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Thomas J. Doughman Recollections - MMS 1432
Thomas J. Doughman served in Company G of the 89th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
CIVIL WAR RECOLLECTIONS OF THOMAS J. DOUGHMAN
OHIO 89th VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Volunteers mustered in August 22, 1862, at Camp Dennison, Ohio, I was 17 years old. Uniformed there and issued Austrian rifles - cots soft - muzzle loader cap look. After a few days at Dennison, went to Covington, Ky., and guarded Penn. R. R. Kirby Smith was then threatening Cincinnati. Then back to the Ohio side, the regiment guarded the Penn. R. R. from Milford, O. to Pendleton for a week or so and then recrossed the river to Covington, then crossed the Licking River on pontoon bridge - breast works - Camp Slick [?] on side hill. A week in Covington - Camp King, then back to the Ohio side of the river to Cincinnati. [sic]
At Front St. took box cars to levee, the B & O to Hamden, Ohio, near Chillicothe where we were transferred to coal cars and sent to Jackson, O. We went into camp a few days at Jackson, then marched to Gallipolis, O.
Here we turned over our old flint locks--Austrian arms--and received Harper's Ferry muskets with percussion locks attached. Took this rusty gun I couldn't shoot to a Blacksmith shop. He took out stuck pin and put in new.
From there we crossed the Ohio River at Point Pleasant in West Virginia, and marched up the Kanawha River valley to the mouth of the Gauley River, where it enters the Kanawha. Camped here a week or two.
Then moved to Colton [sic; Chariton?] Mountain with no tents or provisions. Five days rations before starting foraging. Six mile march. We spent a few weeks here with the use of cloth tents. Built winter quarters here - Camp Penwick - ordered out after Christmas.
We then moved on to Fayetteville, W. Va., for a few days to guard erection of telegraph wires. Then returned to Colton, cut logs for winter quarters and remained 10 days. Hardtack - pickled pork - beans - coffee, mainstays.
We were then ordered down the Kanawha River to cannelton [sic] where we proceeded to finish the winter quarters others had begun. Crude log structures with roof on but no chinking or daubing or any chimneys built.
Two weeks at Camp Cannelton and we marched down the Kanawha to entrance of Ohio River near Point Pleasant. There we boarded the "B. C. Levi!? steamboat which was a snail boat, hardly big enough for a regiment. Men crowded like sardines or hogs in a cattle car. Slept outside the cabin and was covered with snow.
The boat steamed down the Ohio and anchored at Cincinnati. Anchored in the middle of the river lest we should take a French leave, and go home.
Then we steamed down the Ohio River to Smithland, Ky. where the Cumberland River meets. And from there up the Cumberland to Portland.
Camped at Portland a few days and turned in our old rifles and drew Springfield Rifles. The new arms were splendid rifles - wished I had mine still.
We boarded the boat to steam for Nashville. Arrived at Fort Donaldsen [sic-Donnelson] just in time to save the 83rd Illinois who were guarding the fort. They were under attack by Forrest's Brigade. Union gun boat arrived in time to aid shelling Forrest's infantry, the 83rd was inside the breastworks.
Camped on the opposite side of the river that night. Crossed the river to fort next a.m. Were the first to witness the results of engagements, bury dead, etc.
We left the same day by boat for Carthage, Tennessee, and went into camp there with the 11th Ohio, 36th Ohio, 92nd Ohio, 18th Kentucky, and John M. Miller still commanded the 89th Ohio until wounded. He had been in command since Camp Dennison. Scouting was our principle duty. These regiments made up General George Cook's brigade. [sic--Daniel McCook's, Gen. Geo. Crook?]
Since they had no cavalry attached to us we had to do our own scouting. [John Hunt] Morgan's and [Joseph] Wheeler's cavalry were very troublesome to us. Often, just after taps, they would come down the opposite side of the river with a piece of artillery and shell our camp. Then we would have to chase them - they had the advantage of us, being mounted - we had no chance to catch them.
Once the 89th and 11th Ohio went out to scout to Middletown, Tenn., 7 miles from Carthage, when we discovered Morgan's pickets. The Colonel halted both regiments and ordered a company of the 11th Ohio and Company G, my company, to deploy as skirmishers.
We advanced to a hill to the rear of town and opened an engagement with Morgan's men. The Colonel seeing opposition too great, ordered skirmishers or the 11th Ohio Infantry to fall back with command. And ordered both regiments to fall back. This left our company to hold the line. As we came down off the skirmish line about the pike at the foot of the hill, some of Morgan's men came dashing around mounted, and came near cutting us off from our command. We were compelled to leave the pike and take to the hills and woods to avoid their fire. We had one man wounded, but succeeded in reaching the regiment. First fire.
Struck Cumberland River about nightfall - above Carthage - camping here. The following morning on wakening discovered squad of artillery had come to reinforce us but returned to Carthage marching, and crossed the river in boats and went back in to our old camp.
Soon after that, Colonel (one account said General) Stokes of the 5th (one account said 3rd) Tennessee Mounted Infantry regiment was attached to our brigade doing all scouting duty after. Since a portion of his men had lived there with some of Morgan's and Wheeler's men, they were familiar with their hiding places. Stokes never took any prisoners - hanged them as he captured them - they soon left the country.
June 1st broke camp at Carthage - tents - marched to Murfreesboro which was really the beginning of the Talahoma [Tullahoma] campaign.
Joe Smith here suspisioned [suspected] as spy lived just opposite the Cumberland River, had visited camp a number of times. Few men sent across in - Morgan's dinge [?] - accompanied by guard in uniform giving complete information to supposed Morgan men. A spy was arrested and sent to Carthage and jailed - Court martialed and found guilty - erected scaffold and troops forming a square and some were sitting on box in which he was to be buried.
The first day's march after being in Murfreesboro we came upon a force of rebels at Hoover's gap, 13 miles from Murfreesboro. There they brought on an engagement. Man wounded. Ordered to support Loomis [?]. Rebs held gap controlling the road for mile until infantry came up and drove them from gap. Our regiment remained with Loomis and came un his battery occupying gap. Supply line in rear of 89th. Rebels moved back to side hill opposite gap. Opened artillery duel. Loomis disabled rebel's battery - retiring and retreated.
Camped here until following day. Drenched all night, water soaked bed. We lay on our arms all night. During the night the rebels evacuated or moved out.
Next day marched to Manchester. Here we captured a big mill of corn meal.
The next days march brought us to Talahoma.[Tullahoma] Came near shooting man of our own company.
"Halt nothing, shoot anything alive!" Came near shooting Adjutant's guard in front of Talahoma - raining - our company was put on picket along road through woods. "Let nothing cross the road" On 4, off 2 hours - started raining before relief. Saw man on same side of road standing behind tree - motioned next sentinel for rebel - discovered.
Next morning after relief, 2 rebels got in rear of advanced picket of infantry mounted and were shot.
At Talahoma rebels made another stand, and during the night evacuated. On this campaign we were 16 days without a tent or shelter of any kind. I think there was not any time to exceed 24 hours that we had dry clothes. The rebel army moving just ahead of us, we were likely to get an engagement at any time and were compelled to have our ammunitions, artillery, and cavalry up to the front, which caused roads to be in such a condition that our provision wagon was a week's march behind us.
On the night of July 3rd we camped on the banks of the Elk River Tennessee. There they issued a pint of meal to a man. The river was rising so that they had to stretch a big rope across the river for men to hold to while they waded across.
We next camped at Big Springs, Tenn., since the men were so fatigued and hungry. We waited for the provision wagon to come up. After getting a supply of provisions we moved on. Camped here some time.
First to Camp [?] One night at Camp --i-y [?], call excited stinking rebels - men hiding in entrenchments [near Decherd, Tenn.?] -- called out in line-- crossed river over bridge - march into night - where niggers built breastworks. Camp stuck only few days. After engagement -11th Ohio skirmishers. [sic]
From here, company was detached at Cowen [Cowan] Station and were sent to Cumberland Mountain - Tracy City - to guard a coal mine. To south of the mountain called "Rich Valley" Severdons Coal Mine - here we were supplied with an abundance of ripe apples and peaches brought to us by citizens from the valley on horseback in mill sacks. The boys gathered as far as the pickets would permit and proceed to help them unload by cutting the strings and letting them fall out. A wild scramble followed. There about 2 weeks and ordered to rejoin regiment.
We crossed the Tennessee River at Bridgeport, Ala., on a pontoon bridge. Camped before dusk believing that we would stay the night. About 8 o'clock the bugle blew to "fall in". We moved on through night. The next morning at daylight we were coning down the back spurs of Lookout Mountain. The Colonel halted the regiment giving order to take 15 minutes to make coffee, but I did not stop to make coffee, falling to sleep as I touched ground.
The next thing I knew, Captain Gatch punched me with his sword and said, "Get up, we're going on!" The same day we marched to Rossville beyond Chattanooga, where we went into camp.
A day or two later, on Thursday [Sept. 17] the 89th and 22nd Michigan were sent to Ringold, Ga., to reconnoitre to see what forces the Rebels had. We discovered pickets this side of Ringold. Drove them in, advanced on to a slight elevation outside of town.
Rebs brought up a piece of artillery on the opposite side of the river, with oxen, and fired a shell, but fuse cut too short so shot exploded too soon, not reaching us. Had orders to lie down. Many of us, however, rose, anxious to see what was going on, but the next one came closer. I think that one was fired to trap, they having more artillery in waiting. We were ordered to return to Rossville, finding their strength too great.
Before reaching Rossville, night came on and camp was made. The adjutant ordered Company D, 89th, and a company of the 22nd Mich., to go back on the road over which we had just come, for picket duty. The commanding officer of pickets ordered all Mich 22nd company and part of my company G to remain on the road as reserves. Being woods on each side of the road, we were scattered through the woods as string guard - Corporal Weaver and myself were the farthest out in the woods on our side of the road. We hadn't been picket too long until the rebs following up our rear guard began to fire on our guard in the woods. Apparently knew where we were stationed.
The corporal being somewhat excited, started to got to reserve. I advised, "No - get behind a tree." It was the Corporal's first time under fire. Shortly we saw it advisable to go to reserve, it being dark. "Come on, Gil [?] - let's go."
Just as we reached reserve, they cane up and fired a volley into us. The Michigan company made retreat, 2 of the 89th boys accompanying. Lieutenant Scott of company G 89th rallied, drew sword, commanding - "Rally boys". Company G rallied to command, and on command to fire - walking backward in loading - being crowded - fired second time in volley - checked fire - going down road to where our troop camp joined the woods. Then most of Company G was left on the road as reserve, placing the rest of us inside field adjoining woods as sentinels, and remained there until morning.
Michigan company was sent back to relieve us until we could fall back to troop camp to make coffee and breakfast before we returned to Rossville, where we arrived that day. Remained in camp at Rossville that night.
Having to stock [stack?] our knapsacks at Bridgeport, my only clean shirt was in my knapsack, and Sunday was near at hand, and making it my practice of always having a clean shirt on Sunday - I started, with camp kettle, to a spring to wash a shirt. We wore blues as we washed shirts. At getting half the distance between the captain and colonel's quarters, I heard long [drum]roll strike - "Fall in".
I left the camp kettle where I was, and if it hasn't been molested it is still there. I broke for my quarters for gun and accoutrements and in less time than it takes to relate, we were on the move to the battlefield of Chickamauga. We took our place on the left of the line of battle and held it all day Saturday.
When night came on, we were ordered to lay on our arms, not being permitted to unroll our blankets - to speak any above a [whisper?], or to sleep any.
It was a cold night that will never be forgotten by any who was on that field. Chilled to the bone and fatigued beyond endurance.
In the morning we were taken out of our brigade (the 89th was attached to Whitaker's brigade, Steedman's division at this time) and carried sugar and coffee along, issued to us as we marched. We were being ordered to Rosencrantz's [Rosecranz] extreme right, where Longstreet's fresh troops that came up from the eastern army was pressing Rosencrantz right wing.
As we was marching over some cleared land on the edge of a field near some woodland, we could see some troops off to our left. Seeing horses off to our left worrying Colonel [Nathes?] raised his glasses to his eyes and said, "Lay down, boys!" We had hardly gotten down when we saw smoke rise where we saw the horses. Rebs had artillery - rifle battery - in position to shell us. (Nathan B. Forrest) The first shell dropped some distance in front of us, the second coming nearer. The Colonel gave command, "Forward, double quick -- right oblique into woods!" to avoid shell fire. They did fire, and came near getting us. We went into the woods double-quick.
It was not long before we came to the foot of Snodgrass Ridge. On striking the ridge, here came an Illinois regiment down the hill Pel Mel with the rats right behind. Our Colonel, seeing the situation, ordered the 89th to "Fix bayonets, charge!" We formed a line of battle, and with a cheer no Johnny could equal, we started. Seeing us and hearing us coming, the rebs give "about face" up the hill. The Rebel line broke back up the ridge, the Illinois troops did about face and were right behind them, and us close behind them.
In reaching the top of the ridge, our Colonel halted us giving command, "Lie down boys". As soon as the rebs saw we were not coming further, they about faced and charged the Illinois troops, and back the Illinois troops came, passing over our regiment, their Colonel passing within 5 feet of where I lay. That put us in front. (Horseshoe Ridge area)
We opened fire on them, and proceeded to fight them laying down, since we was not so much exposed as when standing. Our Colonel had already instructed us to shoot the collor barers [color bearers]. "Get the collars down!" [sic] We succeeded in checking them. While doing that, the firing ceased on our part of the line, from their side.
Comrade, W. S. Thacker and myself of our company got up from the ranks and advanced perhaps 3 or 4 paces in front of the company and looked down over the crest of the ridge to see what the enemy was about. We seen they was forming fresh troops to attack us again. Thacker went back to the ranks and laid down with the company. I, however, laid down just where I was, in exposed position.
They soon came marching up four abreast. They got in close range and wheeled into line of battle, their collors [colors] bright as then [when] they were unfurled for the first time. They were just opposite me. Thinking that now was my chance to get a collor barer [color bearer], I got up on my feet right by a small sapling, resting my gun on the sapling and went to firing at the collor barer, supposing that my regiment would raise, but they did not - still remained firing while lying down.
The first ball coming my way cut off my canteen string and my canteen was thrown to the ground. Another ball pierced my haversack. I had fired several times and had my gun at ready when I was struck by one of those explosive musket balls - within half inch of the joint of left hip. - For technical description see medical record - passing through lower bowel and exploded in right hip.
I turned half around, facing my company, and fell on my hands and knees. Held on to my gun tightly and crawled back through my regiment which was still laying down behind me, to the rear. One of the boys asked, "Jeff, you wounded?"
"Yes, the S. O. B.'s, go after them!"
One says, "Where?"
I said, "In the foot", as it numbed my left limb at the time. Had the sensation of foot asleep. I crawled to the rear of the regiment and all I thought of was doing some big shooting again. But I got sick - nausea and faintness - and the balls were coming thick and fast, and I began to fear being hit again. An old stump just in front of me offered protection for the time being and I crawled to its shelter. But seeing a ball knock a chunk out of my log, I concluded I had better remain where I was.
Soon Seargeant [sic] J. H. Hall of my company came to me asking, "Jeff, can you walk?"
I answered, "I don't know. I'll try." He helped me to my feet and not until then did I discover where I was wounded. I then saw the blood coming down my left pants leg and could feel the ball just under the skin under my right hip.
I threw my gun down, took off my belt and cartridge box and discarded them, having nothing left but haversack and blanket. I put my arm around the Seargeant's neck and he helped me back down side of ridge out of the range of Reb guns.
There met Michael Paul of my company who had gone to the rear. Seargeant Hall gave him my blanket and haversack and he helped me a little farther, where we met a soldier that said he belonged to an Indiana Regiment and had exhausted his ammunition.
Knowing Paul had plenty, as we entered fight with 100 rounds to the man, I told him to give me my things and then handed them to the other soldier and said to Paul, "Go back." I let go of Paul and leaned on the other man. I told Paul to go back and stay with the boys, not run off in this style, that he was needed at the front. But he would not go, insisted on accompanying us.
At the foot of the ridge where the colonel of the Illinois Regiment was trying to get his men in line to go back and support the 89th, we passed just in front of the colonel's horse. Seeing two men with me, and Paul not assisting me, he drew his sword over Paul's head and commanded him to get into the ranks right there, that one man with me was enough.
Did not go but little farther until we came to an old house - cottage. We went in and he fixed a bed for me on the floor. One wounded man was already in there. Soon after, another wounded man was brought in and put on the floor with me. He was shot through the groin.
As night came on and one man who was not wounded stayed there. This was the afternoon of Sunday 20th and Rosencranz's [sic] army fell back on Chattanooga that night and there was numerous confused stragglers. The Indiana man went out and shut the door and it was not long until dark came.
I knew nothing more until next morning about sun up. About daylight Monday - the door opened and in stepped two Reb soldiers with guns and took the soldier who spent the night with us, prisoner. I said - jig was up I considered myself a prisoner now. During Monday morning, Nathen Cooper, [sic] and his wife and two small children, and his mother - whose home was this house - he being a confederate soldier was allowed to visit his home. - Corresponded with him for 15 years- . A widow lady with two boys also occupied this house.
I asked them if they knew where there was a doctor. They said there was one close by, and I requested they send the boys for him. When the M. D. came in, I saw he was one of our captured surgeons. I was told that he was belonged to the 105th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. I told him I'd like the ball in my hip removed - and after the examination he said he could do nothing, as the Rebs had taken all his instruments.
I told him to cut away with what he had and do the best he could. After cutting in he removed a number of fragments of ball and remarked, "I guess you were shot with a button." After probing further he removed a one ounce lead ball - round except a flattening on one side. The outside covering of the main ball is steel about the thickness of a knife blade. This part exploded. I know this to be true and still possess the ball.
There being a number of Reb stragglers prowling around robbing the dead, one came in. And I having removed my shoes and put then close beside me - he wearing a worn out pair of boots, wanted to know how I'd like to trade my shoes for his boots. I remarked that I wouldn't trade, that I intended wearing them. He said, "You'll never wear them again." and I didn't for he picked them up and walked out without removing his delapidated boots.
Soon after, another big Confederate came in with gun in hand. He swore a terrific oath and wanted to know where I was wounded. I told him. He raised his gun saying, "I guess I'll knock your brains out!" and was putting his threat into execution when Old Lady Cooper catched his arm, arrested the blow and turned him around. She remarked that he shouldn't abuse these men since they were wounded and prisoners. He left swearing.
Not a mouthful of food in the house, with the small children crying for food. I told Mrs. Cooper there were several pieces of hard tack and coffee in my haversack.
They all went away that night but those two boys stayed. The wounded man on the bed with me wanted water in the night. I called to the boys, got them to get some water. I got him quiet, but soon he wanted water again, but I could not get him any more. I got him quieter, but before daylight he died and I laid in bed with him until about 11 o'clock before they took his body out. They was all very kind to me.
The third or fifth day the Rebs came with their gover[n]ment wagen and haul[e]d me about 3 mile where they were getting our wounded together. There was about 500 there wounded. My, my, to see the different wounds. It is still fresh in my mind yet. They then took our names and command in order to ship us South to prison. They had to haul us about 12 miles to put us on a train to ship south, so they proceeded to commence hauling. When they got all those they thot would be able to again go into our Service, they sent a Rebble doctor around to examin[e] the rest of us, and when he examined me he shook his head and said I was too near dead. Consoling, was it not?
When they got through with that part, they proposed an exchange with Rosencrantz. So Rose sent his mule train through after us, but they would not allow our drivers to come closer than the Pickett Post.
They came to me about noon on Wednesday. I told them to let me down and see if I could bear my weight on my feet. I could not tell when my feet touched the ground. Went down like a rag.
Raining, got soaking wet, got to Chattanooga, 14 miles, at daylight Thursday morning. They had no hospital and put us in an old store room. Had no one to wait on us.
While in Reble hands we got 1/2 pint of gruel per day. Got 1/2 pint of gruel on Wednesday morning and nothing more until Thursday eve, then they brought us some hard tack and bacon. They gave each man a handful of hard tack and about 2 pounds of bacon. Ate it raw. You should have seen us eat.
On the 6th day of October they carried me up to the Crutchfield house and put me in the 3rd ward, 3rd storry. I had not had my wounds dressed since the ball was taken out on the 21st day of September.
John Peters and Charles Holley were my first nurses after Geo Teter. [sic] I laid on my back over two months until the bed sores with gangrene in them got so bad they turned me over on my face, and I laid that way for three months. I could not move a particle, only my hand while in that position. My feet extended over the end of the bunk - no socks - and that cold New Years I got my feet frozen by the time my Father got there to bring me home. But he had to wait until I rallied some, as my wound had healed up on the outside of the wound in my right hip and had to be cut open again.
Then they transferred me to Nashville, Tennessee. Took me out of the hospital car and put me in an ambulance, thinking I was an officer, and hauled me up to the officers hospital on the hill. Then back down town to the hospital where they took me out of the car. I have a scar on one of my knees yet that was caused by me being bumped around over the rough streets.
While laying on my face, I laid on a ring which caused severe bed sores, coming near cutting my abdomen. I was put under cloraform [chloroform] at Nashville and they scraped the bone then burned it out, in order to nail gangrene.
[?] another soldier busy nearby, ripped out an oath saying, "You're young to get a discharge," he said, "ha ha!" got up, took his knapsack. In hospital near depot.
Next day father tried to secure furlough with the results the same as at Chattanooga. They claiming I was subject to discharge. He returned to me and I refused discharge after [illegible word] at difficult times for two weeks. They finally granted me a furlough of 30 days with the understanding that I was to report at Nashville after the expiration of that time. Father believing that I would not live until we arrived home, remarked that a dead man would have to report. I had refused a discharge a number of times.
Father had been so annoyed by graybacks [lice] himself, that when we were ready to board the boat, he purchased a new suit of clothes to rid himself of his uninvited guests. The boat that we boarded had transported soldiers and was well infested. The soldiers leaving many of their lice behind, with the result that father was the unwilling host of numerous new guests.
As we were on the boat a week going from Nashville to Cincinnati, he would go to bed sleeping in the bunk above mine, and about the time he was nearly to sleep, the graybacks would begin their serenade, driving him from his bunk - strike a light and hunt for graybacks. He would repeat this several times during the night. It amused me since I had become so accustomed to my guests that I was no longer much annoyed.
We landed at the Cincinnati warf and they carried me to the Penn R. R. depot. From there to Milford, Ohio. And from Milford to Goshen, Ohio, by hack. Nine miles by hack driven by Louis Wellner. Landing at Goshen about 6 P. M. My home in '62.
Father bringing me home all the way from Chattanooga lying on my face on the same mattress that I had laid so long, and had used in the hospital in Chattanooga and Nashville. Arrived home about the middle of February 1864.
Having refused a discharge a number of times, on the 20th day of February, 1864, at Nashvi1le, Tennessee, they filled out my discharge and sent it to me by mail. It arrived just a few days before my furlough expired.
I was able to walk on crutches about June of '64, and used them for some time. My first venture out on crutches was to the [?] church, which was close by. Col. Tetor [Tebor?] was supt of Sunday School, not noticing me when I entered. He discovered my presence. He came to me and wanted me to go up front. I asked the Colonel to excuse me since I had been to the front once too often now.
I still have my old disabilities to contend with, but feel thankful that I am as well as I am.
Thomas J. Doughman
Co. G 89th 0. V. I.
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