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William Chapman Papers: Transcripts - MS 652
Dec. 2. Have been up to Frankfort again today in company with Capt. Brady and while there witnessed a general review of our Regt. by Major Gens. Granger and Wright. The train we returned on this evening had a large number of Rebel prisoners. As we came out of the city a number of female Jezebels cheered lustily for the prisoners and as we left the train at Benson they hurrahed for Jeff Davis.
David Phelon came to us from the hospital tonight and he will start for home in Louisville in the morning to see his wife who lies at the point of death. He leaves without any furlough, as I would do under similar circumstances. We have raised money this evening to carry him through.
4. I was called this evening to pray for a dying woman near our camp, an irreligious woman. The cross was heavy, but I have borne it.
5. My boys have been building over our California oven, which smoked intolerably and we now have one that works charmingly. The boys went out foraging last night and "confisticated" some honey and we have been straining it out. I have been reading Pres. Lincoln's message and his utopian ideas of colonization.
6. Evening. I have been employed this evening in singing old hymns with Lieut. Booth.
7. Sunday. Have spent the day writing letters to Fi and others. I wonder what the folks at home are about today. How I should love to take a peep into the Eaton Union Sunday School.
8. Capt. Brady is quite unwell and has gone today to Frankfort for medical advice.
Dec.9. We have intelligence this morning that the notorious Rebel free-booter John Morgan has again surprised and captured a whole brigade of our forces at Hartsville, Tenn. on the Cumberland, a disgraceful operation. Among the captured is Co. B of the 104th Ill., the Co. relieved by us from guard duty at this point.
10. Capt. Brady went to Frankfort today and while there was detailed to go to Louisville with a lot of Rebel prisoners, whither he has gone this evening. Corporal Griswold was up at the city today and wishing to render himself notorious reported that David Phelon had gone home without a furlough. The boys all through the Co. are considerably excited about the matter and threaten shaving one side of the little Corporal's head. If it does not get our Captain into difficulty we don't care.
12. We today receive confirmation of the burning of Fredericksburg.
14. Sunday. Have spent the day in reading my Testament, the Independent, and Western Advocate. Very different has been the worship of the good folks at home. We miss our former religious privilege very much. The other Co's. of our Regt. are more favored in this respect, having the privilege of attending the various churches in the city of Frankfort.
A bad affair happened in our Co. this evening. Corporal Lyons and Ed Flood having been out during the day, the former returned the worse for liquor and was upbraided by the Capt. for his indiscretion when he commenced to talk saucy in return. This exasperated the Capt. to the highest degree and he flew at the Corporal, striking him in the face, and Lyons continuing to offer resistance, the Capt. drew his revolver and fired, but missed his aim. I came out from my tent just as the pistol was fired and the Capt. was then leveling it upon Lyon and had it not been for Lieut. Booth and the rest of us who interfered to stop the fray the affair would probably have ended in bloodshed. Brady was terribly excited and after the revolver was taken from him he clinched with Lyons and they had a fisticuff untill separated. Lyons face was considerably bruised. The Capt. ordered Lyons tied up to a tree and his stripes taken off. A Corporal vows he will report the Capt. to Col. Jack and as the latter has somewhat overdone the matter he may get himself into trouble. But while I write, all is quiet on the Benson. The Corp. is untied and now lies sleeping off the fumes of intoxication.
16. I have been very busy this p.m. making out discharge papers for some of our men who are going home from the general hospital at Frankfort.
Dec.17. Have been to Frankfort again today on business for Capt. Brady and while there visited the cemetery situated on a high bluff on the Ky. River. I had the pleasure of looking upon the monuments of all the old Ky heroes of the last hundred years. There is here a large battle monument about 75 feet high with inscriptions on all its four sides from the bottom to the top which was surmounted by eight cannon with their muzzles pointing outward, all of Ky. marble. Here also was the monument of Richard M. Johnson, who killed Tecumseth and also marble tablets covering the mortal remains of Cols. Clay, Hardin and McKee, who fell in the battle of Buena Vista. But what interested me most was the monument over the remains of Daniel Boone and his wife. There are upon its sides in heavy relief, sculpted scenes in the life of that celebrated hunter. I confess that I left the place very reluctantly, bringing away with me a chip from this memorial. As I boarded the train again for Benson I had the pleasure of meeting David Phelon, just returned from home and Mr. Van Wagner, who came down with him. He brought us a box of butter. He brings me three letters.
18. Mr. Van Wagner left us this morning for Lexington on his way home.
19. Most of this day I have busily engaged in making out clothing accounts for the men of our company. David Phelon broke out with the measles last night and has gone up to Frankfort this morning to the hospital.
20. Wind north and stinging cold this morning as well as this evening. Were we not pretty comfortably located for soldiers, we should suffer as one blanket is not sufficient to keep a man warm.
22. Still at North Benson. Have finished making out clothing accounts this p.m. Capt. Brady has been out with a few men scouting and has just returned this evening but without spoils.
23. Commenced making out our second pay rolls today, but we have as yet recd. no wages since we entered the service and our pockets are getting to be strangers to silver or greenbacks. The boys have gone out, a few of them, with Lieut. Booth on another scout in the hope of picking up one of Morgan's men who lives about two miles from here. He is a wily fellow and they will have to be sharp if they catch him. Recd. letters today from Josh Clark and Charley Cotton of Edgarton's Battery.
24. Have been working at pay rolls again today. The Capt. and three men have gone to Frankfort.
Evening. The Capt. has returned bringing the intelligence of marching orders. Our brigade has gone to Richmond, about 40 miles from Lexington, whither our regt. is ordered to go also. It is rumored that Morgan and Marshall have entered Ky. again by way of Pound Gap and are threatening Lexington, and this is the cause of our removal. The 24th Ky. relieves us. This order finds my mess rather unprepared to go as we lost our bell tent by fire.
Dec.25, 1862.Christmas Day and no drill. The Capt. has been up to Frankfort and Co.H 24th Ky. have returned with him on the cars to relieve us & we strike tents this evening and are obliged to march off during the rain and the darkness to join our Regt.
26. Started from Benson last night at 10 o'clock, just as the moon went down and darkness the most profound spread her pall over us. The wind was intolerable and the road through the valley of Benson almost wholly obliterated by the recent rains. For two hours we plodded on through mud and water, passing the team of Co.H, 24th Ky. wagon capsized and contents on the ground. We finally halted, crawling into a huge corn crib and waiting for daylight. When we woke in the morning we were 5 miles from Frankfort and the rain coming down in torrents. But move on we must and did, although it rained powerfully all the way in. Upon arriving at the camp we were disbanded & ordered to make ourselves comfortable among the other companies. Cleared away at noon and at three o'clock, we were ordered to prepare for a march to Danville instead of Richmond. The tents were all struck at the sound of the bugle and after the teams were all loaded down and we ordered to fall in, the order to march was countermanded and the teams unloaded & tents pitched again to await further orders from the Commanding General.
27. I have pitched my tent on my old camping ground and Harlan, Emery, Augustus Towner and myself are snugly fixed. No drill today in Camp Gilmore, except officers and but little of that. We have spent our time policing grounds and digging trenches around our company quarters.
28. Marching orders again this evening and tents are all struck, wagons loaded and gone to the depot and we are to leave for Louisville sometime in the night. Numerous bonfires are burning all over the camp this evening, consuming boxes, barrels, and all the importable rubbish of a military camp. This is Sunday.
29. Left Camp Gilmore last night at 12 o'clock and were stowed like a parcel of hogs on board of freight cars. Arrived in Louisville about eight o'clock this morning and are now encamped just out of the city at Oakland, in sight of the blue hills of southern Indiana. Last evening a tragedy took place in Frankfort before we left in which a mulatto belonging to our Regt. and enlisted at Oberlin was shot through the brains in the streets of the city by one of the provost guards belonging to the 24th Ky. His name was Robinson and his father lives in Wellington. He was intoxicated and refused to heed the challenge of the guard.
We are tonight at Shepherdsville, 22 miles south of Louisville and our Company are on Salt River on picket duty. We came down over the Louisville and Nashville rail with lightning speed, as an attack was momentarily expected here from Morgan's Cavalry & infantry 8000 strong, who are encamped about three miles from us. Fractional parts of the 71st and 91st Ohio Regts. were taken by him day before yesterday and here they are now paroled and waiting the train to Louisville.
Dec.30. We were relieved from picket duty this morning by Co.G and then both companies were afterward ordered in and our Regt. was placed aboard the cars again for Louisville. Arrived at our camp about 3 o'clock p.m., pitched all our tents and at 4 o'clock recd. marching orders again for Frankfort, as it was said that Morgan was about to make a dash on that place while feigning an attack on Shepherdsville. Our baggage was all loaded upon wagons to move to the cars, but just as we were about to leave, the order was countermanded and our tents again pitched in about 15 minutes and we ordered to make ourselves comfortable, but to hold ourselves in readiness to march at a moments notice. Harlan and myself after considerable search succeeded in obtaining three small fragments of a cracker box, which lay in our tents to aid in keeping our blankets out of the mud and we had just stretched ourselves out to spend an uncomfortable night when the bugle sounded to fall in and here we are again at Shepherdsville to the the remainder of the night very uncomfortably with no tents and the weather very cold.
31. We learned this morning that our return to Shepherdsville was the result of a false telegram, sent on purpose to deceive. Came back to Louisville again this morning to our camp at Oakland. Three men belonging to an Indiana Cavalry Regt. were poisoned in this city yesterday by some citizens where they had been to get a meal of victuals and all three have died. This p.m. their house was burned to the ground by some of their comrades.
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