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Robert S. Dilworth Papers: Transcripts - MS 800
Sept. 1st, '62
Mond. Sept. 1st In camp near Nashville, Tenn.
I was on duty yesterday which was the Sabbath. Col. Jim [Niebling] fulfilled his promise to the boys which he made at Athens, Alabama. He told the boys they should have all the whiskey they wanted when they would go to Nashville.This was fulfilled to the letter. And I had a good time with the intoxicated. Guard mounting at the usual hour. Officer of the day Capt. Vantine of Co. I, officer of the guard Lieut. Vance of Co. B, from Co. G 4 privates, one corporal. They are more than working the negroes. They are building 3 forts and one blockhouse. There was a rumor in camp that a flag of truce had been sent in for the surrender of Nashville. The boys are getting up a petition for Lieut. Porter to leave the Co. It will be handed him tonight. No mail yet. But good night dear one and may God bless & keep you.
Sept. 2nd, '62
Cold nights and hot days. Much cooler here at night than it is in Ohio. Guard mounting as usual. Officer of the Day Capt. McMahan of Co. C, Officer of Guard Lieut. Wicker of Co. K, from Co. G 4 privates, one corp. Two of my old friends came to see me from the 65th O.V. Gen. Nelson is wounded badly but not mortally. I visited the fort which is being built on top of St. Cloud's hill, south of Nashville, Tenn. and drew a plat of the scene; and described it by figures. Did it up with my report of last month and sent it through the polightness [politeness] of Mr. Lyman (of the Marienthall establishment of Cincinnati) who was out here to see his sutlership, to Cincinnati and which you will receive against tomorrow week. This fort is a splendid structure. The word came in today that co. K 65th had been taken prisoners. Likewise that there had been another fight at Murfreesboro. But once more good night.
Sept. 3rd, '62
Morning clear and cool. Last night was very cool, we had a nice frost. The guard is being mounted. The band is playing "The girl I left behind me". The sweet little girl I left behind me. Cars were coming in all night bringing soldiers. One year yesterday I went into camp Vance Findlay, Ohio. How short the time does appear. But look forward one year and think that I must be absent from her I love seems an age. But I will be content and trust God for the events. I have gotten me 6 nice books, 4 of which I bot and 2 were presented by C.B. Sholty, for me caring for him. We are put on 1/4 rations. There was 76 bags of mail come into Nashville yesterday. A part of which only was distributed. But I got none. Something unusual to be 2 weeks without a letter from my Lois. It appears as though I had lost a friend when I miss getting a letter from you.
The fire bells and the blowing of the engines awake the stillness of the night (last night). I received a lot of general orders this morning. But one thing I forgot: the boys hand Lieut. P. the petition requesting him to resign and go home. The whole co. wanted to sign the petition but there are some who live close neighbors and the boys thought best not to have their names. But they sanction it. Officer of Guard, Lieut. Cheney of co. E. Officer of the Day, Capt. Alban of co. F. But I must close for the evening. Good night and may sweet sleep attend you.
Sept. 4th, '62
Verry pleasant this morning. Guard mounting at the usual hour. Sick call, no one reports from our co. for some time. J.A. Hill is verry unwell and is getting no better. But he will not report to the surgeon's. Officer of the Day, Capt. or rather acting Capt. Lieut. Kerry [Curry?] of co. H , Officer of the Guard, Lieut. Knaggs of co. C., from co. G 4 privates, one corp. Nothing of importance occurred today. I went down to the city and got 6 photographs taken. The artist could not finish them, so I left them untill tomorrow. It is verry hot here in the daytime and cool at night. The boys went out this evening and killed a beef and brought it in. I keep an account of all that is taken, and the price, just what I think it's worth. And if ever the bill comes up, I will have it and turn it over to the quartermaster. But I will close for the present. Good night dearest Lois.
Sept. 5th, '62
Morn broke in calm, clear & verry hot. Guard mounting. Officer of the Day, Capt. Brewster of co. E, Officer of Guard Bumpus of co. I, from Co.G 4 privates as. I went up to town & got photographs which were finished and I send you one dearest. I received 2 letters this morning & one this evening. I received one from Lieut. S.B. Webber, one from my Sister in Penn. & one from the dearest Idol I have on earth, that is L.A. I am called out with the co. on battalion drill. Drill is over. We had a nice time. Oh! but the boys do well now since Porter has not the command. Our rations are raised to 1/2 rations again. But I must stop for I am called to report co. G at the fort as a guard of artillery. We have 4 36 pounders placed there to command the entrances to the south works. But the boys are ready to report & I must go & not keep them waiting. So a night in the fort. Good night dearest.
Sept. 6th, '62
Morn clear and windy, a very pleasant day. Warm when the wind does not blow. Guard mounting Officer of the Day, Capt. Stoughton of co. A, Officer of Guard Lieut. Berry of co. E. From co. G 4 privates one corporal for field guard, afterward, 3 more and again 2 more making in all, 9 privates and one corporal. I reported my company to the fort last night, called out 6 privates and one corp. for to guard the artillery. I slept well in the fort, it is a beautiful structure. But ere this you have seen the description thereof. We had roll call at 4 this morning and marched to camp at 5 1/2. I then dismissed the company and went to work and got breakfast, and partook of it with a relish known only to soldiers. I bought some biscuit and such biscuit. Oh but I should love to be handy enough to buy of those who can bake. I think I never shall complain if I should ever be shot at. Because, what we would have would be right. Would they not Lois dearest? Well I washed up the dishes and sit down and finish the answer to your letter which I was so abruptly taken last eve, I sent a double heart and a mot which miss sent me in a letter with some of the leading sentences. I also put two photographs in the letter, one for my dearest and one for Sister Bowman (for if she calls me brother, I have as good a right to call her sister). I also sent one to Sis. Elizabeth McConnell and one to Sister May Dilworth. And I have 2 yet which I intend to send to Mrs. Wortman and Angie. We have received orders not to pass the lines of the field guard on penalty if officers of being arrested, if privates of being put in the state prison in Nashville. Troops are hourly arriving. Battalion drill from 5 to 1/2 6 p.m. But I was detailed for picket duty and therefore cannot attend. I must close for it is time for me to report to the general's quarters. Good night dearest.
Sabbath Sept. 7th, '62
On picket 3 miles east of Nashville, Tenn. I was detailed as officer of a picket guard. 3 Lieuts from our Regt. and 80 beside. 3 companies with their officers that is coming in upon the 21st O.V. pretty strong. I left camp last eve at 9 1/2 p.m.. I reported at Gen. Negley's quarters & then received aditional guards of 50 men and 15 videts [videttes] We then marched 2 1/4 miles & left one fourth of the guards to be under a Lieut., sergt. & 4 corps. which were posted at different points. We passed on 1 1/2 miles and left another 1/4 with the same number of noncoms and 3 videts [videttes] at each point. Three miles further round I left another 1/4 and 3/4 of a mile further, I stopped with the remainder of the pickets and cavalry. Against I arrived at the out post it was dusk. I was then 3 miles from town & had traveled 7 miles from the general's quarters. The troops were coming in all afternoon yesterday and today, all day. There has 3 full divisions and 1/2 of another passed through by the pickets today. There cannot be less than 100,000 troops in the neighborhood of Nashville now. J.H. Leiter was here today. The 65th passed along today. Capt. Randall is well. J.H. Leiter is not in the service now, he is on his own hook. Keeping a saloon with the army. He has a shop in Nashville now. This is the first Sab [Sabbath] since I have been in service that did not seem like Sab to me. And there was so many troops and teams passing that one became absorbed. I was not relieved untill 8 p.m. I was relieved by the 17th O.V. The colonel came to me and gave the counter sign to pass me by the guard. But I forgot to tell you. I came pretty near being put under arrest. I had been up all night last night and had gone out to visit my out post & just as I came back I saw 3 men ride past the guard quarters. I spread my gum blanket down, and lay down for a nap when Lieut. Mathias of co. K 65th O.V. came along (he and I were old acquaintances) and were talking when I heard the corp. called the officer of the guard. I hastened to the place. I saw in a moment, one was General Critenden and the others his aids. I walked out and saluted him, he did not return the salutation. Said he: what regt. does these guards belong to? I told him the 21st O.V. Said he: I will have to report you and your guard. Said I: what for general? Said he: I passed down past these guards and they did not let on they saw me. Well General, said I: why should they? How dare you talk so to me? How dare I to know who I am talking to? He said nothing. I further said: take off your summer coat and pass as your rank demands and I will stand good for all disrespect shown you by my guards. But said he: These guards have not their guns with them or their equipage on. I told the old gentleman, the guns were in stack, according to regulation & as for the equipage, I had given the guard liberty to lay them off to get breakfast (all but 2) who had their equipage all on and was on duty. I told him further, if he reported any, to report me, for it was all my fault. He told me I had better know who I was talking to, before I went so far. I told him I knew him and that was the reason why I talked so to him. Said he: I will have to report you. I told the old fellow: very good, do so and turned around and left him sitting on his horse looking. I then told the boys, as soon as they got their breakfast to put on their rigs, but to leave their guns in stack, and I would stand between them and all danger. But it is 10 o'clock and I must close. Good night dearest and may the blessing of him who you honor and serve be with you forever.
Monday Sept. 8th, '62
The report came in last night that General McCook was attack[ed] and was retreating to this place, and making a retreat fight. We had a fight in the co. whilst I was out on duty. Porter was here, but he allowed them to fight and then sent one of the parties to the guard house and let the other slip. We received word this morning that Bowling Green [Kentucky] had been taken by the rebels, and there has no mail come in yet or Louisville papers. I received a letter from my sis in Columbiana county, Ohio and one from Angie. She has gone back to pay a visit to old Penn.[Pennsylvania]. We are more than putting the fortifications through here. We have about 1600 contrabands at work. But I must close for they are calling on me to go out with the forage train. Good bye 'till evening.
8 p.m. Well, I am back once more. I went out with the the train after forage. As I was leaving town, I met the advance of another guard which had been out after forage. I did not proceed more than 2 miles, when I met the train coming back, panic stricken with the 1st Tenn. Cavalry (or a portion of it). They had been out to guard this train and saw a few cavalry of the rebels. They did not wait to ascertain their strength or anything of the kind, but the Lieut. ordered a retreat. I enquired, but could find out nothing. I therefore determined to go forward & learn the facts of the case. I did not wish to excite an unnecessary alarm, so I proceeded. I had 76 men and 20 wagons. I went out 5 miles and loaded 18 of my wagons, and whilst I was loading the other 2 we could observe several squads of rebel cavalry, with from 6-10 in a squad. They appeared to be trying to cut me off from camp. I detached 40 men & sent them out, & then fell back across the creek and finished my load. The rebels fell back & made no further demonstrations. I came in to town & as I came I warned the pickets of the presence of the enemy. But meanwhile, 2 citizens was trying to slip pass the pickets. But were detected & taken. These citizens were right from the neighborhood of these cavalry. They denied knowing about the rebels whereabouts. But I will close for the night. Good night dearest.
Sept. 9th, '62
Morn broke in clear & hot. We were rousted from our sleep with the sound of rifles. I heard 3 shots. That was a signal for the reserve pickets. The out posts fell back on the reserve, followed closely by the rebel cavalry. The out posts retreated past the reserve and 'brot' [brought] the rebels right up on them when they opened fire on the cavalry, killing 4, wounding numbers. Our pickets gave them several rounds before they could scamper out of reach of rifels [rifles]. They took the wounded & I think some of the dead. They left 4 dead on the ground & our fellows took 10 prisoners. These were the fellows which showed themselves to us when we were out yest. But I must quit, for I do not know how long I am detailed as officer of the picket guard. This is duty every day. Good bye dear one. I hope you have not so much to do as I have. Hurrah for picketing.
Sept. 11, '62
I have to miss a date. But I will go back and commence when I left off on the 9th. We formed our men, a detachment of 11 men from a company, 5 corps & 9 sergts & 2 Lieuts. We marched 1 1/2 miles to the General's (Negley) quarters, where we reported our guards. Gen. Negley had moved to the city. We had to remain there untill 12 M, when the Lieut. Col. of the 74th O.V. came along & found us & found that we had reported for picket duty & no one to conduct us. He therefore made arrangements & took us in charge himself. We followed him over 5 miles untill we came to one post, 30 men, 2 sergts. & one corp.. I stopped there. We were sent out in haste without rations. We were right in a secesh hole. I chose 6 men, 3 of whom I sent out for meat & the remainder for potatoes etc. I told them to buy if they could and send their owners to me. But if they would not sell, to take it anyway. The boys with the potatoes reported soon. But those for meat did not. In about a half an hour after they left, I heard firing in the direction in which they went. 3,4,5 and then it was so rapid I could not count the shots. The balls whizzed around us thick. Just then, the 2nd cavalry came along (or a squad rather). I told the sergt. & wanted him to reconnoiter & bring me word. I formed my 12 men behind a stone wall (of which there are so many) and was bound to await the result. But the cavalry was not willing to go & I was bound to relieve my boys (if they were in danger). I asked them if they would go if I would go with them. Of course! Was the response. Then they were eager when they had someone to lead them. They gave me their best horse and was right with me. They were eager for a fray. I took the direction from which the firing came. We started off on a double quick charge. We rode right into the 5th Kentucky cavalry. They were in a drunken revel; & had been discharging their carbines, to satisfy their drunken curiosity & in their fit they had yelled & that was the cause of my alarm on account of my boys. Everything confusion. I rode up to the major. I asked him if he did not know that there was a picket post near. He said he did, but did not think of it. I then told him if there was any more firing, I would jog his memory. And more, I would report their conduct (But I must stop, for we have orders to strike tents and be ready to march in 10 minutes; so good bye 'till evening. Well, we are once more set up in camp). We then rode back to post where I found the boys all in line behind the stone fence ready for action. Nor did they (not a man) leave his post untill I had explained the occasion of the firing. I then thanked the cavalry for their kindness & dismissed them. They were splendid fellows & are happy to do a service at any time. The boys who went for potatoes went out the pike to an Irishman's house. He had a large potato patch. He told them to take all they wanted, & gave them a hoe to dig them with. They got one & half bush. of potatoes. Those with the meat, had not such good luck. They came in to a man's house, who had (not the house but the man) a large lot of sheep. The boys wanted to buy of him, but he would not sell, so they went to work & killed and dressed a very fine sheep. The man followed them right to quarters & reported to me. I asked him if he was for the union; he said he was. I then asked to see his oath. He told me he had not, nor would not take the oath. I told him there were lots such union men (and a great deal better) in the rebel army. I also asked him if these boys had asked for the sheep; he said they had, but he had refused to let them have it. I told him that I supposed the boys did not offer to pay for it. He said they did. Well, said I, what do you want of me? Well, said he, I want pay for my sheep. I told him he should have taken the money when the boys offered it to him. I also told him he could not get any pay for his sheep. Well said he, I will report you. I asked him where he would report? He said at town. I told him, I rather thought unless he got back home in quick time, I would take him to town and do the reporting myself. And further, we would want some more & would visit him again in the morning, which we did & got another sheep. That is my method of treating rebels. I had a very nice time that night & next day until 1 p.m., when there came a terrible storm of wind, rain, thunder & lightning. The storm blew all our sheds away and left us exposed to the mercy of the rain and hail. But I happened to have my gum blanket with me. I squatted beside a large tree and drew my blanket down over me, and kept perfectly dry. The relief guard came to relieve me at 4 p.m. The relief belonged to the 69th O.V. We came in & found the regt. gone. I hunted them up. I founded the regt. at 5 p.m. It was moved to town. They had the camp all fixed up by the time I got in. We had a meeting again last night & sent out the resolution which we had gotten up concerning the col.'s resignation. A very pleasant night, all quiet. Cloudy, damp & cool today. We have a verry nice camp. But I will stop till evening. Nothing of importance occurred to since I quit writing. I will stop for the night. Good night & may pleasant dreams attend you.
Sept. 13th, '62
I have missed another date. Yesterday, I was called on duty, yesterday morning. I was sent out on picket 3 miles from town. My orders were verry strict; not to allow any one of my charge to leave their quarters & not to leave my self (which I never do on duty), on penalty of being discharged the service. The enemy is in force, all around us. Our communication is cut off. No communication south of Louisville, Kentucky. I stood picket on the plantation of a welthy old secesh. He has an out house on his place, near his residence. The boys went to borrow some pots or something to cook in, but he said he would not let the D... Yankees have anything. They went then down toward this out house and hurd [heard] something rattle in there. A man escaped through the back way through the hedge & got away. The boys went into the house & found a splendid cassimere blanket. They found it on a bunk on which the gent had been lounging. They captured it and gave it to me. It is a nice present, worth not less than 15.00 dollars. General Buell is arrested. Governor Johnson put him under arrest. The governor was making enquiries concerning his (Gen. Buell's) command. Buell ensulted [insulted] Johnson. Johnson walked up toward Buell & Buell struck at Johnson, but he (Johnson) avoided the blow and struck Buell in the mouth with the back of his hand & then arrested Buell and telegraphed to Washington what he had done. The authorities in Washington sent for Buell to report forthwith. So he is gone & Thomas comds [commands] in his place. Negley is our Maj. Gen. & Col. Miller our act [acting] brig. We are the 7th Brigade & 8th Division. There was a big fire in Nashville last night. The governor ordered the union college burned. It stood right in the way of our artillery, in one direction & it was burned last night. We are running the spades & picks to their furthest extent. Our pickets was drove in on the Murfreesboro pike last night. We sent out 2 comps, Capt. Stoughton co. A & co. H Lieut. Kerry [Curry] on that pike with a forage train. They were attacked by the cav, but repulsed them with the loss of one killed & several wounded, 8 taken prisoners: one Lieut., one Lieut. Col. Pretty well, was it not? This occurred today. I am on duty 2/3 of the time. We received a small mail this evening. J.S. Robb has either been taken prisoner or has deserted the service. I gave him a pass 2 weeks since, the 1st of this week, if I mistake not. I gave him a pass to & from Spring Hill and back, but he didn't come back again. He has been gone just 24 days, he left the 20th August. There are skirmishing going off every day. Governor Johnson says the city shall not be surrendered to the enemy, but in ashes. We will have to fight here. I expect 20,000 troops came in today. But I must close for the night. Good night dearest Lois. God bless you.
Sept. 14th, '62
Morning pleasant. Roll call & inspection at reveille. Guard mounting at the regular hour. Officer of the Day, Capt. Vantine of co. I, Off. of Guard, Lieut. Vance of co. B, from co. G, 4 privates, one corp on field guard, on picket, 5 privates, one sergt. Oh Yes! And more to I am called on picket & must stop 'till morning. So good by for a short time.
Sept. 15th, '62
I will commence this morning & finish the history of yesterday. Sab. morning. I fixed up yest morning & went to the col & got a pass to attend church. Just when I was ready to start, the ajt [adjutant] came & told me I must go on picket. So that stopped my calculations. I got ready for picket & reported my guards in town & from thence to the west, 1 1/4 miles, then to the north 3/4 of a mile, from thence east 1 1/2 miles & from thence north 1 1/4 miles & from thence 3/4 of a mile east, where I found my post. I relieved a Capt. of the 78th Penn. Regt. I had 25 men, 3 corp. & 2 sergt. I was placed right at the cross roads where the Bune vista [Buena Vista] pike crossed Jefferson street pike, just north of the statehouse. My orders was to (if I was attack) form in the woods to the south-east of the roads, where all my outposts, with the other 2 companies was to rally on me, and make as good a defence as possible & if I have to, to fall back on town. Every thing passed off quietly. The citizens were very kind to the boys; brought them meat, cabbage, potatoes, milk & biscuit. The guard rounds came around at 5 p.m. I put out the counter sign at twilight. The counter sign was 42 & the parade 46. The guard officer of there with his escort came around at 12 1/2 at night & the guard officer of the guard & his escort came around at 1 1/2 a.m. I had to be up until these rounds came back at 9 a.m. I lay down to sleep and could not rest for the drumming of the Division which was moving. Thomas's division left town to reenforce Nelson & McCook at Bowling Green. His Division commenced moving at 1 a.m. and the last of his troops left town at 7 a.m. I was relieved at 10 a.m. and got to camp at noon. I reported to the ajt & told him I was ready for duty. He laughed & told me he would see about it. 3 comps went out of our regt. on guard with a Division train for forage. They have not come in yet & it is 8 o'clock. We had dress parade at retreat this evening. The orders was very strict, which were read on dress parade. Maj. of the 78th Penn. is appointed brig inspector. Surgeon of the 78th Penn. is appointed brigs surgeon. Lieut. Cheney of co. E, 21st O.V. is appointed on Col Miller's staff (act. brig.) [acting brigade commander]. J.A. Hill is still getting worse. There was a fair in town today. 2 of our boys went out to town without a pass & was taken up but stopped guard & came to camp. I reported Lieut. Lewis, acting quartermaster for not issuing rations to our regt. He was arrested. All the other regts. have been getting full rations but ours. We have not drawn any coffee or sugar for some time. But I must stop for the night. So good bye for a short time dearest.
Sept. 16th, '62
Morn unusually clear. Our boys who went out with the forage train yesterday, came in last night at 10 o'clock, loaded with forage. Chickens, turkeys, ducks etc. and one prisoner. They went out to with in 2 1/2 miles of the enemy camp, and brot [brought] off their forage in safety. Thanks, I do not have duty to do today. I am a privaleged [privileged] character today. I brought the surgeon of the 21st in to Jacob Hill. I told him if he could not find anything wrong with the sergt., I would call in the brigade doctor & see if he must stay here and die. He (the surgeon) examined him well, very carefully & pronounced his disease a chronic disease, pleurisy & inflamation of the liver of several months duration. He made out his certificate of disability & Porter is geting up his papers. This city is full of ill-famed houses and to [two] boys of the 19th Ill. Regt., who had been out on detached duty & stopped on the style [stile] in front of the door of one of these houses. The manager saw them sit there and I suppose he thought they would injur [injure] the reputation of the house with the presence of their uncouth persons sitting in front. He drew his revolver and shot them both through the head. One he killed instantly, the other wounded mortally & is now dead. The 19th boys gathered and marched down and took the depradator & marched him before General Negley & demanded his death. They swore they would be avenged & if he was not hanged, they would burn the town. The General promised that he should swing; & the boys returned to their duty. But swore if he was not hanged tonight, tomorrow's sun would see the city a desolation. Lieut. Vance of co. B is detailed as ajt gen on Col. Miller's staff. Guards detailed, Officer of the Day, Capt. Canfield of co. K., Officer of the Guard, Lieut. Anderson of co. D, from Co.G for field guard, 5 privates, one corp., for picket: 4 privates, one corp. The orders were on dress parade, brigade drill at 15 minutes past 9 a.m. to meet on the 78th Penn. Regt's parade ground. Our brigade consists of the 78th Penn. on the right flank, 74th Ohio on the right center, the 37th Ind. on the left center, and the 21st O.V. on the left flank. I had a promenade all over the city of Nashville, Lieut. Knaggs and I. But I must close for the night, good bye dearest and may God bless and preserve you in my prayer. For her whom I love more than life-Lois.
Sept. 17th, '62
Morning clear and pleasant, but threatens rain at 8. At 9 1/4, we mustered on parade ground & marched out to the parade ground of the 78th Penn. for brigade drill. But the wind arose & the dust flew so thickly, we had to break up the drill. We formed a square and reduced square, formed line of battle. Formed column. Rights of companies to the rear, battalion right face to your quarters march. Being thus dismissed, we marched to our quarters. The rain commenced at 11 a.m. J.H. Leiter visited us today. We had no dress parade on account of the rain.
Sept. 18th, '62
At 11 last night, the ajt sent an order for me to take 25 men & 2 sergts. & report at headquarters at 6 this morning. I did so, and after I reported there were 75 others reported. 25 from co. I , 25 from co. C & 25 from co. K with their 1st Lieut. Capt. McMahan of co. C conducted the train. We were to escort a forage train. I had 100 men and 2 sergts. There was Wilkin's (?) 100 men from the 78th Penn. Infantry & one hundred 1st Tenn. Cav. We went out 6 miles & loaded 20 wagons with hay & some 70 or 80 with corn. Our boys got a lot of sweet pumpkins, potatoes, beans etc. The confiscation act is in force with us. We got all we got on the premises of General Harding of the rebel force. He is a prisoner in Nashville now. I got back at 5 p.m. & the ajt came after me for duty tomorrow. I told him to get some one who had not just come off of duty. We had dress parade, at the usual hour. Porter conducted the company & could get but 20 men out with him. Would you not quit if you was in his place? I should. Guards detailed, Officer of the Day, Capt. Alban of co. F, Officer of the Guard: Lieut. [Sergt.] Huling of co. A., Guard Officer in charge, Capt. Walker of co. B. From co. G, 5 privates on field guard, 5 privates on corp picket guard. Orders are very strict. No officer or soldier will be permitted to pass the regimental guard without a pass and that pass on publick business. But I will bid you good night dearest, by, by. A happy night to you.
Sept. 19th, '62
This morning, all quiet & at 9 1/2 we had brigade drill. But I must not write any today. Just as I commence, I must quit. By, by Dearest Alice.
We Sept. 24th, '62
This is the first time I have had a chance to write since last Friday. So you see, I have lost 4 dates. But I will give you all just as I can remember it. On Friday, Sat., Sab., Monday, Tuesday & today until 11 a.m., I have been on duty. We had brigade drill Monday & after we came in a man (of co. K) who had been sick for the last 4 months (and who should have been discharged long ere this) died suddenly of congestive chills. This is the way the soldier who left his home and friends for the cause of his country is used whilst he can be, he is put through all hardships of a camp life, but when he has been incapacitated for sharing in those duties, what is done? Why he is left to pine away in camp & die for want of proper care and proper treatment. An old acquaintance from Penn. called to see me today. He has his discharge & is awaiting his transportation. The rebels burned a bridge below Nashville, 10 miles toward Fort Donaldson & took some prisoners, two of which they hanged. The rebels took those poor fellows and hung them before the door of a widow lady whose husband fell in the glorious cause of the union. They were hung at 9 p.m. of the 22nd & was found at 8 a.m. of the 23rd. My post on picket was 3/4 of a mile north of the capitol. I could look down into the city. At 3 o'clock this morning. The firing of the rebel's pickets and was as briskly returned by ours. We gave them 9 rounds and then turned it in to a skirmish fight which lasted 1/2 hour. Our forage train was attacked on Saturday last & 25 men taken prisoners & 10 wagons. The balance escaped. We sent out a large train yesterday and was attack by 2000 cav of Forest's comd. The train escaped, but we lost some men. This morning, I saw troops going out, 3 regts. of infantry & one of cav. Our regt. went with one train, the 74th with another & the 37th Indiana with another & 3 comps of cav with each train. Our boys have got in (and the town clock strikes 7 p.m.) & brought 100 barrels flour, 40 head beef cattle, potatoes, meat, apples, clothes, money & gold watches & one large bible, which I bot [bought] of one of the boys. He said he got it in a house where the rebels were lying & where they captured 4 of their party. A lot of guns etc. We are putting the confiscation act into practice. We are on 1/2 rations. But our quartermaster goes out and makes a buy & leaves a guard & then sends for his property. We have to pay very dearly for everything we buy, from 50 cts to $1.00 per lb. (But you may guess how much we buy at those figures), 50 cts per peck for sweet potatoes, from 10-12 cts lb for ham etc.. But I must stop 'till morning, good night- dearest & best. The girl I left behind me !! !! *******
Dearest: I commence this morning with the loss of 2 dates. I cannot give you a history as correct & feel as if I could chronicle the scenes & events of the day at its close. On the eve of the 24th, I was again detailed to comd a train, for forage. We went out 6 miles, and got hay and corn etc. 6 of our boys were taken prisoner (not of our regt.). We took 7 of the rebels. So we beat them one. We got back to camp with 74 loads of hay & 42 of corn. It was 8 p.m. when we got into camp. The report came out to meet us that the town was attacked. We piled off the wagons and double-quicked 9 miles to camp & when we got in, it was not but a report. I marched the company in and stacked arms in quarters & got my own supper, and just as I was eating it, a detail came for me to report at 1/2 6 a.m. of the 26th (About the time I took leave of the one I most loved on earth). Allow me to diverge a little. On that morning, I began to live the life of a man. That morning I found that I was in love. And that with one of nature's most polished mechanisms. I felt (altho' I was not certain yet, I felt that my love was returned) that I loved & loved sincerely, devotedly & that I had something to live for beside self. I feel that, that day was the beginning of my happiness (altho' that day was painful to me) *****). You may guess how I felt when I heard the detail. But suffice it to say; I reported at the time specified. I reported my guards to brigade headquarters & from thence to Division headquarters & from thence I marched 4 1/2 miles & relieved a company of the 78th Penn.. I posted my guards. I had 20 infantry & 16 cav with me on the reserve. I sent out a patrol of 5 cav & one sergt. every 3 hours. I found where the rebels met at night to rendezvous. Likewise, where they forded the river and from thence gained access to town. I reported immediately to headquarters & had a detail march for that place. A skirmish took place last night (or rather night before last) & yesterday morning with a train of ours & a force of Forest's cavalry, in which the rebels got the advantage of our men. We (that is our men) sent for reinforcement and one regt. and to [two] pieces of artillery went to their assistance. The cav scattered & our men took several prisoners. I suppose you hear of the transactions in Ken [Kentucky?] & on the Potomack [Potomac] before I do, so it is not worthwhile saying anything about it. I was relieved at 9:15 this morning & got to camp at 10:30. I had been in camp about 3 hours when a detail came for 30 men from each co in the regt. with spades, axes & picks, for the purpose of digging rifle pits around the camp. There was a call for one Captain from company K & one Lieut. from co G. Porter was sick, so guess who goes? There is a rebel force shows themselves on the Lebanon Pike, a short distance from town. The batteries at the capitol are placed so as to command the scene of the rebel's daily resort & the first time they show themselves, they will get a dose of canned fruit, grape shot and etc. But I must close by wishing you a good night and hap night dearest.
Sabbath Sept. 28th, '62
Morning, clear & calm. The bells are ringing merrily. & oh! How I thought of home, of the pleasant Sabbaths spent at the old white church & again of the Sabbath eve I spent in your society a short time before I left for the land of Dixy. Guard mounting at the usual hour. Officer of the Guard Lieut. Beggs [Sergt] of company A. Officer of the Day: Capt. Canfield of co. K, from co. G, 5 privates and one corp. picket guard. 5 privates, one sergt.- field guard. Dress parade at 5 1/2 p.m. At 7 p.m., we received orders to have 2 boxes of cartridges drawn & give to each man, 62 rounds of cartidges & to have their equipment all on. The rebels made a dash on our pickets this evening. They rode up toward the pickets of the 78th Penn. They made ready & took aim. But the sergt. said for God's sake don't shoot your own men, we are the 1st Tenn. The rebels had our uniforms on & that mislead our pickets. They rode slowly untill they got in about 2 rods of the pickets & then drew their revolvers & made a dash on them, & said surrender you D.... sons of ....... Oh! But was it not to bad, but they got their pay. They rode up to our picket post, but they met the 20,onesters there & got 3 rounds, each ball taking effect. Our cavalry was there by that time & they skedaddled, leaving their wounded. The cavalry took our boys back again & 2 of the guns. There are 27,000 rebels within 5 miles of town & this was a detachment of their cavalry which attacked our pickets. They sent in 2 flags of truce, demanding the surrender of the city. But the Governor replyed that he would surrender the city only in ashes. But I must close for the night dearest and best.
Sept. 29th, '62
Morn. Clear calm & beautiful. Guard mounting at the usual hour. Officer of the day Lieut. Porter of co. G, officer of the guard Lieut. Prior of co. H., from co. G, 5 privates one corp., field guard 5 privates picket. I was detailed to conduct 4 companies (D,C,K & B) & oversaw the digging of a rifle pit. You cannot look in any direction but you will see forts, fortifications, rifle pits and blockhouses. We tore up a tunnel today in town to prevent the enemy making a charge on our artillery. Another flag of truce came in to town today. But all for naught, we will fight it through. We send out 60 convalescing soldiers & paroled prisoners for Ohio. They go under a flag of truce to Bowling Green Ky. I got in tonight at sundown & found when I came in I was detailed as officer of the picket guard. I will close for the night good by dearest Lois for a short time from your own R.S.
Sept. 30th, '62
Morning was damp and foggy. I was up at 6 a.m. Got breakfast and eat it. Porter is still in bead [bed]. I called in my guards at 6 1/2 a.m. I reported to Col. Miller's quarters, then to Gen. Negley's quarters. Then & from thence to station no 8 on the Harden pike 1 1/2 miles north of Nashville. Where I believed Lieut. Allen of co. D & Lieut. Monroe of co. F. The brig officer of the guard came around and visited me. Then came the grand rounds. The brig officer of the day, with his escort. My order was to take in all passes issued prior to the 29th inst. I took in a number of such passes. We could notice several rebels on horse at a short distance, yet to far from our station for our guns. We expected an attack through the night. We stacked our guns in a very conspicuous place, so much so that the rebels could easily see them. The rebels chose to let us alone and go around and try the strength of no 6. But they were repulsed, from that point. They came close enough to one of my out posts to stone the sentinels. Skirmishing is a dayly occurrence here. When we go out on picket (we look on the pickets with interest). We do not know that we will ever see all of the brave fellows. Oh! how many go out on picket come in a mangled, a disfigured corps [corpse] poor fellows. But the night passed off with out any attacks.
Oct. 1, '62
Morning damp cold & foggy. I heard an unusual stir among the troops last night from 11 'till morning, the cause of which I ascertained after coming to camp. There was a body of secesh cav reported encamped out about 15 miles from town. The 78th Penn. & the 21st O.V.I. was sent out to ferat [ferret] them out. So they left at 11 o'clock last night and surrounded their camp before day. The 1st Tenn. Cavalry went with our regt. But their camp was situated in among. mountains so that it was impossible to take them all. Our troops took at one place 100 men and 30 horses and killed several. But I will give the detail tomorrow after they all get in. good night dearest Lois - Morning
Nashville, Tenn. Oct. 2, '62
Our men were coming in all night last night. They went out and routed the enemy and came back last night (that is a great majority). One of our boys (co. G) went with the cavalry. He was with them when they made the charge. 180 of our cav against near 600 of the rebels. They (the cavalry) killed 40 & wounded 37 more, pretty well for one charge. Oh! if our boys could have been with them at the charge not one man would have escaped. We got 38 good horses. Porter did not get in 'till 10 o'clock today. I do not say what was the reason. There was 4 barrels of whiskey poured out. There was a man came to me and told me of some artillery which had been thrown into the river at fort Zollycofer and since the river has fallen they have become visible. There are 2 11 feet guns (siege guns) & 6 small field pieces, splendid guns. The same man told me that he knew where there was the pork of 300 large hogs had been butchered by an old secesh for the special use of the rebel army. I have made these facts known to the head quarters & these stores of pork not less than 30,000 lbs will be promptly sent for & brought in. I have heard nothing of Capt. Cusac yet. I fear he will not get in before the battle at Louisville; which is impending. But you hear all the news from Louisville before I do. I have not had a letter from you dearest for so long. But this blockade is what keeps your letters from coming. I know you have written but have failed to reach their destination. I was detailed as officer of picket guard and was first ready to report when word came from the Gen. not to report from the 21st . But I will bid you goodnight dearest Lois and may heaven's richest blessing rest upon thee.
Oct. 3rd, '62
George Chase and J.L. Vanguilder of co. G was taken to the hospital never to come out until carried out (I fear). I visited Chase this morning & find him still weakening. Poor fellow. We took 38 more prisoners and killed 10 yesterday & 2 regts. Are still in pursuit. Gen. Negley is determined to clear the suburbs of rebel cavalry & guerillas. One of the regts. That was out scouting last night is just coming in. But I must close again. Good night dear one.
I have just come of [off] duty & have a moment to chat with my own dearest Lois. I have been so busily engaged untill so late each night that this is my first opportunity to write you. I have been on duty all day yesterday up to noon today. I have just finished the arrangement on Sergt. Hill papers to Louisville, Ky. I have gotten his discharge at last. I got him pass the bord [board?] of physicians last sat. & got his papers as far as gen. Negley's quarters & had to leave it there untill to day. I was officer of the guard yest. & 'till noon today. I then went up to the general's quarters & got Hill's discharge & have finished all his papers today & he starts by hack for Louisville tomorrow morning in company with the doctor Eames and Maj. Strong both of the 21st who have resigned on account of their health. More skirmishing & picket fighting but this is so common it is not worth noting. The 65th & 21st O.V.I. was out foraging on sat. They were out to Gen. Harding's plantation. His dear [deer], elk, buffalo and wild horse came up toward the fence to look at the union soldiers. When the soldiers got to see these. The cloven foot showed forth in the soldiers. They scaled the wall (it was a stone wall) and then commenced a scene which beggars description. This heard [herd?] of natures own beauty all tried to save themselves by flight with one exception. The wild horse which gave fight & was killed immediately. He was prettier than any picture. The buffalo some of them met with the same fate, one elk and about 30 deer & 2 little fawns. The whole cost on government will not be less than 30 or 40,000 dollars. That is to [too] bad! Is it not? Capt. Stoughton was appointed (for the time being) Major of the 21st. We can hear nothing of Capt. Cusac. Oh! but I wish he would come. But I must close for the night, good night dearest Lois.
Oct. 7th. '62
There was an order issued this evening. The order was this. 4 regts. Of infantry & 2 of cav to go at march at 8 p.m. and not take a man with us who could not stand a forced march of 18 miles. The enemy was encamped out on the Murfreesboro pike 15 miles from this town. Our regt. was one of the no. General Negley and Col. Miller (acting brigade gen.) was highly pleased with the 78th Penn. and 21st O.V. But more tomorrow.
October 8th, '62
According to promise I will give a further detail of the events of yesterday. We had a splendid little fight of it yest. we captured over 300 prisoners, killed 92 & wounded 83. our loss was greater than first supposed. The 78th lost 10 killed and several wounded the 7th Penn. cavalry lost 7 killed and 5 wounded. The 21st lost 2 wounded. The adjutant and James Crosser of co. G either killed or taken. The 21st regt. took 103 prisoners and a good share of the spoils. I had the pleasure of turning the prisoners over to the provost marshall. I need not tell you more with the pen. I shall send you its account clipped from the Nashville Union. We will go out on a foraging expedition tomorrow. A train of 200 wagons came in from Bowling Green today with provisions. Sergt. Hall left by stage for his home this morning. Good by dearest and best, R.S. L. A.
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