Showing posts with label Recruits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recruits. Show all posts

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 10, 1864

 Gen. Lee wrote to the Secretary of War, on the 22d of January, that his army was not fed well enough to fit them for the exertions of the spring campaign; and recommended the discontinuance of the rule of the Commissary-General allowing officers at Richmond, Petersburg, and many other towns, to purchase government meat, etc. etc. for the subsistence of their families, at schedule prices. He says the salaries of these officers ought to be sufficient compensation for their services; that such allowances deprived the officers and soldiers in the field of necessary subsistence, and encouraged able-bodied men to seek such easy positions; it offended the people who paid tithes, to see them consumed by these non-combating colonels, majors, etc., instead of going to feed the army; and it demoralized the officers and soldiers in the field.

This letter was referred to the Commissary-General, who, after the usual delay, returned it with a long argument to show that Gen. Lee was in “error,” and that the practice was necessary, etc.

To this the Secretary responded by a peremptory order, restricting the city officers in the item of meat.

Again the Commissary-General sends it back, recommending the suspension of the order until it be seen what Congress will do! Here are twenty days gone, and the Commissary-General has his own way still. He don't hesitate to bully the Secretary and the highest generals in the field. Meantime the Commissary-General's pet officers and clerks are living sumptuously while the soldiers are on hard fare. But, fortunately, Gen. Lee has captured 1200 beeves from the enemy since his letter was written.

And Gen. Cobb writes an encouraging letter from Georgia. He says there is more meat in that State than any one supposed; and men too. Many thousands of recruits can be sent forward, and meat enough to feed them.

The President has issued a stirring address to the army.

The weather is still clear, and the roads are not only good, but dusty—yet it is cold.

They say Gen. Butler, on the Peninsula, has given orders to his troops to respect private property—and not to molest noncombatants.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 146-7

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Letter from G., May 13, 1864

BELLE PLAIN, VA., May 13, 1864.

On the S. C. boat, pulling up to the shore Government flatboats of horses and cavalry recruits. There are no docks and the army supplies are being landed from barges connected by pontoons with the shore. A constant stream of contrabands passing with bags of grain and barrels of pork on their shoulders. Dr. Douglas and Dr. Agnew are here. Good Dr. Cuyler is here. Senator Pomeroy is on board going down to bring up General Bartlett of Massachusetts who went into the fight with a Palmer leg and was wounded again. Col. —— tells me there has been great anxiety at the War Department. Mr. Stanton said to him, “When we have a victory the whole North shall know it.”—“And when there is silence?” said Col. ——. “Then,” said the Secretary, “there is no communication with the front.” We have a Feeding-Station on shore and are putting up another two miles away, on the hill, where ambulance trains halt sometimes for hours, owing to obstructions in the road. The mud is frightful and the rain is coming on again. We are directed to take the return train of ambulances for Fredericksburg.

Just as I finished, the train from Fredericksburg arrived. Nothing I have ever seen equals the condition of these men. They had been two or three days in the ambulances; roads dreadful; no food. We have been at work with them from morning till night without ceasing; filling one boat, feeding the men; filling another, feeding them. There is no sort of use in trying to tell you the story. I can scarcely bear to think of it. All the nurses and cooks from the Invalid Corps of our Hospital, who marched off that day, Sullivan, Lewis and the rest, armed with muskets again, are down here guarding prisoners. Yesterday a squad of rebel officers was marched on board a boat lying by ours. I had to pass through their ranks to get supplies from our boat, and shook hands with our boys and saw the officers; Stewart and Bradley Johnson among them; strong well-fed, iron looking men, all of them. There's no give in in such looking men as these. Our soldiers from the front say the rebels stand— stand—in solid masses, giving and taking tremendous blows and never being shoved an inch. It is magnificent!

No words can express the horrible confusion of this place. The wounded arrive one train a day, but the trains are miles long; blocked by all sorts of accidents, wagon trains, bad roads, broken bridges; two, three days on the way, plunged in quagmires, jolted over corduroy, without food, fainting, starving; filthy; frightfully wounded, arms gone to the shoulder, horrible wounds in face and head. I would rather a thousand times have a friend killed on the field than suffer in this way. It is worse than White House, Harrison's, or Gettysburg by far. Many die on the way. We found thirty-five dead in the ambulances yesterday, and six more died on the stretchers while being put on board the boats. The boats are anything that can be got hold of, cattle scows, anything. Barges of horses are landed by the side of the transports and the horses cross the deck where the helpless men lie. Mules, stretchers, army wagons, prisoners, dead men and officials as good as dead are tumbled and jumbled on the wretched dock which falls in every little while and keeps the trains waiting for hours. We fed the men at once. We fed all the five boats that got off yesterday. There is no Government provision for this, beyond bread; no coffee, no soup, no cups or pails, or vessels of any kind for holding food. The men eat as if starving. These had been three days without food. We are ordered to Fredericksburg today to report to Dr. Douglas, as there is more misery there than here.

SOURCE: Jane Stuart Woolsey, Hospital Days, p. 150-1

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Dr. Joseph T. Webb to Marietta Cook Webb, May 24, 1864

[Meadow Bluff, May 24, 1864]

The more we learn of the Rebels, etc., at Cloyd's Mountain, the greater was our victory. It is well ascertained now that in addition to their strong position and works, they had more men in the fight than we had, and also more killed and wounded. They not only expected to check us there, but fully counted on capturing our whole force. Their officers whom we captured complain bitterly of their men not fighting. Our new recruits, whom we were disposed to smile at, did splendidly. One of them, whom Captain Hastings on inspection at Camp White told he must cut off his hair, as men with long hair could not fight, meeting the captain in the midst of the fight, the fellow at the head of his company, playfully remarked, shaking his locks at the captain: “What do you think of longhair fighting now?”

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 462

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sardis Birchard, April 20, 1864

Camp White, April 20, i864.

Dear Uncle: — It now seems certain that we are to take an active part in the summer's campaign. We expect to see some of the severe fighting. The Rebel troops in our front are as good as any, and we shall attempt to push them away. My brigade is three large regiments of infantry, containing a good many new recruits. They have been too much scattered (at ten or twelve places) to be properly drilled and disciplined. Still we have some of the best men in service. Of course, if they should break or falter in action, I will be a good deal exposed, otherwise, not so much as heretofore. Still I have no misgivings on my own account, and even if I had, you know my views of such things well enough to know that it would not disturb me much.

Lucy and the boys will soon go to Chillicothe to stay in that vicinity with or near her relatives. Birch would like to go to Fremont, if his mother could go with him.

Sincerely,
R. B. Hayes.
S. Birchard.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 453-4

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: May 28, 1865

In camp. Worked on my ordnance papers. Got them ready to send off. Nettleton went to town. Welch and Sloan in camp. Recruits not to go to Missouri. Paper circulating.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 165

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Edwin M. Stanton to Governor John A. Andrew, May 28, 1862

WAR DEPARTMENT,         
Washington City, D. C., May 28, 1862.
Governor ANDREW,
Boston, Mass.:

The old regulation allowing civilians pay for recruits was repealed by act of Congress. This is understood to be a prohibition of any allowance. Mr. Hooper showed me your telegram to him. I am not disturbed by the howling of those who are at your heels and mine.

EDWIN M. STANTON.

SOURCE: Henry Greenleaf Pearson, The Life of John A. Andrew: Governor of Massachusetts, 1861-1865, Volume 2, p. 22; The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series III, Volume 2 (Serial No. 123), p. 93-4

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: December 30, 1863

Eleven years ago married. Lucy and I talked of it and lived it over on this eleventh anniversary. A happy day.

[In the] evening, spoke to the men again about re-enlisting as veterans. I want three-fourths of the present. We have two hundred and fifty-five. Our present total five hundred; of these we deduct officers twenty-five, invalids fifteen, recruits having more than one year to serve seventy-five — total one hundred and fifteen, [leaving] three hundred and eighty-five. Three-fourths [would be] two hundred and eighty-eight.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 447-8

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Captain Luman Harris Tenney to Professor Henry E. Peck: Sunday, December 18, 1864

Everybody in the 2nd Ohio is familiar with the name and services of Prof. Peck, of Oberlin, the man who has always done so much for the Ohio soldiers, both the sick and well, and who had an article in the paper a short time ago about the 2nd Ohio.

The boys are delighted with your praise of the Regiment. I have told a good many what you wrote in regard to us. All say, “Well, if he says that he does not know a regiment which has done better than ours, we ought to feel proud, for he is well acquainted with Ohio troops.”

Our Regiment has been sadly depleted during the campaign. It has not been recruited, but we hope to have it filled up, if another call for troops shall be made. Perhaps a portion of the records of Company C, with which I am serving will interest you. On the 1st day of May, 1864, the Company left Washington with forty-eight men, all told. During the summer, seven recruits joined it, making a total of fifty-five. From May 1st until this date, the losses foot up as follows: Five killed — all brave and good — thirty wounded and seventeen missing. Today we number for duty, eleven enlisted men, every one good soldiers.

Theodore is robust and always ready for duty. He is well-fashioned for a soldier, having a hardy constitution and a jolly temperament. He was pleased to be remembered by you.

Yesterday I received a beautiful Christmas gift from my friends, Will Hudson, Fred Allen, Delos Haynes and Charley Fairchild, a pair of shoulder-straps. The Col. received a very cunning picture today of Sister Melissa, with her little treasure Carrie in her arms.

The glorious news from Gen'ls Thomas and Sherman has just been read to us. We gave three hearty cheers. We hope that the end is not far distant.

Yours truly,
Luman H. Tenney,
Capt. 2nd O. V. V. C.

Melissa and Baby Carrie

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 137-8

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Brevet Lieutenant-General Scott to Lieutenant-Colonel Henry L. Scott, April 4, 1861

[Copy]
Headquarters of the Army,    
Washington April 4th, 1861.
Confidential.
Lieut.-Col. H. L. Scott,
Aid-de-Camp, etc. etc.

Sir:


This letter will be handed to you by Captain G. V. Fox, ex officer of the navy, and a gentleman of high standing as well as possessed of extraordinary nautical ability. He is charged by high authority here with the command of an expedition (under cover of certain ships of war) whose object is to reenforce Fort Sumter. To embark with Captain Fox you will cause a detachment of recruits, say about two hundred, to be immediately organized at Fort Columbus with a competent number of officers, army ammunition and subsistence; a large surplus of the latter, indeed, as great as the vessels of the expedition will take, with other necessaries will be needed for the augmented garrison of Fort Sumter. The subsistence and other supplies should be assorted like those which were provided by you and Captain Ward of the navy, for a former expedition. Consult Captain Fox and Major Eaton on the subject, and give all necessary orders in my name to fit out the expedition except that the hiring of the vessels will be left to others.

Some fuel must be shipped. All artillery implements, fuses, cordage, slow match, mechanical levers and guns, etc., etc. should also be put on board.

Consult also if necessary (confidentially) Colonel Tompkins and Major Thornton.

Respectfully yours,
WlNFIELD SCOTT

SOURCE: Robert Means Thompson & Richard Wainwright, Editors, Publications of the Naval Historical Society, Volume 9: Confidential Correspondence of Gustavus Vasa Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1861-1865, Volume 1, p. 21-2

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Captain Charles Wright Wills: March 20, 1864

Scottsboro, Ala., March 20, 1864.

What under the sun can I tell you that will interest you. That it is intolerably dull, bah! Have just had a long visit from Lieutenant Colonel Wright, now army assistant inspector general of the division, and Lieutenant Van Dyke, A. D. C., to our new commander, General Harrow. The lieutenant is a splendid looking fellow of about 23 years, and has served up to the time of coming into our division with the 2d Corps, Army Potomac. Van Dyke informed me that a despatch from Logan was received by Harrow this a. m., informing him that Forrest was prowling around on the other side of the river with intention of crossing and making a little dash on some part of our line. "Our" railroad from Nashville via Decatur is about completed (will be finished to-morrow) and then we hope to have something to eat once more. This railroad will be all for our corps, or at least we will get the choice of what comes over it. We are at outs with the general to-day. In the field we are not accustomed to having camp guard, considering a strong picket and the regular property alarm guards sufficient. But because two or three men got drunk yesterday, and a gun or two was fired, out comes Harrow in an order and requires a strong camp guard. It may be one of the faults of our discipline, but 'tis a fact that our men would much prefer two days of any other duty, to one of camp guard. Our court gets on slowly. Oh! We had a dance a few nights since. Northern ladies, officers' wives, and a few "Mountain Ewes" (the poetical name given the Jackson county beauties by some genius of a Yankee). We really had a delightful time; and I understand they are to be continued, one every two weeks Anything to keep a man from getting blue. I see Abraham calls for 200,000 more. Keep asking for them Lincoln, that's right, I'm sure there are yet many who can be spared for their country's good in more meanings than one. It's queer that our regiment don't get more recruits. We need them very much, and yet I dread getting them, they are so much trouble for a year. The 26th and 48th Illinois have respectively 200 and 500 and the officers are bored terribly over them. There is to my eye, as much difference between the average of recruits and the average of veterans, as there is between the physique of a tailor and that of a blacksmith. Some of the veterans who have returned to camp, are sick of their last bargain with the United States, but the majority are right glad to get back.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 220-1

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Captain Charles Wright Wills to his Sister: January 5, 1864

Scottsboro, Ala., January 5, 1864.

Your brother no longer represents the Festive Mamaluke, but has returned from his paradise of fresh pork, cornbread, honey, milk, and horse, to his original heavy infantry exercise, his nix-Grahamite diet of army rations, to that headquarters of red-tapeism, a “permanent camp,” in short, to the elysium of the enlisted men, and purgatory of company commanders winter quarters. In short, the powers that be concluded that dismounting us would not render the salvation of the Union impossible, and as the detachment was getting a very hard reputation, and making much trouble for said powers to settle, ’twas decided to unhorse us. It's all over now, the mounting part has “played” and that string will not probably be harped on again for this brigade to dance to. I think that to-day, Sherman, Logan or Ewing would not trust a detachment of this brigade on sorebacked mules if they had only three legs. This little squad of 500 men in the two months they have been mounted have committed more devilment than two divisions of regular cavalry could in five years. Everything you can think of, from shooting negroes, or marrying these simple country women, down to stealing babies' diapers. From taking $2,700.00 in gold, to snatching a brass ring off the finger of the woman who handed a drink of water. From taking the last "old mar" the widow had to carry her grist to mill, to robbing the bed of its cord, for halters, and taking the clothes line and bedclothing “to boot.” I'll venture that before we were dismounted, not a wellrope, tracechain, or piece of cord of any kind strong enough to hold a horse could be found in the districts through which we have foraged. I want you to understand that my command is not responsible for the heavy devilment. I have steadily discountenanced it, and watched my men carefully. I am willing to be responsible for all they did, and will probably have a chance, as I understand a board of inquiry sits on the subject shortly. Some of the officers will, I think, have cause to wish they were never mounted; and to think that “Mission Ridge” would have been preferable to the duty they have been on. We had been looking for General Ewing out to our bivouac to review us for several days, and I rather saw in the distance that dismount was an order we'd get shortly, and had sent in to our colonel, lieutenant colonel and staff some of my best horses, knowing that if we got dismounted they would be taken by Sherman, Logan or Ewing. Sure enough, on the morning of the New Year's day came an order to form to be review by some heavy staff. The review consisted in their picking out what good horses there were, turning the rest into a corral, and sending us to our regiments on foot. We got here the same day, found the regiment just pitching camp, with the idea that winter quarters or a good long rest, at least, was their portion. Our company already has good comfortable quarters up, and is as well fixed for winter as we care about being. But already we hear it rumored that our division is to move down to Huntsville in a short time, and we have had no orders to prepare winter quarters. All right. It has been pretty cold here although we have had no snow nor ice that could bear a man. A great deal of rain. The regiment is very healthy. Not a dozen men complaining. My wrist is improving slowly. Not worth very much yet. Doctor says 'twill take it a year to get well. That bone at the wrist joint protrudes considerably. All right. The veteran feeling is "terrific" here. Three regiments in our brigade the only ones eligible (that is that have been in two years) have re-enlisted almost to a man. 40th Illinois, 46th Ohio and 6th Iowa. In our division there are seven regiments eligible and all have re-enlisted, and are going home in a few days. It is, I think, the grandest thing of the war. These old soldiers so enthusiastically and unanimously “going-inimously.” I guess no one is more astonished at it than the very men who are enlisting. One of the 40th boys told me that "about 15 of us were talking about it and cussing it, until every son of a gun of us concluded to, and did re-enlist." Our regiment hasn't been in long enough to make veterans. Wouldn't you rather have me stay in service until this war ends? I get the blues, though, sometimes, and think of getting out and denying that I ever was in the war. Haven't I a brilliant record, Thirty-three months in service and not a battle.

Clear and cold this morning. I'm very comfortable. Have built me a brick fireplace and chimney, raised my tent two and one-half feet on a broad frame. Made me a good bed with broom sage for soft, and am living high.

I received three recruits yesterday and have at least one more coming. I have more men for duty than any other company. Night before last two Confederate soldiers came into our camp and stole three horses, two of them belonging to our surgeons, and the other to the adjutant. The Rebels crossed the Tennessee river, which is only four miles from here and recrossed safely with their horses. I call that pretty sharp. The horses were only about 30 yards from where I sleep. They might just as well have got me. I feel highly complimented by their prefering the horses to me. We had one-fourth of an inch of snow last night. Gone now. Yesterday three teamsters, belonging to Logan's headquarters while foraging went to pillaging a house. The woman of the house tried to stop them, when one of the fellows struck her on the head with a gun and killed her. This was about three miles from here.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 208-11

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: February 29, 1864

Thede went to Pittsfield and around to see if he couldn't find a recruit. Melissa and I went to Minnie's. Came home for Thede but he had gone away. Took Floy over. Waffles and sugar for supper. Floy and I went to Young People's meeting. Interesting. M. caught cold.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 108

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Edwin M. Stanton to Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant, September 11, 1864 – 7:55 p.m.

WASHINGTON, September 11, 1864 — 7.55 p.m.
Lieutenant-General GRANT:

It is not designed by this department to delay the draft a single day after the credits are made up and quota ascertained. The Provost-Marshal-General has been directed to lose no time in that work. It is represented that the first recruits were a hard lot, but that recently the volunteers are equal to any that have taken the field during the war. The local authorities have been slack in paying their bounties and this has occasioned some delay. I would be glad if you would send me a telegram for publication, urging the necessity of immediately filling up the army by draft. The most difficulty is likely to be in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, from the desire of candidates to retain their men until after the election. We have not got a single regiment from Indiana. Morton came here specially to have the draft postponed, bur was peremptorily refused. But the personal interest to, retain men until after the election requires every effort to procure troops in that State, even by draft. Illinois is much the same way. Not a regiment or even company there has been organized. A special call from you would aid the department in overcoming the local inertia and personal interests that favor delay.

EDWIN M. STANTON,       
Secretary of War.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 42, Part 2 (Serial No. 88), p. 783-4

Governor Oliver P. Morton et al to Edwin M. Stanton, September 12, 1864

To Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War:

sir — Assembled from the different parts of Indiana, and practically familiar with the influences now at work in each congressional district of the state, we express it as our profound conviction that upon the issue of the election that occurs within a month from this date may depend the question as to whether the secession element shall be effectually crushed or whether it shall acquire strength enough, we do not say to take the state out of the Union, but practically to sever her from the general government, so far as future military aid is concerned.

We further express the gravest doubts as to whether it will be possible for us to secure success at the polls on the 11th of October unless we can receive aid—

1. By delay of the draft until the election has passed.

2. By the return, before election day, of fifteen thousand Indiana soldiers.

As to the draft, we propose an informal delay only, of which no public notice need be given. Reason sufficient will suggest itself in the time necessary to adjust the local quotas of townships, towns and cities, without the careful settlement of which, great dissatisfaction, even among the loyal, can not be avoided.

Volunteering is going on rapidly at this moment, and we have no hesitation in expressing the confident opinion that if the draft be delayed, and fifteen thousand Indiana troops be ordered home before the election, with suitable arrangements for recruiting, Indiana's entire quota can and will be filled by volunteering within two weeks after election day. She is at this time ahead, after filling former quotas, fully fifteen thousand three years' men.

Thus the government will obtain the recruits it has demanded about as soon as by pressing compulsory measures at once, and it will secure itself against the possible loss of the power and influence of the state for years to come.

If the draft is enforced before the election there may be required half as many men to enforce it as we ask to secure the election. Difficulty may reasonably be anticipated in from twenty to twenty-five counties. If the draft goes on immediately after the election, the soldiers will be on the spot to secure its being carried into effect, should that be necessary. But we are confident that if our propositions are adopted no draft will be needed at all.

The case of Indiana is peculiar. She has, probably, a larger proportion of inhabitants of Southern birth or parentage — many of them, of course, with Southern proclivities — than any other free state, and she is one of the few states in which soldiers are disfranchised.

It is not on the score of Indiana's past deserts that we ask this assistance. All such considerations must give way before the public good. We ask it because the burden of this political contest is heavier than we can bear. Nor have we asked it before exhausting every effort which loyal men can make for their country. We ask it for that country's sake. We ask it, because we feel absolutely assured that in this way more readily and more speedily than in any other can the general government accomplish the object it proposes.

If it were possible that you could see and hear what we, in the last month, each in his own section of country, have seen and heard, no word from us would be needed. You would need no argument to prove that a crisis, full of danger to the entire Northwest, is at hand.

We do not expect any general commanding, engrossed with vast military operations, to realize this. And therefore, while of course we do not urge any withdrawal of troops that would imperil the situation in Georgia or elsewhere, we suggest that a mere request to General Sherman, or other commander, to send home, or not send home, the troops in question, as he might think best, unaccompanied by an expression of the urgent desire of the government in the premises, and a view of the vast interests at stake, would be of no avail. No commander willingly diminishes his command. To what extent it may be prudent or proper to make the order imperative, we, not having the entire situation before us, can not judge. We hope you will see, in our most precarious condition, cause sufficient to do so.

The result of the state election, whether favorable or unfavorable to the government, will carry with it, beyond a doubt, that of the Presidential vote of Indiana.

All which is respectfully submitted,

O. P. Morton.
E. Dumont, 6th District.
godlove S. Orth, 8th District.
C. M. Allen, 1st District.
thomas N. Stillwell, 11th District.
ralph Hill, 3d District.
john H. Farquhar, 4th District.
james G. Jones, A. A. P. Marshal-General.
W. W. Curry, 2d District.
J. H. Defrees, 10th District.
S. Colfax, 9th District.
john L. Mansfield, Maj.-Gen. Ind. Legion.
JAMES Park, Capt. P. Mar. 8th District Ind.
charles A. Ray, Judge 12th District.
A. H. Conner, Postmaster, Indianapolis, Ind.
J. T. Wright, Ch. St. Cent. Com.
indianapolis, September 12, 1864.

SOURCE: William Dudley Foulke, Life of Oliver P. Morton, Volume 1, p. 367-9

Friday, September 8, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: September 26, 1863

Unsaddled after roll call. Pretty early orders came to fall back at noon. Cos. C and E with Col. Purington, Majs. Seward and Nettleton went over the river and burned block houses and bridges. Co. C had charge of firing two large blockhouses. Built large piles of light trash inside and out. At the word all set fire. Maj. remained with reserve. Marched 8 miles and camped. 2nd rear guard. About 500 recruits went back with us. East Tennessee encouraging.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 90

Friday, August 18, 2017

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Tuesday, January 6, 1863

Very fine weather for a week past, and I am busy digging ditches, building walks, roads, bridges, and quarters. A pleasant occupation. Great fighting at Murfreesboro; heavy losses on our side, but the general result not yet known. Rainy today. I must build a skiff to get over to the brick house to headquarters easily.

During past year we have received sixty-eight recruits; discharged sixty-six; killed in action forty-seven; died of wounds twenty; died of disease fifteen. [Total] deaths eighty-two. Total loss aggregates one hundred and forty-eight. Net loss eighty.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 386

Monday, July 31, 2017

1st Lieutenant Charles Wright Wills: August 8, 1862

Tuscumbia, Ala., August 8, 1862.

My pet negro got so lazy and worthless I was compelled to ship him. I'll take back, if you please, everything good that I ever said of free negroes. That Beauregard nigger was such a thief that we had to also set him adrift. He stole our canned fruit, jellies and oysters and sold some of them and gave parties at the cabins in the vicinity. This was barely endurable but he was a splendid, smart fellow and the colonel would have kept him, but he got to stealing the colonel's liquor. That of course, was unpardonable, when the scarcity of the article was considered. In my last I spoke of a ride on the railroad and having to turn back on account of bridges being burned There were, maybe, 150 sick soldiers on board, and they concluded to march to Decatur, only 10 miles. They were attacked just after we started back, five of them killed and about 100 taken prisoners. There was a woman along and she was wounded. There were three little fights yesterday between here and 25 miles east. In all, four killed and 13 wounded. The fight first spoken of was day before yesterday. Orders have been given us to put every woman and child (imprison the men) across the line that speaks or acts secesh, and to burn their property, and to destroy all their crops, cut down corn growing, and burn all the cribs. That is something like war. ’Tis devilish hard for one like me to assist in such work, but believe it is necessary to our course. Having been very busy preparing reports and writing letters all day, feel deuced little like writing you. People here treat us the very best kind, although they are as strong Rebels as live. Bring us peaches and vegetables every day. I can't hardly think the generals will carry out the orders as above, for it will have a very demoralizing effect upon the men. I'd hate like the deuce to burn the houses of some secesh I know here, but at the same time don't doubt the justice of the thing. One of them has lent us his own cook, or rather his wife did; and they don't talk their secessionism to you unless you ask them to. We are getting a good many recruits from this country. All poor people, in fact that is the only kind that pretend to any Unionism here. There are now three full companies of Alabamians (Union) at Huntsville, and many more coming in. It is the opinion of the court that this new law, a copy of which you sent me, will boost me out of the service. I will make no objection, although would rather stay in if I thought the war would last 30 or 40 years. Don't see how the boys can stay at home under the pressure. A young man here, and a splendid fellow, if he is a Rebel, showed me four letters from different young ladies urging him, by ridicule and appeals to his pride to go into the army. He was in for a short time, and was stationed at Fort Morgan. Business keeps him out now — crops, etc. I think will arrange things so that he can leave, if we carry out orders. ’Twould be quite a change for me to be out of the army now. I don' know how I would relish it while the war continues, although am sure could stand it if peace times would come again.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 123-5

Friday, April 28, 2017

Private Charles Wright Wills: September 1, 1861

Cairo. We had blankets given us this last week and new accoutrements throughout. If they would only change our guns now we would have nothing but a move to ask for. A uniform was also furnished us last week. It is of excellent all-wool goods, and not so heavy as to be uncomfortable. The color is very fine grey, the pants are fashionably cut and equal to such as would cost six dollars in Peoria. The coats have short skirts and are rather fancifully trimmed with blue. It is much the best uniform I have seen yet, although it costs but $13. We will have a fatigue suit shortly. Yesterday we were mustered for pay. We will get our first month's wages this week “they say.” There are wagons and mules here now by the hundreds, and when our tents are ready (they are here now) we will be ready to move. I think there must be near 10,000 men here now. Logan's, Pugh's, Buford's, and another's regiment; Hick's and Raritan's came in last week. The first three belong to McCormick's Brigade. General McClernand is here now. Every one thinks we will move in a very few days. I kind o' feel it in my bones, too, but it is too good to be true, so I'm taking all the bets I can from 10 cents worth of peanuts to a half bushel of apples, I betting that we are here two weeks from now. I've got them any way, for if we move, I hope to be able to borrow apples, etc., from the seceshers to pay my little bills, and if I stay here I'll have some eatables free for consolation. We Canton boys have hired a cook for ourselves and are living much better than I ever did before in camp.

Our cook is a jewel, and by trading off rations keeps us in clover all the time. He sets a better table for us than the Peoria house boarders eat from, honestly. An old schoolmate of mine in our mess furnishes us with milk. He and John Wallace go out every night about 2 or 3 o'clock and — somebody's cow don't milk well next morning. We'll never have such times sojering again, but you can't imagine how we do want to get over into Missouri or Arkansas. We don't have half as easy times as these at home and but for the discipline it wouldn't seem like soldiering. I've been bored like sin the last two weeks drilling new recruits, but I'm glad of it, for it is rather pleasant to me to have something disagreeable when I'm bored feeling good. John Keefer and John Wallace, so far, make as good soldiers as any men in camp, Keef’s game leg working against him, too. All our boys are just the men for soldiers. It comes perfectly naturally to Sid. and Sam. Theo. has been in bad health for a week, but I think he is improving now. Fred Norcott is a splendid boy. He and Sam match well. Charley Cooper is acting as post orderly, that is, stays at headquarders of the Post Commandant, preserves order there and carries messages, dispatches, etc., to the different colonels. A good place but very confusing.

I have been visiting Colonel Raritan's and Hick's Camp this p. m. They have no guns yet and their sentinels stand guard with sticks. Looks funny.

We have about 50 prisoners here now. They think they are treated splendidly and say that if any of our boys fall into their hands they will remember it. Several of them are very intelligent-appearing men. One of them is about as big as — a house with a foot like a cooking stove. Charley Maple wrote down to us that he wants to join our company; Keefer wrote him to come. I have to remark once more that the “health of camp is better than ever before,” your sarcastic remark not having affected our sanitary condition in the least. You will please make no more impertinent remarks or comments on my letters!

A. H. White was down here last Sabbath, and he and I found Frank Smith in Smith's Artillery. I have been here right by him four months without knowing it and lived. He is a corporal. He, A. H., and I drank some beer, discussed the affairs of the nation and adjourned. Do you remember Enos Lincoln? He is here in the 12th.

We have had some fighting in camp lately. An artillery man stabbed one of the 9th and got knocked, kicked and bayoneted for it. The artillery have sworn to have revenge and every hickory man (the 9th have a fatigue suit of hickory) they see they pounce onto. They have a skirmish every day. One of our company got drunk to-day, got to fighting, was sent to the guardhouse, tried to break out, guard knocked him down with a gun, cut his cheek open, etc. He then got into a fight with four other men in the guard house and of all the bunged eyes and bloody faces they beat the record.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 25-7

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Diary of Private Charles Wright Wills: July 27, 1861


Cairo.  We number now about 60 and have 25 days in which to fill up to 100. Two hundred and fifty of our regiment of three-months’ men have re-enlisted. Two hundred and fifty out of 680, which is considerably better than any eastern regiment that I have seen mentioned. There was not a sick man in our company when we returned, and there is not now. One of the boys just tells me that day before yesterday morning there were but eight in the regiment hospital. Three men from our regiment have died in three and a half months. One of these I know killed himself with imprudence. I have telegraphed to the boys to be in Peoria Wednesday. I have not the least idea that any of them will back out. It does seem real good to be back here again where a fellow can swing himself and lay around loose with sleeves up, collar open, (or shirt off if it suits him better) hair unkempt, face unwashed and everything un-anything. It beats clerking ever so much! We were paid off yesterday. The privates received $56.72 each in gold, silver and copper, which is $24.00 more than we expected.

We are having some more excitement in camp to-day. A rumored attack in prospect on Bird's Point is the subject. We are putting the recruits through in two-forty-style to get them ready. Twenty rounds of cartridges were served to us at noon to-day, and Prentiss’ aids are galloping round as if tight. About one quarter of the recruits have their accoutrements on, and some of them scoot up on the levee every ten minutes to look at the Point. We have all kinds of rumors of from 2,000 to 15,000 Rebels within from 6 to 15 miles of us, but if 20 preachers would swear to the truth, there's not one man that has been here three months would believe it. Been fooled too often! Our officers are careful though, and treat every thing from head-quarters as reliable till the contrary is proven.

It is a horrid trip from Peoria to Cairo as the trains run now. We laid over three hours in El Paso, and eleven hours in Centralia; from 11 p. m. till 10 a. m. Awful! and rode down from Centralia in an accommodation freight. The bed was excellent at home, but I think that sleeping on boards rests me better and I know I sleep sounder.

Have worked two hours hard at cleaning up quarters and eating supper since my last period. Supper consisted of coffee, bread and butter, and cold steak pickled in vinegar. Vinegar is a great improvement on cold beef, I wonder you never adopted it. We have a prime lot of boys this time. There are not ten out of the whole company that I would not like to have for associates at home. I don't believe that one of them will ever take quarters in the guard-house.

I think our company will be full in ten days. We have refused lots of roughs here in camp also in Peoria, but three or four little ones have crept in through acquaintances' influence. Those men we have will learn to drill in half less time than any other lot of recruits on the ground, because they have a pride in their appearance and dress, and that has given them a better carriage and command of themselves than rougher customers have.

We will have in a few days nothing but new recruits here except the fractions of regiments that have re-enlisted; the 10th, which calls itself the crack regiment of the post, will all leave for home day after to-morrow. If it does not come back full in 30 days it will be disbanded. This is Prentiss' old regiment.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 20-2

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Diary of 1st Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Thursday, July 13, 1865

Hard at it all day. The Recruits leave for Houston Texas at 12, M. Heavy shower P. M. 29th Iowa ordered mustered out. The battery, encamped in these Quarters leave for their state Illinois

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 608