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Robert S. Dilworth Papers: Transcripts - MS 800
I have been so busy since the 8th inst I had no time to write. But now I embrace this the first opportunity of chatting for a short time with my dear Lois. We have heard nothing from the missing Agt. & private Crosser of Co G. They may have been taken prisoner but I fear that Crosser is no more. He was a splendid soldier. I feel for the poor fellow. He was rash & impetuous but he was a good soldier. Our regt was out foraging the 9th came in late, regt on picket the 10th late & was out today. The rebels are concentrating at Murfreesboro. I expect we will make a move to that place soon for the purpose of cleaning out the rebels from that place. I am on guard to day & therefore did not get to go out with the train for forage. The rebels pickets were close enough to mine nightfall before last for men to hear them discharge their pieces at different times but good by untill evening.
Oct 15th/ 62
Dearest! I said in ending up the other page good by until evening. Well it is evening but instead of the evening of the 12th as I expected it is now the eve of the 15th. Thus you see how uncertain it is with the soldier. The night of the 12th was one fraught with many adventures. Our forage train did a good business on the 12th in the line of hay, corn, beef cattle etc. 3 companies of our regt went down to Fort Zolie [Zollicoffer?] and brought away those guns which I spoke of some time since. We have like wise gotten out of the river here 10 siege guns 4 28 pounders & 6 64 & 2 32 pounders, likewise 14 steel Parrot guns, one columbiad, 2 howitzers & one mortar all of which are ready for service. We have also found some 2 or 3 thousand rounds of shot & shell. Our forts are complete and a number of the fortifications. How I wish you could but see these works.
We received orders to move our encampment at 4 PM of the 14th and we struck tents and moved 1 1/4 miles & pitched tents against dark. Just as we were eating our supper last night I got orders to report Co G at head quarters on the 5th street at 7 AM of the 15th with one days rations for picket. But having so much to do I did not report but sent my boy (Porter) thus you see I get to day to myself. We moved our camp in side the fort fortifications as Bragg had been whipped and is retreating. It was thought best to make ourselves ready for any emergency. Forest & Anderson are concentrating at Murfreesboro & we learn intend to meet Bragg at Nashville. I expect they will (in a hour) one Corps of Buells army is moving on toward this place in order to cut the rebels off from Chattanooga & as soon as it reaches this place I expect we will move for that place. The boys who did not go and with the regt on picket are very busily engaged at policing the camp. We have not a very desirable camp & [illegible].
The Maj of the 78th the Ajt and private Crosser of the 21st (who was taken prisoner at the fight at Levergne) have been exchanged and got in the night of the 13th. They report from 5 to 7000 troops at Murfreesboro. Mostly cavalry. The Adjt reports Crosser as behaving nobly & acquitting himself bravely. The Ajt. & C took 27 prisoners. & would have taken more but for one of the prisoners. They saw a no. of men standing down on the pike and the prisoner told that they were a lot who wished to surrender and they galloped down and ordered them to surrender. When they in return ordered our fellows to surrender which they refused to do and looked back for the cavalry and no cavalry was to be seen & to their surprise behind & on either side of the road stood a file of soldiers (about 50) with muskets presented and they had to surrender and be brot captive to Murfreesboro where they were kept untill exchanged. But I must stop my my dearest.
October 16th 1862
Nothing of importance occurred on picket we have a breathing time. Either on picket, field guard, or foraging. No rest for the wicked. General Negley is blockading the pikes. Every pike leading to the city is blockaded & strictly guarded. We have 17 regts here now. Price, Vandorn & Lovell are all retreating this way. Gen McCook has whipped Bragg in Kent. and he is retreating this way & Forest is waiting at Murfreesboro untill these two forces get close enough & then he intends coming in from the southeast & all meet here before Buell can get here to intercept them. But we can keep them busy at least 3 days & by that time Buell can be here. But I will close for this time good by till tomorrow.
Dearest Once more I resume my narrative & chit chat with my own, my dearest. This morning at 1 1/2 the Ajt come to the tent & waked me up and said I must have my co ready at 1/2 past 3 for to go with a forage train. I then had wake the boys & draw rations & cook one days rations & be ready to march at 1/2 past 3 AM & the night before they had, had no sleep & was up till after tattoo & then up at 1/2 1 AM this morning. We left this morning at the appointed time and marched 2 miles. When across the river we loaded into wagons & went north 7 miles & loaded our wagons with corn, hay & oats. (The southern congress did us a favor last winter when they passed the law to plant just what cotton would be sufficient for home consumption plant all the rest of their farming land in corn). The corn crops are abundant in Ten. thus affording us plenty of forage. We likewise got a fine lot of sheep cattle hog & etc. Some of the boys got geese & others chickens, potatoes etc & etc. We are busy blockading and planting siege guns. We have 10 planted & 12 more ready to plant. Out of some of these guns we took as high as 10 ball's & dirt & etc. By by dearest & best.
Dearest Lois! After a night of watching I once more spend a few moments (& it must be few) in the most pleasant way possible at the present. After roll call we turned in for the night but short was to be our rest. Our scouts came in and reported 10000 infantry 6 batteries of artillery & any amount of cavalry within 2 1/2 miles of town. We made all our preparations to receive them & with & determination to give the rebels as bloody a reception as possible. We calmly await their approach. At 5 oclock this morning the firing commenced. They drove in our out posts at 2 points but on the 3rd was not so successful. We sent out artillery & cav to reinforce the pickets (the pickets were the 74th O.V.) They the rebels came in dressed in our uniforms & thus deceived our boys for a time but was finally repulsed. Only the advance of the enemy came in & when repulsed fell back on their reserves & our men did not see fit to follow (our spy not having come in). Not one street or avenue to the city but which is blockaded with cotton & in which gaps a monster ready to be to belch forth the iron missiles of destruction. The angel of death sets perched on as many iron, steel & Brass instruments of death as there are ways into this great this beautiful city. The boys are very anxious to show to the rebels and the rebel ladies what they are willing & can do for the old stars and bars of the union & the ladies of their harts: Hurrah for the noble girls of the north who can not now hear from us but who are at this time praying for their fathers, their brothers & their sweet hearts. The boys are all most all out ditching & throwing up rifle pits. Thus you see that we have spent 5 nights without sleep & 4 days without rest. Pretty hard, but nothing when compared with the loss of our union. William H. Wilson of our Co died 25th ult. in hospital 12. The ward master kept all his effects and reported none. I am going to report the surgeon Wilson's loss at the hospital was over (15.00) dollars.
Sabbath October 19th 1862
The morning was as calm and beautiful as morn could be. The chiming of the church bells & the roll of the drums make a strange, a startling contrast. There was preaching at the Chatanooga Depot at 10 AM & at 2PM, at 10 by the chaplain of the 42nd Ill & at 2 PM by the chaplain of the 37th Ind. The latter preached at the 1st Pennsylvania at 7 PM. He did honor to his subject & his calling. Everything passed off peacefully with the exception of the skirmishing with the pickets. Our pickets was attacked on the Murfreesboro pike at day light and a fight of 1 hour & 40 minutes ensued, after which the rebels were repulsed with a loss of 2 killed and no wounded. But I must close for the present by by dearest & best of ___ Lois.
Mond October 20th/62
Last night at 10 oclock we were ordered to be ready at 1/2 12 with one days rations to march on to a force of rebel cavalry 7 miles north of the Tenn river. They were ordered then to stop our foraging: with what success you will soon learn. They had but camped when Gen Negley heard of it and determined to break up their camp. He therefore sent out the 78th Penn & the 74th & 21st O regts.
We started at 1/2 past 12 this morning and when we came to the 1st Tenn Cav's camp they fell in & went with us. Negley sent 10 cannon down the river to the place where the rebels would cross if beaten. We came in sight of camp but the rebels had heard that we are going to pay them a visit and had all their effects packed & was waiting for us. They were in line of battle & a magnificent line it was. The Tenn Cav was then ordered to charge which they did: but when received by the rebels with such good order they fell back breaking through the ranks of the 78th Penn I & confusing the whole command. But the Col of the Penn. soon recovered from the shock and charged his regt followed by the 21st and routed the rebels. They fell back & crossed the river in another place from that supported & guarded by our troops. They again formed in line of battle on the other side of the river calculating to dispute our crossing. We came up to the river and formed on the opposite side and gave them 3 rounds with effect. One of the 78th was killed by a ball passing direct through his brain & there were 6 wounded. A Capt of the 74th Ohio was shot through the knee and his leg was amputated. None of the 21st was hurt. We captured one Col and several privates. Whilst we were gone the rebels came in on the Murfreesboro Pike onto our pickets and killed 2 and took 3 with a loss on their part of 9 killed and 14 wounded & 8 taken prisoner. The pickets were reinforced and drove the rebels back. We captured several carbines & sabers at this skirmish & the pickets captured 21 carbines & 8 sabers & 23 horses but I must close good night Lois dear.
Tues Oct 21st/62
Good morning dearest Lois. I am happy to address you this morning by the endearing name of Lois. Well dearest! I have a few words to say to you this morning before I leave. I trust you will hear me patiently. This morning was clear and cool, just as we was at breakfast we was startled by the news that a force of the enemy from Murfreesboro had come on our pickets & the Maj in charge had surrendered the post to the enemy. The Captain on the approach of the rebels ordered his men to make ready (which they did) but the Major told him if a man shot he (the Maj) would shoot him. But the Capt was firm & would not surrender. The rebels struck him twice and had to overpower him before they could get his sword. One of the Capt boys shot one of the rebels. We have skirmishing every day. We would feel lonely without. Goodby till tomorrow.
We Oct 22nd/62
I was officer of the guard yesterday. At 3 PM we got orders to have one days cooked rations and report at 7 PM to reinforce the picket line. But I was on guard and did not go. They reported at 7 and went out on their posts and lay there as reserves till morning when they took post & relieved the old guards. They will be reinforced to night and relieved tomorrow morning. We go out one night and lay as a reserve and the next morning take post and stand until the next morning. We sent out 300 wagons to meet a train at Franklin to bring rations. We have been on 1/3 rations for a long time. Breckenridge is reported to have arrived at Murfreesboro on Mond with 17,000 men. If so before you read this through you will find an account of the battle (If I survive) & if not you will see my name amongst the list of those who have fallen. But God forbid. We sent another man to the hospital. John Wolff. I heard from Capt Cusac for the first since he left. I learn (whether true or not I do not know) that he left Camp Dennison the 6th inst enroute for camp at Nashville, Tenn. I also learn thru the papers there are a lot of troops cavalry, artillery & etc on the way from Louisville to Nashville. & if that be true I think Capt will be with them. I hope so at least. Our outposts were attacked this morning by a lot of blue coats. But they were repulsed with a loss of 10 killed a number wounded and 11 taken prisoner. We had 3 wounded: but none killed. I was up to General Negley's office today and got Conrad Noss's discharge. George McMurray 2nd sgt of Co G (since Jacob Hill was discharged) is appointed Lieut to act until further orders. G.F. Cummins is so put out with the appointment he says he will throw up his orderly posish and take the ranks. Well now I think he will spite himself more than any one else. He has no guard duty (and I do all the sentry?) & he gets 20 dollars per month. He will be dispensing with 7 dollars per month & likewise puts himself in the ranks subject to guard & etc but good night dearest.
M October 27th/ 62
When I closed on the night of the 22nd I expected to write you the next day, but it so happened that I could not do so. On the 23rd inst I was officer of the field guard. There is an old French man lives close by camp. The guards got to burning his rails & the Col came around and told us not to allow the boys his fence so I forbid them taking any more. Well all passed of well untill after night. I was verry unwell and had visited my guards & had called at the sergts tent to get sergt McMurray to stand in my place. Well I was on my way to the guard quarters, to inform the guards that the sergt was going to take my place. I met the Col: and he ordered me to my quarters and to consider my self under arrest. I said all right Col but what is this for. He told me he had ordered none of those rails burned. I told him there was none burned. He said the fire was full of them. I told him they had been put on after I had left. Said he no more get to your quarters & stay there. I did so. He then went to the quarters and ordered the 2 reliefs that was not on duty under guard and the culprits under arrest. There was 21 privates 3 corps and my self under arrest. All just gratify his own evil disposition. He came to me the next morning and wished to release me. But I told him I was not ready to be released. He wanted to know why. I told he would find out in a day or two. But the next morning I sent him as polite a note as I could get up requesting a copy of charges & the specification on my case: and in answer to my note he said he would give them me when he got ready. Verry nice language for a Col to use. He did not give them & I have reported him to head quarters. Our regt was out on a scout on sat. They started at 1/2 past 2 AM and got back at 3 PM. They captured 700 sheep, 300 head of beef cattle, 40 hogs & some good horses. Our rations are verry scarce. We got about 2/3 rations bread & 1/2 rations meat and nothing else. We had a verry bad, stormy, snowy night. Yesterday morning the snow was about an inch deep & very cold. About 10 AM yesterday old Col Jim sent an order releasing me. I there fore am free again. Our train went out for wood and brought in a nice lot of wood. The boys are searching all the empty (or rather vacant) houses for stoves. We have nearly all got good stoves in our tents. Gen Negley had given orders for to take everything outside the houses that would do for rations. There is nothing within 10 miles of Nashville worth taking & starvation stares the citizens in the face. If this war lasts till spring starvation is inevitable. Conrad Noss will leave for home on Wednesday. We have heard nothing of the recruits, but good morning. I visited the fort on St Cloud hill this afternoon: and there saw them mounting their siege guns. They have 8 siege guns planted, 4 on the basement works: one at each corner (as described in the plot I sent you ) and 4 on the elevated works and under cover of immense structures of massive timbers standing out in bold relief & comdg the adjoining country for a distance of from 6 to 8 miles. The will be (when the fort is completed) 12 siege guns in position. The largest guns caliber is 9 1/2 in & weighs 128, the next 6 1/2 & weighs 84, then the next 5 1/2 & weighs 64, there are 2 of the last named size & 4 32 pounders. There will be some 40 steel Parrot guns on the stockadeing and embrazures. This fort when finished will be the best in the United States. Oh but I do wish you could see this formidable works capable of withstanding 10000 troops with a comparatively weak garrison. They are now sinking shafts for water. The magazines are safe, entirely safe solid timbers covering of 4 feet & then 8 feet of stone and earth, with a heavily barred door. This magazine is capable of containing ammunition for 60 guns for 10 days siege. But I do not believe there will ever be a splinter knocked off this fort in the present rebellion. Oh how I would love to visit this fort with you my dearest in a few years after the rebellion is crushed out. We have the Parrot siege guns in position which was brought up from Fort Zolie [Zollicoffer]. We have like wise 6 English Parrots which was captured on the English steamer enroute for Dixy. But I must stop writing for this evening good night dearest & best & may God preserve & keep you is the prayer of your own R.S.
Tu October 28th/62
Dearest. I once more resume my chat with you your ladyship. We have verry cold frosty nights & some verry unpleasant weather. We are getting Conrad Noss ready for home. I have written 3 letters to send with him but as I have send them unsealed I will not write you. He will call to see I.J. I send with him a splendid bible which one of the boys captured and which I bot of him. But I must stop for a time being for the bugle blows dress parade. Good by I know I am about to stop but when I will write again I can not tell perhaps tomorrow and maybe not for a week. But good by dearest Lois.
Oct 31st/ 62
When I last left off writing I said I could not say when I would have the privilege of addressing you again. When we came in from dress parade there was an order awaiting us. We were ordered to report to head quarters with one days rations cooked at 7 PM for picket duty. We had then to draw & cook rations to last us untill Thursday noon. We reported as ordered and were assigned our posts. No 12 fell to me. I had 33 men, one sergt & 3 corporals. Likewise one sergt, one corp and 6 videts. I then proceeded 3 miles to my station at the ford of the Cumberland River, 4 miles above Fort Zolie. I arrived at the ford at 9 PM & took up quarters for the night (or rather till 3 AM of the next day) At 3 o'clock AM of the 29th I was awakened and counted off 21 men & one sergt and proceeded to the outposts (7 in number) for the purpose of doubling the pickets. My furthermost post was 1 1/2 miles from the river, 1 1/4 from the rebel pickets. I returned to the reserve & at 7 oclock relieved the old pickets and let them return to town. As I was visiting my outposts I could distinctly see the rebel pickets watching us. But my guards were no 1, all of them & I felt no fear as to an attack. I instructed the sentinels if attacked to give them a round & then fall on the next post who would reserve their fire until after they had passed & then they would give the enemy a round an cover the retreat of the first until they would do as the ones who proceeded them and thus with all the posts until they would arrive at the reserve when we would deploy as skirmishers & and give them a fight until reinforced. Whilst the videtts are patrolling they came on the rebel pickets & captured 3 horses. During the day & night the grand rounds came around 5 times. The officer of the rounds with me visited my sentinels on outposts & ere we came with in 50 yards was challenged with who goes there, when I replied friends with the countersign and was commanded halt friends! Advance one with the countersign. The Captain then halted whilst I advanced and gave the countersign. The sentinel then cried out, countersign is right, advance. The officer then came up and complimented me & told the sentinels they were the best he had ever visited. Said he we may feel safe when we have such guards. He told us the 21st regt was the best guards in the division & I say so too. My guards consisted of a part of Co B & a part of Co G. The relief came at 8 1/2 PM & I showed them their quarters. I told the Lieut comdg the relief to count his men off and have them all ready before they lay down for I wanted them all up at 3 AM of the next day. He counted them off and then went to roost. I woke him at 3 oclock & told him to give me the 21 men to double the outposts. He got up & it was 4 oclock before he could get his men ready & then could not get all. I told him my men could hold the posts if his was afraid to go. I then took the men which he could get up and doubled the posts as far as they would go. As he was going out my sentinels would challenge & these boys would say, those fellows understand their business. But said they our officers never taught us nor did they lend us a book to teach ourselves asserted the fellows. They asked me how they should challenge. I told them just as they had heard my sentinels. And as I came back they surprised me. They done so well. When I left the reserve I left it in charge of the Lieut who had come to relieve me and as soon as I had left he went back to his bed of straw & I found him & his men all sleep when I came back. I let them sleep until day light & then awoke the Lieut & told him that if the officer in charge had come around he would have been in rather a predickament for disobeying orders and for neglecting his duty. At 7 oclock I took off my guards and left him to post his at pleasure. Nothing of importance occurred through the day or night. We had dress parade last Sun at sundown and verry respectable one it was.
Lieut Porter is officer of the day to day & Lieut Wicker officer of the guard. Two of our boys are being courts marshalled to day for disobeying orders, James Whitman & George Cook. Nothing of importance occurred through the day but I must close for the night. Good by dearest.
Sat Nov 1st/62
I have been verry busy today. The monthly report was to make out and a new list or blank of morning reports for the present month. I was likewise around the hospitals in which our boys are. Capt Ewing is verry sick. Capt Vantine is sick Capt Brewster and Adjutant are sick and so are several of the Lieuts. The report is rife in town that Generals Joe Johnston, Breckenridge & Forest are concentrating at Murfreesboro & that a force of 15000 troops are advancing on toward Nashville. We like wise hear a report that Rosseaus division is crossing the Cumberland River near this city & that Gen Thomases divs is with in 1/2 days march of town but there are so many reports astir we can not believe the one half we hear. Gen Palmer was sent out to meet the rebels toward Murfreesboro. This being the first part of the month we had inspection. & had to read the articles of war at the head of our company. Col Jim was attending a courts martial & we did have dress parade this evening. Lieut Allan of Co D is officer of the Day today & Lieut Spafford of Co C officer of the Guard. Gen Negley was down to pay us a visit today. But I will close for to night. By, by dearest Lois
Sabbath, November 2nd/ 62
Guard mounting at the usual hour. Officer of Capt Brewster of Co E, officer of the guard Lieut Bumpus of Co I, from Co G 4 privates & one corp. Lieut Porter is sick. I had inspection at 10 oclock. The Col & Maj came around and inspected the arms, equipment, qtrs, & etc of the Co. Out of 60 guns there were 3 condemned. Mess One was condemned as dirty & unfit for inspection, the remaining 5 messes was in good condition. I was to church today, at the M.E. Church. It has been chosen by General Negely as the post chapel. Col. Moody of the 74th O.V. preached today. He preached a powerful sermon. His subject was Christ's kingdom as distinguished from the kingdom of men. The church was crowded with soldiers & citizens. The Col preached a splendid sermon. He drew a parallel line, commencing with, Sodom down to the present time. Preaching commenced at 1/2 past 10 this morning & it was 5 minutes to 1 PM when I got back to camp. They organized a bible class at 1/2 2 PM but I could not attend on account of dinner, there will be preaching at 7 PM at the same church by Chaplain Patterson of the 11th Michigan. I will attend meeting tonight. There will be prayer meeting Th evening. We will have an opportunity of attending one every 2 or 3 weeks and may be oftener. I would be glad to attend every week. I have not been out to camp after the counter sign was out since I left Huntsville, al & only once or twice whilst there & that was to church (only when on duty)
Nov 5th/ 62
When I wound up on last Sabbath I would attend church that night but I was ordered out with my Co on grand guard (Porter being sick). I went on guard that night did not get relieved until Tuesday. Rosecrances comd is coming in (Buells old comd.) General Sill came in last night & a portion troops will be in to day. I expect as far as they can hear our artillery they will come on double quick. I have not time to write much for the old siege guns and the smaller ordnance is awakening the echoes of the surrounding forests & I am comded to fall out with Com G (with the regt) into line of battle to defend our ditches & parapets. Oh! If you could but hear the large guns you would admire the sound. You can trace the shell from the time it leaves the gun untill it arrives at its appointed place where it explodes with a grand and sublime echo to the dieing sound of the report of huge piece which sent it on its mission of death. The rebels attacked our pickets at 12 AM this morning. The main force of the rebels is back about 1-4 miles when we sends our shells from Ft St Cloud. The enemy's force consists of Foot, Forest & Breckenridge & ours of Negley & the reinforcements which are arriving from Buells old comd under Sill, McCook, Smith, Wood, Critenden, Harris & above them all the [illegible] Rosseau. In charge (or under comd) of Rosecrans. Oh but the ordnance from the Forts do encourage those on picket which are now throwing shells into the lines of the enemy. But I must stop and take my post at the head of the brave boys of Co G who are anxious for (as they think) the coming affray. Good by dearest & best and if I am spared. I will write you again after this excitment has subsided. God bless you dearest Lois. One oclock and the cannons are roaring. We are in line ready to receive them if they attack our quarters. The musketry although at a distance is plainly to be heard, roar after roar, ordnance answers ordinance. 4 PM & the battle is ended. The rebels opened fire on the Murfreesboro pike, then Franklin & Lebanon pikes. But a few shells from our big guns soon silenced their batteries and scattered them in all directions. General Negley ordered out 3 regts & 2 batteries and one regt of cavalry to follow them. They retreated and turned off the main pike along a by road to the left but a part of their force kept on the pike and was followed by Stokes cavalry nine miles and was all either killed or made prisoners. The cav took 65 head of beef cattle & was returning toward Nashville with their prize when the videtts rode back and announced the rebels in force on the pike between them and town. Gen Negley then advanced a battery and shelled the enemy out of their position. The rebels then made a desperate charge toward where they thought Stokes cavalry to be, but unfortunately they ran afoul of the 78th Penn & the 14th Michigan regts., who lay concealed. These regts arose simultaneously and poured fire into their ranks so deadly that they fled in all directions. Our battery succeeded in shelling the rebels out of every position chosen almost as soon as taken. Their batteries were silenced almost as soon as opened. The rebels took up the line of march about 1/2 past 3 PM (it was a pretty wide one) for Murfreesboro on some other sea port. The rebels had a considerable quality of grape fruit on hand but the Payne full news which came into town this evening I think saved them (Gen Payne and staff came in this evening) but I must close by, by dearest & best.
Th Nov 6th 1862
We were ordered into line of battle last night at 3 oclock. We remained in line a short time and then stacked arms and went back to quarters. We were not again disturbed until daylight. General Negley ordered out cav and artillery to feel for the enemy, occasional firing was kept up through the day. The woods were skirted with dead on yest. [yesterday's] battleground. There were 30 killed in one place when the rebels made the charge on the 78th Penn & 14th Michigan & of course they carried off a portion.
General McCook & staff came in to day. His division is encamped 6 miles out of town; The road from here to Bowling Green is full of troops and wagon on trains. The paper states that the troops are the finest looking troops this side the Ohio. The word is that there is a large mail coming through with these troops. By, by till tomorrow.
Fr November 7th 1862
Cold & snowing. Reported fighting at Murfreesboro since 4 AM. Cannonading at intervals through the day. Jo Sterns (Capt and AAG of General Sills staff called to see us today. He informs us that Capt Cusac is drill master at Camp Chase Columbus,Ohio.
General A. McDowell McCook was around inspecting his troops at Nashville, Tenn. At 3PM musketry was distantly heard toward Murfreesboro and occasional cannonading. A large train of wagons went and this morning enroute for Mitchellsville (near the Tenn & Ky line, a distance of 35 miles) for provisions. The sutler of the 10th Wis. regt started home this morning & I sent an other official letter by him to Bowling Green to be mailed there for you. But I must close by wishing you a happy night God bless & preserve you is my prayer.
November 8th 1862
Dearest once more I embrace the opportunity of a few moments chat with you. The troops are more than coming in. the 99th Ohio I think is in Murfreesboro. There is a man here this morning from that regt his name is Davids. He says Schuyler and Nimrod Jenkins are both well. The rebels have seen how futile their efforts were in attacking Nashville and have given it up as a bad job, or have given the city over to Yankee rule. They (I think) have given up the dear thought of recapturing Nashville and driving the yankees over the Ohio & causing devastation and the reign of terror throughout the northern states. The rebels have some verry good gunners. They threw a shell right through between one of our mens legs and did not touch him. But the shell carried off the skirt of his great coat and passed on a short distance & exploded with out damage to any of our men. Three of our boys were over the river to visit the 49th regt. The health of that regt is good. I have been having the ague for some days but will be all right long ere you get this. Our regt is ordered out on picket to night but I will not go. Good night dearest Lois
Nov 9th/ 62
Once more dearest the quiet is spread aloud over our camp. Our regt is on picket & we have no inspection or anything to mar our peace. Edmon Butler was examined by the surgeon & pronounced a subject of consumption & will get his discharge. 2 other boys of our Co (G) at the hospital are having their discharges made out. I think from what Gen Prentice (who was held prisoner at Atlanta, Ga) says that J.R.Porter & William Bensinger have been hanged. He says 8 Ohio boys were wiling away time at a game of cards all unconscious of what was their fate and even when the guards came after them and marched them out they did not know they were a going untill they saw the scaffold. Some of the boys who are not on picket duty came to me for a pass some to church & some the 49th Ohio. We get full rations now for the first for more than (3) three months. There was another train left here this morning for Mitchellsville for rations. How pleased the boys were when they saw coffee, sugar, rice & etc & etc. the Nash Union states that we will have mail today. I hope we will & I will get a letter from my Lois. It will do more good to read a letter from my own dear little Lois than to eat when I am hungry. It appears so long since I have had any word from her I love. But I trust that it has been the means of making her more dear to me, The long fast for a chat with you dearest makes me feel as tho I could love if it was but the thought of thee. I got an opportunity to send out a letter this morning so I wrote to you & one to sister Angie. The rebels I learn have torn up another tunnel on the railroad between here an Bowling Green and have torn up 15 miles of railroad & robbed the coaches enroute for Nashville yesterday. It was a mistake about the rebels destroying the railroad but they made a raid on Mitchelsville & got badly whipped. Morgan got our mail, so I will not get any letters which were written before the blockade. But I will close for the present.
Mond Nov 10th/62
I had the pleasure of seeing two old friends formerly of Penn but now of Ohio. Mr Leonard and son (I presume you were acquainted with the son Isaac. He went to school to the union school at Findlay & has been examined there before that bord at different times). Mr L lives near Fostoria and is our paying a visit to his sons (he has two sons in the 49th O.V.) Mr Leonard and son came over to see the Col and I knew them & had a nice chat with them. We then went up to St Cloud Hill to visit Fort Negley. Oh! but that has gotten to be a formidable work. Those fellows from old Hancock was pleased and struck with wonder at the fort. They have now 25 siege guns mounted but I will close good night dearest.
Tues Nov 11th/62
Morning clear & pleasant. We got orders to make all ready to march at moments warning. We are under marching orders and may leave in the morning & may not for a week. Our orders are for Huntsville Al by way of Murfreesboro. Negleys division & General Palmer's. Col. Niebling gave us orders to be ready for general review at 12 M.
We mustered and marched 1 1/2 miles out of town and formed the 17 regts in line of battle and there bore inspection by Gen Rosecrans. And after inspection we marched in review past Gens Rosecrans, McCook, Negley & Palmer & Cols (act brig) Miller, Stanley, Morgan & Smith. We did not get back to camp untill after dusk. We draw full rations now of everything, crackers, bacon, coffee, sugar, rice, beans, sope, candles, vinegar & etc. Lieut Daniel Lewis quarter master of the 21st O.V. is under arrest for swindling the regt & for selling horses and rations and smuggling the money for his own use.
Oh! If you could have seen the review, 17 regts in motion and under review. The house tops were covered with people and the commons were skirted with spectators. Well it is raining. When we came in to camp from review it was clear no appearances of rain. & now one hour after ward it is raining. But I must stop writing to night good night dearest Lois.
I will not offer any apologies for not writing each day you know I was hindered and that will suffice. The 21st Regt carried off the laurels on inspections. Gener. Rosecrans said we have the best regt., the best looking men and passed the best review of any of all the regts.
I was on guard in camp yesterday. & go on picket at 8 this morning. We have been out foraging 2 days this week, and one day on guard in camp & to day on picket. There was an old citizen living close to our camp. And he has had a guard stationed at his house for some time. This guard he tried to shoot 2 men (soldiers) and say they would not halt, well on thurs night he he shot an other soldier of the 74th O.V. shot him through the haunches (or rather Wed. night) and Th night he died. On the same night that he died one of his comrades slipped down with his gun and when he came near the guard stepped out and made ready but before he could fire he received the leaden messenger. The ball passed through his heart. He fell just in the act of shooting another man. Poor fellow! He was ill prepared to appear before his judge. The citizen started in the morning to the Generals quart. to report but he did not report or make his appearance back at his house. The soldiers just more than riddled the house one (or some one) got 400 dollars in money, a gold watch & a silver watch and they destroyed everything that was worth anything. The 19th Ill is just more than deserting. They trade off their clothes for the citizens and thus get away. The reason why is because their officers have treated them so badly, but it is time to get ready for picket. We get mail every day. How pleasant after so long a fast for letters to hear from our friends every day. Capt Cusac has been detailed as Comd in Chief at Camp Chase Columbus,Ohio. Good by dearest and best of all my love dear Lois.
Mond Nov 17th/62
Dearest Lois once more I write you an other brief letter. I went on picket on sat morning and got back to camp yest. evening. The rebels fired on my videtts sat night and they returned it with effect. We were relieved at 10 AM of Sabbath and got to camp at 1 PM. There was preaching at chap. by Rev Grandville Moody of the 74th O.V. The rebels met our troops toward Murfreesboro yesterday and gave them battle. We captured Gen Morgan and a no. of other prisoners. But the casualties are not yet known to me. J.S.Rabb of our Co arrived here Sat., he has been paroled. He says he has seen hard times since he was taken. The Col. has ordered him on duty but he will not go on and says he will die before he will do duty until regularly exchanged. The word is now that we are going to remain here and garrison the place. Gen Sill wanted to get us in his division but Neg will not give us up. He (Sill) offered Negley his pick of his comd but he would not accept, he then offered him 2 regts and a section of artillery. But Negley said no. Lieut Porter is officer of the day today. R.S. Mungen QM of the 21st O.V. left for home yesterday & George Chase of Co B got his discharge and left also.
Nov 21st 1862
It is only once in 2 or 3 days that I can talk with you. We went out on picket. The 19th & came in yesterday. I am on duty all the time. Our recruits came in the evening of the 13th we only got 7 recruits to our Co. If Cap or Chapman had with of them come with the men we would have gotten 18 instead of 7. But Cap was detailed and Chapman had been away so long for his dear little wife he had to see her sun & by the by we lost 11 men which if he had attended to his business we would have had for our Co (G). David Randell & James French have came back paroled. They were on picket and left their post and were taken prisoner. Gen Sill got into Murfreesboro yesterday. Rumor says we are going to leave here for Columbia again it says we will go to Pulaski and again it says we will stay here. I was in hopes we would remain here untill after Cap would get back and if so I was going to go home to see my little Lois. We have not been payed for nearly six months. But I expect we will get our pay against the first of next month. We will then have six months wages due us. Coffee is 80 cts per lb, butter $1.00, sugar 35 cts, salt 5 cts lb and bacon 25 cts lb, ham 30 & 35, fresh beef 12 cts all around and fresh pork 15 cts. I tell you, it costs something to live.
We have gotten the prettiest stand of colors you or I ever saw. They cost $140, so Lieut Wiley says. The cars now run from Louisville to the tunnel and from Nashville to the tunnel. The mail comes through every day, but I have only received on letter from you. Oh, how long it seems with out letters from my own my dearest. Mr. Alban is going home and I will send this with him.
Give my love to your Ma & Pa. Write often as convenient. I am well and I trust this will find you well and enjoying your self, from your own R.S. Once, now & forever: The same unchangeable and whilst I await with to join you (with patience) I commend you to the keeping of him with whom we all have to do. God bless you my little Lois
Good by dearest
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