fire 12 days, artillery about 30. We have as a brigade fought three nice little battles, in as many days, repulsing two charges, and making one which was a perfect success. We have captured all told about 650 prisoners, and I think 1,000 a very low estimate of the number we have killed and wounded. I think Cheatham's and Bates' Rebel divisions will say the same. We have thus cleared ourselves with a loss to us of nearly 300, or fully one-fifth of the command. The other nine days we were on the skirmish line, in the rifle pits or front line.

This morning an order was read to pursue the enemy immediately and in ten minutes the “assembly” was sounded. The enemy had fallen back on his flanks, and maybe was intending to evacuate, for our right had swung around him further than I, if in his place, would consider healthy. But he had not yet left the Twin Mountains. The line now runs from right to left by Corps 23d, 20th, 4th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th. The 14th Corps lost heavily to-day, but drove the Rebels four miles. The 23d Corps was still going at last accounts. The artillery firing to-day was beautiful. Our division advanced about one-half mile only. The Twin Mountains are right in front of us, and I have seen the Rebels shooting from six batteries on the crest and sides. Our batteries on a line 600 yards in front answer them promptly.

Only one shell has burst near us, and that 100 yards to our right.

The 55th had one killed and two wounded just in front of us, by shells. All parts of the line advanced from one to five miles to-day, the right swinging forward farthest, a-la-gate. Osterhaus' headquarters are 30 yards to our right. A solid shot from the mountain went through one of his tents yesterday. It has rained hard all day, but nobody minds it a particle. The general feeling is that the Rebels have fallen back to their main position, although they have abandoned ground that we would have held one against five. I can't hear that any line of battle has been engaged to-day, but the force on the advance skirmish lines was probably doubled at least. You would not smile at the idea of sleeping on the ground allotted to us to-night. Mud from six to eight inches deep.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 263-4

Obituary of Private Theodore “Thede” Tenney, Co. H, 2nd Ohio Cavalry, April 6, 1865


Another Brave Boy Fallen. — No braver or better soldier has laid down his life for the cause of the Union than young Theodore Tenney, a private in the Second Ohio Cavalry, who was killed by a shell in Sheridan’s hard battle near the South Side Railroad, on Saturday last, April 1st.  The deceased was the youngest son of Mrs. C. E. Tenney, of Oberlin, a brother of Captain L. H. Tenney, and brother-in-law of Lieut. Colonel A. B. Nettleton, of the Second Ohio Cavalry.  He was also brother-in-law of Professor Ellis, of Oberlin, and a nephew of J. H. Harris, Esq., of this city.

Young Tenney first enlisted in the summer of 1864, at the early age of eighteen, joining a company recruited for the three months’ service, from the residents of Oberlin.  Soon after the expiration of his term of enlistment, he joined that famous veteran regiment, the Second Ohio Cavalry, and re-enlisted with them last spring.  At the time of his death he was barely twenty years of age.  A manly and noble-hearted boy, large, athletic and brave, ever in good spirits, congenial and full of hilarity, he was the life of his mess, and one of the prime favorites of his regiment.  A true soldier, he shrunk from no duty or danger, and after one of Sheridan’s battles with Early in the Shenandoah Valley last fall, it was written by his commanding officer — “Thede’s muscle brought in two graybacks.”

Theodore Tenny — another honored name — will be inscribed on Oberlin’s monument to her many patriotic sons and martyrs.

SOURCE: “Another Brave Boy Fallen,” Cleveland Daily Leader, Cleveland, Ohio, Thursday, April 6, 1865, p. 4.

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Saturday, April 1, 1865

At daylight, without supper or breakfast, advanced. Rebels in front fell back. 5th corps up. Advanced dismounted 5 miles to the rebel breastworks. Built temporary breastworks. Held them under fire till 4 P. M. when the 5th corps came up and charged. Advanced through the pines till in sight of works and guns with a yell. Repulsed. Formed line again and in 15 minutes charged again. Got under the works and laid down. Here Brother Thede, noble and brave boy, was struck through with a piece of shell. Helped him from the field. Suffered awfully. In answer to my questions he said: “Luman, I think my wound is mortal. I can not live. I have tried to do my duty today. Tell mother I only wish I had been a better boy. I hope that God will accept me and take me to Heaven.” He had his senses for 30 or 40 minutes when he sank away as we carried him along and died before we reached the hospital. I thought that he had fallen asleep. I spoke to him but received no answer. His pulse beat feebly. I knew then that he was going. The Doctor gave him some brandy, but no life appeared. I buried him in a rough box beneath a cedar tree in front of the house and across the road and cut the headboard with a knife. God sustain mother.

BROTHER THEODORE
KILLED IN THE LAST GREAT BATTLE AT FIVE FORKS, VA.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 149

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Obituary of Austin Woolfolk

DIED

In Auburn, Macon county, Ala., on the 10th Inst., AUSTIN WOOLFOLK, on his way from Baltimore to his home and family in Louisiana.  In the fond-hope of reaching them ere death had laid his icy hand upon him, he struggled on from place to place, against the advice of his friends and the ruthlessness of his desease [sic], notwithstanding he was utterly unfit to bear the fatigues of traveling, and his unavoidable exposure to an inclement season.  He died about 50 years of age after an illness of two years duration – his constitution, originally a strong one, gradually giving way, despite of human remedies, to the fell destroyer, Consumption.  Though far from home and family, his last moments were not soothed and tended by strangers alone.  His Uncle, John Woolfolk, was with him and brought his remains to be interred in the cemetery of this city.  To the people of Auburn, his relatives here, and bereaved family, owe many thanks for their kindness and attention to him in his last illness.  He left a Father, a Brother and three Sisters in Tennessee, and a wife and five children in Louisiana to mourn their loss.  My that  Providence “who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,” take them under is fostering care.

J.
Columbus Enq. Ga.

SOURCE: “Died,” The Tennessean, Nashville, Tennessee, Friday, March 5, 1847, p. 2

EDITOR’S NOTE: Austin Woodfolk was a slave trader who became notorious for selling Frederick Douglass's aunt.

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 127. Report of Brig. Gen. James W. Reilly, U.S. Army, commanding Third Division, of operations November 30, 1864.

No. 127.

Report of Brig. Gen. James W. Reilly, U.S. Army, commanding Third Division,
of operations November 30, 1864.

HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, TWENTY-THIRD ARMY CORPS,                      
Nashville, Tenn., December 5, 1864.

SIR: In compliance with orders, I have the honor to report the operations of Third Division in battle of Franklin, on the 30th ultimo, I being temporarily in command thereof, General Cox commanding corps.

The division reached Franklin about 5.30 a.m. of the 30th ultimo, and about 7 a.m. were placed in position on the extreme left of the army, and between the Columbia pike and Harpeth River, connecting on right with Second Division of corps, the left resting at or near ——— River, facing southerly and southeasterly. The brigades of the division were in the following order: First Brigade, the right; Second Brigade, Colonel Casement, in center; Third Brigade, Colonel Stiles (in temporary command), on left. The division was substantially formed in two lines. The first line of the division, as soon as placed in position, threw up an ordinary line of rifle-pits, with head-logs, and in some cases abatis was placed in front of works.

As to the conduct of officers and, privates of the division during the many assaults made by the enemy on our line, commencing at or near 4.30 p.m., and continuing at intervals until after dark, I would most respectfully refer to the reports of brigade commanders herewith forwarded.

A compiled list of casualties in the command is hereto appended. The meagerness of this report will not require excuse to my superior officers, who are familiar with the circumstances under which it is made.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

J. W. REILLY,          
Brigadier-General, Commanding Third Division at Franklin.

Brig. Gen. J. D. Cox, Commanding Twenty-third Army Corps.

List of casualties Third Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, November 30, 1864.

Command.
Killed.
Wounded.
Missing.
Total.
Aggregate
O
M
O
M
O
M
O
M
First Brigade.









8th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry.



5

2

7
7
12th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry.
1
5

26
1
12
2
43
45
16th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry
2
8
4
38

9
6
55
61
100th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
2
5
1
26

31
3
62
65
104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
1
9
2
28

15
3
51
54
Total
6
27
7
123
1
69
14
218
232










Second Brigade.









65th Indiana Volunteer Infantry

1

5



6
6
l24th Indiana Volunteer Infantry

1
1
4


1
5
6
65th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.



1



1
1
5th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry

1

5



6
6
Total

3
1
15


1
18
19










Third Brigade.









112th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

2
4
11

9
4
22
26
120th Indiana Volunteer Infantry.
1
5

28

11
1
44
45
63d Indiana Volunteer Infantry.

2

4



6
6
128th Indiana Volunteer Infantry.
2

1
3
1

4
3
7
Total
3
9
5
46
1
20
9
75
84










Total Third Division
9
39
13
184
2
89
24
311
335

[ O = Officers, M = Men]

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 410-1