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United States. Army. Ohio Infantry Regiment, 21st - MS 562: Transcripts
McComb, Ohio May 10th 1890
Col. A. McMahan
Yours of the 8th is at hand and your request will be complyed with in my awkward way. But it will probily be out of the question for me to get my letter to you in time for you to send to Chattanooga before the 21st as I mus be awa from home a few days. And I mus have some time to think as I write.
Please give me the particulars in regard to the meeting on the Battle Field and if there can be low rates on R.R. and I can get away I will go. I am satisfied that unless the grounds are very much changed I can locate every position we occupied on the 20th.
McComb, Ohio May 26th 1890
I have just returned from the Battlefield and am glad that I went. The meeting was not what I expected, but it was important. The only Regiments represented were the 115th Ill., 89th Ohio, 98th Ohio, 21st Ohio and Battery M. 1st Ill. I am sorry that the 22nd Mich. was not with us. I had no difficulty in locating our position both on Saturday night and Sabbath day, but the ridge does not look natural. The woods that at the time of the Battle were quite open, is covered with undergrowth, much of it very thick. The small field south of the Snodgrass house, where a Battery was located on Sabbath morning and fired over us as we were formed in the lane is completely covered with pine so that you would imagine that there ever was a field there. There was no dispute between the 89th Ohio and myself as to our locality. The only point that we did not agree on was the exact spot where we were taken prisoner on, and that difference was but slight. But the 115th Ill. or rather Cap Royce clames that they made there first charge on the ground that we clame, and that they were there or nere there when the 22 Mich. were taken prisoner. That could not have been, for it they had been on the line at or near where they clame, they could not escaped, but they were not taken and that should be sufficient evidence that they were not on that part of the line.
I think there is some difference between you and myself as to where we were when we were taken prisoner. After carefully cosidering [sic] the matter I thot were on the left of those that were taken prisoner. My reasons for forming this concusion [sic] are these. When the Confeds came in our rear there line did not quite cover our left Company, and when they ordered us to lay down our arms, Lieut. Lamb with Co.B ran to the left and made there escape and at that time there was not a man in sight on the left and when the volley was fired by the Confeds. just after we were taken I was the last man on the left. But is it not possible that we were separated, while I am positive as to the left of the Ret being on the left of captured line, Ajt Scott of the 89th Ohio says that two Companies of the 21st O.V.I. were taken on there right, and has it so recorded in his memorandum written at the time. And others of his Regt. confirm what he says. My recollection is that where we fixed bayonet and went on the line late in the evening, that we were on the line a little further to the right than where we had been but not to the right of any troops. And as to the 2nd Min., relieving us that afternoon, I am positive that that [there] was no Regt. in front of us from eleven oclock until dark except the 22nd Mich. and they but a few minutes. A Regt. that was said to be the 2nd Minn. came in our rear sometime that afternoon and laid down in the rear of us, and remained there some time. And if you __[remember?] I went to you late in the day to enquire for ammunition. The Regt. was in our rear at that time, as I had to go through them to get to you. In referring to a letter written home soon after reaching Libby (and which I sent out with a major that was exchanged) I find the following language. No Regt. did better fighting than did the 21st Ohio. And no Regt. held there position in line of Battle where they were compeled to continuously any longer time than did the 21st Ohio. Seven hours is a long time to fight without intermission, but as long as it may appear, it was done without any sign of giving way. That was what I beleaved to be correct at that time, and it is what I beleave to correct now. That held that line from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. without being relieved by any Regt. Capt. Dolton and daughter on the ground two days, and I find them very pleasant and intelligent companions. The Capt. is a practicle civil engineer, had his instruments with him, and we marked the line and witness trees. Had a very pleasant time and am sorry you could not be with us. But I have written to long already, and will close. I will write you a short history of Sabbath days fight in a few days.
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