Center for Archival Collections

Reference Services | Manuscripts by Subject | CAC Homepage

United States. Army. Ohio Infantry Regiment, 21st - MS 562: Transcripts

Transcripts - Other McMahan Writings: The Battle of Horseshoe Ridge

A History of the Twenty first Regiment Ohio Infantry Volunteers
In The Battle of Chickamauga Ga

September 19th and 20th 1863
and Other History.

"Ken ye aught of Captain Gross" ---

By Arnold McMahan
Formerly Lieutenant Colonel 21st Regt Ohio V V Ifty
Brevet Colonel U.S. Volunteers

I "Through a glass darkly"

After the battle of Stones river, Murfreesboro, Tenn. Gen'l Rosecrans began preparations for the next struggle. He had many difficulties to overcome, but he was a great organizer and as a disciplinarian he had no superior. His discipline tended to make good soldiers proud of their professions, and in this respect differed from the slaveish degredations of men in our regular army. But our regiment was disposed to relapse into that condition of shiftlessness which overcame the whole army while under the command of Gen'l D.C. Buell. The emancipation proclamation of President Lincoln was distasteful to many of the officers and men of the regiment, and it was no uncommon thing to hear denunciation of the "abolition war". The fine condition to which Gen'l Rosecrans had raised the army prior to the battle of Stones river was in danger, and this was particularly true of the Twenty first Ohio. The toil of army life coupled with the idea that the war was prosecuted for the abolition of slavery cooled the patriotism of our men. The leading officer of the regiment made no effort to counteract the growing evil, they were on record, and in full harmony with the men. The order of Colonel Jesse S. Norton dated Nicholasville Ky October 6th 1861 fairly represented the present feeling, and it was believed that if the question of slavery was left out, the war would terminate at once. Among other things that Colonel Norton's order provided: "It is also ordered that they (our men) refrain from any conversation with colored people concerning domestic slavery, or concerning the institution of slavery."

Inaction and lax discipline breed mischief. The frequent inspections set on foot, together with drills, parades and practice soon brought our regiment to the notice of the commanding general and he was at once in conflict with our field officers. Sharp reprimands from brigade and division headquarters as well as from the commanding general were of frequent occurrence and were usually received by our regimental commander with great cumposure [composure]. On the 23rd day of January 1863 General Rosecrans addressed Col James M Neibling as follows:
Colonel: the inspection of your brigade has reported upon the condition of your company and regimental books and papers as "miserable". Reports of a similar character upon the sanitary condition of the regiment as well as its discipline were frequently published in orders and received but little attention. Some of the officers of the regiment who were disciplinarians were also very unpopular and uncomfortable. While Colonel Neibling was calmly receiving the censures of his superior officers, his men with whom he was always popular presented to him an elegant dress sword and pair of spurs. The funds for these were provided by the enlisted men, and the officers who were conspicuous in the presentation were the same who in the month of July previously at the town of Athens in Limestone county Ala. where the regiment was then stationed signed an address to Lieut. Col. J. M. Neibling accusing him, among other things, of disloyalty, ignorance and unfitness to command and demanding his resignation. The address was prepared by Captain, afterwards Major, George F. Walker, and was presented by Lieut. Alexander A. Monroe; it was signed by every officer in the regiment present excepting two. Col Jesse S. Norton who was seldom in the camp of his regiment was at this time absent as a prisoner of war on parole, persecuting General O.M. Mitchell and never returned. The address was presented to Lieut. Col. Neibling at a Public house in the town known as rebel headquarters while surrounded by a jovial party of Southern gentlemen who were notoriously disloyal to the government of the United States and who had often declared that the twenty first Ohio should never be attacked by their people while it remained in Athens and it was not. Though other troops found the place too hot and were driven out, before and after its occupation by the twenty-first Ohio, yet our regiment remained there in perfect tranquility for two months.

But if this presentation may be considered a reward for free military morals, the donors mistook the results. One of the consequences of the miserable bookkeeping was that the final statements of forty seven of the men who were killed at Stone river, or who had died about that time were not forwarded to Washington until the regiment settled down in camp at Savannah, Ga. two years afterwards, and no doubt the friends of these men who were entitled to their arrears of pay and allowances wondered why they could not procure a settlement with less trouble and delay.

Another result among many more was the total loss of a single item of $1290.30 Sutler tax, belonging to the regimental fund which Col. Neibling neglected to order paid to the regimental treasurer. The following is an extract from the records of the Regimental Council of Administration dated April 1st 1863 in relation to this money: -- The Council met pursuant to adjournment. All the members were present as yesterday. The council having under consideration the case of I. Marienthal, sutler, as per general order No. 17 from Regimental Headquarters. Sent for him and he being before the Council stated as follows to wit; -- That he, Israel Marienthal, sutler, never paid any tax or assessment authorized by a Council or Administration of the 21st Regt. Ohio Vols. He says "he never paid any money towards a regimental or Post fund". He states further, that he never paid any money directly for his privilege to suttle in the 21st Regt. Ohio Vols. But that indirectly that privilege cost him about two thousand dollars ($2000.00).

As far as guard and picket duty was concerned our regiment became useless. It would serve no purpose here to point out the vital importance of efficient picket duty. The outposts are the watch dogs of the army.

On the 23rd day of May 1863 General James S. Negley through his Adjutant General addressed Col. Neibling on this subject as follows: "The General commanding the Division desires me to say that the frequency of complaint from the office of the Inspector General of the Department, of neglect and non-performance of picket duty on the part of the officers and men of your regiment demand that you and your Field officers give this matter your personal and immediate attention." This communication was accompanied by an order to arrest a lieutenant of the regiment who was the immediate cause of the report, but who was never punished and he is now dead.

In marked and cheerful contrast with this withering denunciation we have an order on the same subject from the same source which may illustrate the revelation that had overcome us, as well as the effects of Partisan politics in war; and the demoralizing effects of the peace party at home which had become aggressive and was called the "fire in the rear." It will be perceived that the foundation for this order was while the regiment was besieged in Nashville and so actively employed that the men had no time to discuss the Slavery question. The fact may as well be stated too that the line was informed [illegible] by Colonel Van Schrader of the approach of the inspector. The order was as follows:

Head quarters 14th Army Corps
Army of the Cumberland
Nashville, Tenn Nov 19th 1862

Special Order
No 20

XII. The General commanding has read with great pleasure the favorable report of Lt Col Ducat, Assistant Inspector General, upon the condition of the grand guards and pickets of the garrison of Nashville, on the recent inspection ordered from these Head Quarters without any notice to the troops.

The General compliments Lt Col Van Schrader, the officers in charge of the grand guards, the officers and men of the 21st Ohio and 27th Illinois Infantry on duty the day of Inspection.

While the General does not consider it necessary to distinguish a soldier for the simple performance of duty, he feels that where there is so much to censure in our army, there is still more to praise. He earnestly desires to testify to the good and faithful soldiers of his command, all the consideration, respect and affection of Maj General Rosecrans.

W.H. Sidell
Maj 15th U S Infantry and AAG

Without arms an army is helpless. At least one redeeming quality in our regiment now would be a relief. Shall we look for it in the perfection of our arms and accoutrements? No. The following communication upon that subject is not encouraging.

Head Quarters 2d Division
14 A C Murfreesboro Tenn
May 29th 1863


I am directed by the General commanding to call your attention to the fact that a number of the arms exchanged this morning were imperfect and very dirty. Clearly indicating unpardonable neglect on the part of the officers whose duty it is to inspect and see that the arms are kept in proper order. This is so flagrant a case of carelessness and inattention on your part in not compelling proper attention to this very important duty, that he deems it necessary to officially caution you to avoid the consequences of a similar offense in the future.

Very Respectfully
Your obedient Serv't
Jas. A. Lawrie
Maj and AAG

Col J M Neibling
Com'dg 21st O V I
Col Jno. F. Miller
Com'dg 3rd Brigade

These frequent and pungent reprimands should have had some effect but they did not. The Tullahoma campaign was finished, but there is not a word to show that our regiment was in it, beyond some formal statistical reports prepared by the Adjutant. As soon as we were settled in camp Maj Genl Geo. H. Thomas revived the old story as follows:

Head Quarters 14th Army Corps
Inspector Genls Department
Camp at Dechard Station Tenn Aug 12th 1863

Extract from monthly letter of Advice, 3d Brig 2d Div for July 31st 1863. "In neatness of company books and papers I have reported 21st Ohio as the poorest, as they have failed to make the quarterly return of clothing, camp and garrison equipage to the quarter master Genl U S A as required by existing orders, otherwise the condition of the books is very much the same"

H.E. Lord
Capt 37th Ind and
Insp 3d Brig 2 Div 14 A C

Inspector Genls Dept 14th A C August 12th 1863

Respectfully referred to Col William Sirwell commanding 3d Brigade 2d Division for attention and action.

By command of Maj Genl Thomas
A Van Schrader
Lt Col and A G G

Head Quarters 3d Brigade
Dechard Tenn Aug 12th 1863

Respectfully referred to Lieut Col Stoughton commanding 21st Ohio who will comply with the within.

By order of
Col Wm Sirwell
Chas. B. Gillespie
Capt and A A A G

Col Neibling was present with the regiment in camp, but being temporarily assigned to other duty, left Lieut Col Stoughton formally in command.

Our stay at Dechard was of short duration, the order came and we moved southward.

The most humble private soldier in the army knew that we were in the presence of the enemy and that a great battle must be fought; that our best efforts would be none too great for success. While we were standing on the banks of the Tennessee River waiting for an opportunity to cross over to the unknown hills beyond, Col. Neibling, though not at all a god, was the ideal of his men, and the officer of all others who ought to hold them in hand at this supreme moment, received an order without limit of time to go to Ohio for drafted men, though there were none, and he remained there until November 8th when he returned to the regiment without having obtained a recruit. In the meantime the bloody battle of Chickamauga had been fought, and the regiment was nearly destroyed. It never recovered from the effects of that disaster. Not withstanding the great demoralization of the men, and want of officers at this time, consequent upon the battle, Col. Neibling was immediately ordered to return to Ohio on recruiting service, and he went of course--on his second banishment. These orders are important and are given entire: they are as follows:

Head Quarters, Department of the Cumberland
Stevenson, August 27th 1863
Special Field Orders
No 235.     Extract

VI Col J M Neibling 21st Ohio Vols will proceed at once and report to the commanding officer of Camp Chase, Ohio for the purpose of taking charge and bringing forward all drafted men assigned to his regiment.

By command of Major General Rosecrans
Henry M Cist
Actg Assistant Adjutant General

Comding Officer
21st Ohio Vols

Headquarters. Department of the Cumberland
Chattanooga Tenn Nov 12th 1863
Special Field Orders
No 303     Extract

VI Colonel J. M. Neibling 21st Ohio Vols will proceed without delay to Ohio on recruiting service for his regiment in person to the Superintendent of recruiting for the State and by letter to the governor. He will also report his progress in recruiting weekly by letter to these Head Quarters.

By command of Major General Thomas.
Wm McMichael
Major and Assistant Adjutant General.

Comd'g officer
21st Ohio Vols.

Up to the time of the departure of Col Neibling at Stevenson to bring forward drafted men, how the regiment escaped complete disgrace, may never be explained; I do not know. Desertions were numerous and insubordination was common. But a short time afterward however, complete public humiliation was averted only by the intercession of officers with General Negley. Only so much of the orders in this case are given as may be proper to have known the names of men* and circumstances are suppressed for shame. The order was as follows:

Headquarters 2d Division 14th A C
Camp Hurricane Georgia
Sept 6th 1863

Lt Col Stoughton
21st Ohio Vols

Sir: The following named privates of ---- 21st O V I left their post while on picket this morning and were arrested some distance from their post without arms.

The penalty of their crime is death or a disgrace, its equal. It is therefore ordered that these men have their heads shaved, a placard marked in large letters x x x place upon their backs and then be drummed through the brigade to the rogues march and then be returned to duty.

The parties herein named show a proper spirit of regret; and have appealed to the sympathy and friendship of General Negley who feels for every soldier in his command. He has therefore referred this case to the honorable appreciation of the 21st Regt Ohio Vols. If there is no more instances x x x from this regiment the punishment of privates x x x will be remitted & c x x

By Command of
Major Genl Negley
Jas. A. Lowrie
Major and A A A Genl

*of the men named by General Negley, one reenlisted as a veteran, was wounded in battle and honorably discharged at the end of the war, and one served his full term of three years, was in several battles and was honorably discharged before Atlanta, Ga. [back]

At the battle of Chickamauga Lt Col Stoughton was wounded. He was a polished gentleman and a brave soldier, but he was not long enough in command of the regiment to impress it with his individuality. A short time before his death which resulted from his wounds, he wrote Col Neibling a letter which explains itself, and aside from some formal orders and statistical reports prepared for his signature by the adjutant, this is the only record he has left. The letter is as follows:

Findlay, Ohio
Nov 12th 1863
Col J.M. Neibling

Dear Sir

I send certificate of disability which please put on file. I learned from Judge Palmer yesterday that you had returned to the regiment.

My wound is not so well as when I arrived here, on account of too much exercise and excitement. It was badly inflamed last week and I was obliged to take the bed again for a few days, but I am up again and hope there will not be another backset.

The soldiers votes have just been counted, and I understand our whole ticket is beaten.

Let me hear from you occasionally.
Yours Truly
D. M. Stoughton

This modest letter comprehensively records a revolution in the Army; the private soldiers became the leaders in our regiment; the bastile [Bastille] had fallen. Such were the circumstances that surrounded the regiment, and such its preparations for one of the mighty struggles of the war--and yet the half has not been told.

II "The Men in Buckram."

On the 1st day of September 1863 a report (monthly and tri monthly consolidated) of the regiment to the commanding General of the Army, prior to the battle of Chickamauga was prepared by acting adjutant Asa C. Spafford; it was his last and was as follows:

Roster of Officers.

Field and Staff

Col James M Neibling. Absent. Detached to bring up drafted men.
Lt Col Dwella M Stoughton. Present for duty.
Major Arnold McMahan. Present for duty.
Surgeon Daniel S. Young. Present for duty.
Assist' Sur' Richard Gray. Present for duty.
1st Lt Robert S. Mungen q.m. Present for duty.
1st Lt Edward L. Baird. Adj't. Disabled. Absent on leave.

Non commissioned Staff.

Sergt Major James Blakely. Present for duty.
q.m. Sergt George Sheets. Present for duty.
Com Sergt George J. Squire Present for duty.
Hosp Steward William M Detwiler. Present for duty.

Company A.

Captain James L. Curry. Absent. Sick at Cowan Station since Aug 16th 1863
1st Lieut Daniel Lewis. Absent. Detached to bring up drafted men.
2d Lieut Daniel A. Richards. Present for duty.

Company B.

1st Lieut Elihu H. Mason Present for duty.
2d Lieut Thomas B. Lamb. Present for duty.

Company C

1st Lieut John V. Patterson. Present for duty.
2d Lieut Asa C. Spafford. Present for duty. Acting Adjutant since July 7th 1863.

Company D

Captain Charles W. Allen. Present for duty.
1st Lieut Thomas Anderson. Present for duty.
2d Lieut Wilson J. Vance. Present for duty.

Company E

Captain William B. Wicker. Present for duty.
1st lieut Samuel F. Cheney. Absent. A.D C [aide de camp] on staff of the Brigade commander.
2d Lieut John Mercer. Present for duty.

Company F

Captain Henry H. Alban. Present for duty.
1st Lieut. John C. Martin. Absent. Brigade q.m.
2d Lieut. Jacob L. Keller. Present for duty.

Company G.

Captain Isaac Cusac. Present for duty.
1st Lieut James Porter. Absent. Detached to bring up drafted men.
2d Lieut John R. Porter. Present for duty.

Company H.

Captain Milo Caton. Present for duty.
1st Lieut James I Bumpus. Present for duty.
2d Lieut Robert Buffum. Absent without leave.

Company I.

Captain Charles H. Vantine. Present for duty.
1st Lieut Robert S. Dilworth. Present for duty.
2d Lieut George L. Cleghorn. Present for duty.

Company K

Captain Silas S. Canfield. Present for duty.
1st Lieut John W. Berry. Absent. Detached to bring up drafted men.
2d Lieut John S. Mahony. Present for duty.


[Co.] Commissioned Officers Enlisted Men
For DutyOn extra dutySickIn arrestTotalFor DutyOn extra dutySickIn arrestTotal
F & S5---54---4
Total 251--265222442552


[Co.] Commissioned Officers Enlisted Men
DetachedWith LeaveW/o LeaveSickTotalDetachedWith LeaveW/o LeaveSickIn ArrestTotal
F & S1--12------
Total 61-297517171-164

Included in the total of enlisted men present, there were thirty four noncombatants; they were teamsters, cooks, clerks, orderlies and hospital attendants, and were necessary in their several capacities. As it was, when the regiment moved these men also moved with the wagon train, unarmed and unorganized. The musicians were supposed to be near the regiment with stretchers in time of battle. It would be futile now to point out how this narrowing of the battle front could have been partly remedied.

The seventeen men reported absent with leave were nearly all captured by the enemy at the battle of Stones River December 31st 1862, paroled on the field and immediately released by the enemy. They were supposed to be at Camp Chase Ohio awaiting exchange, but were in fact at their homes in Ohio. The commanding officer at Camp Chase had no knowledge of them, and the adjutant of the regiment mechanically carried them forward from month to month on the reports, absent with leave. *

Some of the seventy one men reported absent sick were in fact disabled for duty; while more of them were well and hearty at their homes in Ohio pursuing their usual vocations, encouraged to desert by their friends and others had obtained details on "soft jobs", of which no notice was sent to the regiment, and some were serving as "dog robbers" for medical officers at the hospitals when they were supposed to be sick.

Officers of the medical department of the army did not appear to consider it any part of their duty to have men returned to their commands as soon as they were fit for service. Governor Brough understood the workings of the medical department and fairly took the hide off the doctors--- but he died soon afterwards.

The seventy five men reported on detached service had authority for their absence and were on duty, and as it is not our purpose to institute reforms in the service, the reason for this disintegration of the regiment will not be investigated as it should be. These men were serving as artificers, battery men, guards with ammunition and quarter master trains, teamsters, pioneers, escorts, clerks, orderlies and nurses.

*The plan of parole which was recognized at the time worked great mischief, as it was soon understood in the army that to be taken prisoner was equivalent to an indefinite furlough; and as a consequence, stragglers and skulkers became willing captives. The men of the Army of the Cumberland were not disabused of this until after the battle of Chickamauga, and the groans from the Prison-pens of the South were heard where ever the South wind blew. [back]

There were no changes of importance in the regiment after the above report was made until the battle on the 19th and 20th of September. On the 18th of September all men in arrest or serving out sentence of court martial were released and returned to duty, and one man who had an unexpired term to serve with ball and chain for desertion finished it fighting in the ranks-he was killed. Every effort was made at the last moment to strengthen the ranks, and finally out of an aggregate of seven hundred and fifty one officers and men, we were ready for battle with twenty two officers and five hundred and seventeen men with rifles and one hundred to one hundred and twenty rounds to the man.

It has been stated that the official reports of absentees could not be relied upon as correct, and in support of this statement the case of Private Lewis Lafferty is given in full to wit:

"Soldiers Home"
Nashville, Tenn. Nov. 4th 1863.

Brig. Gen'l. R.S. Granger
Comdg. Post Nashville


According to verbal directions received from you this P.M. I respectfully submit in writing a statement of my case. The affidavit of George Foreman late 1st Lieut. Co. "A" 21st Regt. O.V.I. of which Co. and Regt. I was a member, is a true history of the case up to the date of my departure from the Regiment at Lexington Ky. Oct. 19th 1861, from whence paying my own way I returned to my home at Mt. Blanchard, Hancock Co. Ohio. With the understanding that my discharge papers would be forwarded to me from the regiment, I remained at home until the 3rd day of June 1862, when in compliance with the order from the Adjutant General of the U.S. directing all sick soldiers on the north side of the National Road in Ohio, to report at "Camp Chase" then to undergo examination and if fit for service to be returned to their commands, or if unfit to be discharged. I reported to the Surgeon at Camp Chase, and not wishing to be examined but to be forwarded to the regiment was directed to Capt. R. Burr. A.QM. U.S.A. for transportation, but not having furlough, (vidi affidavit attached) that officer could not issue, and informed me that the only course to pursue was to return home, and await an order from the Colonel. On the 25th of March 1863 Lieut. Foreman having resigned and come home, I called on him and asked his opinion as to my duty under the Proclamation of the President--he informed me that my name was not on the rolls, and that I was considered as a discharged soldier. Not having papers to prove the circumstances to be what they actually were, on the 5th day of June last, I reported to the Provost Marshal of my District and after delays at Columbus and Cincinnati, reached the regiment at Murfreesboro on the 19th of same month. On the 20th I called on Col. Neibling at his quarters, who after asking some questions about home affairs, asked me "Lafferty, how the Hell and Damnation came you to get back here". I told him "by reporting to the Provost Marshal". His reply was "you are a damned fool for reporting, your name was dropped from the rolls, and you were considered discharged." Immediately after the remark, and entirely ignoring the fact that on leaving the regiment he went personally to the members of my Co. and stating my inability to continue with them, raised and directed Lieut. Foreman to deliver to me, the money necessary to bear my expenses home, he turned to me again and said, "Lafferty, how the Hell did you get away from the regiment that time". Having been informed by a friend of mine that the Col. would to avoid the responsibility of the act, deny all knowledge or participation in it, I was on my guard, and replied "Colonel, if all the members of Co."A" will not testify to your having raised the money to bear my expenses home, and told them I was not good for anything good then and never would be, I am willing to be considered a deserter". His reply was "By God, I haven't got time now", there studying a moment he asked "Lafferty, can you write any--"Yes, I can write some" - "What I mean is, can you get up a letter in any kind of style". I told him I could not in very good style. "Then go to Sergt. John Morrel and get him to write a letter for you to me, stating that Col. Norton sent you home from Lexington, Ky. that time". Said I, "Col. I can't do that for I never saw Col. Norton but once in my life, and would not know him if I were to see him now". Then studying a little while he said, "Well, By God I must go" and went away. Before the regiment left Murfreesboro, I applied to the Col. several times to re-instate me in the Company or make some disposition of the case, his last reply was, "I am not going to do anything with you - you are discharged and you may go home or go to Hell or wherever you please".

I have given a truthful statement of the case, and respectfully ask that I may be discharged or honorably re-instated in my Co. and Regt. Please direct Soldiers Home.

I am General
Very Respectfully
Lewis Lafferty
Co. "A" 21st Regt. O.V.I.

The State of Ohio Hancock County, S.S.

Before me C.W. O'Neal a Notary Public in and for said County personally appeared George Foreman, and being duly sworn deposeth and says, that he is well acquainted with Lewis Lafferty a resident of the County and State aforesaid that the said Lewis on or about the 28th day of August 1861 volunteered at Findlay Ohio in Company "A" commanded by Capt. D.M. Stoughton in the 21st Regt. O.V.I.: that the said Lewis went into the service of the U.S. with said regiment, and while with said regiment in said service at Lexington Kentucky, gave out and became unfit for the service as a soldier on account of some spinal derangement complained of: that being unable to discharge the duties of a soldier, he became desirous to get a discharge. That no formal application was made for a discharge, and at that time said reg't. was on a march, and no fit opportunity serving to get a discharge; it was not convenient or advisable to procure a means of conveyance for him to accompany the regiment on its march and after consultation of this affiant who was then 1st Lieut. of said Company "A" in said regiment with Lieut. Col. Neibling, it was agreed upon by him and this affiant that it would be best for said Lewis Lafferty to return to his home in said County of Hancock and soon thereafter as possible to get his final discharge from the army on account of said disability.

At the suggestion of this affiant & said Lieut. Col. Neibling and in view of the disability of the said Lewis, we advised him to go home which advice he took; that most of the time the said Lewis was unfit for service since he volunteered; that he did not desert, but being advised as aforesaid he returned to his said home in said County of Hancock.

George Foreman

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 12th day of June A.D. 1863
C.W. O'Neal, Notary Public


Head Quarters, U.S. Forces
Nashville, Tenn. Nov. 6th 1863

Respectfully referred to Capt. Dixon, A.A.G.

I have ordered him to report to the Convalescent Barracks to await further orders, as no one can leave the service after being duly enlisted without a proper discharge. If dropped from the Rolls as a deserter he must be taken up again on being taken or delivering himself up.

R.S. Granger
Brig. Genl.

Head Quarters Dept of the Cumberland
Nashville Tenn. Nov. 7/ '63.

Respectfully forwarded to Lieut. Col. C. Goddard A.A.G. It would seem from the within staement that the commanding officer of the 21st Ohio Infty. Erred in not retaining this man when he returned to his regiment

J. Bates Dickson
A.A. Genl.

Head Quarters, Dept. Cumberland
Chattanooga Nov. 12th 1863

Respectfully returned through Capt. Dickinson. This man will return to his regiment without delay.

By Command of
Maj. Genl. Thomas
Wm. McMichael
Maj. A.A.G.

Private Lafferty was restored to the rolls of his Company and received pay and allowances in full for all the time he was absent. Colonel Neibling never noticed that the case in any way related to him.

The order restoring Private Lafferty to all his rights and the order relieving Col Neibling in the field were issued simultaneously.

Visions and

No. 1

---------    --------     --------    -------- 98.O       113.O       78.Ill       121.O

Mitchells Brigade

Showing formation according to Genl Mitchells report. See Record P 867.

"For five hours the command remained in the position first gained." 867

Query - Where would that locate the 98th O.? Dept map No 7 Shows the left of Mitchell in rear of Whitakers right - I E 98.O. in rear of 96th Ill, and Carlton says the 89th O substantially covered this ground at the time Russell[?] fell. But how far was the 98.O. to the rear at this time?

No 2

---------    --------     98.O    113.O ---------    --------     78 Ill    121.O

Mitchells Brigade.

Showing formation according to Col Van Vlecks report - See Record P 868.
"In a dense woods"

No 3

-------------     ------------      --------    ----------    ----------    22 Mi.           115.Ill               96 Ill             98.O         113.O

-------------     ------------      --------    ----------    ----------    89 O.           84 Ind.               40 O.             78 Ill.         121.O

The first formation of Whitakers and Mitchells Brigades as shown by the reports of Genl Whitaker and Col Van Vleck-

No 4

Col Van Vleck - Probable manner of change of Position -

"Our lines very soon became separated and the rear line found itself confronted by the enemy" see page 869 - Query - Where was the "front line" at that time?

"We maintained the admirable position & c from about 1 oclock until 4".

Query - What position? Did the 98.O. over lap the 96 Ill?

No 5

Col Van Vleck.} "in a dense piece of timber"

"and advanced in this order in the direction of the enemy"

"Our lines very soon became separated & c" "the rear line found itself confronted & c"

Query. Did the rear line practically become the front line? Did the front line hang back

No 6

Possible position when Capt. Russell was killed

Carlton - "A few moments after we got on the ridge Capt Russell & c & c was killed. About an hour after & c Steedman came to us on foot from the right-rear"

"The 89th practically took the place of both regiments" (115 & 96 Ill)

X X Possible position of Col Carlton at time Russell fell.

Van Vleck R.R. "Overwhelming force thrown against our left wing"

Original Strength before the battle.

98th O. 207 officers & men
113. O. 382 " "
78 Ill 370 " "

At the time Lt Wilner saw the body of Russell the 89th O must have been a very small regiment, if we make allowance for killed, wounded, skulkers & missing; and it is not stated that the regiment was at the point where the body was found. Aside from Wilners letter to you, it looks as if the right of Whitaker and left of Mitchell were mixed.

Make allowance all around for variance in time and distance and allow that "We" as used in reports, refers as much to other commands as were as our own, and may or not find that the 98.O. was some where in the rear of Whitakers right at the time Wilner saw it move to the right [rear] and during a lull in the battle he was prospecting and saw Russells body. The circumstances indicate that he was not in a hurry, and too, there may have been a little gap between himself and his regiment just at that moment.

C.D. Pierce
Co. E.
121st Ohio
629 Dorr St

Kershaw 12.m

1st attack

P 2 P 507 3d S Carolina

This is the full case of the 1st assault in the 1st position

Reference is made to Gracies Brigade.

See also F.G. Smith B. 24 US
Page 438-9. Concurrent

Orders to Retreat

Van Derveer7 pm
Boynton7 pm
King, 68th 101 Ind5 pm
J.G. Mitchell6.30 pm
Col George 2 Minn6.30 pm
Lt Smith B 24 US Art"Sun Set"


Brannan7 pm
Whitakerafter fighting
3 hours (5 PM)

Subsequent Attack

Brannannight fall
Brannanat Dusk
Boyntonnear Dark

MS 562: Introduction | Transcript List
MS 562 Series Description: MS 562: Introduction | 86th O.V.I. Records | Arnold McMahan Papers
MS 562 Abstracts: Part 1 (McMahan Correspondence) | Part 2 (Box 12) | Part 3 (Box 13) | Inventory
Manuscripts by Subject | Civil War Collections