Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Private Charles Wright Wills: Late September 1861

Norfolk [date torn off.]

The colonel talks some to-night about a forward movement, and two regiments have come across the river from the Kentucky side this evening, the Iowa 2d and 7th. The 17th are still opposite us and I have seen none of them yet. Our cavalry scouts are fighting now more or less every day. Yesterday a party of the Iowa 7th were out hunting bushwhackers when they were attacked by a company of horsemen of whom they killed four. One of our men was shot while returning from a scout. They routed the enemy but came back and reported four of their men missing, but the lost four have all come in to-day. Our men think they finished a couple at least but 'tis questionable. We are all again bored to death with lying still, but patience and we'll get what we want in time. We have the report here to-day that Colonel Mulligan has capitulated to Price, Jackson & Co. at Lexington. This, if true, will certainly retard our movement down the Mississippi. I'm getting perfectly indifferent about Fremont's being superseded or as to who has the command. It seems to me that none of our commanders are doing anything. With at least 75,000 troops at Paducah, Cairo and in Missouri to allow the gallant Mulligan to be forced to surrender is perfectly shameful. It's disheartening to a soldier, I tell you. Let them go on, if this war goes against us 'twill be the fault of our commanders and not of the men, sure. Yesterday information was brought our colonel that a battery was in course of erection on the Kentucky shore six miles below us. We were put on steamboats 2,000 or 2,500 strong and preceded by two gunboats scooted down, when within a mile of the place our regiment was landed and we marched down but of course found no battery.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 32-3

No comments: