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William Chapman Papers: Transcripts - MS 652
Jan.1. The new year is upon us and finds us still at Louisville. I never spent the holidays before in such a checkered manner. While our friends at home have been spending them the old fashioned way, we have been constantly on the move, lying night in the open chilly air and sleeping upon the damp ground. Of the old year it may be said "It waved its sceptre o'er the beautiful and they are not. It laid its pallid hand upon the strong man and the haughty form is fallen and the flashing eye is dim." So says the gifted Prentice and just here I am reminded that he is now a resident of Louisville. What will be the condition of our blood-stained country one year from this God only knows.
2. Still at Louisville in company with the 18th Mich. and 113th Ohio Infantry and the 1st Tenn. and one Regt. of Indiana cavalry. Finished making out muster rolls last evening and today have been making out Monthly Reports. Our 2d disbursement of clothing took place this p.m. Emory, Geo. & David Phelan and Augustus Towner are behind at Frankfort sick. We are under marching orders to leave for Frankfort early in the morning.
3. Arrived at Frankfort at 3 o'clock this p.m. and are encamped on a splendid field above the Asylum. How long we are to remain here is yet unrevealed, but is rumored that we are to stay till March. The U.S. Paymaster is here and we are to receive our greenbacks tomorrow.
Jan.4. Sunday. A beautiful day, but the noise & confusion which predominates give little indication of sanctity. I have recd. from the Paymaster today $49.30 pay for two mos. and 24 days.
5. The boys of our regt. are busy today expressing money home. I have sent Fi $40. Capt. Brady has made me a present of $5.00 for doing his business writing. Have been into the city today with Capt. Brady and about 50 others. Some who did not report to the Capt. were gobbled up by the Provost Guard.
6. We are suffering just now from cold feet as we have no stoves in our tents yet. To live in such a manner is outrageous, especially as we are located in a place where they can easily be obtained. Our brigade under Col. Gilbert will be here tomorrow it it said. Also Capt. Shields Battery, the 19th Ohio.
7. Our brigade came in this morning from Danville, whither it had been on a chase after Morgan. It consists of the 44th, 100th, 103d & 104th Ohio Inf. Regts. and the 19th Ohio Battery. We join them tomorrow at a camp about a mile out in the country.
8. The earth is covered this morning with about two inches of Nature's choicest carpeting. Not having any stoves furnished us, we are suffering from cold feet consequent upon standing in the mud and water, an unavoidable evil. Our Regt. is fast becoming demoralized since being paid off. The men are constantly breaking over the guard lines and going to the city for liquor. Numbers have also deserted from the different Cos. This evening on dress parade an order of Gen. Gilberts was read turning all contrabands out of the lines of our brigade who have come in since we left Lexington. This order we trust will be countermanded by Gen. Gilmore, as it is extremely unjust. We are glad this order does not include our Charley.
9. Two deserters were brought in this morning, but I suppose nothing will be done with them as usual. Seven men were tied up by the thumbs today by order of Jam. Howard for drunkenness and being absent without leave. Such punishments are disgraceful.
10. Cold and rainy. Recd. letters from M.E. Sperry and Em and others.
11. We have all been over to the brigade today for general inspection by Gen. Gilmore and Staff. I have been detailed as Sergeant of the Guard. Tomorrow morning we are to join our brigade from which we have been so long detached.
12. We are today beautifully located in our new camp, two miles from Frankfort with the rest of the 2d Brigade. Silas McCarty made me a call today. He belongs to Co.E, 100th Ohio. Made out preliminary papers this evening for the discharge of David Phelon.
13. Commenced drilling again today in accordance with Gen. Order No. 26, Division Head Qs.
Jan.14. When I awoke this morning the rain was coming down in torrents and it has rained so much during the day that we have had but one drill. Harlan has been to the city today and bought me a Sibley stove costing $3.00 and we are again comfortable. Col. Casement and Adj. White have returned from Cleveland today. The Legislature is now in session in this city, but the Pres. Proclamation of freedom seems to have engrossed their attention principally. They are loud in their denunciations. This Legislature is not wanting for secession votaries. In fact, Kentucky loyalty is very questionable as far as my experience goes. Recd. letters from friends at home tonight.
15. This has been one of the worst days I ever knew. The rain turned to snow last night and this morning it is fully a foot deep and still coming. This weather makes us think of home comforts. This evening there are but 3 stoves in the company and if I was ever lucky it was in securing a stove yesterday. Most of the boys will suffer I fear, the tempest is so severe.
16. The great storm has ceased and the sun has again appeared. Camp Gilmore presents a cheery appearance, being blocked up with ice and snow. Our Company streets are piled full to the depth of 5 or 6 feet. Six more stoves have been brought in to the company and the boys are feeling good over their reception. The Ky. Central & L.L & F.R.R. are so blocked up that no trains have arrived for a day or two.
17. Pleasant overhead, but no decrease in the huge amt. of snow. Such a quantity of snow has not fallen in Ky. within the memory of the oldest inhabitant. Sergt. Allen has just received news of his bro. Capt. Allen of Co.I, 8th Ohio, a brave soldier and a good officer.
18. Our Company are again under marching orders for North Benson. We expect to leave in the morning.
19. Contrary to our expectations, we do not go to Benson for some reason known only to our military caputs. Our Co. have been this p.m. to bury Benj. F. Crippen in Frankfort Cemetery. He died in Frankfort Gen. Hosp. last night. We buried him with military honors by the side of about 50 others. Here are soldiers of many different Regts. and but a little distance from them lie the remains of many Rebels who were buried during their occupancy of this point. There is something solemn connected with a military burial and I prefer being buried as my fathers have been. Have recd. no mail for 3 or 4 days on acct. of the snow. The first train since last Wednesday the 14th came in this p.m. Sergt. Allen went home today on his own hook to attend the funeral of his brother.
21. Thirteen men were detailed this morning to go down to the city for fatigue duty. Maj. Howard went home today on leave of 30 days, professedly to hunt up deserters.
Jan.22. Eight men deserted from the Regt. last night, three of whom were captured by the Provost Guard and will be tried by the Court Martial now in session in the city, of which Lieut. Booth is an honorary member.
23. Still in Camp Gilmore in which we have been almost weather bound for the last 10 days. The snow has rapidly disappeared and the earth is nearly bare. Col. Casement has today issued an order that all portions of citizens dress now in possession of soldiers shall be turned over to captains of companies, except vests which are to be retained.
24. I have been into the city today to make some purchases and while there had the pleasure of visiting the State Senate now in session at the Capitol and of listening to the speeches of several senators on the all engrossing topic of Federal Relations. Lincoln's Proclamation of Freedom was roughly handled and such epithets bestowed upon it as "unconstitutional, infamous, barbarian". The presence of our brigade and the session of the Legislature causes the city to present quite a lively aspect.
25. Sunday. Cloudy and quite warm. Soldiers are moving about in their shirtsleeves with comfort. Twelve men from our Co. have been to town to attend church. Excitement in Lexington last night, soldiery out in line of battle during the night fearing an attack.
26. Pickets from this brigade captured 24 Rebel scouts last night who belong to Humphrey Marshall's command. They were playing the part of spies. Two of them were inside the guard lines of the 103d, one of whom was captured.
27. Rainy all day and we have spent it playing chess. The 1st Mo. Cavalry, the 2d Mich. & the 9th Penn. and the 18th Ohio Battery passed us today from Danville on their way to Louisville.
28. The 24th Ky. were ordered away from this city south today, whereupon most of them skedaddled and what were left had to be forced on to the train under the frowning bayonets of the 44th O. So much for Ky. patriotism.
29. Today we have had our first battalion drill for three months. Our brigade was ordered to Vicksburg a few days ago, which was finally countermanded and the 1st Brigade taken from Lexington.
30. Company and squad drill this morning, but I have been busy copying orders. An attempt was made last night to kidnap a party of Negroes who were attaches of the 100th O., but the job was a failure. Capt. Tod of Frankfort, killed at the battle of Murfreesboro, was buried today with military honors & 50 of our men were detailed as a part of the funeral escort.
Jan.31. Sergt. Allen returned from Elyria today bringing many letters for the boys. He has been to attend the funeral of his brother, Capt. Dick Allen of the 8th O.V.I. An order came from Col. Gilbert today which rather shows a disposition to out-herod Herod. All Negroes attached to the camps of this Brig. found outside the lines without passes will be whipped and turned out of the camps. All Negroes creating a disturbance will be flogged and sent to the guard house, if not members of this Brig. Query: who will do the flogging of this champion of the lash.
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