Showing posts with label Mules. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mules. Show all posts

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: Sunday, February 7, 1864

 The tocsin is sounding at 9 A.M. It appears that Gen. Butler is marching up the Peninsula (I have not heard the estimated number of his army) toward Richmond. But, being in the Secretary's room for a moment, I heard him say to Gen. Elzey that the “local defense men” must be relied on to defend Richmond. These men are mainly clerks and employees of the departments, who have just been insulted by the government, being informed that no increased compensation will be allowed them because they are able to bear arms. In other words, they must famish for subsistence, and their families with them, because they happen to be of fighting age, and have been patriotic enough to volunteer for the defense of the government, and have drilled, and paraded, and marched, until they are pronounced good soldiers. Under these circumstances, the Secretary of War says they must be relied upon to defend the government. In my opinion, many of them are not reliable. Why were they appointed contrary to law? Who is to blame but the Secretaries themselves? Ah! but the Secretaries had pets and relatives of fighting age they must provide for; and these, although not dependent on their salaries, will get the increased compensation, and will also be exempted from aiding in the defense of the city—at least such has been the practice heretofore. These things being known to the proscribed local troops (clerks, etc.), I repeat my doubts of their reliability at any critical moment.

We have good news from the Rappahannock. It is said Gen. Rosser yesterday captured several hundred prisoners, 1200 beeves, 350 mules, wagons of stores, etc. etc.

Nevertheless, there is some uneasiness felt in the city, there being nearly 12,000 prisoners here, and all the veteran troops of Gen. Elzey's division are being sent to North Carolina.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 144-5

Monday, August 24, 2020

Captain Charles Wright Wills: November 17, 1864 — 12 a.m.

Near Jackson, Ga., November 17, 1864, 12 a.m.

Have just had our coffee. Marched some 17 miles to-day. Begin to see where the “rich planters” come in. This is probably the most gigantic pleasure excursion ever planned. It already beats everything I ever saw soldiering, and promises to prove much richer yet. I wish Sherman would burn the commissary trains, we have no use for what they carry, and the train only bothers us. . It is most ludicrous to see the actions of the negro women as we pass. They seem to be half crazy with joy, and when a band strikes up they go stark mad. Our men are clear discouraged with foraging, they can't carry half the hogs and potatoes they find right along the road. The men detailed for that purpose are finding lots of horses and mules. The 6th Iowa are plumb crazy on the horse question.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 320

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Diary of 5th Sergeant Osborn H. Oldroyd: May 31, 1863

We were aroused by the bugle call, and in a few minutes on the march again. Halted at noon on a large plantation. This is a capital place to stop, for the negroes are quite busy baking corn-bread and sweet potatoes for us. We have had a grand dinner at the expense of a rich planter now serving in the southern army. Some of the negroes wanted to come with us, but we persuaded them to remain, telling them they would see hard times if they followed us. They showed indications of good treatment, and I presume their master is one of the few who treat their slaves like human beings.

I must say—whether right or wrong-plantation life has had a sort of fascination for me ever since I came south, especially when I visit one like that where we took dinner to-day, and some, also, I visited in Tennessee. I know I should treat my slaves well, and, while giving them a good living, I should buy, but never sell.

We left at three o'clock P. M., and just as the boys were ordered to take with them some of the mules working in the field, where there was a large crop being cultivated, to be used, when gathered, for the maintenance of our enemies. As our boys, accordingly, were unhitching the mules, some “dutchy” in an officer's uniform rode up, yelling, “mens! you left dem schackasses alone!” I doubt whether he had authority to give such an order, but whether he had or not he was not obeyed. When we marched off with our corn-bread and “schackasses,” some of the darkies insisted on following. We passed through some rebel works at Haines' Bluffs, which were built to protect the approach to Vicksburg by way of the Yazoo river. Sherman had taken them on the nineteenth instant, when our boats came up the river and delivered rations.

May has now passed, with all its hardships and privations to the army of the west—the absence of camp comforts; open fields for dwelling places; the bare ground for beds; cartridge boxes for pillows, and all the other tribulations of an active campaign. Enduring these troubles, we have given our country willing service. We have passed through some hard-fought battles, where many of our comrades fell, now suffering in hospitals or sleeping, perhaps, in unmarked graves. Well they did their part, and much do we miss them. Their noble deeds shall still incite our emulation, that their proud record may not be sullied by any act of ours.

Camped at dark, tired, dirty and ragged-having had no chance to draw clothes for two months.

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 39-40

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Diary of 5th Sergeant Osborn H. Oldroyd: May 24, 1863

Rifle-Musket and Appendages.

Sunday; and how little like the Sabbath day it seems. Cannon are still sending their messengers of death into the enemy's lines, as on week days, and the minnie balls sing the same song, while the shovel throws up as much dirt as on any other day. What a relief it would be if, by common consent, both armies should cease firing to-day. It is our regiment’s turn to watch at the front, so before daylight we moved up and took our position. We placed our muskets across the rifle pits, pointing towards the fort, and then lay down and ran our eyes over the gun, with finger on trigger, ready to fire at anything we might see moving. For hours not a movement was seen, till finally an old half-starved mule meandered too close to our lines, when off went a hundred or more muskets, and down fell the poor mule. This little incident, for a few minutes, broke the monotony. A coat and hat were elevated on a stick above our rifle pits, and in an instant they were riddled with bullets from the enemy. The rebels were a little excited at the ruse, and probably thought, after their firing, there must be one less Yankee in our camp. In their eagerness a few of them raised their heads a little above their breastworks, when a hundred bullets flew at them from our side. They all dropped instantly, and we could not tell whether they were hit or not. The rebels, as well as ourselves, occasionally hold up a hat by way of diversion. A shell from an enemy's gun dropped into our camp rather unexpectedly, and bursted near a group, wounding several, but only slightly, though the doctor thinks one of the wounded will not be able to sit down comfortably for a few days. I suppose, then, he can go on picket, or walk around and enjoy the country.

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 34-5

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Major-General William T. Sherman: Special Field Orders No. 120, November 9, 1864

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS No. 120.}
HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS.,                                  
In the Field, Kingston, Ga.,                
November 9, 1864.

I. For the purpose of military operations this army is divided into two wings, viz, the Right Wing, Maj. Gen. O. O. Howard commanding, the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps; the Left Wing, Maj. Gen. H. W. Slocum commanding, the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps.

II. The habitual order of march will be, wherever practicable, by four roads, as near parallel as possible and converging at points hereafter to be indicated in orders. The cavalry, Brigadier-General Kilpatrick commanding, will receive special orders from the commander-in-chief.

III. There will be no general train of supplies, but each corps will have its ammunition train and provision train distributed habitually as follows: Behind each regiment should follow one wagon and one ambulance; behind each brigade should follow a due proportion of ammunition wagons, provision wagons, and ambulances. In case of danger each army corps commander should change this order of march by having his advance and rear brigade unincumbered by wheels. The separate columns will start habitually at 7 a.m., and make about fifteen miles per day, unless otherwise fixed in orders.

IV. The army will forage liberally on the country during the march. To this end, each brigade commander will organize a good and sufficient foraging party, under the command of one or more discreet officers, who will gather, near the route traveled, corn or forage of any kind, meat of any kind, vegetables, corn-meal, or whatever is needed by the command, aiming at all times to keep in the wagons at least ten days' provisions for the command and three days' forage. Soldiers must not enter the dwellings of the inhabitants, or commit any trespass, but during a halt or a camp they may be permitted to gather turnips, potatoes, and other vegetables, and to drive in stock in sight of their camp. To regular foraging parties must be intrusted the gathering of provisions and forage at any distance from the road traveled.

V. To army corps commanders alone is intrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, &c., and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless according to the measure of such hostility.

VI. As for horses, mules, wagons, &c., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit, discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor or industrious, usually neutral or friendly. Foraging parties  may also take mules or horses to replace the jaded animals of their trains, or to serve as pack-mules for the regiments or brigades. In all foraging, of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain from abusive or threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks proper, give written certificates of the facts, but no receipts, and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance.

VII. Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the several columns may be taken along, but each army commander will bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very important one and that his first duty is to see to them who bear arms.

VIII. The organization at once of a good pioneer battalion for each army corps, composed if possible of negroes, should be attended to. This battalion should follow the advance guard, should repair roads, and double them if possible, so that the columns will not be delayed after reaching bad places. Also, army commanders should study the habit of giving the artillery and wagons the road, and marching their troops on one side, and also instruct their troops to assist wagons at steep hills or bad crossings of streams.

IX. Capt. O. M. Poe, chief engineer, will assign to each wing of the army a pontoon train, fully equipped and organized, and the commanders thereof will see to its being properly protected at all times.

By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:

L. M. DAYTON,                   
Aid-de-Camp.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 39, Part 3 (Serial No. 79), p. 713-4

Major-General William T. Sherman to “an Old Resident of St. Louis, Missouri,” September 8, 1864

IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GA., Sept. 8, 1864

DEAR SIR:—Yr kind note of Aug. 24 from Rochester, N. Y. reached me here and I am really thankful for the warm terms in which you write, and I know you will not feel the less kindly when you know we are inside Atlanta.  I don’t see why we cant have some sense about negroes as well as about horses, mules, iron, copper, etc.—but say nigger in the U. S. and from Sumner to Atty Kelly to the whole country goes crazy.  I never thought my nigger letter would get into the papers but since it has I lay low—I like niggers well enough, as niggers, but when fools & idiots try & make niggers better than ourselves I have an opinion.  We are also ruining our country in this bounty & substitute business.  It only amounts to spending money, it don’t make a single soldier.

Fools think they can buy off, and will spend their money on some worthless substitute who shirks and as is of no use & after spending all his money will have to serve besides.

Well this thing will work out its natural solution.

W. T. SHERMAN,
Maj. Gen.

SOURCES: “Negroes in Their Places,” The Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, Alabama, Tuesday, December 17, 1889, p. 4; “General Sherman on ‘Niggers,’” The Sentinel, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Thursday, December 26, 1899, p. 1.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Captain Charles Wright Wills: August 5, 1864

August 5, 1864.

After the fight of the 28th July, we advanced on the 30th, 31st and April [sic] 1st, when we came to a strong line of Rebel rifle pits, densely populated, and their main works about 400 yards behind the pits.

On the 2d details from each brigade in the corps were ordered to drive the Rebels out of said pits. It was done, our division capturing 78 prisoners. The Rebels tried to retake them, but failed, of course, leaving with our boys, among other dead, a colonel and a major. Only one company (K), of our regiment was in the fight; it had two men wounded. I was on picket there the next day; 'twas a lively place, but I lost no men. Some of the men fired over 100 rounds. The 23d and 14th Corps have swung around on our right, the object being to throw our line across the Macon railroad. We have heard that Stoneman was captured with 400 men at Macon. Kilpatrick started on a raid yesterday. Stoneman burned a Rebel wagon train of 600 wagons, and sabered the mules. Cruel, but right. The 14th Corps yesterday gobbled 700 prisoners. There are a few Rebel riflemen who keep the bullets whistling around us here; they killed a Company E man 20 yards to the right on the 4th. Health of the regiment never better, and that is the best index of the morale.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 288

Friday, July 12, 2019

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: November 3, 1861

ARRIVAL AT BALTIMORE.

We reached Havre de Grace about noon. A heavy storm has set in. It is raining hard and the wind blows a gale. We crossed the Susquehanna river at this place, on a big steam ferry boat, and I must confess to some fears, as I looked from the car windows down to the water- a distance of nearly fifty feet, and wondered why we did not capsize. Here I saw a government mule pen. Several acres are enclosed, and I was told that the pen contained about 10,000 mules. A large number of negroes are employed taking care of them. I think this must be a base of supplies. After waiting here an hour or so to make up our train, we again started. An hour's ride brought us to the famous gunpowder bridge, which crosses an arm of Chesapeake bay, not far from Baltimore. This bridge the rebels attempted to burn, and partially succeeded. Many of the charred timbers are still to be seen on the bridge. There we saw the first soldiers on duty, a picket guard being kept here to protect the bridge. We reached Baltimore about 3 p. m., and left the cars in the midst of a drenching rain, and marched about a mile through the rain and wind, to the steamboat landing, the band playing The Campbells Are Coming. No boat being in readiness to take us to Annapolis, Col. Upton told the captains of companies that they must find quarters for their men, and be ready for an early start in the morning; Captain Clark obtained a loft in a grain store for his company, where we passed the night very comfortably.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 10

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 24, 1864

This diary must soon come to an end. Will fill the few remaining pages and then stop. Co. “I” boys are very kind. They have reduced soldiering to a science. All divided up into messes of from three to five each. Any mess is glad to have us in with them, and we pay them with accounts of our prison life. Know they think half we tell them is lies. I regret the most of anything, the loss of my blanket that stood by me so well. It's a singular fact that the first day of my imprisonment it came into my possession, and the very last day it took its departure, floating off away from me after having performed its mission. Should like to have taken it North to exhibit to my friends. The infantry move only a few miles each day, and I believe we stay here all day. Went and saw Mr. Kimball. The officers commanding knew him for a Union man, and none of his belongings were troubled. In fact, he has anything he wants now. Announces his intention of going with the army until the war closes. Our good old friend Mrs. Dickinson did not fare so well. The soldiers took everything she had on the place fit to eat; all her cattle, pork, potatoes, chickens, and left them entirly destitute. We went and saw them, and will go to headquarters to see what can be done. Later. — We went to Gen. Smith, commanding 3d Brigade, 2d Division, and told him the particulars. He sent out foraging wagons, and now she has potatoes, corn, bacon, cattle, mules, and everything she wants. Also received pay for burned fences and other damages. Now they are smiling and happy and declare the Yankees to be as good as she thought them bad this morning. The men being under little restraint on this raid were often destructive. Nearly every citizen declared their loyalty, so no distinction is made. Gen. Smith is a very kind man, and asked us a great many questions. Says the 9th Michigan Cavalry is near us and we may see them any hour. Gen. Haun also takes quite an interest in us, and was equally instrumental with Gen. Smith in seeing justice done to our friends the Kimballs and Dickinsons. They declare now that one of us must marry the daughter of Mrs. Dickinson, the chaplain performing the ceremony. Well, she is a good girl, and I should judge would make a good wife, but presume she would have something to say herself and will not pop the question to her. They are very grateful, and only afraid that after we all go away the rebel citizens and soldiers will retaliate on them. Many officers have read portions of my diary, and say such scenes as we have passed through seem incredible. Many inquire if we saw so and so of their friends who went to Andersonville, but of course there were so many there that we cannot remember them. This has been comparatively a day of rest for this portion of the Union army, after having successfully crossed the river. We hear the cavalry is doing some fighting on the right, in the direction of Fort McAllister. Evening. — We marched about two or three miles and are again encamped for the night, with pickets out for miles around. Many refugees join the army prepared to go along with them, among whom are a great many negroes.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 156-7

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 6, 1864

Thirteen months ago to-day captured one year and one month. Must be something due me from Uncle Sam in wages, by this time. All come in a lump when it does come. No great loss without small gain, and while I have been suffering the long imprisonment my wages have been accumulating. Believe that we are also entitled to ration money while in prison. Pile it on, you can't pay us any too much for this business. This is the land of the blood hound. Are as common as the ordinary cur at the North. Are a noble looking dog except when they are after you, and then they are beastly. Should think that any one of them could whip a man; are very large, strong, and savage looking. should think it would be hard for the negro to run away. See no horses about here at all — all mules and oxen, and even cows hitched up to draw loads. I walk the prison over forty times a day. Everybody knows me, and I hail and am hailed as I walk around, and am asked what I think of the situation. Tell them of my escape and the good time I had, which incites them to do likewise the first opportunity. Occasionally a man here who growls and grumbles, and says and thinks we will never get away, &c. Some would find fault if they were going to be hung. Should think they would compare their condition with that of six months ago and be contented.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 132-3

Friday, June 1, 2018

Captain Charles Wright Wills: April 30, 1864

Scottsboro, Ala., April 30th, '64.

You know we have been under marching orders for several days. At dress parade this evening orders were read notifying us that the division would move out on the road to Chattanooga at 6 a. m., May 1st.

This is the first intimation of the direction we would take.

It surprises me very much, and I think many others. I was certain we would either cross the Tennessee river at Larkins Ferry or near Decatur and take Dalton in flank or rear, but Sherman didn't see it. I would rather do anything else save one, than march over the road to Chattanooga. That one is to lie still in camp.

When the boys broke ranks after the parade, cries of “mule soup” filled the camp for an hour. That is the name that has been unanimously voted to the conglomeration of dead mules and mud that fills the ditches on the roadside between Stevenson and Chattanooga.

The whole division has been alive all evening; burning cabins has been the fashion. Captains Post, Smith and myself got into a little discussion which ended in our grabbing axes and demolishing each other's cabins.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 230-1

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Captain Charles Wright Wills: April 28, 1864

Scottsboro, Ala., April 28, 1864.

We received marching orders last night, and will probably move to-morrow morning. Supposition is that we go to Huntsville first, there store our baggage, and then cross the Tennessee river and open the Spring campaign. I am much pleased at the prospect of moving once more. Have never been so well and comfortably situated in the army, nor was I ever tired of lying still. Lieutenant Miller R. Q. M. while hunting some mules a few miles from camp, last Monday was captured by the enemy, and is now on his way to the "Hotel de Libby" (not) rejoicing. 'Tis something of a joke on Miller. Weather is becoming most uncomfortably warm. Altogether too hot for marching. Boys of our regiment and troops of the whole corps, never started on a march in better spirits. Will write as often as have opportunities. Swarms of flies interfere with my afternoon naps lately.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 228-9

Monday, May 21, 2018

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: Monday, August 15, 1864

Brigade commenced pulling out before daylight. 1st Brigade in rear. Passed through Leesburg about 3 P. M. Once a very wealthy little town apparently, now old and rusty. Very noted for rebel sympathy. Saw several pretty ladies. Camped near Purcellville. In P. M. near Leesburg one wagon got behind and two rebels jumped out upon the road, stripped a sergeant of his arms and clothes and took four mules. Rear guard was too far behind.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 127

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Captain Charles Wright Wills: April 3, 1864

Huntsville, Ala., April 3, 1864.

Thunder, lightning and rain are having a little time by themselves outdoors to-night. No audience, but guards and government mules, but that don't seem to affect the show. We have a right good hotel here, a rather lively party, and have spent a pleasant, highly gaseous evening, Colonel Oglesby, Dr. Morris and Captain Wilkinson of our division. We came down on two days' leave, principally to see the place, but all having more or less business. Found Will Trites this a. m.; dined with him, and this afternoon four of us have been riding. I enjoyed it very much. Had good horses, and 'tis a beautiful town. I think the finest I have seen South; but nothing near what Decatur, Bloomington, Quincy and a dozen other Illinois towns promise to be when they have half its age. In the cemetery there are as many really fine monuments as there were in the Chicago cemetery in 1859, and should think it not more than half the size of the new Canton graveyard. Our soldiers have been registering their names on the finest of the monuments. It looks so sacrilegious, and fully as ridiculous. They have a beautiful custom here of placing wreaths of flowers and bouquets upon the graves. This p. m. (Sabbath) nearly every grave had one or more such offerings. I attended the Presbyterian church this a. m., and certainly never heard the English language so abused before. The minister was a citizen. Did not by a word allude to the war in sermon or prayers. Most of the ladies wore mourning. Very full attendance of them. All who refused the “oath” here, have been sent across the river. Saw General McPherson at breakfast this morning looking as of old. We were paid four months last Thursday.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 222-3

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Official Reports of the Action at and Surrender of Murfreesborough, Tenn., July 13, 1862: No. 11. — Report of Major-General John P. McCown, C. S. Army.

No. 11.

Report of Maj. Gen. J. P. McCown, C. S. Army.

CHATTANOOGA, TENN., July 17, 1862.
Colonel Forrest dispatches me as follows:

Attacked Murfreesborough 5 a.m. last Sunday morning; captured two brigadier-generals, staff and field officers, and 1,200 men; burnt $200,000 worth of stores; captured sufficient stores with those burned to amount to $500,000, and brigade of 60 wagons, 300 mules, 150 or 200 horses, and field battery of four pieces; destroyed the railroad and depot at Murfreesborough. Had to retreat to McMinnville, owing to large number of prisoners to be guarded. Our loss 16 or 18 killed; 25 or 30 wounded. Enemy's loss 200 or 300.

Leaves to-day for re-enforcements coming from Kingston.

J. P. McCOWN.
General BRAXTON BRAGG.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF MISSISSIPPI,      
Tupelo, Miss., July 18, 1862.
Brigadier-General CHALMERS,
Commanding Cavalry, Army of Mississippi:

GENERAL: The general commanding directs that the above dispatch be read to the Troops.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

 D. H. POOLE,
 Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 16, Part 1 (Serial No. 22), p. 809

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: June 25, 1864

Up early and moved at 4 A. M. 2nd Brigade in rear. Passed through Keysville at 5 A. M. Took a detail of 20 men away from column for horses and mules. A great many men dismounted in the heat of yesterday. Went 6 or 7 miles to the right of the R. R. Passed through a very rich and beautiful country. Never saw more splendid crops. Went to Charlotte C. H. (Charlotte (Co.) C. H. is given as Marysville on war maps, and in Century Atlas as Smithville.) Detachment of 2nd N. Y. broke open stores, released two civil prisoners and did many things out of the way. Our boys did not indulge in one thing disgraceful to my knowledge. People complimented us very highly. Seemed very thankful that we were so kind to them. They seemed perfectly surprised that we did not burn and rob. What a shame that Southern papers should deceive the country so in regard to our army. Got dinner at Mrs. Smith's, very pleasant and kind. Wanted my name, for she should always remember me with a feeling of kindness and obligation. Son in Wise's brigade. Rejoined the column near Mossing Ford with about 25 mules and horses. All the stock and carriages had been run farther off. Many pretty girls in town, some refugees from Fredericksburg. Most of them had been north and had dear friends there. Dressed neatly, pleasant and educated. Pleased with the trip. Halted one mile from the Staunton river. Artillery firing. Rode up to the front with Col. Purington. Rebels fortified on west bank of the river. Heavy fort on one side of the R. R. and a battery on the other. Entrenchments right on the bank of the river. Our boys on the east bank without protection. Our batteries in prominent position commanding bridge and reb works. Quite a duel. Our boys suffered from grape and canister. Reb force supposed to be about 1000 militia and 300 regulars. At 11 moved by our batteries in easy range of reb batteries up the river R. R. crossing covered with hay to muffle the sound. Depot buildings full of wounded. Moved on to Wylliesburg, arriving at daylight.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 121-2

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: June 7, 1864


Our wagons came up. Went down again to train. Took four mules to draw forge. Q. M. away, so failed. Have worked pretty faithfully for a forge but yet without success. Saw Col. of 2nd N. Y. this morning and borrowed a forge — temporarily. Got some clothing and shoeing tools.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 119

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: June 9, 1864

Read in "Queen Mab," by Julia Kavanagh. Shoeing horses as rapidly as possible. A very sultry, oppressive day. A few drops of rain. Turned in to Capt. Viall 3 contraband mules temporarily. Hired David Brooks.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 119

Friday, March 23, 2018

Captain Charles Wright Wills: November 11, 1863

Winchester, Tenn., November 11, 1863.

We arrived here at 9 this a. m., our brigade making the distance from Salem, 11 miles, in three hours. That, we call fast walking. I wrote you last from Florence., Ala., on the 1st inst. From there we marched to Rodgersville and thence up the right bank of Elk river to Fayetteville, where we crossed there onto this place. Rumor says that we draw 20 days' rations here. It is three-fourths official, too. It is certain that we leave here in the morning, but nobody knows where for. We could certainly march to Chattanooga in six days, but could go much quicker by the railroad from Decherd station, which is only two miles from here. The wagon road from here to Chattanooga is awful. But one brigade has ever marched it. The mountains commence right here and continue to, the Lord knows where. Our brigade is to be mounted immediately. In the last 60 miles marching we have mounted 800 or nearly half. The citizens along the road very kindly furnished all of stock and equipments. My company was mounted four days ago. Company C is to be mounted next. As fast as the men are mounted they are put out as foragers for more horses, etc. The first day my company was mounted we got 30 horses, and would have done better, but confound me if I could take horses from crying women, although I am satisfied that half of their howling is sham, got up for the occasion. My first day's foraging almost used me up. We had fed our horses and I went to unhitch a mule from the fence to give him in charge of one of the men, and the brute scared and jerked the rail from the fence and started like lightning. The end of the rail struck me on the calves of my legs and elevated my boots five feet. The attraction of gravitation brought me down to the globe and I landed with a great deal of vim on a rock about the size of our parlor floor, and as smooth as a peach stone. The only severe injury either the rock or myself sustained was a very badly sprained wrist. I got that. My left hip and left shoulder were hurt some, but the wrist has pained me so confoundedly that I don't count them. It has pained me so for the last two days and is so tender that I could stand neither the jolting of a horse or wagon. I tried to ride my horse this morning; we were in column and had to strike a trot and that beat me. Think I will be all right for the saddle in a few days, though will have a tender wrist for a good while. Well, our division came through in the advance and our brigade has had the lead most of the time. We have had plenty of forage, but light issues of regular rations probably average. Half Morgan L. Smith's and John E. Smith's divisions are close up to us, will be here to-morrow. Osterhaus and Dodge are behind them. We have five divisions all told, probably 25,000 or 30,000 men. We met here the first troops belonging to the Army of the Cumberland.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 200-2

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Captain Charles Wright Wills: November 1, 1863

Florence, Ala., November 1, 1863.

We struck tents on the 27th ult. at Iuka, Miss., and marched to Eastport, eight miles, that night. We had in our division some 200 wagons, all of which with 1,200 horses and mules were to be crossed in a barge over the Tennessee river. I received a complimentary detail to superintend the crossing of the wagons belonging to one brigade. I think I never worked harder than I did from 7 o'clock that night until 6:30 o'clock the next day, a. m. It occupied two days and nights crossing the whole train, but we marched at 3 p. m., the 28th, and camped that night at Gravelly springs, 15 miles from Eastport. The road ran for some ten miles along the foot of the river bluff, and the numerous springs sparkling their beautifully clear and fresh jets of limestone water on the road, from which they rippled in almost countless little streamlets to the river, although adding much to the wild beauty of the country, made such a disagreable splashy walking for we footmen that (I speak more particularly for myself) we failed to appreciate it. We bivouacked for the night at about 9 p. m. The morn of the 29th we started at 8 o'clock, and after ascending the bluff, marched through a magnificent country to this place, 15 miles. Some three miles from here at the crossing of Cypress creek, something like 50 or 60 girls, some of them rather good looking, had congregated and they seemed much pleased to see us. All avowed themselves Unionists.

There had been a large cotton mill at this crossing, Comyn burned it last summer, which had furnished employment for these women and some 200 more. This is a very pretty little town. Has at present some very pretty women. Two of the sirens came very near charming me this a. m. Bought two dozen biscuits of them. Have been out of bread for two days before, but had plenty of sweet potatoes and apples. During the march on the 29th we heard Blair pounding away with his artillery nearly all day across the river, I should think about a dozen miles west of Tuscumbia. I was down to the bank the morning of the 30th ult. and the Rebels across shot at our boys, watering mules, but without effecting any damage. I saw a white flag come down to the bank and heard that Ewing sent over to see what was wanted, nothing more. There was some musketry fighting yesterday near Tuscumbia, but don't know who it was. We are four and one-half miles from there. Two companies of the 4th Regular Cavalry reached here on the 30th from Chattanooga, bearing dispatches to Sherman. He is at Iuka. All of these movements beat me completely. Can't see the point and doubt if there is one. We have commenced fortifying here. Have seen much better places to fight. We are "fixed up" most too nicely to hope to live here long. I have a stove, a good floor covered with Brussels carpet, plenty of chairs and a china table set under my tent. Eatables are plenty and would offer no objection if ordered to stay here a couple of weeks. Understand that not a farthing's worth of the above was “jayhawked.” Got it all on the square. I wish I could send you the mate to a biscuit I just ate. Twould disgust the oldest man in the world with the Sunny South. By hemp, but it is cold these nights. Last night there was an inch of white frost. I was nearly frozen. Dorrance swears that Mattison and I were within an ace of killing him in our endeavors to “close up” and keep warm.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 199-200