Showing posts with label Picket Duty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Picket Duty. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: May 9, 1862

A TRIP INTO THE COUNTRY. 

After nearly two months of scrubbing and cleaning, with new caps and pants, the 25th regiment stands in column of platoons on Pollock street, as tony a looking regiment as there is in the service. The colonel and staff with the band take the head of the column, and amid the cheers of hundreds of darkies, the march commences. Leaving the city we soon enter the woods, and after marching about three miles, come out to a cotton plantation. Here we make a short halt and look over the place. It looks rather run down, the house is old and out of repair, the negro quarters are built of logs, and look as though they were hardly habitable. But I presume everything on a plantation has to correspond. The gentlemanly proprietor, whoever he was, has left, taking with him the best of his servants, leaving here a few old ones to shift for themselves. 

A few miles further on, we came to another cotton plantation. This presented a better appearance, a neat cottage house, painted white with green blinds, good barns and surroundings. The negro quarters were comfortable looking houses, built of boards, with glass windows, and whitewashed. This gentleman with his servants had also gone up the country. About two miles further on, at a fork of the road, we found the 17th Massachusetts, Col. Amory, doing picket duty. Here a road branched to the right leading into the woods, which we took, following it about four miles, coming out at a small clearing, where was a little red house and log barn, with a few negro cabins. This is known as the Red house, and we relieve the 23d Massachusetts, which is doing picket duty. And this then is to be our home for a while. It certainly is retired and rural, not another house within four miles of us. The clearing is not over twelve or fifteen acres in extent, with a small creek running through it. Woods to the right of us, wools to the left of us, woods to the front of us, woods all around us. This surely must be the place for which Cowper sighed, when he wrote, 

“O! for a lodge in some vast wilderness.” 

After getting a little rested from the long march, we pitched our tents in a field a short distance from the house. The colonel and his family, with the band, pitched their camp in the large shady yard next to the house. The tents up, the picket guard is detailed an posted ; a part of them along the road we came up, and connecting with the 17th Massachusetts, a part along the road to the right, and connecting with the 27th Massachusetts stationed at Bachellor's creek, and the balance along the roads and horse paths leading into Dixie. The tents up, the pickets out, dress parade and supper over, I reckon the country must be safe for one night at least, and I will improve it by trying to get some sleep and rest, for it will be just my luck to be on the detail tomorrow. 

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 55-6

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: May 14, 1862

PICKET DUTY.

I was out in the woods yesterday and last night on picket duty, and picket duty is simply lying around in the brush watching the approach of outside parties. Parties approaching in the night time and failing to promptly respond to the hail of the picket are given an instantaneous passport to a land that is fairer than this. A picket is composed of three or more men stationed at convenient distances from each other along the roads, horse paths and anywhere an enemy might be supposed to come. One keeps watch while the others sleep, but with the hooting of the owls, sand-fleas, woodticks, lizards and mosquitoes, their repose is a good deal disturbed.

A SCOUTING PARTY.

Yesterday Col. Upton with a strong scouting party went out to Tuscarora, a little hamlet about five miles distant, where is the enemy's outpost and where is kept a party of observation. On the approach of the colonel and his party they left, but before doing so set fire to a new steam saw and grain mill which was destroyed. Mr. Bogey was a good deal vexed at the destruction of this mill. He said it was built only two years ago at a cost of $5000 and was a great accommodation to the people here abouts, and he, with other farmers, put in their money to help build it. These people have a great notion of burning their property on our approach. I really cannot understand it. They ought to know that it is of no use to us, and in the end will be a sore loss to them,

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 57-8

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

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, December 20, 2019

Diary of 5th Sergeant Osborn H. Oldroyd: May 7, 1863

Our company detailed and reported this morning at headquarters for picket duty, but not being needed, returned to camp. Were somewhat disappointed, for we preferred a day on picket by way of change.

Pickets are the eyes of the army and the terror of those who live in close proximity to their line. Twenty-four hours on picket is hardly ever passed without some good foraging.

We broke camp at ten o'clock A. M., and very glad of it. After a pleasant tramp of ten miles we reached Rocky Springs. Here we have good, cold spring water, fresh from the bosom of the hills.

We have met several of the men of this section who have expressed surprise at the great number of troops passing. They think there must be a million of "you'ns" coming down here. We have assured them they have not seen half of our army. To our faces these citizens seem good Union men, but behind our backs, no doubt their sentiments undergo a change. Probably they were among those who fired at us, and will do it again as soon as they dare. I have not seen a regular acknowledged rebel since we crossed the river, except those we have seen in their army. They may well be surprised at the size of our force, for this. Vicksburg expedition is indeed a big thing, and I am afraid the people who were instrumental in plunging this country headlong into this war have not yet realized what evils they have waked up. They are just beginning to open their eyes to war's career of devastation. They must not complain when they go out to the barnyard in the morning and find a hog or two missing at roll-call, or a few chickens less to pick corn and be picked in turn for the pot. I think these southern people will be benefited by the general diffusion of information which our army is introducing; and after the war new enterprise and better arts will follow—the steel plow, for instance, in place of the bull-tongue or old root that has been in use here so long to scratch the soil. The South must suffer, but out of that suffering will come wisdom.

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 9-10

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

“Red Stick” to Isaac M. Keeler, November 22, 1861

FRIEND KEELER:—As I have a few spare moments I thought I would indite a few lines to you, letting you know that the central division of the American army of the Department of Cumberland is still remaining at this point.  When our large army will move forward it is impossible to tell.  The indications are not very flattering.  I predict that our division of troops will not advance very far from this camp.  It looks as if we would go into winter quarters between this point and Green River.

Our army is large enough for an advance, but it looks as if this was a peaceful war against the rebels.  Our delays are expensive and give the rebels time to fortify.  There is no need of such dilatory action.  Let the war be pushed forward with vigor, for by rapid movements we gain much.  By remaining here, the rebels gain every advantage, and our forces are put to the necessity of reducing strong fortifications.  Our movements could be forward, for if any advantages are to be gained, let our forces gain them.  There is too much red tape governing the action of our army.  We have remained here over five weeks, and winter is upon us, and yet no battle has been fought; no victory tells of the bravery of our men, and no trophies tell of daring exploits, forced marches or hardships endured by our soldiers, for the preservation of the American Union and of Free institutions.  Our army is inactive, but if tried by the Kentucky rebels, they will find us ready and effective.  But it seems as if the army contractors who are plundering from the government treasure are anxious to prolong this war for their own selfish purposes.  But the people are getting tired of such extravagant work.—They demand prompt action and efficient prosecution of this war, until traitors cease to exist and the Banner of the Free waves in triumph over every state in the American Union.

The men around here are secessionists, but to swear the dogs and let them go, seems to be the policy of those in power.  The rebels are constantly getting information from our camp, and reporting our acts to their rebel chieftains.—Here we see the rebel signals very near every night, and our picket guards are within gun shot of the “tarnel red skins,” yet we remain inactive.  But we yield obedience to all orders, however repugnant they may be to our sense of right and justice.  We are government machines set to any tune it may desire to play.

Yesterday our regiment (the 49th) was out on picket guard.  It was a gloomy day, the mud being about knee deep, but it seemed to go well for a change.  Companies A and F were on the extreme right, the farthest from camp and at points where rebel balls have pierced union hearts.  Company A is from Findlay, Ohio; its officers are gentlemen in every sense of the word.  Capt. A. Langworthy is one of God’s noblemen.  He is small in statue [sic], but I don’t think any other little man every had so large a heart.  Lieut. Sam. Gray is considered the best looking man in the regiment and is an able and efficient officer.  Lieut. Davidson was one of the Kansas warriors, and exerted himself to free Kansas from the blighting curse of slavery.  His fame shall live forever.

Lieut. Gray was out last night scouting, and I learn captured a secessionist at a distillery.  The rats get dry, they must come out of their holes.

Yesterday afternoon about dusk, Capt. Bartlett and eight men captured four secessionists, who have been firing upon our picket guards for a long time back without bloodshed.  He went through a defile in the woods to an old forsaken house, where no one would suppose white men would live and found them in the garret asleep.  His entrance around the sleeping villains, but they dare not resist, and surrendered themselves as prisoners.  They were brought into camp this morning amid the hearty plaudits of our volunteers.  They looked hard.

Capt. James Patterson and John, the scout, are now out scouting.  We look for them to-night.  John is a negro and makes a valuable man in the scouting service.

The regiment have received their overcoats.  They are a dark blue.  They boys are satisfied with them, and make a good appearance.

Kentucky’s fairest daughters do not compare with Sandusky county girls.  They are not so large or handsome.  But I find the “school marms” are from the North, hence the people here have some advantages which we enjoy at home.

Our boys have built a bake-oven.  They are great on improvements, and their inventive genius has been let loose.  Daniel Jacobson seems to be ahead so far in that line.  The oven is a perfect success, and better bread cannot be found any where than baked in it.  It is an old fashioned mud oven, and it might be said of it, science directed and Corporal Wilson Executed.

Ours is the Printer Company.  Five printers belong to it, and we will set the type and take impressions when we get to Bowling Green.

Without bragging, our Orderly Sergeant, John Kessler, cannot be beat, search creation over.—He is always ready, ever willing, and always attentive to the wants of the men.  He is respected and loved by all.

Our regimental officers are good.  Col. Wm. H. Gibson is O. K.  The men will fight for Bill until there is nothing left to fight for.  He is familiar with all, but is endowed with Roman firmness, never flinching, and always at his post.  He is the right man in the right place.

Our Lieutenant Colonel is A. M. Blackman, formerly of Fostoria.  He was in the three month’s service, a Captain under Col. Norton in the Ohio 21st regiment.  He left a history in Western Virginia which the rebels will not very soon forget.  He his courageous, able and efficient, and all the proficiency that has been made in drill by the 49th regiment is due to him.

Our Major is Levi Drake, of Putnam county, Ohio.  He was through the Mexican war, is military by practice and inclination, a good officer and a brave man.

Our Chaplain is Rev. E. H. Bush, son of Erastus Bush, of Fremont.  Hi is a gentleman and a scholar, always attentive to the spiritual wants of his men.

Of Adjutant C. N. Norton nothing need be said by me; he is favorably known by all Fremonters.

Col. Crittenden’s 6th Indiana regiment cleaned out Rain’s store and dwelling houses at Nolin.  Rains was connected in burning Bridges.  They took his chimney down, kicked all the siding off of his house and store, and applied his goods to their benefit.  Every thing was thoroughly cleaned out.

Our army is increasing in strength all the time.  Troops are continually pouring in at this point.  Hurry up the 72nd, for we need more men in Kentucky.  Union men of Sandusky county, come to our rescue.  Come and go with us upon the battle-field, and there prove yourselves worthy of your ancestry.  Let it not be said you was unmindful of the deeds of bravery exhibited by George Croghan and his little band of heroes who so nobly defended Fort Stephenson.  Come as the waves come, clearing out every thing in our course.

To-day our Regiment received orders to be ready at a moment’s notice to march.  Where to or when it is not known.

John Tally came here with Col. Gibson and joined Company F.  He used to be a carpenter at Fremont.  He makes a good soldier.

The men in our regiment are in good health, and are always in good condition.  They have been  seriously exposed, but have so far luckily escaped.

Yours truly,
RED STICK.

SOURCE: “Army Correspondence,” The Freemont Weekly Journal, Freemont, Ohio, Friday, November 22, 1861, p. 2.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Letter from “Red Stick,” December 4, 1861

CAMP NEVIS, Ky., December 4, 1861:—I have another opportunity of talking with my pen to you and to the readers of the JOURNAL.  As expected, we are still here, not knowing when we will advance.  Our force here is sufficient for a good hand to hand encounter with the rebels.  So far we are like Old Maids are said to be: “Ready but not wanted!” It is openly proclaimed in camp to-day that we will be able for an advance as soon as one million freemen unite their destiny with ours, and march from their homes in the Great Free West, for they need a body guard at the houses of every man in the State of Kentucky.

This is a singular war and it must be carried on with more regard to the wishers of the rebels than of interest to the country.  The property of well known secessionists must be strongly guarded and protected.  Away with this childish play.  If there is any law let its supremacy be vindicated.  Let the world know that we are capable of self government.  Let us stop boasting of our Nationality, and have a rigid enforcement of all laws.

The health of the 49th regiment is fast improving, and the men are satisfied.  They endure a soldier’s life like old campaigners.  The friends of soldiers in the 49th regiment need have no fears, for no man suffers.  They have plenty to eat of good and substantial food, but our Camp does not abound with luxuries.  It is hard bread, bacon, rice, beef, potatoes, coffee, &c.; the &c. being what is accidently picked up by the men.  They also have sufficient clothes to keep them dry and warm. All that we require of friends at home, is to write us cheering letters and not forget to send us the papers.

On Thanksgiving Day, while our friends in Ohio were living on the fat of the land—I know that in many households a seat was vacant at the festive board by the absence of a son, husband or father, who had gone forth to battle for their country—our Thanksgiving was passed on picket guard!  For thirty-six hours we stood at the post of duty, during the whole of which time it rained very hard.  We were compelled to ford creeks where the water was three feet deep, and during the whole time lived upon two scanty meals.  With the creeks and the rain together we get pretty thoroughly soaked, but not a murmur was heard.

Lieut. Wilcox is on the sick list, but he is now convalescent, and bids fair to soon be entirely recovered.

On the third day of December it snowed all day, and we now have about seven inches of snow, good skating and excellent sleighing.—The boys only regret that the Buckeye girls they left behind could not enjoy the pleasure of a sleigh with them.

Capt. Bartlett and squad of men, have gone out rabbit-hunting.  By the way, the captain is extremely popular with his men.

This morning Capt. Lovejoy accidently shot himself in the mouth with his revolver.  The ball lodged in the upper jaw.  The wound is not considered dangerous.

So far the Paymaster has not made the acquaintance of the 49th regiment, but we are all anxious for an introduction.

In the 49th regiment we have Bob Morris’ Sheep Skin Band, whose music reminds one of the croackings of the bull-frogs in some dismal swamp.  Their music is unearthly and should be abolished.

John Stoner, a Printer boy in Company F, makes a good soldier.

The railroad bridge across salt river has washed away and cut of supplies.  Some regiments are reported as having nothing but bacon and coffee.  With them hard bread would be a luxury.

Winter has come, and with it its pelting storms, but we hope it may not be a “winter of discontent.

We are willing, if necessary, to have the 72nd regiment track the 49th in their victorious marches, through snow-drifts and rivers of ice making our tracks traceable by bloody footsteps upon the frozen snow.  Our blood may chill but our love of country shall remain unchilled forever.

RED STICK.

SOURCE: “Army Correspondence,” The Freemont Weekly Journal, Freemont, Ohio, Friday, December 13, 1861, p. 2.

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, April 2, 2019

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 139. Report of Col. John M. Orr, One hundred and twenty-fourth Indiana Infantry, of operations November 28-30, 1864.

No. 139.

Report of Col. John M. Orr, One hundred and twenty-fourth Indiana Infantry,
of operations November 28-30, 1864.

HEADQUARTERS 124TH INDIANA VOLUNTEERS,  
Nashville, Tenn., December 7, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of the One hundred and twenty-fourth Indiana Volunteers since the afternoon of the 28th of November, 1864, at which time my regiment was detached, by order of Col. J. S. Casement, from the brigade, and ordered to the rear to guard the crossing at Rutherford's Creek, near Columbia:

On the afternoon of the 29th I received orders from Major-General Schofield to picket all roads running east for a distance of one mile from the pike, between Rutherford's Creek and Spring Hill, Company B being left on picket on said creek. In compliance with orders, I moved the remainder of the command forward. After moving two or three miles, Company C was ordered by General Ruger to move off the road and into the woods to the support of his own pickets. The company was posted by his assistant adjutant-general, there to await the order of the general. Moving on to Poplar Grove, five companies (D, E, H, I, and K), under command of Lieut. Col. Henry H. Neff, were placed on a road leading east. Companies A, F, and G, under my own immediate command, advanced toward Spring Hill, some one mile and a half or two miles from Poplar Grove. While here cannonading could be distinctly heard in the direction of Spring Hill. Report soon came by courier that the enemy held the pike in my immediate front, and were advancing. Company A was immediately deployed as skirmishers, and advanced upon the enemy. Companies F and G were ordered to blockade the pike. They were then ordered to the front as skirmishers, which order was promptly obeyed, and soon connected their left with the right of the advancing line. Company A soon became hotly engaged with the enemy; Companies F and G were also soon engaged, forcing the enemy to retire, after which I ordered the companies previously stationed on the roads to move forward and join their command. Company A lost one man, seriously wounded through the left lung, who was left at a house near by, and fell into the enemy's hands. From here we moved on toward Franklin, where we arrived at 6 a.m. 30th, here going into position with the brigade. While here Company B joined us from off picket at Columbia, having been detained until the rear of the army had passed; Company C failed to report. It was placed on picket, by order of Brigadier-General Ruger, there awaiting his orders to be relieved, but he failing to give the necessary instructions, the company is supposed to have maintained its position awaiting for orders, but receiving none, was captured by the enemy.

 JNO. M. ORR,          
 Colonel, Commanding.
 Capt. C. D. RHODES,
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 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 427-8

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: April 4, 1865

Up at daylight. Sent telegram home. Moved up the Appomattox, our Div. in advance. Captured 300 or 400 prisoners, 5 guns and many wagons. Hill's Corps and cavalry on our front. Near Bevil's Bridge enemy made a stand at a crossroads to get a part of their column by. Artillery opened and rebs ran. Our regt. did not become engaged. Went out to pick up wounded. Quite a number of deserters. Camped on this ground. Richmond ours. God hasten peace. Clear and pleasant. Cavalry moved on up the Appomattox. 1st Div. in advance. Would that I could see mother now in her distress. Passed a part of the infantry. Made a feint towards Amelia C. H. Went into camp. 2nd on picket. Moved out again at 11 P. M. Returned to main road and marched all night.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 154

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 130. Reports of Lieut. Col. Laurence H. Rousseau, Twelfth Kentucky Infantry, of operations November 30 and December 15-16, 1864.

No. 130.

Reports of Lieut. Col. Laurence H. Rousseau, Twelfth Kentucky Infantry,
of operations November 30 and December 15-16, 1864.

HDQRS. TWELFTH KENTUCKY VETERAN VOL. INFANTRY,        
Nashville, Tenn., December 7, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report, in obedience to order just received, the operations of the Twelfth Kentucky Infantry at Franklin, Tenn., on the 30th of November, as follows:

My regiment was exceedingly fatigued by recent fighting and marching, when about noon of the 30th of November we marched into Franklin, and were assigned our position on the left of the Sixteenth Kentucky Infantry, both regiments, as was also the Eighth Tennessee Infantry, being in reserve to the remainder of the brigade. The space of time between our arrival and the engagement of the 30th was employed in cooking and sleeping, the men being sadly in need of both food and rest. When it became evident that the enemy was determined to attack I moved my regiment, by order of General Reilly, under shelter of the slight but steep ascent upon which the line of works in our immediate front was built. Our position was at this time in rear about fifty paces of the extreme left of the brigade. The assault commenced a very few minutes after I had made this move. I had my men in readiness to move to any point the instant I should receive orders. After remaining in this position a very short period I observed the line of works at and near the old cotton-gin in the angle of the line being abandoned by our troops; seeing the danger, and well knowing the disastrous consequences that would follow if the enemy should gain the works at this point, I ordered my regiment on my own responsibility forward to the works. Upon our arrival at that point I found a sufficient extent of the line abandoned into which to throw my whole regiment. The enemy had possession of the outside of the works, their officers calling on them to hold the works, “that they had them, if they knew it.” Their colors were planted on our works, and a number of their men had gained the top and fired down into our ranks; even bayonets and clubbed muskets were used. After a severe struggle we gave the enemy a check, and our line was becoming stronger and stronger every moment by the return of those who had at first abandoned them.

To hold the works after this crisis against the assaults which were again and again made was a task comparatively easy. When the repulse was finally completed, and a skirmish line was ordered out in front, a portion of my men were sent out, and the regiment was ordered back to the position it occupied at the beginning of the assault. Some little time before we withdrew across the river a detail of twenty men, with non-commissioned officers and a captain, was called for, which I furnished; immediately after I furnished two companies to report to Colonel Hayes, commanding the One hundredth Ohio, at his own request, to enable him to hold his portion of his line, against which the enemy was making repeated assaults.

The fatigues which my regiment had to undergo were of the severest kind. My men were without rest and sleep four nights in succession, having performed fatigue and picket duty in very heavy details, fought until midnight at Columbia on the 29th, marched to Franklin by noon of the 30th, fought until 11 o'clock the night of the 30th, and then marched to this place.

In regard to the conduct of the officers of my regiment, I deem it unnecessary to make any remark; they all did their duty to the fullest extent. But I would beg leave to mention particularly the conspicuous bravery and coolness of Capt. John Travis, Company B, acting major; Thomas Speed, adjutant; Captains Brown, Company D, Crozier, Company O, and Lieut. J. B. Francis, Company I, and Lieut. D. Gray, Company L These all I saw myself, and can bear testimony to their valuable service.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 L. H. ROUSSEAU,              
 Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Lieutenant STEARNS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
_______________

HDQRS. TWELFTH KENTUCKY VETERAN VOL. INFANTRY,        
Near Spring Hill, Tenn., December 22, 1864.

I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the Twelfth Kentucky Veteran Volunteer Infantry, in front of Nashville, on the 15th and 16th December, 1864:

Early on the morning of the 15th my regiment was withdrawn from the line of Works it had occupied on the right of the Franklin pike, and massed with the brigade in rear of the position the brigade had occupied. During the greater portion of the day, being in reserve, we remained inactive, merely moving in mass with the troops that were held in reserve. It was late in the afternoon, when apparently the flank movement to the right was completed, that we first came in contact with the enemy. This was when the First Brigade moved up in line to support the troops on the right of the Second Division, who were very briskly engaged. It was almost dark when we closed up to within a few paces of the rear, and were ordered to lie down and shelter ourselves behind the crest of the hill. In this position we remained perhaps two hours, when the troops in our front moved to the left, and we were ordered to advance to the crest of this hill and build works. The portion of the line occupied by my regiment in this position was the summit of the elevation, with the right refused to about a perpendicular to the left wing. In this position we threw up very secure works, which proved to be of great benefit on the next day. The morning of the 16th showed us that we were in very close proximity to the enemy, as we learned afterward by actual measurement only 400 yards from their line of works built the night previous. Until about 3 p.m. we remained in our works, sheltered from sharpshooting, which was very brisk. We annoyed the enemy to a considerable extent ourselves, and prevented their using a battery of four guns upon us, which was planted in our immediate front, and also prevented their removing it, when they attempted to do so. About 3 p.m. we received orders to charge the enemy's works. At the command my men moved out promptly, though in consequence of the right being refused to the rear, that portion of the regiment was unable to move with the left wing; however, being very energetically urged forward by Captain Travis, it was brought up very promptly. The enemy gave us several very severe volleys at first, but upon the whole made very feeble resistance. We went into their works and found we had captured 4 pieces of artillery, each with a limber-chest full of ammunition, 51 prisoners, and 40 intrenching tools, besides a considerable number of small-arms, which I neglected to have gathered up until too late, and found that some other troops had removed them.

In the operations of the two days my loss was small, only 5 men slightly wounded.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. H. ROUSSEAU,   
Lieut. Col., Comdg. Twelfth Kentucky Veteran Volunteer Infantry.
 Capt. J. H. BROWN,
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 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 415-7

Monday, February 11, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: March 30, 1865

Rain continued. Lay in the mud till noon, then moved into the woods. Moved out just after getting fixed up comfortably. Moved 4 miles over awful roads and camped 5 miles from Dinwiddie C. H. Building a good deal of corduroy road. Put on picket. Barnitz uneasy all night. Allowed no rest.

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

Monday, February 4, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: March 19, 1865

Crossed the river on R. R. bridge. 2nd went out on picket, to Baltimore Crossroads. My Batt. on outpost. Rode about the country to get a good idea of it. Scouts were prowling about all night. Changed position. Kept us on the alert all night. Several shots.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 148

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: March 20, 1865

Relieved by the 2nd N. Y. about noon. Returned to camp near W. House. Drew rations and forage. Inspection of horses. Estimates for clothing, C. and Garrison equipage. A very hot day. Seemed like Petersburg. Read old file of papers. Dreamed of Fannie.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 148

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: March 7, 1865

Went into camp for breakfast at about 8 A. M. 22 miles from Charlottesville — beautiful day. Moved on different roads — still in rear of train. Passed through Lovingston or Nelson C. H. after dark. Camped six miles on picket.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 146

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 16, 1865

Cleared up the snow from the ground in the morning. Boys came in from picket. How bright the war prospect looks. Hope to see home by July 4th, '65.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 144

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 9, 1865


Cleared up the grounds during the day. Received a letter from Sarah Felton and Will Hudson in evening, with Sarah's picture. School in evening. Detailed for picket.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 143

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 10, 1865

On picket. Had a first class guard mount. Everything passed off splendidly. Made the rounds with the Brigade Officer of the Day in the deep snow.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 143

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 11, 1865

Relieved about 11. No excitement during my tour. Billy Smith on duty with me. In evening school. Made several ignorant blunders. It vexes me to make mistakes. I wish I knew more. I am so ignorant on all subjects.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 143

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 15, 1865

A detail for picket. Bill on. Answered all my old letters. Will's excellent one. Fred's, Sarah's, C. G.'s and Dan Coate's. Spent most of the day thus. Read some.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 143