Civil War News and Correspondence - 1864
From the Clinton Public
Submitted by Judy Simpson
January 14, 1864
Letter From the 107th.
Knoxville, East Tenn., Dec. 6th, 1863
Again, through the kindness of Almighty God, I am permitted to write to you a few words that you may learn that after all the fearful struggles in which we have engaged I am still alive with the principal part of a victorious army.
I feel sad and lonely today; the sun shines brightly, and all nature looks gay and happy, but after all, my mind is not satisfied under present conditions. I suppose that you have been receiving very discouraging news of late, in reference to the army of Gen. BURNSIDE. Truly it has undergone a great deal of suffering within the last three weeks. On the 14th ult., we received orders to be ready to move at a moment's warning, soon after which every thing was packed and ready for transportation and at three o'clock next morning we moved off in the direction of Lenoir Station, six miles from Loudon, towards Knoxville. Rumor said that the rebels, under command of Gen. LONGSTREET, were crossing the river four miles below us, and were using every endeavor to flank our forces. The report was not altogether unfounded, for after we had marched to Lenoir. Gen. Burnside met us there and ordered us back to do battle. All day, or until four o'clock in the afternoon, the rain poured down on us. About that time our forces hove in sight of Loudon. After marching down the river for about a mile, the whole of the forces was brought to a halt. Our regiment (the 107th) was selected to make the first charge upon the enemy, who were secreted in an old school house and in thick underbrush not far off. Just before we were ordered forward on the "double quick," General White, our pision commander, rode up to us and said: "Boys, remember Illinois! Three cheers!" Many a shout and halloo went up as we strode swiftly across hill and valley towards the enemy. We drove them about three miles down the river, and to say the least, they got out of our way in a hurry. After skirmishing through the woods for a considerable length of time, we heard the sound of musketry on our left. Lieut. Col. LOWRY gave the command, and our regiment was quickly taken to the relief of the 13th Ky. When we arrived at the foot of the hill upon which the enemy was stationed, we formed in line of battle and marched upon him. For three quarters of an hour thereafter, a spirited conflict ensued, the terminus of which ended in our favor.
The missels [sic] of death fell thick around us, but we went forth with unfaltering steps, thinking not of the danger of our own lives but of the cause that called us to the struggle. Dennis LERRY [Leary], of Co. H, was killed, and Winfield THROGMARTIN [Throckmorton], of Co. B, slightly wounded in the foot—the only casualties in our regiment. The 13th Ky. lost heavily, their position being more exposed to the enemy than ours. They did well their duty for which they deserve many thanks. On Sunday morning, Nov. 15th, about 4 o'clock, we commenced retreating back in the direction of Lenoir, but on account of bad roads, &c., we did not arrive there until late in the afternoon. At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 16th inst. all of the wagons, and, in fact, all means of transportation were heaped up in a pile and set on fire. The roads were so muddy that we could scarcely get along at all, and the rebs pursued us so close in the rear that about 1 o'clock in the afternoon we were compelled to stop and give battle, which we did at Campbell's Station, in glorious style. From that time until night-fall a heavy fight went on, after which all sank back into a perfect calm—as to fighting. All the while our regiment was lying close by Henshaw's Battery, in an old orchard and supporting the same—solid shot, grape and canister rained all around and about us, and, in fact, in our very midst; but not a man faltered or stepped backward. The wounded in this fight belonging to our regiment were Sergt. Richard WATSON, Co. B; Wm. WILINER, Corp., Co. F; and Franklin COON, private, Co. K—none killed. It is thought by some, myself especially, that the Lord was on our side, by a large majority. At dark we again pushed forward hastily for Knoxville, reached there by daylight next morning; on the road I got so sleepy that I did not know whether I was walking or not; sometimes I would find myself in someone's way, while at other times I would wake myself by butting my head against a rail in the fence corner. Once, when the regiment halted, I fell over in the road. Then I came to the conclusion that I did not care whether the rebels caught me or not—life seemed a little object then, so I crawled to the fence corner and, after resting a while, I took knapsack and moved swiftly on, arriving at Knoxville just as our regiment had halted.
I forgot to state that our retreat from off the battlefield, under the heavy fire, was done in the best of style. When the General looked across the field and saw us moving along as if at leisure, keeping a good line, he enquired what troops we were, and when informed that we had never been under fire before, he said he never saw veteran soldiers make a more masterly retreat. If any complaint at all while the balls were flying so thickly around, largeness was the principal one; as for myself, I felt too big every way. We were sieged at this place for eighteen days—what we underwent during that time I will leave for the Great Historian to record. Surely the "Panorama of war" has been swiftly unfolded before us for the last month, and as I gazed upon it I thought I could see the ships of Government fearfully tossed and racked upon the billows of deadly contests, but again the sky of National greatness seemed clear and ____. Now what do we behold? Bragg's army defeated, Burnside's army released, and the rebels running from us in every way while our brave boys pursue them. In my opinion the rebellion, with war, will soon close; a few more strokes will send it to the things that were but are not leaving our country beneath the congenial smiles of peace, Union, and universal liberty.
J. R. W.
January 28, 1864
BURNSIDE'S EAST TENNESSEE CAMPAIGN.
[Correspondence to the Louisville Journal.]
Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 25th, 1863
Since it was first known to the public that Major General BURNSIDE would attempt the accomplishment of an object, viz: the occupation of East Tennessee, and which would give a prestige to the Union arms heretofore unattained, if successful, and would sever the connection between the two and only remaining armies of the Southern Confederacy, thus giving the final blow to the treasonable attempt at the disruption of our Government, all eyes have been turned in this direction.
And if we are to believe, and we can not well doubt, the tone of the papers of the loyal States, the greatest uneasiness has been felt by the people for the safety of our army and anxiety felt for the result of the expedition. Fear and anxiety were well founded upon the expressed opinion of some of our greatest Generals that a successful campaign into East Tennessee was impossible. And at best, if it should by any oversight of the rebel authorities be successful in the beginning, and the Union army occupy this territory, to hold it would be impossible by reason of the inability of the Government to feed and clothe the necessary number of men to make sure the conquest, and its incapacity to furnish forage for the stock necessary for transportation, and for the cattle required to feed the men.
I am not a prophet, nor do I pretend to read the future—especially not to solve the mystery attaching to military movements—but propose to give an account of the events of a few days past, which have settled the fate of East Tennessee and the brave army that wrenched it from the rebels.
Your readers are familiar, from correspondents with the army, with our march and the events as they transpired until the 13th of November, from which time I shall give an account of such events as fell under my own observation and of such as I learned from sources I could not doubt. Our troops evacuated Loudon the latter part of October. The 2d pision, 23d army corps, commanded by Brig. Gen. Julius WHITE, was stationed up in the opposite bank of the river from the town. The rebels occupied Loudon and the heights around, in what force we could not learn, nor was it of great importance, as the river was to be the future base of operations, and for this reason it was, as I have learned, that Gen. Burnside ordered the evacuation of the town. A pision of the 9th army corps occupied Lenoirs, six miles above. With this support for General White, one brigade of the 2d pision, 23d army corps, was ordered by Gen. Burnside to Kingston, twenty miles below, leaving near fifteen hundred men and two batteries, which was considered ample, to watch and operate against the rebel force occupying Loudon. This program was carried out to the very letter.
On the night of the 13th of November, at nine o'clock, Gen. White received the first report of any considerable force of rebels near us. This was reported to him by Captain SIMS, of the 24th Indiana battery, and was immediately communicated to Gen. Burnside, who was at Knoxville. General White ordered the field officer of the day to visit his pickets, make observations, and learn from the pickets all he could, giving reason to suppose the enemy near us. The officer reported about an hour after that the pickets had heard men on the other side of the river, the rolling of wagons or artillery, and the handling of lumber near Huff's ferry. The lumber, it was supposed, would be used to throw a pontoon bridge across the river at the ferry. Shortly after this, a cavalry picket reported he had heard drums beating and a band playing opposite Huff's ferry. At the same time another picket reported the enemy building a pontoon bridge at the ferry and that a party had crossed in pontoon boats. Upon receipt of this intelligence, Gen. White sent his Adjutant-General, Captain CURTIS, with a small body of cavalry to watch the enemy and report to him by courier what occurred as fast as it transpired. This, Captain Curtis did. As a prudential measure, Gen. White ordered Col. CHAPIN to send one regiment of infantry and a section of artillery to dispute the enemy's crossing. The 23d Michigan and a section of Henshaw's battery started for the ferry about one o'clock a.m., November 14th. All the information received by Gen. White was immediately telegraphed to Gen. Burnside, through the Lenoirs office, thus giving the commandant there, Gen. POTTER, all the information received at Loudon.
The artillery and infantry that started to the ferry was ordered back by Gen. White upon receipt of a telegram from Gen. Burnside to hold his command ready to march in the direction of Knoxville at a moment's notice. The order was received and the troops look up a line of march and arrived at Lenoirs about seven o'clock a.m., Nov. 14th.
A description of the situation of Huff's ferry would not be inappropriate here. It is on the Tennessee river, half a mile from Loudon, on the south bank of the river, but by a long bend in the river at that point, it is six miles by the road, on the north side. This road is the only one the troops could take to get to that point.
Shortly after the arrival of General White at Lenoirs, General Burnside arrived on a train from Knoxville to command in person the movement of the troops. A countermarch to Loudon was immediately ordered. A "reliable spy" had brought information that the rebels were constructing a pontoon at Loudon and doing nothing at Huff's ferry. This, he knew—"had seen it with his own eyes." "Reliable spies" are infallible. The "Holy City" never had within its sacred precincts an Otho or Pius, whose high conceptions of morality taught them the invaluable worth of truth more surely than the ordeal through which they had to pass taught the loyal East Tennesseeans and they whose "names lead all the rest" are the "reliable spies" and "scouts." Fifteen hundred soldiers, who had carried water from the river opposite Loudon for three weeks, and up to the time "reliable spy" had seen the bridge, and a part of them from the very spot where the bridge touched the north side of the river and who knew there was no bridge there, and our picket and scouts who knew the bridge was being built where and at the time "reliable spy" knew it wasn't, were certainly mistaken. They had been deceived and blinded by some mesmer magnetic influence of some rebel wizard. But the pinity of "reliable" confounded the work and trampled the wicked machinations of this latter-day evil spirit, and would, by his power, discover to the deliverers of East Tennessee the operations of these wily traitors. The troops, therefore, marched back to Loudon, expecting to meet the enemy at that place. Arriving there, they found no bridge, no enemy, nothing. They immediately pushed on in the direction of Huff's ferry, the 2d brigade, 2d pision, 23d army corps, Col. Chapin commanding, in the advance, the entire command under the personal supervision of the pision commander, Brig. Gen. White, Gen. Ferrero's pision of the 9th army corps, in the rear. When 3 miles from the ferry, Gen. White met Gen. Potter, staff, and escort returning, who stated that they had been fired on a short distance ahead by rebel pickets. At this juncture there was a "crisis" in the market for the sale of stock in "reliable spies." It was so sudden and so unexpected to the holders, and came with such a crash, that I doubt if a revulsion in nature and the upheaving of the contents of earth would cause it to emerge from its resting place. Spies and scouts are necessary to the successful prosecution of a war in a country to which they are natives, or at least in which they are acquainted with roads and modes of egress which it is impossible for the commander to know. But how careful should they be of trusting too fully to such information and how well know the person whom they trust and how summary and severe should be the punishment of him who violates this confidence and trust and renders insecure the safety of an army, especially one on which so much depends as on that of the Army of East Tennessee. This man either willfully misrepresented or his coward nature would not allow him to ascertain the facts, and reported by guess, supposing the army would move on to Knoxville and no harm being done the facts, would never be discovered.
When a short distance from where Gen. Potter and staff had been fired upon, Gen. White sent forward Lieut. Lawrie, of his staff, with a small party to reconnoiter, who had advanced but a short distance when they were driven back by a strong rebel picket, a regiment being on duty. The rebels followed up the Lieutenant and soon opened fire on Generals Potter, White, and Ferrero, their staffs and escorts. Gen. White immediately ordered Col. Chapin forward with his brigade, the 111th Ohio in the center, 107th Illinois on the right, and the 13th Kentucky on the left, the 23d Michigan supporting the artillery. Then began the battle of Huff's ferry. The troops moved forward at a double quick, cheered to the work before them by their regimental commanders, and a moral influence being given to the charge by the presence of their brigade commander, Col. Chapin, and an influence incalculable was added by the coolness in the hour of danger of their pision commander, Gen. White, who knew the odds against which his gallant brigade had to contend, and the necessity of the exposure which he made of his person upon the field, issuing his orders as the occasion demanded, frequently carrying and attending to the execution of them in person. It was such influence and such cool bravery on the part of their pision commanders as I shall ever believe that enabled this little brigade, all unused to the smell of the "villainous saltpeter," to drive back two miles a superior force of the veterans of Longstreet, over ground which a lesser number should have held.
The 107th Illinois was ordered to drive the rebels from a position they had taken on a hill upon the right, while the 111th Ohio and 13th Kentucky swung around to enclose the field and woods through which the rebels must pass and would expose them to the fire of these two regiments. The 107th did its work gallantly. pesting themselves of all superfluous weight, knapsacks, overcoats, &c., as they moved to the charge, they gained the top of the hill and scattered the troops of Longstreet in an almost perfect rout. Once getting a taste of the fight (it being their first), and exultant with this victory, their battle cry the balance of the day was "forward!" While the 107th was driving the enemy in such confusion on the right, the 13th Kentucky and 111th Ohio were doing their work nobly. Elated by the success of their comrades, it seemed as if they were trying to outdo their achievements. The rebels were thus beaten back two miles; when they formed on a high hill where they were sheltered by woods, and which they supposed impregnable, aided now as they were by their artillery, which had taken position on the opposite side of the river and had opened on our men. The 2d brigade was now in an open field, exposed to the rebel fire from both positions they had taken.
To clear this hill was the next work. Defended by three regiments of the famous corps, it seemed impossible. But it was to be done. The order had been issued and the men knew their General's meaning when he spoke and were in obedience to him who had exposed himself to every danger for their good. The task devoted upon the 13th Kentucky, supported by the 107th Illinois. Before the charge the General rode along the lines encouraging the men to their duty. The order to charge was given. The 13th Kentucky, led by their gallant young Colonel, Wm. E. HOBSON, who seemed to scorn danger and defy death in the presence of his command, moved to their mission. (unreadable sentence) The rebels were routed, but the path of the 13th Kentucky was marked by their dead and wounded. In this short time sixty of that brave regiment lay dead or wounded upon the field of their glory. Night had now come on and the fighting ceased, except an occasional shell from the rebel battery continued until nine o'clock, when all was quiet. The enemy's loss in this fight could not be ascertained as he carried off a number of his killed and wounded, and the extreme darkness of the night prevented an examination of the field. In this fight the 9th army corps was held in reserve and was not engaged.
At daylight the next morning the troops took up a line of march to Lenoirs. The duty of rear guard was assigned to the 2d brigade of Gen. White's pision. The 111th Ohio and one section of Henshaw's battery were detailed to the extreme rear to cover the advanced troops. The roads had been rendered almost impassable by rains the day before, and it was with difficulty the artillery could be got up the hill when the fight began. It was all got up except one caisson, when the enemy, who had advanced in considerable force under cover of the woods on the crest of the hill, attacked the 111th Ohio from three points. The position would not warrant a general engagement, and the caisson had to be abandoned. A smart skirmish ensued, however, as the 111th fought its way to the top of the hill, where it formed, and a few well directed volleys from their guns and a few rounds of canister from the section of artillery soon checked the enemy and the march was resumed towards Lenoirs, where we arrived early in the afternoon. In this skirmish the 111th lost 20 men killed and wounded.
About four o'clock p.m., after arriving at Lenoirs, it was discovered that the main, if not the entire, rebel force had advanced and taken position to give us battle, and our troops were formed to resist the attack if made. They made no demonstration that evening. Our troops remained in line till nearly daylight, when an order was received to march in direction of Knoxville, which was immediately obeyed. On this retreat the 2d pision 23d army corps lost its transportation and ammunition train, and all its property, public and private, which could not hurriedly [be] taken away. The officers, pision, brigade, and regimental lost all their private property. This was done by order of Major General Burnside, that the draft animals might be used to move the artillery. The state of the roads being such, that it was impossible to move it otherwise. The rebels received no benefit from this abandonment of property, as everything was destroyed.
Marching in direction of Knoxville, we were overtaken by the enemy at Campbell's Station at 12 o'clock m. Nov. 16th, and the battle of Campbell's Station commenced. One brigade of the 9th army corps was in the advance, the 2d brigade of the 23d corps in the center, and one brigade of the 9th corps as rear guard. The skirmishing was begun by the 9th corps, the first brigade of the 9th corps forming in the rear of General White's command, which formed in line to protect the stock, &c., as it passed to the rear, and to cover the retreat of the 9th corps, which was the rear guard and was to file past. Again was the 2d brigade in position where it must receive the first shock of battle and must win more or lose the honors already won. The arrangements for battle had hardly been completed before the cavalry came from the front, followed by the infantry of the 9th corps, and two heavy lines of the enemy emerged from the woods three quarters of a mile in front. Each line consisted of a pision and were dressed almost wholly in the U. S. uniform which at first deceived us. Their first line advanced to within 800 yards of Gen. White's front before that officer gave the order to fire. Henshaw's and the 24th Indiana batteries then opened on them with shell, but they moved steadily forward closing up as their lines would be broken by this terrible fire until within 300 yards of our main line, when the batteries mentioned opened on them with canister, and four batteries in the rear, and right and left of Gen. White, opened on their rear line with shell. This was more than they could stand. Their front line broke and ran back some distance, where they reformed and deployed right and left and engaged the 13th Kentucky and 23d Michigan on the right and the 111th Ohio and 107th Illinois on the left, which were supported by Gen. Ferrero's command of the 9th corps. This unequal contest went on for an hour and a half. The only advantage over them, so far, was in artillery, they not having any in position yet. It seemed to be their object to crush the inferior force opposing them with their heavy force of infantry. The men were too stubborn. They would not yield an inch, but frequently drove the rebels from their position and held the ground. Finding they could not move them with the force already employed, the rebels moved forward another line of infantry, heavy as either of the first two, and placed in position three batteries. Their guns were heavier and of longer range than those of the 2d brigade and were situated to command Gen. White's position, while his guns could not answer their fire. They got the range of these guns at once, and killed and wounded several gunners and disabled several horses, when General white ordered them back to the position occupied by those in the rear, the infantry holding their position covered by the artillery on the hill. An artillery fight then began, which continued nearly two hours, till it was growing dark, and the order was given for our troops to fall back to resume the march to Knoxville.
The management of the troops as they moved from the field of battle was a picture of skill and generalship. The 9th corps moved off first, devolving the duty of protecting the rear upon the troops of Gen. White. They were hotly pursued by the enemy, who hoped to break the retreat into a rout. But not a man quickened his pace, and their lines, dressed as when marching in review, gave evidence of the utter disregard of personal safety to save the honor of three days' fighting and toil. The enemy made use of every advantage he thought he could gain, but not a move did he make that escaped the quick glance of the pision or brigade commander, who would face about or change his front as the occasion required, delivering a few volleys so well directed as to check and drive back the enemy utterly discomfited. For two miles this military game was played with such success by the 2d brigade as to cause the rebel chief to draw off, virtually acknowledging himself checkmated at the game he began and seemed anxious to play. This retreat over that field was a sight so grand and beautiful in its management that it attracted the attention of every officer and man who could leave his command to witness it. The heights in front and on the rear were filled with persons of high and low rank, almost grown boisterous with pleasurable excitement as each move of the troops of Gen. White showed them the discomfited enemy falling back to assume a new offensive movement, and to meet the same fate as before. General Burnside, who witnessed its management, pronounced it a masterly effort against such numbers.
Night coming on, and the enemy growing less troublesome, Colonel Chapin, commanding the brigade, who had been unwell for a number of days but had refused to leave the field while the enemy was in the front, was now suffering so that he was ordered to quit his post, and the command devolved upon Col. W. E. Hobson, of the 13th Kentucky, who led the men from the field and conducted the retreat to Knoxville.
To mention the names of the brave men, officers and privates, who did deeds of record, would be to name every man engaged. Not one flinched from the work before him. The historian of the war will find a goodly part of the material for his work here, and do credit to this band of heroes. Having been a witness of all that occurred during the time of which I have written, I feel justified in mentioning a few names that came forth covered with a halo of glory. Of Gen. Burnside I shall say nothing. The country knows him, and he is a subject too grand for my pen. Of the General commanding the 2d pision, 23d army corps, Brig. General White, I cannot say enough to do him justice. He was everywhere present during the fights, scorning to refuse to share the danger his men were exposed to, and endured cheerfully the hardships of the entire march. The "watchful General" he may well be called. Not a minute did he quit his post or take his eye off the enemy, from the time he received the news of his being at Huff's Ferry until his arrival here; but, watching every movement they made, acted as his good judgment suggested when thrown upon his own resources, and always with success. He communicated to his chief at Knoxville all the information he received and obeyed implicitly every order he obtained from that quarter. Among the Generals, here, he is one at least "sans peur sans reproche." To the members of his staff, the report of General White will, I presume, do justice. Their names only are necessary here: Captain Henry Curtis, Jr., F. G. Hentig, Jas. A. Lee, Lieutenants Lowrie and Edmiston. They were with the General always except when upon duty. Of Col. Chapin, commanding the 2d brigade of 2d pision, 23d army corps, I need not add to what I have said. His excellent management of the troops upon three fields, and his personal bravery, has attached him to his men, as few commanders are attached. His staff, Captains Gallulp and Sheldon and Lieut. Hearson, are worthy followers of their leader. Col. W. E. Hobson, of the 13th Kentucky, upon whom the command of the brigade at times devolved, behaved always as became the hero of Huff's Ferry. Lieut. Col. Lowry, of the 107th Illinois; Major Sherwood, of the 111th Ohio; and Maj. Wheeler, of the 23d Michigan, each commanding, all carried themselves nobly. I must mention the name of Colonel Joseph J. KELLY, of the 107th Illinois, whose resignation had just been accepted, and who intended to start for his home in Illinois the day of the fight at Huff's Ferry, but would not leave while the regiment he had so long commanded was in the face of the enemy. He was with them all the time, urging them to the performance of their duty and to victory, and still remains, as he says, to "see it through."
The 9th army corps was engaged only in the Campbell's Station and there sustained the honor of their past history.
The troops arrived at Knoxville at daylight November 16th [should be the 18th], from which time dates the siege of the place, of which—MORE ANON.
February 18, 1864
A PLAYFUL LETTER.
Chinkapin Ridge, Miss., February 5, 1864
I suppose you have heard of the projected movement from this place of a very large force of troops; you ought to know all about it by this time; for people came in from the Confederacy two weeks ago and told us all about it. The expedition started from here on the 3d inst. For once during the war our Reg't was put in the rear. We had proceeded some eight or nine miles beyond Black River, to a place called Chickapin Ridge, when our advance was attacked by a large force of the enemy, reported at fifty strong, under command of General's J. H. MORGAN, of Ohio fame, and JOHNSTON. Our pision was immediately deployed into line, and in a very few minutes a heavy engagement was going on. Our regiment was held as a reserve. After steady fighting for over three hours, the pision was overpowered and forced to fall back. About that time our regiment, which had been laying around loose, was called into line and ordered to charge the advancing foe. On we went with a bound as one man and soon were engaged in one of the most desperate hand to hand conflicts ever witnessed on this earth. From all parts of the field, you could hear the groans of the wounded and dying. We were engaged thus for perhaps a half an hour when on a sudden we discovered that we had been entirely surrounded by the merciless foe. Then commenced fighting that never was before equaled, and we got safely back to our old position as rear of the pision, and from all indications, we are led to the belief that we will be left in the rear altogether hereafter. Generals Sherman, Foster, McPherson, Banks, and fifteen or twenty other Major Generals besides an army corps of Brigadiers, complimented us highly on our Bull Dog bravery. Among other things Banks said that but for our gallant and dashing charge, the enemy would have gained the day and taken our whole force (estimated at 25,000) prisoner. Foster in his remarks said he would like to have us transferred into the same brigade with the 107th Illinois and 13th Kentucky, or else have them brought here. That three such regiments fighting together could of themselves overthrow the Confederacy. We would not care if the 13th Kentucky came; but we feel assured from the many accounts we have read of the gallantry of the 107th that if they should come here they would take all our hard earned laurels from us; and that would not suit us. Mr. Editor, if you can have any influence over the powers that be, please have the 107th stay where it is. The loss of our regiment during the short time we were engaged was 208 mortally killed and 292 frightfully scared. The loss of the rebs is reported to be treble the number of ours.
There they are advancing, and the Brig. Gen. commanding our regiment says we have to fall back under cover of our Gunboats on Four Mile Creek, and I must go with them. So good morning.
Co. E, 20th Ill. "Vet." Vols.
April 7, 1864
Letter From the 107th.
Camp near Morristown, Tenn., March 15th, 1864
Mr. Editor—Dear Sir:
Agreeable to your request, I have seated myself to pen a few lines for the benefit of the readers of the PUBLIC, as I suppose that the friends of the 107th will be glad to know of our whereabouts and doings; and also to answer (with your permission) an article which appeared in your columns from a correspondent from the 20th, who signed his name "Simp." The writer evidently intended to burlesque the 107th, or else is afraid that some other regiment will gain more laurels than the 20th. At any rate, he appears to be very uneasy for fear that the 107th will be transferred from this department to the department of the Mississippi, and thus take from the gallant old 20th the laurels which they have so nobly won on so many hard contested fields.
Now, Mr. Editor, you can safely inform your correspondent that there is no likelihood of the 107th being transferred to any other department; and as to the "hard earned laurels," about which your correspondent is so uneasy, you can inform him that the 107th wants no borrowed laurels; that as far as fame goes, we do not expect to be equal to the 20th; that if we do have a good name, it has not been won by trying to cast slurs upon other regiments. It is true that the 107th has not been in so many engagements as the 20th, and do not pretend to have won so many laurels; but in the few slight engagements in which we have been called to take part, the regiment has born their share with as much " bull dog" bravery as the 20th ever did. And we bear a name as good as any in the service that have not been in more engagements than we. If we have not fought on as many battlefields as the 20th, the fault was not ours; for we were always ready and willing to engage the enemy, wherever and whenever called upon. I have no wish to commence a quarrel with any member of the 20th, or any other Illinois regiment, but the writer of that letter, I have reasons to believe, tried to cast reproach upon our honor and bravery, which is more than the 107th is willing to bear tamely.
As to our movements since you last heard from us, we have been on the march through mud and rain, since the 24th of Feb., on which day we left Knoxville. Nothing of interest occurred since that day (except a series of marches and countermarches by day and night, over as muddy roads as your correspondent ever traveled, and most of the time in the rain) until the 13th of this month. We arrived here on the evening of the 12th, and after resting an hour or so the 107th was ordered on picket. We remained on picket during the 13th, and about 4 p.m. the cavalry, who had been scouting in the vicinity of Russelville, came past us as fast as horseflesh could carry them and reported the rebs in close pursuit; a fact which we soon saw was true. The vidette, stationed on the road about 300 yards in advance of the reserve, concluded they had come close enough [and] halted them by sending a Lincoln Pill in the shape of an Enfield-rifle ball, which it afterward was ascertained finished the career of one of their number (for the ball passed directly through his head). This sudden turn had the effect of stopping the advancing foe, and soon the 107th was in line of skirmishers and advancing on double-quick, backed by the 18th Ohio and 6th Tenn. After a short run, we came in sight of the enemy drawn up in line, facing us, and seemingly determined to stand and fight.
But after a (ink blot) of well directed volleys, they "(ink blot) tails" and retreated, only firing an occasional shot, which did no damage, or at least but little. One man, belonging to the 6th Tenn., was wounded in the legs, the ball striking him in the left thigh and passing through, slightly wounding his right. This was the only one hurt on our side. Three privates were left on the field by them and a Captain, taken prisoner yesterday, reports one Gen. and one Col. killed. We followed them for a couple of miles, and darkness coming on, we returned to camp, having been relieved from duty by the 111th Ohio. Since then nothing has transpired of interest. We are in camp ½ a mile east of Morristown, have a pleasant camp enough, with plenty of good spring water handy. The prospect is good for a march in a few days in some direction, of which I will write another time. The health of the regiment is good. The boys are in good spirits, feeling confident that the war will surely end this coming summer. I must close for the present.
April 14, 1864
THE VALIANT BOYS OF THE 41ST, ILL. REGIMENT.
Return of Companies, C, F, and K
On Monday evening, a telegraphic dispatch from Capt. M. DANISON to Col. WARNER announced to the citizens of Clinton that the boys of companies C, F and K, of the 41st Ill. Vet. Vol. Regt., who have re-enlisted, would arrive in town on the morning train from the south.
Accordingly, hasty preparations were made for their reception and entertainment, and in the morning, the drum's martial roll, the fife's stirring notes, and the cannon's thundering roar aroused the citizens to bustling activity—men, women and children alike were in feverish excitement, all anxious to do "Honor to the Brave." None seemed more desirous to do their duty in this respect than the Veteran 20th.
On the arrival of the train, the citizens and soldiers were at the depot, formed a procession, and escorted the 41st boys to the square, where Hon. L. WELDON delivered an address, as usual, appropriate, soul-inspiring, and filled with thrilling patriotism.
At the appointed hour—2½ o'clock—dinner was announced, in Jones' Hall, to which the soldiers were invited and given the place of honor—the table on which the choicest dainties, the richest delicacies and best food prepared for the occasion. The citizens joined in the repast; and many who thought when they entered the hall they could not eat a mouthful, inspired by the rejoicing of those around them, found room in which to stow away a goodly portion of the good things which tempted their appetites. We happened to be among this number.
At the commencement of the dinner, a number of ladies and gentlemen sung "Won't we be a happy People." In the evening came the inevitable dance.
The hall was handsomely decorated with appropriate banners, flags, evergreens, and the words, "Welcome 41st."
To describe the table would be but a repetition of what we have said on former occasions. Let it suffice that it was complete. The Ladies Loyal League, and the ladies assisting them, are entitled their full meed of praise.
Mr. James DeLAND raised $50 during the day to defray the expenses.
The people are greatly indebted to these noble boys for the part they have taken in defense of the country. Theirs is a brilliant record—one of which we should all feel proud.
Companies C, F, and K were organized in Clinton in July and August 1861 and took a prominent part in the following battles, skirmishes [and] sieges, where all displayed the utmost bravery.
|Fort Henry, Tenn.||Feb. 5, 1862|
|Fort Donelson, Tenn.||Feb. 13 and 14, 1862|
|Shiloh, Tenn.||April 6 and 7, 1862|
|Siege of Corinth, Miss.||April 18, 1863|
|Hatchie River, Tenn.||Oct. 5, 1862|
|Skirmish at Hernando, Miss.||April 19, 1863|
|Cold Water River, Miss.||April 19, 1863|
|Siege of Vicksburg, Miss.||47 days (no date given)|
|Jackson, Miss.||(no date given)|
|Sherman's Raid into Mississippi||(no date given)|
At Memphis, Tenn., in 1863, the 41st was challenged to meet the 14th Ill. in a prize drill, for a silver bugle, to be purchased by the officers of the defeated regiment. The contest was for superiority in soldierly appearance and bearing, cleanliness of clothing and arms, command of arms, and marching. The judges unhesitatingly decided in favor of the 41st; and it has ever since been known as the "Silver Bugle Regiment."
The boys who are at home are as follows:
COMP. C—Capt. M. Danison, Carl Swantz, David Woods, David Warrenburg, Hayden Murry, John Short, Edward R. Bay, Joseph Ware, Thomas Clifton, John W. Dine, Johnathan King, Thomas C. Weaver—12.
COMP. F—Serg't I. M. Jones, Owen Morgan, Henry Rodgers, Isaac Reese, Levi Mastin, Thomas B. Young, Joseph Kerr, Abner McUmber, William Wymer, Nicholas Berschard—10.
COMP. K—Capt. Wingardner, 1st Lieut. Thomas Kelly, 2d Lieut. James Warren, Serg't A. Snyder, Serg't Solomon Gregory, Enoch Gregory, John E. Gandy, Benjamin F. Frazy, Edmund J. Deverse, John H. Doughman, George Mencer, Curtis Wray, Thomas A. Clark, James Jones, William H. Smith, Edward Connard, and Harrison Duncan—17.
In addition to these, we have Quarter Master Sergeant John M. Robinson, of company C, [and] Serg't John McPherson and Isaac N. Peterson, of Comp G.
Capt. Kannan and Silas Langerbach, of company A, and F. M. Wheeler, of company B, Charles Harrington, Gen. Furguson, and C. F. Bently, of company E were here on a visit.
The original number of Co. C was 101.
The original number of Co. F was 96.
The original number of Co. K was 64.
The Veterans of the 41st have a furlough of 30 days from the 12th.
But one thing occurred to mar the joy and hilarity of the day. Tillman LANE, engaged in firing the cannon, was severely wounded from the premature discharge of the piece. Three fingers on the right hand were blown off and his left hand greatly injured. It is feared that amputation of his right hand may be necessary. This sad accident threw a gloomy pall of sorrow over the otherwise joyful occasion.
May 12, 1864
MORTUARY--- In the list of soldiers who died in the military prison and hospital at Richmond, Va., we notice the following members of the 107th Illinois regiment:
M. NOLAN, comp. C, ch. Diarrhea, Dec. 13, 1863
J. ELZEY, C, ch. Diarrhea, Jan. 9, 1864
E. CARY, C, ch. Diarrhea, Jan. 17, 1864
John DODD, E, ch. Diarrhea, Feb. 5, 1864
J. CHADD, H, Typhoid fever, Feb. 22, 1864
S. WREN, D, ch. Diarrhea, Mar. 17, 1864
June 16, 1864
THE MORGAN RAID IN KENTUCKY.
MORGAN, the guerrilla, is on another raid in Kentucky. He lately defeated Gen. HOBSON, taking the General and 1,500 of his command prisoners. Most of the troops captured were raw one hundred days men from Ohio. Hobson surrendered on condition that his men should be exchanged immediately.
Later news informed us that Morgan has been badly whipped and his men scattered and demoralized, by Gen. BURBRIDGE, at Cynthiana, Ky., on the 12th. The rebel loss is reported at 30 killed and 400 prisoners.
A dispatch from Falmouth, Ky., dated the afternoon of the 13th, says after the Cynthiana defeat, Gen. Hobson and part of his staff were sent under guard to Falmouth, but the whole were recaptured by a scouting party, and are not at Falmouth. After his defeat, it is thought Morgan set himself immediately to work devising plans to make his escape out of Kentucky. This he could never do were it not for the fact that one half of the people of Kentucky are rank traitors and the other half milk and water Union men, whose sole purpose for claiming to be loyal is to save their property and get pay for what has been taken. We look upon the people of Kentucky, as a whole, as being the very meanest of rebels—a deceptive, sneaking, hypocritical, lying set, who would join the rebels heart and hand did they think that cause would succeed. But their greatest wish is to be neutral, so they can have the monopoly of smuggling supplies to the rebels and at the same time have the protection of both parties. This would be a nice financial speculation, but they cannot quite reach that desired haven. In our opinion, the government should concentrate their forces along our lines of communication through that State and let Morgan and his band of thieves rob and pilfer from the treacherous people to their heart's content. It would be only one Kentucky rebel robbing another. This would stimulate the people to organize and keep guerilla parties out of the State.
June 23, 1864
From the 107th Regiment.
Near Lost Mountain, Ga., June 5th, 1864
Editor Clinton Public:
Dear Sir:—I have not time to write a letter at this time or picture the scenes that have been presented during the late battles, in which the 107th regiment Ill. Vols. has played a conspicuous part. I will, however, give you a list of the killed and wounded up to this time, which will, I presume, be satisfactory to many who have friends in the regiment. No regiment has stood better under the raking fire of bullet and shell than has the 107th. The regiment was under fire eleven days and nights before it was relieved.
There is but little fighting today, but I suppose it will be renewed again in a short time.
The following is a list of the killed and wounded of the regiment since the 9th of May, 1864.
Rocky-face ridge, 9th and 10th May—
Chris. Davis, priv, co F, bullet, severe wound of chest.
Resaca, Ga., 14th and 15th May—
Samuel Steele, priv, co E, shell, killed.
Capt. B. F. Cresup, co E, bullet, slight wound of arm.
Lieut. Geo. Hummel, co E, slight wound in face.
P. Bennett, priv, co F, bullet, wound of finger.
N. B. Schonkweiler, priv, co H, bullet, slight wound of hand.
Geo. B. Jones, priv, co K, bullet, slight wound in thigh.
Near Dallas, Ga., 27th May—
Levi C. Hull, priv, co A, severe wound of right arm.
A. J. Crum, serg, co A, slight wound of finger.
M. W. Buck, priv, co A, severe wound of chest.
Jas. Gesford, priv, co I, severe wound of chest.
Rich. Livingston, corp, co G, severe wound of chest.
John Bowles, priv, co H, severe wound right arm.
Adam Turpie, priv, co K, slight wound left arm.
Franklin Coon, priv, co K, slight wound finger.
S. Jones, priv, co B, slight wound left foot.
John Miller, priv, co C, killed.
James Lowrey, priv, co D, slight wound finger.
Thos. Hicks, priv, co I, slight wound finger.
Near Dallas, Ga., May 31st—
John Goffelt, priv, co G, killed.
John Paine, corp, co G, severe wound chest, died.
Jacob Gowen, serg, co C, slight wound head.
John Cowan, priv, co C, slight wound left arm.
J. D. Rusk, priv, co G, severe wound left leg.
J. F. Hubbard, priv, co E, severe wound in left thigh.
E. C. Lewis, priv, co A, severe wound face.
Jas. Lowrey, priv, co D, slight wound hand.
Near Lost Mountain, June 2d and 3d—
A. P. Flick, priv, co A, Flesh wound left arm.
S. T. Hibbs, priv, co H, severe wound left leg.
Wm. Bogart, priv, co H, slight wound chest.
Wm. Clark, priv, co H, shocked.
James Day, ord serg, co A, mortal wound abdomen, died.
Geo. Lewis, priv, co G, flesh wound right leg.
B. Crawford, priv, co A, slight wound face.
Jos. Foster, priv, co A, slight wound ear.
Thos. Reeves, priv, co A, slight wound shoulder.
Richard Cole, serg, co A, slight wound head.
Eli Drum, priv, co K, slight wound neck.
Lieut. D. Sessions, co I, slight wound face.
Surg. 107 Ill. Vol.
[Note: Many of the above names are misspelled and some of the company letters are wrong, but I made every effort to type the information exactly as published.]
June 30, 1864
I. O. O. F.— Obituary
The subject of this notice, Lieut. Gilbert W. FELLOWS, of Co. I, 39th Illinois Volunteers, was killed during a picket skirmish near Bermuda Hundreds, Va., on the 2d day of June, A.D. 1864. His body was sent home by his regiment, and was interred in the Hurly's Grove graveyard, Sunday June 12th, 1864, by the fraternity of which he was a worthy member, and when living he loved so well. He was followed to the grave by a large concourse of relatives and friends who recognized in him while living, the good citizen, affectionate husband and father, and the brave soldier.
At a regular meeting of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 126, I. O. O. F., June 18th, 1864, the special committee reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, God in his providence has permitted the removal from earth, and the fellowship of this Lodge, amidst the unnatural scenes of strife amongst men and brothers, and
Whereas, our worthy brother fell bravely defending the flag of his country, and sacrificed his life on the altar thereof, therefore
Resolved, That our Lodge room be placed in mourning, and the members wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days, as a token of respect for our deceased brother.
Resolved, That whilst we mourn the loss of our brother, we also deeply sympathize with the bereaved family and friends, and trust that their irreparable loss here has been his gain of immortality and eternal life in another state of existence.
Resolved, That as we recognize the paternal relationship between men and brethren, we will keep in remembrance our fraternal obligations to administer unto the wants and necessities of the widow and the fatherless.
Resolved, That while it becomes us to submit without a murmur, we cannot but deeply feel that in his death our Lodge has lost a worthy member, the community an excellent citizen, the country a true and tried soldier, and his family a loving husband and father.
Resolved, That we recommend the widow of our deceased brother, to put her trust in Him whose ways are past finding out, and who doeth all things well, and in this her time of trial and affliction, to be resigned to this dispensation of His providence.
Resolved, That the foregoing preamble and resolutions, or a copy of them, be presented to the widow of our deceased brother, and to the 39th and 107th regiments of Illinois Volunteers; also to the editors of the "Memento" and "Clinton Public," for publication.
Committee— J. A. Richter, L. Rathburne, and B. Barthlow
John N. Lemen, N. G.
Jas. White, Sec'y
June 30, 1864
A. F. & A. M.—Obituary
At a regular communication of Mt. Pleasant Lodge No. 224, A. F. & A. Masons, held at Odd Fellows Hall, Mt. Pleasant, June 15th, A.D. 1864, A. L. 5864, the following preamble and resolutions were presented and unanimously adopted:
Whereas it has pleased God in his mysterious providence to remove by death our esteemed brother, Serg't Rompere R. ROBBINS, of Co. I, 107th Ill. Vol. Inf. (son of our worthy brother F. S. ROBBINS, Esq., Secretary of this Lodge) who died of pneumonia in hospital at Knoxville, Tenn., April 16th, 1864, aged 30 years, and as it is fitting upon such occasions to give expression to our feelings of sorrow and grief, it is therefore
Resolved, That his family and relatives have suffered a severe loss, the Masonic fraternity a promising member, and the county a true patriot and noble soldier.
Resolved, That while we bow with submission to the decree of an all-wise Providence which called him hence, and sincerely and deeply deplore his loss, as that of a warm hearted friend—a true and faithful brother—we have the consolation that the loss to us is gain to him, and that he has gone to the highest degree of human perfection in which we hope ere long to join him in the celestial Lodge above.
Resolved, That we tender to the relatives of our deceased brother our warmest sympathy, and as a testimony of our respect for them and regard for our brother, we present them with a copy of these resolutions, under the seal of the Lodge.
Resolved, That to show our lasting esteem for our deceased brother, we drape our altar and wear the usual badge of mourning for the space of thirty days.
Resolved, That these resolutions be entered upon the records of this Lodge and published in the "Clinton Public" and "Masonic Trowel."
J. J. Gulick } Com.
A. M. Cummings
June 30, 1864
LETTER FROM MAJ. GOODBRAKE.
Headquarters, 3d p., 14 A. C.
Big Shanty, Ga., June 17
M. M. DeLevis, Esq.:
My Dear Friend—
I send you enclosed a copy of Gen. McPHERSON's address, which I think you will pronounce good— I consider it first rate.
We have been at Big Shanty for seven days. The enemy is entrenched around Kennesaw Mountain, and our boys have been skirmishing with them ever since we came here. The cannon are also busy on both sides. How it will end we will see by and by.
We marched to this place from Clifton, Tenn., a distance of over 300 miles, in twenty days. Our boys are all in good health and spirits and are all eager for the final onset.
Up to this time we have had five killed and twenty-six wounded in the 3rd pision. The 107th is about five miles from here, in line, but I have not had the pleasure of seeing any of them yet. When this fuss is over, I will try and visit them.
On the day before yesterday Gen. SMITH's pision took over 500 prisoners, and deserters are coming in daily. They say that a great number would like to come over if they could only get away, but they are very strictly watched. Gen. POLK, the sacerdotal scoundrel, who has done a great deal to keep up the spirit of secession in the South, is reported dead, for certain.
A severe battle will be fought here. The enemy is here in large force, and strongly entrenched, and I suppose Gen. SHERMAN has enough troops to whip them sooner or later. It may be a question of a little time.
I remain yours, &c.,
The address above referred to, is truly a good thing; we will try to find a place for it next week.
July 7, 1864
FROM THE 20TH ILL. REGIMENT.
Near Big Shanty, Georgia, June 15, 1864
Mr. Editor:— Perhaps it would be of interest to some of the readers of the "Public," to know of the whereabouts of E Co. 20th Ill. Vols., and as I had but little to do, I thought I would write you. Our regiment, in connection with the balance of the troops now comprising the 17th army corps, joined the grand army under Sherman at Ackworth Station, Ga., on the afternoon of the 8th inst., after a march of over 350 miles, since the 16th ult. Part of the march was made through a portion of country never infested by Northern vandals. During the march from Huntsville, Ala., to Rome, we crossed three different mountains (the Coosa, Sand, and a part of the range of Lookout mountain) and an innumerable number of rivers, creeks, &c. On the 10th our corps was moved to the left and front of the army, opposing Johnston, and on that evening took part in the skirmishing. On the 12th, a party was detailed out of our regiment as pickets and sharp-shooters, among whom were sergeant Sam'l DENTON and Alex. MARTIN of E Co. They had been gone about an hour when Denton returned, having received a slight wound, caused by a fragment of a bullet in his right hand, and another in his right leg. He takes it very easy, runs around, and will be able to try Mr. Reb again in a few days. No others of our regiment thus far have been touched. Our sharp-shooters and the rebels are about 150 or 200 yards apart, and all hours of the day and night you can hear the cracking of their rifles. It is thought by some that the rebs are evacuating, but I think if they intend to fight us at all, they now hold as good a position as they will find again soon. Some of our forces yesterday captured a captain, lieutenant, orderly sergeant, and a squad of men, among which were three who had deserted from our army and were fighting on the reb's skirmishing line against us. Shooting is too good for them. Last night a captain, two lieutenants, and their company deserted the rebels and came into our lines. They belonged to the 34th [or 84th] Virginia, and seem to be tired of fighting against their old government. Co. E is all right, with the exception of one man who "smelt a rat," and left us on the 9th inst. I decline mentioning his name, hoping he may see this and return to the bosom of his company, and act more honorably hereafter. He has, ever since he belonged to the company, always been "Ous Ka Speil," when any work was ahead.
Our officers today have been busy making out the papers preparatory to mustering out the non-veterans. Those of our company are about ready and will start back in the course of a week. They are, James H. Lemen, Gus Baylie, J. W. Beatty, J. G. Bolton, R. B. Gibbs, Geo. A. Hall, The. McGee, Al. Kneadler, James McGough, Asa Wilson, David Schmids, R. B. Moody, and Jas. P. Yeamans. There are several others, but their papers cannot be made out at present. I want to see in the paper an account of these receiving a warm and hearty reception from the generous citizens of DeWitt. They are generous, noble-hearted, brave boys, and we regret much that they are going to leave us. But they think they have done their share in the putting down of the rebellion. They think rightly too, for if some of those who have stayed home had come out as they should have done, there would have been no need of any of us "veteranizing." But they stay at home and fire in our rear, so we have to fight the harder. We will clean these rebs out through this year and come home, and then Mr. Opposers of this war, stand back, for it will be our time to dance.
We hail with delight the State nominees, and if we only had the privilege of voting would hoist them into office with a handsome majority. But I am occupying too much space and time, therefore will close. Again I say greet the non-veterans heartily. More anon.
Co. E, 20th Ill. Vets.
July 7, 1864
FROM THE 107TH ILLINOIS.
Alltoona Pass, Ga., June 24, 1864
Editor Public:— I write you again from the seat of war, and in doing so I hope to gratify the anxieties of our many friends at home. Since I last wrote you, our regiment has seen severe times, both on the march and in the face of the enemy. Since the 26th of May (on which day we left Mossy Creek, Tenn.) we have marched and fought our way over 250 miles, have helped to hurl the rebel hordes under Johnston from the forest heights of Ringgold, from the volcanic cliffs and rugged ribs of Rocky-face Ridge, from the death-dealing man traps of Buzzard Roost, from the long, dark, deep gorge of Snake Creek Gap, from the fortification labyrinths of bloody Resaca, from the towns of Tunnel Hill, Dalton, Resaca, Calhoun, Adairsville, Kingston, Cassville, Rome and Ackworth, and are now in line occupying the right of the grand line of Sherman's Legion as it occupies Alltoona Pass, the last of the rebel strong-holds this side of the Chattahoochie river.
The fighting has been incessant in front of the 20th army corps (Hooker's) for the last two days, and as I write the thunder of artillery and the constant roar of musketry is borne on the breeze, thus alleging in the most unmistakable terms the stubbornness with which the enemy contends for this his last foothold in northern Georgia.
It is reported by deserters that A. P. Hill, the General now in command of the rebel forces, has invited the ladies of Atlanta to come up to this place and witness the thrashing which he will here give the Yankees. I do not know whether any of them accepted the invitation; if they did, I think it will have a good influence, for they will assuredly see the Southern chivalry fly (as they have on former occasions) from Yankee steel. The motto of the Sherman Legion is victory or death! Their battle cry is forward, they know no retreat. Deserters are constantly coming into our lines; in two or three instances whole regiments have lain in their rifle pits and allowed our men to pass over them and then threw down their arms. In conversation with one a few days since, he said, "Johnston expects some morning to get up and see Sherman on one of the highest hills, with his hat in his hand, and hear him give the command, `Attention all creation! Charge by kingdoms! Charge!'" "Then (said he) everything before the Yankees had better climb." Another— a staff officer with the rank of captain, being asked where Johnston would make his next stand, replied: "I asked him that question and he answered, `It is no use for me to stand before an army when I cannot find either of its flanks.' And (said he) I thought so too and concluded to quit." Every thing is moving as fast as could be expected or hoped. The prospects today are better for a speedy termination of the war than they were a month ago. The general health of the regiment is good. The boys are in good spirits, sanguine with hope, and confident that this campaign will close the war. We have been, as a regiment, extremely fortunate so far. Our entire loss since the fight first commenced will not exceed thirty, and only six of them were killed. I would be glad to send a complete list of the killed and wounded, but at present it is not possible. I will give the names so far as I am personally acquainted. Capt. KEMP [Capt. Edgar Camp], co. H, killed on the skirmish line, June 16th; ord. serg. James DAY [James M. Daigh], co. A, killed on the skirmish line, June 2d; privates Christopher DAVIS, mortally wounded, May 10th, (since dead); James GESSFORD, co. G, John PAINE, co. I, May 27th. There have been three or four from Piatt county whose names I have not learned. It is impossible for me to give a correct list of the wounded. I will wait until another time, when I will give a full list of all the companies.
The heavy rains in this month have retarded the movements of our army to a great extent. The small streams have become swollen so as to be scarcely fordable, but the movements have been as rapid as circumstances would admit of. It is still raining and looks favorable to continue for some time to come. I have written more at length than I anticipated, and will close for present, and finish some other time.
July 21, 1864
RETURNED SOLDIERS.— Sergt. James M. LEMEN, Gustaves BAYHA, Asa WILSON, Geo. A. HULL, David SCHMIDT, Jas. P. YEAMANS, Reuben B. GIBBS and Wm. J. COMSTOCK, of the 20th Illinois Regiment, having served their term and been honorably discharged, returned home Tuesday morning. Others will arrive in a few days. Although we have been looking for them, their arrival at this time was unexpected. We hope our citizens will give them a hearty reception, and make some public demonstration in honor of their bravery and service— they truly deserve it.
July 21, 1864
LETTER FROM CAPT. MILHOLLAND.
Headquarters, 107th Ill. Vol.
In the field near Marietta, Ga., June 30th, 1864
Through a kind providence I am again permitted to write you, in good health, though feeling a little uncomfortable on account of the intense heat.
I have just been to our Division Hospital, but I can assure you, my dear woman, that it is a heart-rendering sight to see those poor fellows all shot to pieces, and to hear their groans and prayers. After being brought to the hospital an opiate is speedily administered to them, and under its influence they soon repose into a doze, and generally appear to be insensible to severe pains. Though nothing more than skirmishing between the two lines is going on now. Yet the stretcher-bearers are kept pretty busily engaged in carrying off the dead and wounded, and the surgeons are kept constantly employed in dressing wounds and amputating limbs. The rebel sharpshooters fire with great precision, though many are wounded from stray shots, while carelessly passing around in rear of the works. Again I find that men get so accustomed to dangers from a constant exposure on the front lines, where our ear is continually greeted with the sound of bullets, that they become careless and will stand up in full view of the rebels— when the distance is not more than 400 yards between them— and thus numbers are killed and wounded.
Numbers of our men from exposure, and privations to which we are all the time exposed, are getting sick, and so our effective strength is becoming materially depleted— though accessions are nearly every day being made, in the way of reinforcements.
I saw a most sickening sight this morning; the unfortunate man belonged to the 123d Ind., and was shot through the jugular vein, near the collar bone. He was speedily placed on a litter and started for the rear; he would hallo and scream, and as he each time drew his breath, great streams of blood would shoot and spurt out just as I have seen a hog when the butcher's knife had penetrated his heart. He would flounce and roll on the litter in his blood until his face and hands were covered and hair completely saturated in his gore. A few moments sufficed, his heart's blood had ebbed, and he calmly lay— unsightly and unearthly as he looked— sleeping in death. No day passes but I see more or less of those poor unfortunate victims, who in one short minute, and in so unsuspecting a time, have been hurried from time to eternity. How calm some look, with the flush still settled on their cheeks, and a smile on the countenance, one would scarcely think them dead— but such is war, and such are the scenes we witness from day to day.
So far as we are from our Sanitary Stores, and little delicacies so needful to the wounded, that it makes it extremely hard on the sick and wounded.
Since my last, no change has taken place in our immediate front; in fact we are so close to the Johnnies that we cannot go further without a collision, for now nothing but a little river separates us. In fact we can hear a rebel sermon all most every night. The rebs are getting very religious, and someone preaches every evening. As to what is going on, on other parts of the line, I know but little. But one thing I do know, and that is that someone got up a thundering fight last night at 1 o'clock. It was most terrible fighting, and lasted for the length of near three quarters of an hour, when the cannon would send forth their discharges, the whole heavens were illuminated. It was so far off that I could scarcely hear the small arms, as they mingled in their sharp peals with the booming of the cannon. This morning the universal question is, "Who were fighting last night, and what is the result?" Some said that our left charged and carried the Kennesaw Mountain. Another said the Fourth Corps charged and carried their works, capturing many persons, &c. But I don't think either of them correct; but from a Christian Mission man who stayed near where the fighting occurred last night, I learn that the 4th Corps moved up their lines, some distance, and were busily engaged fortifying, when the rebels attacked them in force, but our men were aware of their approach, and were prepared to give them a warm reception, which they did, completely routing them, killing and wounding hundreds, and taking many prisoners. So the rebels as usual in their charge, got licked.
Some important movement, I think, is now on hand and stirring times may soon be expected here. I see from a certain indication that something is brewing.
T. J. Milholland
August 4, 1864
WOUNDED AND DEAD.— We regret to learn that among the casualties in the battle before Atlanta, Martin MOHRLE, the patriotic color-bearer, was killed, and Samuel DENTON, Louis LONG and James BEAN were wounded.
August 4, 1864
RETURNED VOLUNTEERS.— Capt. M. DANISON, Lieut. W. H. TAYLOR, Drum Major Homer TAYLOR, Sergt. HILDRETH and Cutis WRAY, of the 41st Illinois Reg., have returned home, their term of service having expired. They have served their country for three years, enduring the dangers, toils and trials of camp and field, and in whatever business they may engage, they deserve a liberal patronage at the hands of our citizens.
August 4, 1864
Camp 41st Ill. Vol.
Memphis, Tenn. July 24, 1864
Dear Sir.— As we have just got back off of a march and are settled in camp once more, I take the opportunity of giving you an account of the expedition and its [unreadable word].
The expedition consisted of two pisions of infantry, one pision of cavalry, and one brigade of negroes; the pisions of infantry were commanded by Gens. Mower and Moore, the cavalry by Grierson, and the whole being under the command of Gen. A. J. Smith. The expedition left here on the 22d of June, and proceeded as far as Moscow, 40 miles east of Memphis, where it halted for a few days, waiting for the repairing of the railroad. It started again on the 27th from Moscow and stopped at LaGrange where it stayed till the 5th of July, when all things being prepared for an advance, we moved once more, taking the road to Ripley; we camped at Davis Mills, the 1st night; as the weather was very hot, the men suffered very much, and the marching was slow, nothing of note occurred on the expedition till the 13th of July, when our supply train was between Pontotoc and Tupelo, the rebels made an attack upon us. Mower's infantry and a brigade of Negroes guarded the train. The rebels, with two brigades, charge upon the train, causing some confusion and killing some mules by their firing, but they were gallantly met by our men and driven back with a loss of 600 killed and wounded. The 33d and 14th Wisconsin distinguished themselves particularly when the rebels made their attack upon the train. They captured a beautiful rebel flag; on the 14th, Gen. Forest attacked our main position around Tuepelo. The rebels charged en masse upon our lines without meeting any resistance until with 450 yards when they were met by a terrible storm of musketry and artillery from our ranks, which mowed down their advance like grass, and driving them across the open field in front of our lines, which they had charged across. Mower's and Moore's brigade pursued them half a mile, bringing in the wounded picked up on the battlefield, and 150 prisoners.
This repulse was so severe that the rebels made no further demonstrations upon our lines than merely to ascertain our strength. The rebels admit a loss of 2,400, to say nothing of the number of stragglers and deserters. Our loss is reckoned at from 350 to 450. All our wounded were brought back but about thirty, who were too badly wounded to bear transportation. The number of our wounded brought back was 250 who are in the hospitals at this city. The cavalry were constantly engaged— at the front and flank— from the time we left LaGrange on the 5th of July till our return there on the 10th of July. The cavalry succeeded in tearing up ten miles of the Mobile and Ohio railroad at points where it cannot be repaired for several months; they took one cannon from the enemy. Gen. Smith's whole command is now in, and are taking their rest after the fatigues of the expedition. We brought 250 prisoners who are lodged in Irving prison. The Memphis and Charleston railroad is open as far as Saulsbury, 5 miles east of Grand Junction, and will be kept open for some time. It is guarded by negroes and 100 day men. The guerillas have not fired upon the railroad trains lately. I suppose the reason for their not doing so is they are afraid of hurting their secesh friends who were arrested by order of Gen. Washburn, the commander of this post.
Gen. Washburn commanded that 26 of the rebels whom he had arrested should ride back and forth daily upon the trains and, since that, there has been no firing upon the trains. The weather is hot and dry here now; the health…[page cut off]
August 11, 1864
Army Correspondence From Atlanta.
The 20th Illinois Regiment.
A Letter from Dr. Richards.
We have met with a great misfortune. The usual bad luck which has always attended our regiment culminated July 22d, when all the regiment except 16 men and 1 officer were either killed, wounded or taken prisoner.
Our regiment, on the 21st numbered 256; but there were present in the fight only 100. Our corps was on the extreme left of Sherman's army, southeast from Atlanta. On the morning of that day, our pision was ordered to assault the enemy and drive him from a position known as Ball Knoll. They obeyed, succeeding in taking and holding it; but, as is usual with the assaulting party, our loss was very heavy— out of 100 men who went to the assault, 56 were killed and wounded. When Martin MOHRLE was killed, Sam DENTON took the flag, but he soon being wounded, it was taken by another. We were thus left with but 16 men, and the next day was to decide their fate.
The rebel Gen. Hood had superceded Johnston, and he had decided to give Sherman a battle that would check his advance and save Atlanta. Hardee's corps was sent to our left flank, to attack our corps in the rear, create a persion, and with the remainder of his force, attack our flank. This movement was not known to us before the fight commenced; but our pision charged front, and in a few minutes constructed temporary breastworks, which served our purpose, and we repulsed them in their charge. They then changed tactics and went in heavy force, endwise, along the works, advancing without firing. The only two regiments on our left gave way, and before our Colonel knew they were coming, half of our regiment were taken prisoners. But he was determined never to have the 20th surrender, and gave orders to fall back, and led the way. But it was too late; for retreat was almost certain death, and few made the attempt, and several of those were killed— the Colonel Adjt. CONKLIN, myself, and 16 men, were all that escaped. The rebels were badly beaten, loosing ten to our one, in killed and wounded; prisoners, about equal. Mohrle was the only one on our side killed from old DeWitt county. Among the wounded are Samuel Denton, Geo. Watt, Louis Long, George Marsh and Jas. Bean; all severely, but not dangerously. Among those taken prisoners are Lieut. John EDMISTON, Ben FRANKLIN and Alexander MARTIN.
We are allowed to return [to] our organization, and are assigned to duty as Headquarters Guard. Col. Bradley is Inspector General on Gen. Leggett's staff, and I am assigned to the pision Hospital.
R. T. RICHARDS,
Assistant Surg., 20th Ill. Reg.
August 11, 1864
FROM ROLLA, MISSOURI.
Rolla, Mo., July 29
Hon. Judge Woodard:
Dear Sir.— I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well and hope these few lines may find you the same. This is my new way to commence a letter; I have not taken into my stomach a drop of intoxicating liquors for four weeks, and I find that I feel much better than I did when I associated with you, and you coaxed me and enticed me to take the vile stuff. I hope you have closed your grocery, quit the nefarious and damnable traffic in liquors, and above all, I hope you have become a sober and temperate man. I can imagine of no calling so low and debasing as the traffic in liquors; and no habit so well calculated to bring a man to ruin and destruction as that of constant use of intoxicating drinks! O! Judge, let me conjure you by all that's good and true on earth, by your love of country and family, to stop the vile habit, and to teetotally and forever abstain from the use of all that intoxicates! Please see Jake ZORGER, and say as much to him; also Johnny CAREY and Bob LEWIS. Tell Jake to send me a bottle of Blackberry brandy, if he has a good opportunity, as I can get nothing for medicine here, either for love or money.
I have recently been on a scout with 25 men, cavalry and infantry. We went into Dent county, about fifty miles from here, and the country and people so much remind me of what you described as your "native green brier" land, that I was almost persuaded that I would find you, young and red-headed, with torn breeches and streaked cotton shirt, the chief young man of the neighborhood. But I didn't see you. The country is all hills and rock, with vast forest of pine and oak. The people live in little cabins— generally have a "clearing" of ten or fifteen acres, have a little patch of corn and wheat, a poor cow and a few pigs, with a loom and spinning wheel in nearly every house, and seemed to have lived contented and happy before the war. Every few miles we would find a fine house, a well improved farm and orchard, and everything giving evidence of wealth and comfort. A great many houses have been burnt and abandoned by either the Union men or rebels, and the once happy and prosperous country is now in a sad state. The sweet corn bread and milk which we got at the cabins tasted well, I assure you, and reminded me of your old stories of the time when everybody was good and honest. But that time will never be again in your days or mine! The devil is let loose in the land, and will probably reign a thousand years.
Be virtuous and you will be happy. Vote for Fremont and do the best you can for the copperhead Democracy. Give my love to Hovey and ask him to write to me, and tell me how the rebellion is getting along in DeWitt. My respects to all your friends, and mine— if I have any. Write to me soon.
I. N. COLTRIN
September 1, 1864
Return of the 41st Regiment.
On Thursday afternoon last, the intelligence reached here that the non-veterans of Companies C, F and K, Forty-First Ill. Reg., would return home, their time of service having expired, and they mustered out. Immediately the town was swarming like a beehive, with ladies all active in making preparations to get up a hasty supper and receive them.
When the train arrived, the depot and neighborhood was thronged with citizens who, headed by Prof. HOWE's Band, escorted the boys to the Union House, where groaning tables awaited the brave fellows. Hot and cold meats, cakes, pies, melons, coffee, and all that hungry men could wish for, were disposed of in due time.
There were joyous shaking of hands, friendly greetings, bright smiles, happy faces, and everything calculated to make the evening pleasant and memorable; and as the hours wore smoothly away, all felt that they were spending them delightfully and profitably.
We must not forget the gay song, "Won't we be a happy people," which was admirably sung by some of the young people at the commencement.
The ladies deserve great credit for the supper gotten up, as it was, at but a few hours notice. But our Clinton ladies always do these things in handsome style.
Not satisfied with this demonstration, the citizens intend giving a grand entertainment, for all returned and discharged soldiers in the shape of a dinner, at the Fair Grounds, on Friday, Sep. 9th, at 2 o'clock p.m.— one week from tomorrow. All the citizens of the county are invited to contribute and participate in the occasion.
Below, we give lists of the boys who have returned and the companies to which they belong.
Captain Michael Dannison
1st Lieut. Seward C. Nelson
Sergt. Geo U. Parker
Sergt. Jackson Adams
Sergt. A. B. Hildreth
Sergt. Francis M. Phares
Sergt. Alson Sears
Corporal John P. Hazel
Corporal Byron Piatt
Corporal James Bruner
Corporal Mathias Cline
Drum Major Homer B. Taylor
|Benjamin Bates||William H. Hunt||James Lyons|
|Jared M. Bates||John P. Hank||Francis M. McDeed|
|John P. Brown||Francis M. Hubbell||John M. Roberts|
|Jerome B. Cundiff||Samuel P. Jewell||John Spencer|
|John M. Clemmins||Joseph M. Kelley||Amanzo Walrath|
|Jerome Early||William King||James H. Willis|
|Andrew J. Groves||Richard Kingore||John W. Hillman|
Captain Jesse F. Harrold
1st Lieut. William H. Taylor
2nd Lieut. Edward C. Sackett
Sergt. Geo W. Wakefield
Sergt. Amos Johnson
Sergt. William W. Murphy
Sergt. John McDonald
Corporal Richard Farrand
Corporal Samuel B. Hall
Corporal Thomas G. Kinder
Corporal Thomas C. Haggard
Corporal John H. Smith
Corporal Noah Collins
Corporal Solomon Petry
Musician Clinton P. Richards
Teamster Frank Merrill
|John Armstrong||Henry A. Gessford||George W. Parker|
|Geo. B. Arbogast||William Gilmore||Thomas E. Smith|
|Anderson S. Ballard||Andrew H. Harris||Albert Sriver|
|Jacob Barnett||Addison Harrison||Justin S. Page|
|Edwin Cresap||Rufus Y. Judd||Hugh Thompson|
|Hugh Davenport||Latham Keyes||James Wright|
|Job Downen||William A. McCord||John C. Warfield|
|William Dickinson||Samuel W. Mulkey||John H. Warrenburg|
|John W. Gregory||Benjamin D. Maple||Benj. S. Wilkins|
1st Lieut. Thomas Kelly
2nd Lieut. James Warren
Sergt. T. Cooper
Sergt. C. L. Dement
|J. Blue||Milton Y. Davis||John Nix|
|M. W. Boyd||G. Mencer||R. Owens|
September 1, 1864
The following are the proceedings of a public meeting held in Clinton on the 26th of August 1864.
On motion, Col. J. J. KELLY was appointed Chairman, and H. S. GREENE, Secretary.
Whereas, The citizens of DeWitt county in extending a reception to the returned members of the 41st Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, on the 25th inst., and which reception was intended for all returned soldiers, unintentionally omitted to tender a formal invitation to the members of the 20th Regiment and other volunteers, and
Whereas, It is the desire of the people to manifest their regard for all our brave soldiers alike. Therefore be it
Resolved, That a public dinner be tendered by the citizens of DeWitt county to the 20th and 41st Regiments, and that all the gallant men who are or have been in the service of the United States, be cordially invited to attend.
Resolved, That said dinner be given at Clinton, at the hour of 2 o'clock, on the 9th day of September next.
Resolved, That Col. J. J. Kelly be a committee of one, to procure speakers.
Resolved, The Chairman appoint a committee of six persons to make arrangements for said dinner.
The Chairman therefore appointed the following persons to constitute said committee: John P. Mitchell, M. A. Morris, H. G. Tyler, William Haynie, R. H. Wheeler and F. E. Morgan.
Resolved, That the following named persons be a committee on finance: Barzilla Campbell, James DeLand and W. B. Smith of Clintonia; W. Y. McCord, of Santa Anna; W. H. Lafferty, of Rutledge; John Johnson, of Wilson; I. F. Emery, of Wapella; Wm. Robb, of Waynesville; Jacob Swigart, of DeWitt; G. B. Lemon, of Harp; J. R. Hall, of Barnett; W. H. Martin, of Nixon; I. Davenport, of Creek; Jonah Lingal, of Texas; J. A. Kinley, of Tunbridge.
Resolved, That the ladies of the county be earnestly requested to cooperate with the managing committee above named, in furthering the objects of this meeting, and that said committee take steps to secure the aid of the ladies of the county.
Resolved, That Captains North, Dannison and Harrell, and Lieut. Kelly, and all the other returned officers, be requested to procure the attendance of their respective commands, and of all who have at any time served the Nation as American soldiers.
Resolved, That the above proceedings be published in the CLINTON PUBLIC.
J. J. Kelly, Ch'mn
H. S. Greene, Sec'y
September 1, 1864
Arrangements for the Soldiers' Dinner.
The following committees have been appointed:
On Flags and Banners— N. E. Wheeler.
On Vocal Music— W. B. Smith, M. M. DeLevis and A. M. Werner.
On Provisions and tables:
|Mrs. M. Danison||Mrs. H. Crossley|
|Mrs. B. Campbell||Mrs. J. Conklin|
|Mrs. R. R. Crang||Mrs. J. H. Hill|
|Mrs. D. Crang||Mrs. D. Hall|
|Mrs. Geo. Armstrong||Mrs. N. W. Smith|
|Mrs. Joel Wilson||Mrs. W. Catterlin|
|Mrs. J. E. Wightman||Mrs. O. F. Morrison|
|Mrs. Ab. Phares||Mrs. M. M. DeLevis|
|Mrs. E. Orahood||Mrs. T. S. Dickerson|
|Mrs. O. Lakin||Mrs. Wm. Bishop|
|Mrs. M. Donahue||Mrs. C. P. Ford|
|Mrs. Wm. Clagg, Jr.||Mrs. G. F. Phillips|
|Mrs. F. H. Bogar||Mrs. Stevens|
|Mrs. J. B. Hunt||Mrs. J. Lisenby|
|Mrs. R. Phares||Mrs. S. Smith|
|Mrs. J. Wightwick||Mrs. E. Kent|
|Mrs. Dr. Wright||Mrs. J. J. Kelly|
|Mrs. L. D. Hovey||Mrs. A. Argo|
|Mrs. I. N. Coltrin||Mrs. Richards|
|Mrs. S. Edmiston||Mrs. R. H. Wheeler|
|Mrs. M. Mohrle||Mrs. M. A. Morris|
|Mrs. L. S. McGraw||Mrs. Dr. Edmiston|
The lady committee is expected to have the exclusive charge of the tables, provisions and all the arrangements of the same, before and during the Dinner. They are requested to wear a narrow blue ribbon as a distinguishing badge.
Citizens of the town and county are expected to deliver their contributions of provisions to the committee of arrangements, who will be found at the Jewelry store of R. H. Wheeler, and at the Fair Grounds after 8 o'clock on the morning of Friday.
The procession will form on the East side of the Court House, at 10 o'clock a.m., under direction of Jas. DeLand, Chief Marshal.
September 1, 1864
Whereas, This Lodge has learned with sincere regret of the death of our lamented brother, Martin MORHLE, Sergeant Co. E, 20th Reg. Vet. Ills. Vol., who was killed near Atlanta, Georgia, on the 22d day of July, 1864, whilst gallantly and bravely bearing the colors of his regiment, during a charge upon the rebel works. Therefore,
Resolved, That brother Morhle, by entering the service in April 1861, at the first call for troops, to preserve our Government from destruction at the hands of traitors by serving three years faithfully and honorably, by again entering the service for three years as a veteran, and finally by giving his life a sacrifice upon the altar of his country, has given to the world indisputable evidence of his attachment to his adopted country and her free institutions, and his patriotism worthy of the admiration of all.
Resolved, That as Color Bearer of his regiment on the bloody fields of Donelson, Shiloh, Jackson, Vicksburg and elsewhere, he proved himself a true, brave, and gallant soldier, and won the respect and esteem, not only of his comrades in arms, but of all who knew him.
Resolved, That in the death of brother Morhle, this Lodge has lost an honored and worthy member, his wife a kind husband, and our country a brave, true and gallant soldier and patriot.
Resolved, That as a Lodge, we tender to his bereaved wife, our kindest sympathy and condolence, and though he is gone, yet we fervently implore that the Grace of "Him who doeth all things well" may be sufficient to sustain her [in] this her hour of deepest grief and distress.
Resolved, That this hall be clothed in mourning and that the members of this Lodge wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days, in memory of our deceased brother.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the journal, a copy furnished the CLINTON PUBLIC for publication, and a copy also furnished the family of the deceased.
J. R. HALDEMAN
JOSEPH J. KELLY
I certify that the above resolutions are a true copy as taken from the minutes.
J. P. SMITH, Sec'y
Clinton, Ill. Aug. 24th, 1864
September 15, 1864
FROM THE PRISONERS.— Dr. T. K. EDMISTON has received a letter from Lieut. EDMISTON, of Co. E 20th ILL. Reg., wherein he states that he with nine others of the company are in prison at Charleston, S. C. Joseph JONES, who is one of them, lost his right hand and is doing well. A son of Mrs. McCORD of Marion is also a prisoner. All are in good health and comfortable as they can be under the circumstances and hope soon to be exchanged. The friends of the boys will be interested in knowing that letters will reach them if first placed in an open envelope, then enclosed in a sealed one and directed to "United States Command, off Charleston, S. C." They must, however, be very brief, else they will not be delivered.
September 22, 1864
From the 107th— The Great Flank Movement on Atlanta.
Head Quarters 107th Reg. Ill. Vol.
Decatur, Ga., Sep. 9, 1864
The Army of Tenn. (15th, 16th and 17th Corps) occupied the extreme right, the Cumberland the center, and we uns the left. So the movement began. But I might here add that the 20th Corps had fallen back to the river and taken position near the R. R. bridge. Our lines extended from a point four miles west of Eastpoint, in a south direction, and running parallel to the Macon Railroad. On the 31st we commenced moving toward the R. R., and in the afternoon came upon a line of hastily constructed rebel works which they had been compelled to abandon, on account of our lines extending beyond their flank. These works were within 3 miles of the Railroad, and pushing on, struck the road early next morning. And here the fun commenced— I mean the fun of tearing and destroying the Railroad. We struck the road about 10 miles south of Atlanta, and the 3d pision moving up the track destroyed it to within 6 miles of Atlanta, while our pision moved south, on the same mission of mercy. During all this time, we had met with no opposition from the enemy. We soon came to a point where the 4th Corps had struck the Railroad, and consequently, our work was finished, and we proceeded around toward the retreating foe. We soon heard the sound of cannon and musketry, which seemed to be on our extreme right. It being near night, we went into camp, and on the following morning, "long ere old Sol arose," we were wending our way Southward. At about 8 a.m., we very suddenly and unexpectedly came upon a sickening and disgusting spectacle— a hospital filled with rebel dead and wounded. There were probably 400 in all, poor fellows, they presented a heart-rending sight. Numbers of them lay there just as they had been carried there from the field, for in their haste, they had little or no time to dress wounds. From them we learned most of the particulars of the previous day's fighting. Hood had massed his forces and attacked the Army of the Tenn. Five times he reformed his shattered columns, but each time driven back with terrible slaughter until, seeing it was useless to make further attempts toward dislodging our forces, he concluded to retire in good order.
From the prisoners and some Surgeons, we learned some interesting incidents. A Surgeon frankly "owned up the corn," that Hood was completely fooled and outgeneraled, and there was no use of attempting to disguise the fact that our move was one of the most daring, brilliant and stupendous movements that ever characterized modern warfare. He further said that when we began falling back from before the city, that the news spread like wild-fire, and was generally credited, that Wheeler had cut our communication, and that we were forced to close the campaign without the occupation of the city, on account of the shortness of supplies. Whereupon everything in that ill-fated city was filled with new life, whisky was distributed in profusion, and the "gay and festive" were invited to attend a grand ball— a Hood ball given in honor of the glorious fortunes which had settled upon them and saved the city. But at that same moment, Gen. Sherman was gradually encircling Atlanta; and Hood, seeing what he took to be a raid in force, sent out two Corps to crush them, while his other Corps (Stewart's) and the Militia, held the city. Oh, poor old foolish, misguided, mistaken Hood, to send two Corps out to crush six veteran Corps; and so it went out, and the first thing the aforesaid Hood knew, we were between his crushers and his Atlanta holders.
But to resume our march. The setting sun on the evening of the 1st Sep. found us 21 miles South of Atlanta with no Johnnies in our front, or our flank. We were ordered into camp. It was a delightful evening, soft balmy air; all was still and calm, save the strains of sweet music and soft airs as they were poured forth from the various bands of the pisions, and the boys seeing the point, were in such good spirits as at times to become a little noisy. But soon all settled into a deep sleep, and remained so until about midnight, when an awful sound broke forth, "as if the Heavens, its echo, would repeat." I have heard many big guns, and terrible explosions— but I am confident that I never heard such unearthly sounds for one and a half long hours. What could it mean, asked all. But Sherman politely informed us, in General orders next morning, that the enemy had evacuated Atlanta, and the noise heard was the blowing up of arsenals and magazines and 80 car loads of ammunition.
Early on the morning of the 2d we pushed on, following a road leading to the left of the Railroad. The 14th Corps occupied a line in the center, and during the forenoon of the 2d, they advanced and found the enemy strongly entrenched in their front. By a series of maneuvering, they were soon able to strike him on the flank, completely enfilading his line, and slaughtering the rebels by hundreds. It was one of the bloodiest engagements of this war; we captured 1800 prisoners and ten cannon. All their dead and wounded again fell into our hands, and they fell back to a new position at Lovejoys station, where we came up and getting into position we were subjected to a most terrible cannonading, but our usual good luck was again with us, for we only had one man wounded— Tackwell, of Co. F, but only slightly, struck by a canister on the leg.
Here an unfortunate circumstance occurred. Capt. Gallop, while conveying orders along the line, was struck by a shell and killed. Poor fellow, he was a worthy man.
After driving the rebels 30 miles south of Atlanta, we pulled out on the evening of the 5th and came back for a rest. We are now at this point which is 6 miles east of Atlanta. The Army of the Cumberland is in Atlanta, and the [?] of Tenn., at Eastpoint, 6 miles southwest.
The rebel loss is estimated at 10,000 since we began the last movement. It has been a most disastrous one to them, and for us, a perfect success, and in brilliancy, will certainly be ranked among the grandest achievements ever conceived by a General.
September 29, 1864
Lieut. and Adjt. J. R. CONKLIN, is in town. His time of service expired, and he has now the privilege of resigning. He is as yet undetermined whether to do so, or remain in the service.
Lieut. J. M. PRIOR, of the 145th Ill. (100 days) Reg. returned home on Tuesday last. He reports that the Reg. was mustered out last Saturday, but the boys have not received their pay yet.
September 29, 1864
Hon. C. H. MOORE, of Clinton, offer 160 acres of land for a recruit to represent him in the army. Hon. D. DAVIS, of Bloomington, intends sending two representatives.
October 6, 1864
Maj. C. GOODBRAKE, late Surgeon in Chief, 3d p. 17th Army Corps, has returned home, his term of service having expired. He will remain in town and resume his medical and surgical practice. We are indebted to him for late Cairo and Georgia papers. The Doctor's many ardent friends will welcome him home.
W. D. CATERLIN, of the 107th, on duty in the Jeffersonville (Ind.) Hospital, is home on furlough.
[Note: should be Catterlin]
October 6, 1864
The DeWitt Hundredazers.
The boys of the 145th Reg., having served their hundred days, have returned to the bosoms of their families and the society of their friends. Although they have not been called upon to stand the brunt of battle, yet they fulfilled their mission and exhibited a willingness to lend a hand in defense of their country. They return to us in good health, fat as porpoises, and some of them as brown as buns.
October 13, 1864
INTERESTING Correspondence to the Public FROM MISSOURI.
St. Louis, Oct. 2, 1864
For the last two weeks our city has been in a constant ferment. First came the draft, long delayed, but come at last. It fell like a bombshell in the midst of us. It had been so long impending, but had never fallen, so long threatened, but never executed, so often deferred that the prospect of it had ceased to make anybody's heart sick. But three weeks ago, sure enough, the inexorable Provost Marshal set his inexorable wheel in motion. The rumor soon ran over the city, and an excited and curious crowd gathered around the Provost Marshal's Headquarters, to watch the novel proceeding. A glimpse through the window was all that was vouchsafed, as the crowd was cleared by the guard. Evening papers were in demand, ragged newsboys raced through the streets, shouting to all and sundry at the top of their lungs, "All 'bout the draft 'n Fifth Ward!" Of course everybody wanted to see the "members," and the little urchins drove a thrifty trade. So also did the Substitute brokers. Their cards, guaranteeing exemption from the Draft for $150, had stood in glaring capitals, all unheeded; staring readers of the local column in the face, at every square or two, without creating any alarm or inviting a very flourishing business. But it was high tide with them, now; plenty of customers; but substitutes? There was the rub! The price jumped up to $1500 and $2000, even. A good chance for contrabands, truly! I have seen Missourians pay $1600 for a "likely colored boy," body, soul, and service; but now the service alone commanded such figures! However the prices soon fell, substitutes appeared in abundance, and the excitement died away. The draft was suspended after the Fourth and Fifth Wards had been drawn, but today it is resumed. Happy Clintonians never begrudge the brave boys in blue a hearty welcome and a kindly word. They have delivered you from the terrors of the draft! Tell friend WISMER that the next speech he makes he can bring that in as an argument for the election of McCLELLAN. For isn't he a soldier too? And hasn't he saved somebody from the draft? And as corroborating documents he can refer to Little Mac's Maryland campaign, with correspondence &c.
THE INVASION of Missouri by Pap PRICE, so long talked of and held up to Union people as bugaboo by secesh, here, proves, sure enough, to be a reality. I do not suppose our military authorities were found napping, but the preparations for meeting him were at least not sufficient to prevent him from penetrating to the heart of the State without much opposition. The excitement in the city has been intense. Fist the enrolled militia was called out and in Missouri a position in the "Melish" is not a sinecure, by any means. Blue blouses and breeches appeared upon the streets as thick as leaves in Valambrosa. Provost guards paraded the streets, seeking delinquents and marching them out to camp. Old "Camp Jackson" was the rendezvous. That obnoxious but historic name, however, has been changed to "Camp Sheridan" in honor of Fighting Phil of the Shenandoah. The ground, which is beautifully located, presented quite a martial and romantic appearance, covered with the white tents and other equipage of five thousand soldiers. Saturday, the Militia under Gen. PIKE, were reviewed by Gen. ROSENCRANS, and afterward paraded the city. As they passed up Washington Avenue, they seemed quite formidable and fully equal to Pap Price, "or any other man," an army of sturdy, active young men, well armed and equipped and reasonably well drilled. On Saturday evening they broke camp and left for parts, to me at least, unknown.
A CITY GUARD of exempts from militia duty (for the greater portion of the male population, by the way) has been organized for home duty and city defense. About four thousand have been organized into companies and regiments, all under the command of Col. Gratz BROWN. These Guards are required to take the oath and serve as any other soldier, during this exigency. All the business places in the city were closed by orders from Gen. Rosencrans for three days, to allow the city guard to organize, and now business places are closed at 3 p.m. to permit drilling. Tough service, this, for some of the "fathers," but the excitement seems to have rejuvenated them. Yesterday one of the leading citizens, whose beard and hair are white as snow, and whose abdominal developments are rather ponderous for very active service, announced to me the fact that he belonged to the "Old Guard" (a gray beard company) and intended to stand sentinel all that night with as much gusto as a recruit of sixteen summers. We don't much fear Pap Price when such "paps" as that are within our city gates.
THE MILTARY POSITION in the State is by no means clear to the people, however well it may be understood at Headquarters. But all have great confidence in "Old Rosy," as the soldiers call him, and believe that he will succeed in bagging Price and all his troops. Price has perhaps 15,000 men, well mounted and armed; thoroughly acquainted with every square foot of the country, and under such leaders as MARMADUKE, SHELBY and GORDON. He has marched through the south east part of the State, attacked and burnt Pilot Knob, burnt DeSoto, forty-two miles from St. Louis, Iron Mt. R. R., and is pressing across the State to Jefferson City. Of the Union force in the State, I cannot speak with certainty. Besides the enrolled militia, I learn of a force of five or six thousand of Gen. A. J. SMITH's command, Gen. EWING's brave little band, and several regiments of Hundredazers at Benton Barracks. Illinois, as usual, has come to the rescue. I have seen one or two regiments filing through our streets en route for the seat of war, although their time of service had expired. Yesterday, Benton Barracks was all astir with preparation for a movement, and I suppose by this time the brave Suckers are on the war path. Glorious Illinois! What a record is hers in the history of this heroic age! Shame on those who would tarnish her fair name by craven cries for cowardly peace, when the fruit of three years trial and blood is just ready to drop into her hand!
THE DEFENSE OF PILOT KNOB by the united forces of Gen. Ewing and Col. Tom FLETCHER (Union candidate for Governor) was one of the brilliant events of the war. A little band of scarce eight hundred men successfully repulsed the whole army of Price, leaving upon the field 200 dead and 700 wounded of the enemy, including Gen. CABELL, the leader of the assaulting party, and then retired from the Fort successfully in the face of the foe! Few cases of such a gallant defense and such a lucky escape are on record. The fate of Gen. Ewing is yet unknown. The last heard of him, he was fighting the enemy again at Harrison Station on the South Branch of the Pacific R. R. May the Lord of hosts defend and succor him and his heroes! Doubtless steps have been taken for his relief of which we all hope to hear today.
Sad tidings come to us from the northern portion of the State. The guerillas are holding a carnival of blood, almost unmolested. A thrill of horror ran through the city at the first tidings of THE CENTRALIA MASSACRE, which, as the horrible details came in, deepened into a frenzy of indignation. Even secessionists felt it necessary to disclaim sympathy with such barbarities. I will not call them brutal. The brute creation would blush to acknowledge them. They were fiendish, devilish! The red record of war has no page on which such heaven-defying atrocities are written. Were they not put beyond dispute by indisputable testimony, they would seem incredible. But here is the evidence of an eye witness. I have before me a letter just received from a friend of mine, a young man of piety, whose veracity is beyond question, who is in Government employ as a telegraph repairer. I give extracts from his letter just as I received them. You will use your own pleasure about publishing parts, which might [upset] the delicacy of your readers; although it is a matter of question, to my mind, whether even such things should be withheld from a community where are found so many who sympathize with the "gallant Southern in his chivalrous struggle for independence." But to the record.
"I was on the train that day, but was on the ground the next. I went down with Maj. PHELPS, Road Master; he with men to get the wreck off the track, I to repair the line. Five passenger cars were burned; one hundred and fifty of our soldiers were killed; among them Maj. JOHNSON, Capt. SMITH, and one or two Lieutenants whose names I did not learn. I counted eighty-seven dead at Centralia, besides twenty who were taken to Sturgeon, forty to Mexico; and I don't know that all were found and brought in, as they were scattered all over the prairie from Centralia to Sturgeon, a distance of eleven miles. A great many of them were scalped; some had their skull mashed in with the butt of a musket. One man was brought into Sturgeon who had his ------ taken out and put in his mouth. I did not see him, but was told of it by an engineer who did see him. I heard Col. FORBES speak of it; he saw the man. There were only three men escaped. Two were left for dead, one having his forehead and back part of his head beat in. He will probably get well though he is an awful-looking sight. One was captured without a wound. They made him stand up, and a fellow stood off about ten feet from him and fired eighteen shots at him, six taking effect. After he had received eighteen wounds, he told the fellow that lead was not hard enough to kill him, and asked to have his brains knocked out. He was told by this devilish human form that he had but three more balls; he would load his pistol, and if none of them killed him he would let him off. When the guerilla raised his pistol to fire, he saw that he was aiming too low, and told him to raise his pistol or he would not hit him. As the fellow fired he stooped so that the ball might hit him in a vital spot, but strange to say, it hit his cartridge box. He joked the rebel, and told him he was a very poor shot; that if he would change places, he could do better, &c. He was fired at, in all, 21 times, six taking effect. He is a railroad man, has been running on the H. & St. Jo. R. R. for the past three years. I had a slight acquaintance with him; his name is BURNS. I went to see him at Centralia. He told me all about it, and showed me his wounds. I never saw as much genuine pluck in my life. I was told that one soldier was thrown into the train after it was fired and his body burned."
But enough of this. The Union soldiers spoken of were militia and were ambushed by ANDERSON and his men. No quarter was shown; all were butchered. Herod has certainly been out-Heroded. The infamy of Nena Sahib, and Quantrell finds its equal in that of this rebel soldier, Anderson.
And these are the men to whom we are asked by a great party at the North to grant immediate armistice that we may have a good opportunity to beg them for peace! Faugh!
GEN. JIM LANE, of Kansas, addressed the Union men of St. Louis at the Jubilee Rally on Thursday last. He is a wiry, lank specimen of a backwoodsman, with prominent features, smooth face and erect hair. He is a nervous speaker, full of fire, and "takes" with the people. Three years ago he would have spoken in St. Louis at the peril of his life. Now, his most radical utterances were cheered to the echo. Mr. Knox— Gen. BLAIR's particular friend— also spoke; and Judge BAXTER, Senator-elect from Arkansas. The meeting was one of the largest I have ever seen, and full of enthusiasm, to which the reading of the news from Pilot Knob, and the news of GRANT's advance on Richmond, which arrived during the progress of the speaking, greatly added. It seemed strange to see the provost guard, with their bayonets, standing sentinel among the crowd, at different quarters. A goodly number of soldiers were also present, who cheered lustily for Old Abe. By the way, there does not seem to be much evidence of Gen. McClellan's popularity in the army hereaway. The soldiers, on all occasions, manifest the utmost bitterness against him and his party; a feeling which has resulted in some riotous conduct on their part, which Gen. Rosencrans has been prompt to punish. The Lindell hotel riot, by which a McClellan meeting was recently dispersed by the soldiers (unarmed), has called out quite a lengthy correspondence between the Democratic committee and Gen. Rosencrans. The Democrats proposed that soldiers be prevented from meddling with political matters, and be kept away from meetings; which sentiment Gen. R., very properly reproves, but promises protection in the future to all political meetings not openly disloyal. And so old Rosy guarantees a free fight. Now if Pap Price will only leave and give a chance for a free vote, all will be right. But it is whispered around these parts that that isn't in the programme; that Gen. Price is on an electioneering tour in behalf of his cousin, who is the Democratic candidate for Governor. Of course, he will take good care that all loyal men have a free vote!
December 8, 1864
From the 107th—The Battle of Franklin
Killed and Wounded of the 107th
We are permitted to transfer to our columns the subjoined letter, written by Capt. Lee McGraw, and addressed to his father, J. J. McGraw, Esq., of this place.
Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 2, 1864
Dear Father—I am safe once more. On the 30th of Nov. 1864 the hardest battle of the campaign, for the number of troops engaged, was fought at Franklin. Our loss is quite light, as we were behind strong works.
Our Colonel (Lowry) was mortally wounded, and is, perhaps, dead by this time. He was left in the rebel lines, in charge of one of their surgeons.
Killed of DeWitt county:
Lieut. I. C. Morse, Co. A; Corp. Wm. M. Clark and Christopher Hite, Co. D.
Wounded of DeWitt:
Eli W. Groves, Co. A, in wrist
Jackson Clifton, Co. D, severely in head
George Winkle, Co. D, face and head
Wm. Storret, Co. D, face
Chas. W. Beatty, Co. D, slightly
Corp. Jno. R. Cantrell, Co. D, on wrist slightly
Sergt. W. H. Taylor, Co. G, in hand
Jno. F. McMillan, Co. G, (not given)
Remious Vannote, Co. I, on finger
Missing: Jonathan Hallam
Several were wounded, and one killed, from Piatt county. Our entire loss, not including the Col., is 4 killed and 15 wounded. The Colonel was wounded in the head. I took command of the Reg. as soon as he fell.
I thought I knew what fighting was; but this battle exceeded in severity anything I ever before witnessed. The fight lasted over 4 hours, during which time the rebels made four desperate but unsuccessful assaults upon us. Several got over our works, but not enough to drive us out.
Rebel prisoners state their loss to be 15,000, killed and wounded.
L. S. McGraw
Capt. Commanding 107th
December 15, 1864
From the 107th—Interesting particulars of the Battle of Franklin, Tenn.
Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 6, 1864
Believing the citizens of DeWitt county have e'er this received intelligence [?] of the late battle at Franklin, on the 30th ult., and are desirous of hearing from the 107th Ill., I have concluded to drop you a few lines. It is not necessary to speak of the skirmishes in which we were engaged close up to the time, as we suffered no loss.
We reached Franklin about 12 o'clock M. of the 30th, after being deprived of sleep or rest for three days and nights, and were ordered quickly to throw up breastworks. Willing hands went to work, and in a short time the line could be seen encircling the town. At 4 o'clock our skirmishers began gradually to fall back before the solid columns of the enemy, and at 5 o'clock the rebs charged all along our front, with from three to four lines of battle. Not a gun was fired until they had come within easy range, when a murderous fire greeted them; but on they came, with heads inclined like beasts, striving to stem the pelting of a storm. But they could not withstand the volleys that our brave and good boys poured into them, and were compelled to retire; but it was only to reform and come upon us more heavily.
About dusk they made their best and most determined charge, in which they mounted our works, planted four stands of colors, crossed bayonets with and fired at us; but they could not "stay with us" long, for they were either bayoneted, shot, or knocked down.
In this charge the brave Lieut. Col. Francis B. Lowry fell, it is feared mortally wounded; and Capt. Leander S. McGraw took command. The ditch in our immediate front was filled with dead and wounded. How many times they charged our lines it would be difficult accurately to state—doubtless not less than eleven.
We left our works about 1 o'clock a.m., and started on the retreat for this place.
The following are the killed and wounded (in addition to the names we published last week—ED.) of our regiment:
Killed—Henry Kidney, Co. H
Wounded—Henry C. Kirby and Jno. Schlefky, Co. D; Jos. Meritt, Co. E; Wm. Bogard, Co. H
The following is a complimentary order issued by Col. O. H. Moore, our brigade commander, who is one of the bravest of the brave, doing battle in defense of our great nationality:
"It is with feelings of the deepest gratitude that the brigade commander congratulates the gallant officers and soldiers of the entire brigade upon the great victory achieved on the battle field at Franklin, Tenn., Nov. 30th, 1864. An unbroken line of steel, composed of the 80th Ind., 118th Ohio, 107th Ill., 23rd Mich., 129th Ind. and 111th Ohio, was formed with the entire brigade front, without a reserve, to engage the rebel force which was from three to five times their number, and which advanced to the charge in three lines of battle, extending along the whole front.
The repeated desperate and determined charges of the enemy were every time successfully met; and with a heroism unsurpassed in the annals of our war, they advanced but to be driven back with terrible slaughter.
The heroic spirit which inspired the command was forcibly illustrated by the 111th Oho Infantry, on the left flank of the brigade, when the enemy carried the works on the left, and they stood firm, and crossed bayonets with them, holding their ground. This is not mentioned to discriminate between the gallant regiments of the command, but by way of illustrating the heroic bravery of the entire command; for all along the line, at different points, a hand to hand conflict ensued, even to the capture of the colors.
A late hour of the night closed the conflict upon you; and a nation's gratitude will be your reward.
We can but drop a tear for our brave companions who fell nobly on the battle field, and express a deep sympathy for their "loved ones at home."
December 22, 1864
From the Battery Boys.
Nashville, Tenn. Dec. 12, 1864.
Mr. Editor: Perhaps a few lines from the Clinton Battery, attached to the 2d Regiment Illinois Light Artillery, would not be unwelcome to your many readers, many of whom have friends in this company. Since the 15th of November, we have been in the vicinity of Nashville; having received orders on the 23d of Oct., while in camp at Galesburg, Ala., to report at Nashville for reorganization. After considerable delay, we arrived safely here on the 15th of Nov., in good condition, and with great expectations of having a gay and festive time during the winter. But alas, the rebel forces followed us. About the 2d of this month, we were ordered to move our Battery into Fort Morton, on College Hill, one mile south-east of the city. Gen. Hood was advancing on Nashville, on the 5th, notwithstanding his severe punishment received at Franklin; his lines were visible to the eye. Great credit is due to our present commander, Lieut. Osborne, for the expedition and energy which he displayed in the moving of his command, as well as for the courage, coolness and valor displayed in the heat of battle, in the many engagements we have been engaged in during the summer. On the 6th, skirmishing commenced in good earnest, by both armies, all citizens and negroes were pressed into active service and put to work building lines of works and fortifications, and in twenty-four hours we were ready for the expected assault; but it came not.
All the Clintonians are well and enjoying themselves as well as the irksome duties of camp life will allow; about one half the members of this company reside at our near Clinton. The majority of them are at this time temporarily detached for Gun boat service to cruise o'er the bright waters of the Cumberland River.
The weather for the past few days has been extremely cold and uncomfortable, the ground being covered with ice to the depth of two inches.
Various speculations and rumors are abroad in reference to the designs of the rebel army now in front of us, all of which I regard as being without the least foundation.
The casualties of our company have been very slight throughout the summer campaign; we have had only one killed and thirty three taken prisoners, upon the 22d of July last, one of whom bravely escaped from the rebels near Millen, Ga., by jumping from the cars and traveling a distance of near two hundred and twenty miles through the enemy's country; his name is A. L. Smith, many of your readers will recollect him.
We are frequently at a loss to know what is transpiring at our homes; therefore your paper will be a welcome guest in our lonesome camp.
(…the last line cut off)