Monday, June 23, 2008

From the 8th Iowa Cavalry (H. F. Mc.Manis)

Waverly Tenn. Jan 13th 1864.

Editor Sentinel : –

Thinking that some of your readers would like to hear from this little band of Hawk-eyes that started out in freedom’s cause, I drop you a line which you may publish if you think it worthy a place in your paper.

We – the first battalion – have gone into winter quarters here, within ten miles of the Tennessee river, on the Nashville and Rendelsburg road. The 2nd battalion is fifty miles east of here, and the 3rd twenty-one miles east. The road is finished and cars running 40 miles, and they expect to finish to the river by May.

As the 8th Iowa were the first Federals in this part of the state the Citizens were much surprised on our arrival. The secesh heard that we were coming and burned the jail two days before our arrival. The day before we arrived, we came on the guerrilla, Capt. Phillips, and some of his men while at dinner. They escaped leaving two horses and three mules. We have taken a number of prisoners since we came here. Bands of guerrillas composed of the ignorant classes lurk around our camp at night, fire on our pickets, and then run away to their homes; when our scouts call on them they are good loyal men, “Constitutional Democrats,” and neither arms nor ammunition can be found. They are like some of the traitors of Clark Co. **** Such men are prolonging this h–l born rebellion.*** The secesh here acknowledge their cause to be hopeless. Their money is worthless, requiring 75 dollars of it to pay for a pair of boots.

The health of the regiment is good – only some 20 in the hospital. The boys are anxious for an engagement, feeling confident in such an event of success, for we are commanded by as good officers as any Iowa regiment. We have some refugees in camp from west Tenn. They say there are enough loyal men in Tenn. to whip the secesh, if they had arms.

Uncle Sam has called for 300,000 more men and he must have them. Shall the little State of Iowa be disgraced by a Draft? I feel confident that it will not.

Yours &c.
H. F. Mc.Manis

– Published in The Union Sentinel, Osceola, Iowa, January 30, 1864

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