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United States. Army. Ohio Infantry Regiment, 21st - MS 562: Transcripts
Concord Minn July 1st, 1889
Yours of June 5 recd long ago[.] I can tell but little about Chickamauga as I had all I could do was to look after myself[.] I can say this much[:] when our Regt & Brig was ordered to the right Sunday some time between 2 to 4 oclock P. M. Sept 20th 1863. After moving some two miles we came up behind troops that were engaged[.] we were halted and while Gen Thomas [?] was talking to Col George I saw the last field officer present of the 21st Ohio wounded & helped off of his horse and a call was made for the ranking Capt who mounted a horse & took command. We were then told that that Regt was out of ammunition[.] we then marched by the left flank releived your Regt & we fought & remained there untill after dark[.] about dusk fireing came from our rear & in a very short time news of reached us that the Regt we releived was captured. I couldent even say where the rest of our Brig but supposed they were to our left.
Address Col Judson W. Bishop St Paul Minn & you can get needed information. Respect
H. M. Bayless
Late Private Co C 2d Minn Inft. 3d Brig 3d Dive 14 A.C.
[Late] Leiut Co M 1st [Minn] H. A.
Commander Joseph Arcuitt[?] Post
Capt Phil Sheredan Coresp S of V.U.S.A.
All of West Concord Minn.
[Letterhead]Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
Headquarters Commandery, State of Minnesota
St. Paul, Minn., August 10 1889
Col. Arnold McMahan
Dear Sir. Your favorof the 6th is duly received and enquiries noted.
I well remember our approach to and arrival on the Snodgrass hill September 20, 1863, about 1.30 pm. VanDerveer's brigade arrived there in the following order marching by the right flank across the foot of the slope (or midway down it) then facing left and moving up in line - 35th Ohio - 2d Minn - 87th Ind. And 9th Ohio. Arriving near the crest we found a line of men there in our front - there was at the moment no firing except scattering shots. Our regiment halted a few paces in rear of the line already there and I learned from the officers and men in front of us that the regiment was the 21st Ohio and that they were out of cartridges, and noticed that they had revolving or repeating guns. I was then Lieut Colonel and Colonel James George (now dead) was present (He was disabled by rheumatism from active movement and I usually handled the Regt) with the regiment. I told him the situation and proposed that we relieve the front line as we had 10 to 20 cartridges per man in our boxes. He assented and I moved our regiment up to the line and the 21st Ohio retired. This was all done in a minute or two and I do not now remember any orders in the matter from anybody--nor do I remember consulting you--the commander of the 21st Ohio, tho' I suppose I must have done so.
My regiment was large enough to occupy and did occupy all the ground you had covered, but the other regiments named were present & in line as stated.
We relieved your regiment about 2 p. m. or a little before that hour and almost immediately after our arrival there & took your place in time to repulse an attack. I remember the affair on our right just at dark when it was reported some of our troops were captured & that Steedman's troops had vacated the line but I had no personal knowledge of what occurred there until the enemy actually appeared on our right & rear where they were repulsed by the 35th Ohio & by the right companies of my regiment. I don't think any report was then made by any of us regimental officers to Col VanDerveer or Gen Brannan--there was no time for any report. When the enemy appeared in the darkening woods on our right he was halted & identified and firing opened on him at once many of our men giving him thier last cartridge. Col. V. was present or near by and could see for himself as well as any of us. There was very little reporting done or orders given by any body there that afternoon every man's duty was plain and he did it without much instruction or interference.
I did not see your regiment after we relieved it but heard that you got some cartridges and went in again on our right.
I am writing hastily in my office and without references but think I have answered your questions to the best of my memory and ability. I hope to meet you on that historic ground at the September rally of the Army of the Cumberland. I have not seen the field since we left it about 7 oclock or after dark that Sunday evening.
I too have been writing a sketch of the battle for our reunion & enclose a fragment of it relating to the matter of this letter.
Very truly yours
J. W. Bishop
[Letterhead]The Saint Paul Trust Company
St. Paul, Minn. Augt 14 1889
Col. Arnold McMahan
Dear Sir-- Your favor of the 12th is just received. Since writing you I have seen the official reports of Col. George of the 2d Minn. and Col J. VanDerveer commanding our (3d) brigade (duplicates being on file in the Adjutant General's office of Minn. here) Both these reports fix the time of our arrival on the ridge.
Col George says of it "where at 2.30 p m we again became hotly engaged with musketry" and Col VanDerveer says "at 2.30 p m reported my brigade to him" (Brannan) for duty. We were immediately "placed in the front relieving his troops there almost exhausted."
My impression was that the time was 30 minutes or perhaps an hour earlier but these records settle it at or about 2.30 p.m. as you had it.
very truly yours
J. W. Bishop
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