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Francis Stewart Papers: Transcripts - MS 744
Francis R. Stewart's diary is here reproduced. The words that are unreadable are shown as ___. This is largely due to badly faded ink in the original copy. No attempt has been made to put or change words in the blanks. This was edited in February 1997 by Margaret Stewart Christiansen, granddaughter of F.R. Stewart, who has the original copy of his diaries.
Francis R. Stewart was born in Lyoming County, Pennsylvania, December 19, 1835 and was the son of Thomas and Fanny (Riddell) Stewart, who came to Clinton Township, Seneca County, Ohio in 1838. Francis was educated in the Republic Academy and Heidelberg University. In 1858 he moved to Fostoria and taught school until the start of the Civil War. Returning home, he embarked in the hardware business with John A. Bradner and later he became associated in business with his brother John T. and others.
He served as Mayor of Fostoria and was very active in the Norris Post of the G.A.R. He was one of the founding members of the Presbyterian church and served as an elder for many years. He was also very active in the Masonic Lodge in Fostoria. Mr. Stewart passed away August 17, 1922 and is buried in Fountain Cemetery in Fostoria, Ohio.
The diary of his Civil War service starts in August 1864 in the action around Atlanta and ceases in April 1865. Francis R. Stewart enlisted August 15, 1861 in Company H, 49th Ohio Volunteer Infantry; wounded December 31, 1862 in the battle of Stones River, Tennessee; appointed 1st Sgt. April 4, 1863; promoted to 2nd Lieut. October 31, 1863; transferred to Company K June 16, 1864; wounded in action near Atlanta July 23, 1864; promoted to 1st Lieut Co F August 11, 1864; promoted to Captain Company A, December 21, 1864; mustered out with company November 30, 1865.
My Journal transcribed from my pocket diary commenced on the 6th day of August 1864 while the army under General Sherman was thundering away at the gate city of Atlanta.
Saturday August 6th 1864
Although we looked some for an attack from the enemy upon some part of our line which we feel to be impregnable last night, which we were willing but rather desirous that he should do at any time, after standing at arms until 8pm we had pleasure of passing the night quietly. Today passed equally quiet nothing to break the monotony of the regular routine of a siege. When even the constant staging fire of the pickets became monotonous not withstanding some are wounded and killed on this particular kind of monotony. However this evening we made another of those diversions on the enemy lines which also promises to become monotonous in time if continued with the same results that has attended each demonstration for the past week. As might have been expected our division this evening rebuilt if nothing more than to arouse the artillery men of the enemy who expelled very promptly with a respectful shower of shells upon us to more nosy 64 lbs cannons than is usually desirable. They do us but little harm, yet there is not very pleasant associations connected with them
At this hour 11 pm I am taking my turn at the night watch. One officer remains up with the guard all night, in this we take turns of two or three hours each. We received mail today. Two letters falling to my share.
Sunday August 7, 1864
Today has been warm and sultry. The enemy seems not to have lost all regards to the sabbath. I have no disposition to find fault as I too love quiet and rest on the Godly sabbath even if I am denied the privilege of spending the day as I should wish to go on picket with my company at 5 1/2 pm if picket it may be called. It is neither more nor less than a continued skirmish.
Monday August 8, 1864
Capt Kessler and I were relieved this morning from picket by Lieuts Iler and Gibson. Our companies remain on guard. I spent the forenoon in making my inspections of the camp and garrison. it rained this afternoon and I did but little work of any kind my company was off picket at 5 1/2 pm. As usual this evening there was artillery dual between our batteries and those of the enemy with little if any effect.
Tuesday August 9, 1864
It has been showery all day. I completed by returns of clothing camp and garrison equipage to the quartermaster general for the months of june and july. Our batteries have been shelling the enemy all day, I think General Sherman should either attack on the enemies position the move of some kind soon. The object of which of course will be to get the enemy out of the city which seems to be the goal of the campaign.
Wednesday August 10, 1864
The weather is still rainy. I wrote a couple of letters between showers. The enemy seemed inclined to use his artillery very freely this afternoon. In the evening our artillery along the center and right of our line opened with unusual heavy fire upon the enemy and for a time there was one continuous and almost jarring roar of artillery. The enemy responded fully. It rained hard this evening. My company went on picket in charge of Lieut Iller.
Thursday August 11, 1864
Raining nearly all of last night. A lively fire upon the enemy was kept by our batteries. The noise of which was very disturbing to the numbers of those who otherwise might have enjoyed a good nights sleep. Capt Kessler and I went on picket at 7 am and came in at 5 1/2 pm. It was quiet along the line except the occasional shots of artillery, which was kept up at intervals both day & night.
I received a telegraph the encouraging news that our navy under Admiral Faragut, operating against Mobile, Alabama is meeting with good success that our garrisons defending the approaches has surrendered and one was blown up and evacuated by the enemy. Faragut destroyed most of their fleet, which was the celebrated ram Tennessee.
Friday August 12, 1864
The day has been very warm. We have been making a diversion on our end of the line (the left) by fainting attack, in favor of the 23rd Corps, which is making reconnaissance to the extreme right with a general advancing that portion of the line. Whether we will succeed in drawing the enemies attention to our side of the line or not I am not able to say. I know we draw their fire very much, and their shells fly over our heads rather promiscuously seeming regardless whether they create a sensation or not. The 89th Illinois of our brigade had one man killed and one wounded by a bursting of a shell from the enemy.
Saturday August 13, 1864
Nothing of interest occurred today. Both parties being inclined to remain quiet. The day has been very warm. I go on picket at 5 1/2 pm.
Sabbath August 14, 1864
I came off picket this morning at 7 o'clock, all night our batteries along the left and center kept up a lively and continuous firing on the city. About noon some buildings caught fire from our exploding shells which created a great deal commotion in the city.
We had regimental inspection at 8 am. In the evening we heard heavy firing to our right. Rumor says it is Maj. Gen Schofield's 23rd Corps moving to the right and front endeavoring to extend his lines across to the west point and Montgomery R.R. Very large fires are seen tonight in the city and one or two explosions were heard sounding very much like the burning of ammunition perhaps some of our shells have set fire to a building containing ammunition.
Monday August 15, 1864
Three years ago today I entered the service, little did I know I would be needed three years. How little we realized then the amount of work we had to do we very much underestimated the strength of his will and every thing bids fair for another years hardship and fighting yet. One man of Co I, 49th was wounded in the arm during the night while he was in his tent by a stray ball from the enemy. Day and night we were loading men. Life hangs as if by a thread. Our regimental wagon came up today and we have a change of clothing and partly cleaned.
Tuesday August 16, 1864
It has been very quiet today, not even the normal amount of staggering picket firing. I spent most of the day preparing the clothing rolls and writing blank returns for camp and garrison returns for this month. The rebel cavalry have cut our railroad at Dalton. I did not get any mail today. I with my company go on Picket at 5 1/2 pm. Picket duty is rather heavy subjecting us to the loss of much sleep. A rest men must require when laboring under so great anxiety and suspense as we have been daily subjected to during the last three months.
Wednesday August 17, 1864
I came off picket this morning. There was a lively stir in the enemy camp during all the forepart of the night last night which led us to believe them making ready their troops for an attack on some parts of our lines. Gen Geary of the 20th Corps sent us word that he thought them massing at his front (the 20th Corps is on our right), but observations this morning let us to the belief that they were only changing troops. Perhaps they were putting many troops and Georgia militia in the works in our front and taking veteran troops to their left for the purpose of checking any advance of our right which is the point at issue just now. In pursuance to orders from Gen Sherman we commenced a lively demonstration on the enemy at 3 pm, which was kept up until evening which Georgia militia are in our front. They will think we are giving them a very uncivil reception rather an unceremonious one. Our purpose as far as possible is to draw their attention from our right by threatening and advance upon their right. We had the very encouraging and gratifying intelligence today that Gen Wheeler, whose cavalry are operating in our rear was thoroughly whipped at Dalton two day ago.
Everything indicates an extensive move soon. Something will be done. It is not paying us to operate directly in front of a place so strongly fortified and ably defended. We must either break or endanger their line of communications and cause them to evacuate and then fight them out of these strong works.
Thursday August 18, 1864
Our Corps (4th) was demonstrating all day today again and as usual drawn a heavy fire from the enemy. One man in Company D was mortally wounded while on the picket line. We could hear heavy cannonading to our right but think it was nothing more than cannonading. I understand the general movement which has been contemplated by Gen Sherman has been laid aside for the present. I think he intends making a grand flank movement to the right when a favorable opportunity as then they must either come our and fight us or vacate and fall back to another position. The weather is extremely hot today.
Friday August 19, 1864
We were aroused from our quiet repose in the sweet arms of morphis very suddenly this morning at six o'clock by the roaring of heavy artillery and sharp chatter of musketry. For a while the deafening sound of artillery was such as has scarcely been surpassed any time during the campaign. It was a demonstration to our front. They have been repeated at numerous times all day. We have orders to stand to arms and be ready for action at 5 pm to advance of any weak point in the enemy line, which a general demonstration at that along the line may develop. It is now 4pm.
Later our general demonstrations proved the enemy still in force along their whole line and able to defend it against a direct assault which is already nearing not quite impregnable made doubly so by the difficulty as approaching it. They have double row of abatises and chevarus De frise.
Saturday August 20, 1864
Nothing unusual transpired today. All seems quiet, I go on picket at 5 1/2 pm.
Sabbath August 21, 1864
I came in from picket this evening. it rained both last night and today. We changed our line last night some by advancing a few pitts on the left of the regimental picket line. The 15th OHIO joined us on the left also advance the right of their picket line which gives us little advantage of the enemy pickets. I have written a letter to father tonight.
Monday August 22, 1864
It rained very hard during last night which cools the air a little. I received a letter from father and mother today. Our wagon has come up again but office papers and books are here now and we will have plenty of work to do, which we have got very behind during the long campaign. There is a rumor afloat today that Gen Kilpatrick with his cavalry is in the rear of the enemy, has cut their R.R. and sent for reinforcements which have been sent to him. I hope that may prove true, although it will not be desirable position which such as occurrence would place our friends in the gate city. The day has been very pleasant.
Tuesday August 25, 1864
The day dawned clear and warm and getting hotter as the sun approaches the meridian. Gen Kilpatrick has returned having cut and destroyed positions of the R.R. between Atlanta and Macon. News from the east is to the effect that Gen Grant has again resumed activity and thus far has been successful in getting and holding a portion of the Weldon Railroad which is of much importance in supplying the enemy at Petersburg. I had the gratification of receiving a commission as 1st Lieut today, also received a letter from Sarah.
Wednesday August 24, 1864
I went to Division Hospital this morning to look after the effects of one of my men who died some time ago, came back and did some office work. This afternoon went to Corps Headquarters and was mustered as a 1st Lieut Co K Capt Kessler promoted but will still command Co K. All wagons (baggage wagons) are ordered to the ready in the morning. Every thing denotes immediate activity. Many rumors are again at work to make us believe the enemy is evacuating but I do not believe. Gen Hood will leave Atlanta until he is compelled to which in my opinion will be soon. News from Grant is very good.
William Musser of Co H was severely wounded today and James Dizon of Co A slightly wounded. I received a good letter from Clayton Everett and a musgrave from Sarah Feble. This has been a very busy day and is now very late at night, and time for a weary soldier to retire to his virtuous couch.
Thursday August 23, 1864
I was on picket duty all day. Our non veterans with Col Gibson, surgeons Swift and Lieut Norton left for home this morning as their term of service having expired.
The long anticipated general movement seems to be about to commence at last. The 4th Corps is to move with all possible quiet after dark to the right entirely abandoning this part of our present line. I do not know how extensive the move is but think the whole army is in motion. We received the sad news this evening of the death of Lieut Pesso of our regiment. He was sick but a few days. He died at Vinning Station.
Friday August 26 1864
We had one of those tedious and trying marches last night, on the move all night and not marching more than five miles and not daring to make any noise lest the enemy should discover the movement. It was very tiresome. We stopped in line of battle at 4 am.. Laid down and slept a couple of hours. Before we had our breakfast over and had resumed our march we have the enemy making a little reconnaissance in our front they having discovered that the 20th Corps was not in the works and I presume set out to see where they had gone to. We immediately moved to give them a reception if not a welcome but they contented themselves by throwing a few shells at our lines and did no harm. They do not seem to comprehend our move. We resumed our march at 8 1/2 pm making an unusual hard march. The day has been extremely hot making many of the men give out some of them suffering from cramps and seemed they could not live and doubtless some will die. We passed through the 15th and 17th Corps and took up a position with our left refused. Tonight they will pass through us and take up positions on our right in like manner. The 20th Corps has gone to Vinning Station to protect our communications and our baggage and supplies which are all at that location. Our movement is very complicated one Gen Sherman is moving the whole army to the rear of Atlanta and keeping massed and ready for a general engagement at the time. I received a letter this evening from father. I go on picket. I am very tired.
Saturday August 27, 1864
We came off picket this morning with orders to march at 8 am. It feel more like___ years of hard times than a man that could march and my men all felt about as hard as I did. Yesterdays march was a hard one on all of us. Troops were moving past us all night to the right. We pulled out as ordered and moved nearly south about four miles passing the 14th and 23rd Corps and took positions on their right where we throw up some crude works. We saw and exchanged a few shots with some of the rebel cavalry. They do not seem to devine our move. The 15th and 17th Corps are four miles to our right near the West Point and Montgomery R.R. We have had a rest this afternoon and I am beginning to feel like myself, again.
Sabbath August 28, 1864
All was quiet this morning occasionally a rebel cavalryman would show himself in out as if anxious to learn the extent of the movement. We were ordered to move at 7pm but rested and waited for the 14th Corps and what seemed a unnecessary long wagon train to pass until now 6 pm. But will move real soon as they are nearly all past. The Tennessee army under Gen Howard (15th and 17th Corps) are on the W.T. and M.R.R. four miles southwest of east point and 10 miles from Atlanta.
Monday August 29, 1864
We made another slow and tedious march of about 3 miles in 4 hours last night then bivouacked in line facing the east on a thick wood near the west point and Macon R.R. which we tore up destroying the ties and railing effectually for eight or ten miles. I have not heard a shot and fired today. The 23rd Corps joined us on the left and the 14th on the right. The Tenn. army has moved to the south toward Jonesboro 20 miles from Atlanta on the Macon R.R. to threaten the road at that place and draw attention of the while we strike the road nearer the city. This is a momentous day to the people of America. Today the so called democratic convention meets in Chicago. All for the purpose of nomination a candidate for the presidency. I blush to think that so large a party advocating such principles can live in the heart if a republic like ours. May God turn their counsels into foolishness and make the rath of man to praise him, and while traitors and rebel sympathizers at Chicago are trying to overthrow our government may the God of nations lead this army as in the past on to victory, and ere the doing of their wicked assembly are known may the nation be surpassed by the glorious news that the enemy has been beaten and Atlanta is ours. The great suspense, anxiety and labor on this campaign is wearing on my physical system very much but the crisis is near at hand. A day or two more will decide the issue and Atlanta must fall or we be defeated.
Tuesday August 30, 1864
We pulled out at 6 1/2 am moved slowly to the east and southeast. About noon we heard heavy firing to our right which soon died away. It was in all probability at Jonesboro.
Rebel cavalry have been hovering about on our left flank and rear all day. Seeming yet uncertain as to what we are doing. They doubtlessly think we are making a heavy reconnaissance or a raid.
We marched perhaps 6 or 7 miles and went into line near an old church which stands in the edge of the woods seemingly entirely alone. All is very quiet this evening the cheering of the troops who are in fine spirits and confidence of success. We are approaching that point in the campaign which will develop some things of importance either for or against us. Of course will be for us at least we think so now. It will doubtless develop a big fight if nothing else.
Wednesday August 31, 1864
All morning threatened rain. There was a very little firing along the line in the morning the enemy seemed to be feeling for our positions. Our brigade (1st) moved to the right front in support of the 2nd Brigade but the 49th OHIO was soon ordered to the front to support the skirmish line which was advancing we advanced a mile or more meeting very little resistance. We returned about noon for our knapsacks which we had laid off in the morning and found the whole Corps had moved to the front and left. We soon followed up and at 4 pm after a march of about four miles found the division in positions on the Macon R.R. having struck the road about two o'clock while the rebel Gen Stervant was marching his Corps to the support of Gen Hardee at Jonesboro. His Corps was divided and part of it turned back toward Atlanta, also a train of cars was coming out when it smelled powder and turned back. I think a larger portion of Hood's army is at Jonesboro, confronting the army of Tennessee, where we hear heavy firing this evening. We have already accomplished much. A large part of the enemy and all their stores are still in Atlanta. If we can crush either division before they can form a junction with the other it will be the end of Hood's wing. I look for some fighting tomorrow. I received the not very welcome intelligence that brother Jim of the 111th OHIO is sick and has been sent to the rear in the hospital. I have many fears in regards to his health. O very much wish I could have him with me. The 49th goes on picket tonight.
Thursday September 1, 1864
We had a very pleasant night for picket. A large detail was sent out at 2 am to destroy the railroad. We heard artillery firing at intervals all night at Jonesboro. We moved down the railroad towards Jonesboro destroying as we went, distance to Jonesboro 8 miles. The 14th Corps in advance followed by the 4th with the 23rd Corps to bring up the rear. We met but with little resistance until within three miles of Jonesboro, when the 14th Corps encountered the enemy in small force which they pressed back slowly until 1 1/2 miles of town where they found them in force confronting Gen Howard whose lines lay parallel with the railroad and facing east. The 14th joined them on the left at nearly right angles facing a little east of south. The fighting had already commenced and was severely contested, when the 4th Corps arrived and went in on the left of the line with the 1st and 2nd divisions in front supported by the 3rd, when another assault was made upon their enemy (which consisted of two Corps and a part of the 3rd Corps commanded by Gen Hardee) in the 14th and 4th Corps carried the works in the front capturing 8 or 10 pieces of artillery and one whole brigade of infantry. It was already after dark and the advantage gained could not be followed up. OH! How I wish for one hour more of day, we could then have captured their whole force. The 23rd Corps was rapidly swinging around on the extreme left meeting with no resistance, but darkness ended it all. Why were we not there sooner. The march was not so long or so difficult. Echos answer why; our loss in the charge was heavy for the length of time engaged but I have no means of making an estimate of the loss.
Friday September 2, 1864
We were aroused from our slumbers during the small hours of the night by hundreds of explosions in the direction of Atlanta. What can it mean, it is not artillery firing. I never heard anything so terrific. At a distance of twenty miles from Atlanta if that is where the explosion originates the ground trembles like a shaken asp can it be possible the enemy has blown up their ordinance magazines and stores of ammunition at Atlanta. What else can it be, they must make a forced and circumstance march to get what troops are there around us to join their brethren who needed there aid so much last night. This we surpassed as the stirring sound gradually ceased and then reopened as the echo died away. Morning dawned clear and hot. The enemy as we had supposed he would have likely withdrawn from our front leaving many of his dead unburied and the town full of wounded.
We followed up meeting the Tennessee army in town. We moved in parallel columns down the railroad toward Macon and found the enemy in force and entrenched at Lovejoy Station, six miles south of Jonesboro. We immediately formed our columns and assaulted with the Tennessee army on the right joined on their left, the 17th Crops with the 23rd still further to the left. The 14th remained at Jonesboro, but after pushing our lines up very close and engaging them in a sharp skirmish in which Gen Wood )our division commander) was severely wounded in the ankle, their position proved to be a very strong one and actually accomplished the object of the whole summer campaign (Atlanta). Gen Sherman did not choose to push their army any farther at the present.
Saturday September 3, 1864
We build a wide line of works during the forepart of last night and finished them in the morning. Nathanial Fredrick Co H, was wounded in the head last night. Our position is a very exposed one the pickets keep up a very lively fire which keeps us who are in the works pretty close to the ground. This afternoon our batteries opened a very heavy fire against the enemy but it elicited a very feeble reply. Gen. Sherman sent round a circular to the effect that the enemy responded lively on the right of the 1st after spiking their heavy guns, blowing up eighty cars loaded with ammunition. The grand explosion we heard that night and destroyed a immense amount of government provisions of all kinds. The 20th Corps under Gen Slocum entered the city on the 2nd after the enemy had left. Thank God the goal has been reached at last and we may now reasonably expect a little respite from our arduous labors of campaigning. I think we will fall back to the city in a few days and let Hood rest his army for a short time. I wrote father and Sarah today.
Sabbath September 4, 1864
I have been sick all day my system has taken a relapse after a campaign fought with such anxiety and suspense. The enemy have done some very close shooting today, which to us is not very desirable while in exposed positions. Benton Musser of Co H was wounded in the arm. The 8th Kansas which is a few rods in front had two men severely wounded. I was told that the enemy has withdrawn from the front of the Tennessee army and reported to start back to Atlanta tonight. I am in very poor condition for marching should we receive orders to march also.
Monday September 5, 1864
I was quite sick all last night and feeling no better today. Nothing unusual happened today. We were given orders to start back to Atlanta tonight. A welcome order, although I am not able to march. I will get transportation in an ambulance.
Tuesday Sept 6, 1864
The army moved back during last night to two miles north of Jonesboro. It commenced raining about noon and rained very hard in the fore part of the night. The roads soon became a mortar bead. The night was as dark as dark could be. A most disagreeable time to move troops. For my part I had a very bumpy but dry ride. Got into bivouac and was sleeping firmly before the troops came in. Today has been more pleasant. The brigade surgeon was kind enough to share his tent with me last night. I remained with him for breakfast and dinner. He gave me some medicine which with some good milk punch make me feel like a new man and have rejoined the regiment. The 4th Corps was one not marching today. We were up at an early hour this morning. Shall try the march although I am very weak. The rebel cavalry followed our rear up cautiously and the afternoon skirmished with them very little. I think they contented to let us go.
Wednesday September 7, 1864
We had a very nice little march of twelve miles this forenoon when we bivouacked within eight miles of the city. I got very little rest being weak, but a cup of good coffee and a couple of hours of rest has made me feel quite myself again. We will march to our camp south of the city tomorrow.
Thursday September 8, 1864
We started this morning at 9 o'clock marched our triumphal columns through the late city. The occupation of which has cost us many precious lives. The band enlivened our march by playing the inspiring national airs. Atlanta like many other cities of the south where both armies have opposed shows plainly the devastating marks of war and enough of it yet remains to show it once to have been a beautiful and prosperous city. On every hand can be seen charred remains of government stores of all kinds burned by the enemy in their hasty retreat. They evidently were not intending to leave too soon or sudden, we went into camp four miles east of the city near the Augusta Railroad. The men are in fine spirits how could they be otherwise.
Friday September 9, 1864
All hands went to work early this morning with a will and energy to fix up a nice camp. Glad of the privilege of once more enjoying the rest of a camp fire for a season. Although the place selected for us is very makeshift a wild one. But after three or four hours of hard work we were grieved to learn that our work had been all in vain, another and much better camp ground has been selected for a few hundred yards to the rear of this one to which we repaired and soon were set to work as earnestly and cheerfully as before. Each hand is striving as far as possible to make him comfortable quarters expecting to enjoy a rest of at least a month.
Saturday September 10, 1864
Not withstanding I have promised myself a cleaning up of my person and a changing of clothing. I was divorced to disappointment by being detailed for picket at 7 am, however I have had a very pleasant time on picket. I wrote a letter to my very much esteemed C.W. Everett. Again our ears have been greeted with the welcome news of another victory. Gen. Burbridges forces have killed the notorious Gen. Morgan and captured a part of his staff at Greenville, E. Penn.
Sabbath September 11, 1864
I came off picket this morning and although it is the Sabbath I helped to complete my quarters which my mess mate Capt Kessler had commenced by siding it with boards and covering with shelter tents this making it very comfortable domicile. This done I washed and changed clothing then made and sent off a few descriptive souls and prepared to begin business tomorrow in earnest. I have so much office work to do that I barely know where to begin.
Monday, Tuesday September 12 & 13, 1864
I spent in almost constant labor in muster rolls & monthly returns. Work seems to accumulate instead of disperse although I have one of my sergeants assisting me nearly all the time.
Wednesday September 14, 1864
Spent the forenoon at office work much before dinner. I had a very agreeable surprise by a visit of brother Jim. He is here from the hospital to join his regiment which is at Decatur. They are east of this. His health is improved but is looking badly yet. I fear he is going into camp too soon, of course I had a good visit with him this afternoon. He will remain with me until morning.
Thursday September 15, 1864
Brother Jim went on to his regiment this morning. The 49th went out with a foraging train. We found corn enough to fill our trains (100 wagons) five miles south east of camp which we journeyed homeward reaching camp at 7 pm. Somewhat fatigued, but with a good supper a little rest was ready for the desk. Tonight again were the loud calls of unfinished business and making heavy demands upon me which I am no less anxious to satisfy.
Friday September 18, 1864
I finished my muster rolls, made and sent off some final statements of deceased soldiers together with other miscellaneous business. The regiment was inspected by the brigade inspector this evening at 5 o'clock. Since dark I have written a letter to mother and being late and am tired I will retire and seek repose in the arms of morpheus.
Saturday, September 17, 1864
Nothing of interest transpired today, I spent the day in preparing some miscellaneous business. I am not feeling very well. I think I have confined myself too closely to my office work.
Sabbath September 18, 1864
Upon awaking this morning the first that greeted my ears was the sweet lulling sound of a swift rain upon my roof. OH, how sweet it is to listen to the patter of the soft rain overhead. My company was detailed for picket. I am regimental officer of the day. It has been showery all day.
Monday September 19, 1864
I was working all day upon pay rolls. We are expecting and anxiously looking for that ever welcome friend of the soldier the pay master in a short time. What is this my sergeant brings me?
A letter, I open it, it is from my good and particular friend R.C.D. having read it I will retire and dream over its contents.
Tuesday & Wednesday September 20, 21, 1864
Were spent by me in completing my pay rolls nothing of interest transpired in the time.
Thursday September 22, 1864
The forenoon was spent in miscellaneous business in the afternoon I went to the city on business with Capt. Bachell, chief signal officer of the dept. It rained very hard all the way while coming back but I was complemented for all this little inconvenience by the encouraging news of a telegram from Gen Dix to the effect that Maj Gen Phil Sheridan has attacked and whipped Gen Early and Breckenridge in the Shenandoah Valley, Va, capturing 5000 prisoners, 5 pieces of artillery, 15 stands of colors and driven them thirty miles. This is really encouraging. The God of nations is blessing our arms with victory in every quarter.
Friday September 23, 1864
Spent the forenoon at office work. This afternoon visited brother Jim at Dalton. Found him in not very good health. I have serious misgivings in regard to his health. I wish he was out of the service where he could get that care and recreation which the condition of his health demands. I had a good visit with him and Majors Norris and Jones and other friends. The weather was showery all day. I have written a letter home to my modest little friend Mary of Tiffin. This evening I am detailed for picket duty again, go out at 7 am tomorrow.
Saturday September 24, 1864
On picket with it's normal routine duties.
Sabbath September 25, 1864
Came in from picket this morning. We had regimental inspection at 11 am by Col Grey & Majors Norris & Jones. Came down from Decatur to visit today. Had a very pleasant visit. Oh seems like the revival of old times to me to meet such friends as Major Jones. We had a dress parade this evening.
Monday September 26, 1864
I spent the day in miscellaneous business and in reading. I have my work in the office so nearly completed that I have a little leisure for reading and recreation. We continue to receive good news from Gen Sheridan, he is able and energetic officer and will doubtless give a good account of himself. Since dark I have written to uncle Arch.
September 27 to October 2, 1864 inclusive
Not much of interest has transpired to break the monotony of camp life during the last week. We have had good news. The rebel cavalry has been operating in our rear some, and one of our divisions has been sent back along the line to protect it. They are also making some demonstrations on our right and sent him in the A.M. twenty miles to the south west of here. It is thought that Hood feeling chagrined at having to give up Atlanta so suddenly and unexpectedly is going to try a flank movement around our right. If he does it is my opinion he will get into a strait from which he will not so easily extricate himself.
Monday October 3, 1864
We were aroused this morning at three o'clock with orders to be ready to move in the direction of Marietta. All was now hurry and bustle everyone was taken completely by surprise. What could it mean? Was any other going besides our division? Questions no one could answer. It had been raining all night, heat of the night which did not add to the convincing of packing up so hurriedly and unexpectantly nobody was prepared for it. However it soon stopped raining and we got off about day light. When we reached Atlanta we learned much to our surprise that the whole army except the 20th Corps was in motion. It took but little military knowledge and experience to decide now what was wrong. Hood has attempted to move his whole army to our rear and judging from the distance and the rate we had marched today he must be pretty well around our right flank. It is rumored that Gen Beaureguard has succeeded Hood in command of the rebel army operating against us. I fear they will strain every nerve in trying to retrieve their recent disaster. I look for an active and severe campaign and doubtless some hard fighting. We have thirty day rations on our supply train and going to give them a long hard race, if that is what they want. We bivouacked seven miles from Marietta having marched twenty miles.
Tuesday October 4, 1864
In front of the regiment, went on picket, it rained real hard during the night. We waited and received no orders this morning until half past ten when they came. We immediately pulled out, our brigade leading the Corps. We marched through Marietta to the foot of Kenesaw Mt. two miles north west of town. Our cavalry repulsed the enemy in force four or five miles ahead and tearing up the railroad. The Tennessee army and the 14th Corps have moved to the left seemingly to cut off the retreat of the enemy southward. While the 23rd Corps has gone right around the mountains.
Wednesday October 5, 1864
We marched this morning at eight. The 1st Division leading the Corps. We moved very slowly as if feeling our way, but I think more to keep connections with another Corps and allow them to get into position. We marched over ground which we fought while operating against Kenesaw Mt. in June. Much of it looked familiar and recall some of the hazards and dangerous conflict which we were then engaged in together with the memory of some noble comrades who there fell while battling for their country and posterity, and left behind them noble deeds of valor and heroism to teach the world that they have not lived in vain. We did not march more than three or four miles and went into line in the same place on which we fought on the 16th day of June last, near the foot of Pine Top Mt. The great amount of rain which has fallen during the last few days has rendered the roads so soft that it is difficult to move artillery. The enemy last evening attacked our little garrison of one brigade at Achenworth with two divisions and after two or three desperate charges were most handsomely defeated and compelled to retire with heavy honor to that glorious and heroic little band. Hood evidently expected to get possession of the field which is a very strong one, and thus cut us off from our base and compel us to fight to great disadvantage. But he didn't count on the unsurpassed heroism of one little brigade which has virtually saved thousands of lives. If we can succeed in preventing them from moving to the south west around the mountains we will not only prevent them from going any further north but will retard very much their movement south again.
Thursday October 6, 1864
It rained very hard during the night and nearly all forenoon of today. We have not moved today. Have heard nothing of the movements of the enemy. I think we can wait for the Tennessee army to get into position to cut off the movement of the enemy southward, the bad are operating against us very much. It has cleared off this evening and promises fairer weather.
Friday October 7, 1864
We remained quiet all day. The 14th Corps joined us this evening. The bird has flown. Owing to the heaviness of the roads, Howard did not get into position in time and the enemy is now moving southward. I think we will not follow him, owing to the bad roads and scarcity of forage. Whether Hood will now abandon the purpose of getting in our rear is yet to be seen. We heard a little artillery firing between his rear guards and some of Howard's Corps. Lieut Col Gray received his resignation this afternoon. He is no longer a citizen and won't leave us soon. I spent this afternoon in reading Harpers magazine in depth.
Saturday October 8, 1864
All was quiet this afternoon. The 89th Illinois of our brigade went to work on the railroad this afternoon. I do not know when they will return. This afternoon I got my trunk off the wagon and all being quiet concluded to block out my ordinance returns for the 3rd quarter. I had everything made out and was working along smoothly when all of a sudden the pack up call was sounded and I had to hustle my papers and trunk away in short order. In no more than fifteen minutes time we were marchimg seemly in a hurry, no one seemed to know where. We marched 6 miles toward Ackworth and bivouacked within 1 1/2 miles of the town. The evening was quite cold and the baggage wagon will not be brought up here before midnight. I presume I am destined to sleep cold tonight with but one blanket for me and Capt Kessler both.
Sabbath October 9, 1864
Last night was quite cold. Our wagon came into camp about two o'clock this morning and having frozen once or twice I got up and got my bedding and had a warm sleep from that time until morning. The day has been quite cool. We have laid quiet all day. It is thought the enemy has fallen back and is changing his base into Alabama. I think it is General Shermans opinions that Hood intends abandoning his project for the present at least. The Gen has been riding through different bivouacs this afternoon, seems in fine spirits. He has a project in view of marching a large part of his army through to the Atlantic coast, but do not know whether he will or not. I also learned confidentially that the 4th Corps will remain in this department if he should put his project into execution. He is doubtless awaiting further developments of the enemy's intentions.
I have been not a little disgruntled with the conduct of some officers on the brigade staff today. There has been too much whiskey on the brain with several of them, and one was so drunk he could hardly stand up. A fine example of officers of a republican army to set for their men. I see our division hospital is fixing up quarters and building bake ovens, as though they expect to remain here for some time.
Monday October 10, 1864
We lay in bivouac until three pm when we marched fourteen miles in the direction of Kingston getting into camp at 9 pm. The whole army is again in motion. It seems that the enemy instead of going down into Alabama are interested in Rome, Ga.
Monday October 10, 1864 (Election Day)
We marched some after daylight and reached Kingston 11 miles at 11 am when we halted for state selection. We opened the polls and all who could voted during our short halt. We then marched four miles further toward Rome and bivouacked and reopened the polls and finished our elections. This books like fighting and voting at the same time. The enemy is reported to be crossing the river (Cocoa) below Rome to which we will march tomorrow. We received a very large mail this evening not having a chance since leaving Atlanta. I was fortunate enough to receive twelve letters for my share.
Wednesday October 12, 1864
Morning I was very sick all last night am feeling very slim for a long day march to Rome of 20 miles but will try it. We march at 8 o'clock.
Thursday October 13, 1864
We had a long and tedious march yesterday. Our progress was slow in the forenoon owing to the roads being blocked up with teams of the 14th Corps. We could hear cannonading at Rome all day. We did not get into bivouac until 11 pm when I was so nearly exhausted not being very well, that I could not think about making any entries in my diary. We have lain quiet all forenoon awaiting the result of a reconnaissance being made by part of the 23rd Corps. The reconnoitering party has returned and the enemy as having withdrawn and moving around in direction of Resacca. Yesterday morning the enemy appeared in front of this place and immediately demanded its surrender of our forces. One brigade of infantry could not see it. They then shelled the garrison nearly all day but to no purpose and withdrew toward evening as our columns were approaching. I neglected to state that the reconnoitering party spoken of above had little engagement with the enemy's rear defeating them and capturing two hundred wagons, a forage train, two pieces of artillery and two hundred prisoners. We heard some cannonading in the direction of Adairsville and Resacca. We marched this afternoon at two o'clock going 1 1/2 miles in the direction of Adairsville where we bivouacked for the night. The enemy seems determined to give us about face, but I do not believe Hood will risk an engagement if he can avoid it. Sherman seems to be trying to trap him.
Friday October 14, 1864
We started this morning at 4 and reached Resacca (15 miles) at noon, learned the enemy were here yesterday and demanded the surrender of this garrison, one regiment of infantry and two companies of cavalry. The demand not being complied with they repeatedly charged on the little band of heroes who repulsed them as often. They then withdrew and moved toward Dalton, destroying the railroad as they go. One Corps is on the railroad, one to the right of and one west of the Rocky Face Ridge of mountains. The enemy is moving in three columns. The troops were very tired. After dinner marched a mile further and bivouacked. Learned this evening that the garrison at Dalton, a regiment of infantry (under a Col Johnson) surrendered to the enemy without a fight. Comment on such conduct is useless.
Saturday October 15, 1864
We moved this morning at 8 o'clock leaving the railroad to the right. After marching 6 miles went into line facing west. The 23rd Corps did some skirmishing with the enemy on our left at Snake Creek. One Corps of the enemy is at Snake Creek Gap trying to get through the mountains to the west another Corps is crossing a creek between gap and Buzzard Roost of which the latter place they failed to force a passage. After some delay and maneuvering our Corps was ordered back to Resacca to guard the wagon trains and artillery of the army. Crossed over the top of the Mt with a view to get in the enemy's rear and if possible cut off one Corps in the gap. We reached town with the trains after dark.
Sabbath October 16, 1864
The enemy succeeded in effecting a passage of the Gap before our troops could carry over. We were ordered to join the army with the Greek Gap (slow process) which is seven miles in length. We reached the gap and bivouacked five miles west of the Gap and 1 miles from Resecca. The enemy is also moving toward Bridgeport, Alabama. He seems determined to avoid a fight. I saw brother Jim today while passing through the Gap. He is looking quite well much better than when I saw him last, save home. Lieut Col Gray left us for home this morning to lead a citizen's life.
Monday October 17, 1864
We did not move today. The cavalry made a reconnaissance. The enemy seems to be moving south more. I can scarcely divine his intentions he moves rather mysterious to my mind. Hood is certainly conducting his end well. He has made us move nearly a whole army more than 10 miles to our rear and thus far no desire to fight. I wrote a letter to brother Don today.
Tuesday October 18, 1864
We marched this morning at midnight passing through a Gap in Taylor Mountains. We marched down the valley to the south between Taylor and Lookout Mountain and bivouacked within two miles of the Chattacsa River. A beautiful little stream emptying into the Coosa. We marched 20 miles. The Tennessee army is camping beyond the river. A part of the retreating rebel army camped last night. We are following closely in their foot steps, but I think we will not catch them.
Thursday October 20, 1864
We continued our march down the Chattanooga river crossing the line into Alabama ten miles south of Sommerville and bivouacked around Galesville, Alabama a distance of twenty miles from Summerville. The Chattanooga Valley is very rich and fertile land. I have never seen finer fields of corn that they are here.
Friday October 21, 1864
We did not move today. I think we have followed the enemy about as far as we will at present. He has evenly changed his base from Ga to Selma, Alabama. We drew rations but made it all up by foraging by sending out a detail for that purpose every day. This is good country to forage in corn, pork and potatoes are plenty. I received a letter from brother John and one from A.T.F.
Saturday October 22 and Sabbath October 23, 1864
Laid still in bivouac both days. Seem to be awaiting developments of the enemy's intentions. Our train has gone to Chattanooga after rations.
Monday October 24, 1864
We cleaned up camp a little this morning and fixed up me a bed and my tent better, then made my ordinance return for the 3rd quarter.
Tuesday October 25, 1864
I made my returns of clothing, camp and garrison for the Regiment this forenoon. This afternoon did a little miscellaneous other work, I did not feel well today.
Wednesday October 26, 1864
All quiet today, nothing transpired worth recording.
Thursday October 27, 1864
We were aroused early this morning in the rain with orders to march in the direction of Chattanooga 65 miles. Marched to Alpine, Ga 18 miles owing to the rain the roads this forenoon were slippery and very unpleasant which tired us much. Nothing marched but the 4th Corps the 23rd will follow. The remainder of the army will await the arrival of their supply train when it will start on a long, long march through Georgia and South Carolina for the Atlantic coast. This is a big undertaking of Gen Sherman to thus cut entirely loose from his supply and all communications with any other portions of our armies and move right into the heart of the Confederacy.
Friday October 28, 1864
Starting this morning at 6, we marched twenty two miles and bivouacked at Lafayette, where we were joined by the 2nd Division which left Atlanta a few days before we did to look after the safety of the railroad and the rebel Gen Wheeler who was still operating in our rear. They came to Chattanooga by rail and have been resting all the time we have been making the hard march. It is useless to say I am very tired (after marching so far).
Saturday October 29, 1864
We started this morning soon after daylight, the 3rd Division leading the corps. Marched to Roseville, 20 miles and within five miles of Chattanooga. The last time we were at this place was the first and second night after Chickamagua in September 1863, when we were falling back from the battle ground to Chattanooga. We passed over the battleground today every thing bears the unmistakable marks of the hard contested battle that it was. The graves of the fallen brave men are scattered promiscuously over the field. Some even here on the road. The march was very hard today. Many of the men were stragglers. I think had I not been commanding a company, I would have fallen out too. Everyone very tired and foot sore. I cannot tell why we have been marching so hard. I cannot see the occasion for it doubtless Gen Stanley has reasons for being such a HURRY. It is thought by our brigade commander that we will remain here a few days.
Sabbath October 30, 1864
We were aroused this morning with orders to march to chattanooga where we will take cars for Athens, Alabama. This was very unexpected orders to us and explains why we have been marching so hard. Hood has by rapid marching moved his whole army down in the neighborhood of Decater, Alabama. The garrison at which place was fighting him all day yesterday. Up to latest dates the garrison was still holding out, nobly having suppressed every assault of Hood's greatly superior army. If he cannot capture a small garrison what will he do with capturing an army.
Monday October 31, 1864
We took cars at Chattanooga at 9 AM yesterday, went down twenty miles below Stevenson, Alabama when we found the rails torn up for about three hundred yards by guerrillas. The ties were burning. We repaired the rails which took until after dark, then ran cautiously into Athens which we reached this morning at day light. The enemy after several unsuccessful assaults on the positions at Decater and withdrew yesterday morning having many men killed and wounded and about three hundred prisoners. Gen Robert Granger commanded the garrisons. We disembarked, ate breakfast and was preparing on going into camp when it was ascertained that the enemy had marched down to the river to Florence, Alabama. Unit was crossing. Orders were immediately countermanded and hastily drawing one days rations and 60 rounds of ammunition and marched lively until dusk. Pulaski, Tenn. distance 33 miles. Starting at 1 o'clock PM. We marched ten miles through a wilderness like country and bivouacked by the road side. Athens was evacuated. The garrison (twelve companies of infantry) went to Huntsville, Alabama. Our division (3rd) is the only portion of our Corps that has yet come up. We left the other divisions at Chattanooga awaiting transportation.
Tuesday November 1, 1864
Starting this morning at 5 1/2 we marched twenty-three miles fording Elk river at Elkhorn and reached Pulaski, Tenn at 4 PM. I understand the rebel cavalry entered Athens this morning and found it decimated of Yankees. There seems to be an abundance of pretty women in this town. They are rebels of course. There is one brigade of cavalry here. I go on picket in a few minutes.
Wednesday November 2, 1864
Had a gay time, find and establishing a picket line last night through brush and briars up to my neck and over the hills and to add still more to the unpleasantness of the situation it rained all night and nearly all forenoon of today. Gen Stanley and Wood were out surveying the situation with a view of building a line of defenses. I was relieved from picket this afternoon.
November 3rd thru 8th inclusive
We have had very rough rainy and cold weather. We bivouacked on the hill side a few days then moved into camp on the same. Working everyday through rain and mud on a line of defenses which has been built around the town. In the meantime the 2nd and 3rd Divisions have come up and are also working on fortifications. The enemy is still concentrated near Florence, Alabama. Capt Kessler has gone to Chattanooga for our baggage which we stored there last spring. The presidential election was held last night in the army with large union majorities. The 49th gave Lincoln 167 votes and McClellan 20 votes.
Wednesday November 9, 1864
Weather still rainy and cold. There is little as no news. We have no mails for several days. A couple of river bridges between here and Louisville have been carried away by the high water. We were ordered by Gen Wood to fix up our camp with a view of remaining here for some time of course our stay will depend a lot on the movements of the enemy.
November 10th thru 12th, 1864
The weather fairer again. The boys have been as busy as beavers building them comfortable quarters. They have torn lumber off of old buildings and board fences in and about town during the night when the guards are not very vigilant. It is surprising to see the amount of lumber they will carry over the hills from town during the night despite the efforts of the guards to prevent it which I think are not very great. The guards know the worth of comfortable quarters and care but little about guarding the boards of rebels. I have built me a not very strong domicile and chimney and am awaiting not very patiently the arrival of Capt Kessler with our baggage that I may put up a tent to my chimney (Ky fashion) and have a comfortable house also.
Sabbath November 13, 1864
A beautiful day. I went out in charge of the detail to scout on the fortifications this morning but was soon relieved or rather ordered to camp being Sabbath work was suspended. We had inspection this evening. The railroad is again in running order. The cars came through today bringing our mail. I received a letter from Brother Don and one from cousin Rachael McMeen. Our pay master also came down and we were ordered to send in our pay rolls for payment. A thing we are much in need of.
We have the cheering news today that Lincoln and Johnson are elected by an overwhelming majority. They carried every state except rebellious Ky.
Monday November 14, 1864
I prepared and sent in my pay rolls this forenoon, went to town this afternoon. Our baggage arrived this evening. We will now live a little more comfortably while we remain here. As yet we have had no word from Gen Sherman since he left on his expedition to the coast.
Tuesday November 15, 1864
It rained nearly all day. I worked hard all day not with standing in the rain at putting up my tent - desk- bed etc. Capt Kessler came back this evening.
Wednesday & Thursday November 15th & 16th, 1864
Both days have been rainy and muddy. Gen Scofield with the 3rd Division of the 23rd Corps came in from Springhill and is now three miles north of town. The 2nd Divison of that Corps (in which the 111th OHIO is) is at Johstonville on the Tennessee river.
Friday November 18th, 1864
The 49th was detailed to guard 1000 head of beef cattle, which we drove out seven miles from town on the Columbia Pike where we arrived nearly dark, and turned out the cattle into a large corn field from which most of the corn has been husked. We expect to remain out here three or four days.
Saturday November 19th, 1864
It rained some today. We are guarding our cattle on the plantation of a couple of rich old rebels. This is a rich and beautiful country. I go on picket this evening.
Sabbath November 20, 1864
Came off picket this evening, it rained some during the night. I called in the house of a Mr. Bufort before living close to the line last evening and had a very pleasant chat. Took breakfast with him this morning. After dark this evening Lieut Foltz and I called on the Buforts to spend the evening and had a good time. They are a pleasant and intelligent family. There is a young married lady, whose husband is a Capt in the rebel army teaching in this. She is very intelligent and rather good looking. It rained this forenoon then snowed a little. This afternoon was pleasant. I wrote a letter to brother Don and commenced one to father.
Monday November 21, 1864
This forenoon I finished my letter to father. Cold and blustery. this evening we were relieved by the 41st OHIO and came into camp arriving after dark. It was very cold for this season of the year and the climate. Aside from wet weather, we had a pleasant time while guarding the cattle. I find upon my arrival in camp that my friend Capt Kessler has been detailed on the staff of Gen R.W. Johnson, has left me alone. I regret to lose the company of so pleasant a companion.
Tuesday November 22, 1864
It has been very cold today our cloth houses offer but little protection from the cold November winds especially when you have a poor fireplace and wood is very sparse. It is rumored that the army is moving on Columbia, thirty miles north of us. If this be true we will have to move out of this soon. I would much rather remain in camp while it is so cold. But such is a soldiers life. We are being paid off tonight. It is now late. I am awaiting rather impatiently for my companies turn at the pay table which will not come until the small hours of the night. I am nearly sick and should be in bed.
Wednesday November 23, 1864
Well, I finally got to bed at 5 o'clock this morning and slept until 8. Soon after breakfast we received orders to be ready to march at 12 PM but did not move until 2PM. When we marched to Linville twelve miles on the Columbia Pike. Pulaski is being evacuated and the army falling back to Columbia on which place Hood's is marching with his whole army. Hood has crossed the Tennessee at Florence, Alabama. His army is much larger than ours at present and we must take advantage of position should we fight him. The night is cold and windy. Lieut Gibson and I formed a partnership in messing today.
Thursday November 24, 1864
Starting this morning at 4 o'clock we reached Columbia after a rapid march of 20 miles at 12 PM. When within three miles of town we heard cannonading in our front and left. The enemy cavalry had approached the town on the Pleasant Hill Pike. They were skirmishing with the 23rd Corps on the south west side of town. Our Corps went into line on the left of the 23rd extending our line as to encircle the town, and commenced throwing up a line of works. I do not like our position very well. There is a higher ridge about three quarters of a mile in our front (near our picket line) from which if the enemy gets their batteries on, which they will do if they fight us here at all, they will make our place a very uncomfortable one, and we dare not occupy the other ridge for we have not troops enough to defend so long a line. I went down into town after dark this evening. All is hurry and busy there little town. The main was a beautiful and prosperous little town. I do not believe the enemy will fight us here much but will cross the river (Duck River) either above or below and thus cause us to evacuate, and then catch us on the wing if they come. I received a letter from brother Jim and one from Jim C. tonight.
Friday November 25, 1864
I was detailed this morning to take charge of the picket line of the brigade. Have a pleasant place for a picket line rather far from camp. All went off nicely in the forenoon. the cavalry which was covering our rear coming from Pulaski came up this morning and found the enemies cavalry in force at Linnville where they had a sharp fight with them last evening. Rebel cavalry under gen Forest made their appearance in front at 2 PM and immediately commenced skirmishing with us, which has been kept up for more or less all afternoon. However, without doing us any harm. We dug rifle pits on our line and although the line is entirely too weak, I will make as much resisting possible. If they attack me in force which they undoubtedly shall in the morning, Gen Stanley and Johnson with their staff were along the line viewing our position. I asked for more men telling them I could not hold my line with my present force if attacked in any considerable force. They told me not to try to hold it but fall back slowly to the line of defenses. A thing I do not much relish as we are at least three fourth of a mile from the line. But I will do the best I can and give the enemy the best we have in the shop.
Saturday November 26, 1864
As I had expected, although earlier than I expected, the enemy assaulted my picket line this morning about a half an hour before daylight. The wind being in their favor they had moved up to within a few rods of our lines without being heard by us although the men were all on the alert and wide awake. Then at a given signal they made a dash for our line, doubtless expecting to capture the whole line, but the boys were not to be taken so easily and giving one volley they fell back slowly fighting all the time. I felt somewhat chagrined that my pickets should be this driven in and sent out more men from the reserve and tried to regain the line. But in vain. The enemy now held it in force were still advancing. We then fell back skirmishing from tree to tree until we marched to the main line, but none of my men were captured. Several were wounded. Captain Green of the 49th OHIO, acting brigade inspector having come out just as the assault was made was mortally wounded. The picket line of the whole division was driven back but the enemy did not assault our lines as we supposed he would, but contented themselves with shelling us. They were shelling a line of works where our picket line was. Our lines extended so as not to rest on the river bank below town. Thus making a long and considerably weak line. It has rained nearly all day. We were ordered to be ready to move at any time and have packed up and sitting in the rain all day not believing we will move tonight.
Sabbath November 27, 1864
It rained nearly all night, having my bedding to the rear with my servant, expecting to move I slept well without bedding on a bundle of straw using my rubber blanket as a covering. It has been raining a very little today. There has been little firing today. The enemy are maneuvering for the purpose yet unknown to us. We received orders to move to the north side of the river tonight. The enemy is very watchful and we dare not move in the day light.
Monday November 28, 1864
Safely across the river we pulled out soon after dark last night marched three miles down the river to the railroad bridge and crossed on a pontoon. We bivouacked one mile from the bridge. The enemy discovered our absence very early and it was scarcely day light until they were down to the river firing across at our pickets. They seem very much elated by their success in causing us to pull back from our position to another yet we present a defiant front although they outnumber us two to one. We formed line along the river reaching from the railroad bridge below to above town and built a line of works. Our division went into position above town. The batteries of the two contending parties have kept up a very lively artillery duel all day. We will dispute their crossing until all our stores and trains are got out of the way. Owing to the muddy roads this is slow business. It has cleared off and promises fair weather again.
Later...the enemy doubtless suspecting our intentions are to fall back tonight commenced forcing a crossing opposite the town in the front of the 3rd Div of the 23rd Corps this evening about an hour before sundown. For nearly a hour a very lively fierce artillery duel was kept up when our battery opposite town was silenced and a brigade of the enemy landed on this side of the river, being moved over in pontoon boats. They engaged the division on their front twice but were repulsed each time for a time the conflict was a severe one. They seem desperate and determined to destroy our little army. It is now dark the troops pulling out our division is determined to bring up the rear and will have an all night march.
Tuesday November 29, 1864
We learned this morning that the enemy was affecting a crossing three miles above us. Our brigade was immediately formed into single line facing up the river and built a line of crude works to meet an attack from that flank. The 3rd brigade was sent up river to reconnoiter while the 2nd division was sent back to Spring Hill 12 miles to prevent a cavalry force from getting in our rear and capturing our trains which are moving back. The 3rd brigade returned this afternoon with information that a large force of Cavalry and Infantry have already crossed and are moving directly on Spring Hill. We hear heavy cannonading in this direction this afternoon. I fear they will over power the 2nd div. and not only destroy our trains but cut off our retreat. We are not in a very enjoyable position. The whole army will move back as soon as dark comes to hide our movements from the enemy. Later -- The enemy doubtless suspecting our intentions are to fall back tonight commenced forcing a crossing opposite the (river) in the front of the 3rd Div 23rd Corps. This evening about an hour before sun down for nearly an hour a very friendly artillery duel was kept up when our battery opposite town was silenced and a brigade of the enemy landed on this side of the river being moved over in pontoon boats. They challenged the division in their front twice but were repulsed each time. For a time the conflict was a severe one. They seem desperate and determined to destroy our little army. It is now dark - the troops are pulling out - our division is destined to bring up the rear and will have an all night march.
Wednesday November 30th, 1864
We had a very tedious march last night reaching Spring Hill at 3 this morning. We found our little army in a critical situation. The 2nd Div. 4th Crops had been fighting and bravely beating off the forces of Gen's Dick Taylor and Mosby all afternoon and now their battle line lay parallel with ends within easy range of the pike along which our whole army with its artillery must pass. The wagon trains were compelled to halt at Spring Hill until after dark lest they would be captured. These were now pulling out in great haste and no little confusion. The enemy line was in plain view - we could even hear them talking - yet our whole army passed along the pike unmolested. Certainly a kind providence was working in our behalf. Our division formed line and again waited to bring up the rear while the rest of the army proceeded to Franklin. Day light came and the wagons were not all gone, yet our division was now confronting a large army which could overwhelm us in a short time if they only knew our situation. I never so much wished myself out of any place in my life. All the horrors of Libbey prison passed in review before my mind. Yet we got away safely soon after day light and made a rapid march to Franklin which place we reached at 11 AM and found the 23rd Crops already had a line of works nearly completed to protect the crossing of Harper Creek. Our division immediately crossed leaving the 23rd Crops with the 1st and 2nd division of our corps to guard the line. The enemy appeared in force about 3 PM, immediately formed their lines and assaulted our line with more determination and enthusiasm than I ever saw them manifest before. Again and again they came up and even fought hand to hand over the works but were as often fought back with fearful slaughter. It was the bloodiest conflict I ever witnessed. The enemies loss is fearful - they leave a complete line of dead and wounded all along our front. We captured about 1200 prisoners who carried a portion of our line but was captured and the line retaken. It is now dark we are removing our wounded then the line will withdraw and proceed to Nashville - 21 miles. Our division has formed line on the north side of the creek to cover the crossing of the other troops and then bring up the rear again. Thus making two nights and three days without either sleep or rest. I think the enemy has received too severe a check that he will not trouble our march from here to Nashville.
Thursday December 1, 1864
After standing in lines of battle all night waiting for the rest of the army to cross and get on their way to Nashville, we were permitted to leave our position at 4 this morning which we did after setting fire to the railroad bridge to detain the enemy from crossing. The enemy did not molest our march any today being too badly hurt yesterday to attempt any more such acts for sometime to come. We reached Nashville at 12 am and we found the 16th Corps under Gen Smith. They arrived yesterday from the Mississippi river. These troops together with the garrison mostly colored will swell our number that we will present a rather formidable front. Troops are going into position around the city on a range of hills which can be made a very extensive position. The colored troops under Brig Gen Steadman are on the left extending from the river above the city to the Murfreesboro Pike. The 23rd Corps from the Murfreesboro to the Granny White Pike and the 4th Corps from this pike to the Garden with the 16th Corps on our right. The troops who have been marching are all nearly exhausted from lack of sleep together with the great anxiety and suspense attending the hazards of movement. I saw brother Jim today and was gratified to find that he came safely through the conflict last night, although his clothes are covered with the blood of his fallen comrades. His regiment lost heavily.
Friday December 2, 1864
I am almost sick today. The great fatigue, loss of sleep and rest during the last few days have almost unstrung my whole system. The enemy has not made his appearance in our front yet. I understand his advance is at Brentwood, eight miles from here. We built a line of works this evening.
Saturday December 3, 1864
I am sick today bearly able to be around. Brother Jim came to see me this forenoon. This afternoon the enemy moved to form a long line and skirmished with our pickets and showed signs of a fight, but did not attempt an assault. I think they are only getting into position. Our batteries fire upon them pretty lively but as yet have scarcely elicited a reply. They seem to be saving their ammunition for more important purposes. It stands them in hand to save it if they expect to fight up for they are far from their base of supplies.
Sunday December 4, 1864
At day light this morning showed the enemy very busy entrenching themselves close to our picket line, which, is of course only their picket line their main line being farther back. But they are not ahead of us much on this for we have to strengthen our works during the night and have been working at them in day, even pressing citizens into service who are curious to come out to get a view of their friends over the way. It was really amusing to see some of those soft handed southerns or gentlemen handle a spade. Did we not we do this they would throng our line so much as to be in our way. There was the normal amount of picket firing. One man in Co D was killed this morning.
December 5,6,7,8,9,10,11, 1864
The last seven days has been spent in occasionally strengthening our works and the usual duties of defending a seige. We kept up a continual fire from our batteries upon the enemy and did from what we can see a very good effect. They reply but briefly with their artillery yet keep up the picket skirmishing as usual they are trying to plant batteries on the river below the city to prevent the passage of boats. Our gun boats have kept up a fierce cannonading in that direction. The weather has been cold and rough. Snow on the ground a part of the time. I and Lieut Gibson are living in a little hut made out of tin sheeting from the roof of a house that was torn down while building works. I have been doing a little office work when it is not too cold. I think I never was quite so uncomfortably situated as we are here. Whether the enemy intends starting a siege of this or not I do not know but it is my opinion if they ever get us out of Nashville only to fight them they must break loose again and go around. If they do not assault us we will hold and decide the matter right here.
Monday December 12, 1864
The weather still cold. There is some snow on the ground. It has rained and froze on this and is very slippery. Everything indicated a move in the morning, but I think we will hardly move out to assault the enemy until it thaws. It is so slippery that men can barely walk let alone make an assault. I never experienced campaigning during such cold disagreeable weather.
Tuesday December 13, 1864
Weather very damp and foggy and unfavorable for military operations. It is still some sleety but I think it will thin out, which I think is all we are waiting for when we will move out and attack the enemy.
Wednesday December 14, 1864
The sleet has gone and it is very muddy. The large cavalry force under Gen Wilson which has been collecting for last two weeks on the opposite side of the river and taking up positions on the right of the infantry. It is the largest and best cavalry force that has ever been had in this dept numbering about 15,000 strong. Under the leadership of Gen Wilson will do good work. I look for an assault on the enemy tomorrow. Many who go to sleep in their little army shelter tents tonight will see tomorrow the loss of a loved one who can never more return. May God give me strength and courage to do my best in the action as a Christian soldier and should it be my lot to be numbered among the slain may I fall in the arms of my savior and I think I have no fear of death and could meet it without a shudder.
Thursday December 15, 1864
An eventful day either of victory or a reverse - I feel confident of victory. Troops were ready to move before daylight. The assault is to be made upon the enemies left flank for which I think he is entirely unprepared. The troops have withdrawn from the line of the 4th and 23rd Corps leaving only a light skirmish line and massed on our right using our brigade which is the left of the columns. As a Wheeling first the cavalry moved down the river and go in on the extreme right. Gen Steadman is making a heavy demonstration on the Murfreesboro Pike to draw the attention in that direction and I think with success as we can see the enemy moving troops to their right. It is now ten o'clock, the line has been wheeling slowly and steadily to the left and thus far (10PM) met with no resistance. Except on the extreme right we hear some firing, the wheel is nearly completed and I must stop writing in my diary and prepare for action which will come soon. May God bless my efforts and protect us in the fight.
Evening-the assault was made at 1 PM with complete success we carried the first line with very little loss capturing a number of prisoners the enemy fell back to their second and main line which we assaulted a little before 5 PM with still better success, though with some loss. Capturing a great number of prisoners (about 2,500) and twenty-one pieces of artillery and a number of battle flags. I never saw men behave better. They pushed forward to the assault with wild enthusiasm. Our brigade captured five pieces of artillery. Darkness ended the pursuit. Hood is completely beaten, taken by surprise. He thought us weak and expected to be in Nashville instead of being thus sent humbling back. The 49th lost nine wounded and among them Lieutenants Gibson and Rapp, the former I think mortally. I will be with my company and company E go on picket tonight.
Friday December 16, 1864
The army commenced moving to the front in line of battle about eight o'clock this morning. The pickets working in advance. We found the enemy strongly entrenched on a range of hills covering the Franklin Pike five miles from the city with his flanks well protected. Our columns were masses with our left extended across the Franklin Pike. I with Co's K & E was stationed to the left of the main column to guard the flank which I did by throwing up a strong skirmish line. The forenoon was spent in a little maneuvering with heavy cannonading in the afternoon our division (3rd) charged the enemy works on their right but failed to carry them. The charge was a severe one and our loss was pretty heavy. By taking troops from his left to meet this assault the enemy so weakened that position of his line that it was easily carried about 5 PM thus turning his left flank and rolling it back into the right and completely routing his whole line. We followed up very closely and rapidly until afternoon capturing thirty (30) pieces of artillery and about 3000 prisoners and an immense supply of small arms. The 49th lost 9 killed and 38 wounded during the day. It rained nearly all afternoon.
Sunday December 17, 1864
It rained all night and all day today. Col Strong having been wounded yesterday. Maj Bartlett from Division staff assumed command of the regiment. This morning we pursued the enemy with infantry to Franklin. The cavalry are six miles still further in advance driving the enemy which is now a demoralized mass and capturing prisoners and artillery. Capt Miles returned from home this evening and will join me in messing.
Sabbath December 18, 1864
We pursued the enemy eighteen miles through rain and mud and bivouacked five miles south of Springhill the cavalry had some fighting near Springhill with the rear guard of the enemy driving them and capturing two artillery pieces. I had the pleasure of meeting my old and esteemed friend Capt Frances of the 177th OHIO Infantry. He is temporary on the staff of Gen R.W. Johnston. There Corps retained the advance in pursuit of the enemy.
Monday December 19, 1864
Starting at 8 AM in a soaking rain we marched four miles to Rutherford creek where we foraged the rear of the enemy holding the fording with a small force. After a little skirmishing they withdrew. Two hundred of these when the remainder fell back. Remainder of the day was spent in building a bridge on which to cross which is very difficult for us in the stream naturally a very rapid current is also very high.
Tuesday December 20, 1864
The forenoon was spent in completing the bridge and crossed. This afternoon the corps crossed and marched four miles to Duck River where we find the enemy occupying the opposite banks. The bridge here is also destroyed the enemy seems very tame and did not fire on us although our boys approach within easy range and conversed with them. Were we to attempt a crossing I think they would not fire on us. It commenced raining and sleeting about sundown and is very cold and disagreeable.
Wednesday December 21, 1864
It snowed some during the night today has been cold and blustery. We laid still all day waiting for our pontoon train to come up that we may cross the river. I understand it got on the wrong road which caused the delay. The enemy still holds the Columbia side of the river in small force. I wrote to Sarah Fible today.
Thursday December 22, 1864
The pontoon train came up this morning our brigade immediately proceeded to pontoon the river. We met with some resistance in crossing - a picket force and had ten or twelve men wounded. They crossed however and the rebel cavalry had marching orders about the same time. All day has been spent in laying the pontoons and guarding down the banks of the river the Corps will cross tonight although it is now dark and the bridge is not quite done yet. It is very cold. The 16th Crops crossed the river today and are now going into bivouac close to us.
Friday December 23, 1864
We pulled out about an hour after dark last night and crossed the river, marched one and a half miles and bivouacked on the Polaski Pike on the same ground we fought over on the 26th of November. The forenoon we drew provisions starting at 1 PM we marched but three miles skirmishing with rebel cavalry nearly all afternoon and bivouacked for the night.
Saturday December 24, 1864
Marched eighteen miles today and bivouacked two miles south of Linville. Our cavalry was skirmishing all day with the enemy rear guard. I am not very well tonight. I feel very much like the ague.
Sabbath December 25, 1864
Christmas: but to us poor tired out soldiers no roast turkey or rich feasts unless hand marching and fighting in the rain is a feast. I had a chill last night and am not very bright and vigorous today. Starting early this morning we reached Pulaski twelve miles at noon where we intended bivouacking but our cavalry was pretty warmly engaged two miles beyond and we moved out to their support. They were pushing the retreating enemy faster than he could move his stores over the very bad roads which he left strewn with abandon stores of all kinds chiefly ordinance and broken wagons and artillery carriages. Our cavalry continued to drive the enemy for three miles through the rain (and mud) part of the time fighting sharply. We bivouacked five miles south of the town on a road leading to Florence, Ala. which promises to be a very bad one. As in it leads through an unsettled and woody country and the ground from the recent contracted rains is much saturated with water.
Monday December 26, 1864
We remained in bivouac all day waiting for the arrival of the supply trains as we were out of rations. The roads between here and Pulaski being muddy by rain the trains did not come up until this afternoon. We have drawn rations and have been ordered to march in the morning.
Tuesday December 27, 1864
Starting this morning at eight o'clock we marched twelve miles with the roads a mortar bed half boot top deep and through as much of a wilderness as I ever saw. To make it even more disagreeable it rained nearly all day.
Wednesday December 28, 1864
Starting again at 8 am we wound our way through this barren wilderness of woods and mud for thirteen miles. This evening we received Gen Sherman's official dispatch of the capture of Savannah, Ga with 700 prisoners, 150 heavy guns, 130 engines, 170 cars, three steam vessels and 3000 bales of cotton making the most successful and daring raids ever made by an military man.
Thursday December 28, 1864
We packed up and ready to march this morning when we received orders to remain in bivouac today and send out foraging parties. I think the enemy has succeeded in getting across the Tennessee river - if so the direction of march may be changed.
Wednesday December 30, 1864
Remained in bivouac and sent out foragers again. It's as I said the order of march is changed. The Corps will move to Huntsville and athens, Ala where we will in all probability take a rest. A privilege we are much in need of ___ in the morning in the direction of Athens. I go on picket tonight. It threatens rain.
Thursday December 31, 1864
Going on picket last night it commenced rain, then it got colder and snowed. This morning was very cold and blustery. we marched seventeen miles and bivouacked two miles east of Shoal Creek and three miles west of Elk river which we expect to pontoon with our wagon trains not having any pontoon train with us.
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