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Title: The History of the Fifty-ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers
Author: Lathrop, David
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  [Illustration:

  COL. P. SIDNEY POST.                 LIEUT. COL. C. H. FREDRICK.
  LIEUT. COL. CLAYTON HALL.            MAJ. J. M. STOOKEY.
  D^R. H. J. MAYNARD.                  ADJT. FRANK CLARK.
  CAPT. MINNETT.                       CAPT. J. C. HENDERSON.

  Lith. by W^m. BRADEN & C^o. Indianapolis.]



THE HISTORY OF THE FIFTY-NINTH REGIMENT ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS,

OR A THREE YEARS' CAMPAIGN THROUGH MISSOURI, ARKANSAS, MISSISSIPPI,
TENNESSEE AND KENTUCKY, WITH A DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY, TOWNS,
SKIRMISHES AND BATTLES--INCIDENTS, CASUALTIES AND ANECDOTES MET WITH
ON THE WAY; AND EMBELLISHED WITH TWENTY-FOUR LITHOGRAPHED PORTRAITS
OF THE OFFICERS OF THE REGIMENT.


BY DR. D. LATHROP.


HALL & HUTCHINSON,
PRINTERS AND BINDERS, INDIANAPOLIS, IND.
1865.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight
hundred and sixty-five,
BY DR. DAVID LATHROP,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for
the District of Indiana.

HALL & HUTCHINSON, STEREOTYPERS, PRINTERS AND BINDERS.



INTRODUCTION.


Early in the month of May, 1861, C. H. Frederick and David McGibbon,
two prominent citizens of St. Louis, Mo., called on General Lyon, and
proffered to raise a regiment of infantry, to serve for three years, or
during the war. C. H. Frederick, having previously served his country
in a military capacity, and being familiar with military tactics, was
deemed by General Lyon, a very suitable person to engage in the
undertaking, and immediately authorized to recruit and organize a
regiment, and to have command of the same.

Colonel Frederick, at the breaking out of the rebellion, was engaged in
a lucrative business in St. Louis, but at the call of his country he
sacrificed his profitable interests, and gave his energies to the
preservation of the Union. After an immense amount of difficulty,
Colonel Frederick and his co-worker, Major McGibbon, working night and
day, succeeded in enlisting enough loyal friends in and around St.
Louis, to enable them to accomplish their purpose. By the middle of
June three companies, and a nucleus of the fourth, was collected and
rendezvoused at the St. Louis arsenal. Captains Hale, Renfrew, Veatch,
and Elliott commanding.

About this time Captain S. W. Kelly was induced to become a recruiting
officer, to assist in filling up the regiment. By the 24th of June he
had recruited seventy men in his own neighborhood, and on that day an
election was held, and S. W. Kelly was unanimously elected Captain,
John Kelly First Lieutenant, and H. J. Maynard Second Lieutenant. On
the 6th day of August, 1861, Captain Kelly numbered on the muster roll
of his company, (F,) at the St. Louis Arsenal, seventy-one men; and
through his influence three other companies had joined in the
organization of the regiment. Captain Stookey, of Belleville, Ill., had
recruited a large company of men for the service, and was now induced
to join this regiment, thus making nine companies in rendezvous at the
Arsenal on the 6th day of August.

As soon as the first three companies were formed, and before they were
uniformed, they were sent down to Cape Girardeau, Mo., that place being
threatened by the enemy, to assist in building fortifications. As soon
as the next three companies were mustered in, and before they were
uniformed, they were ordered to Pilot Knob, Mo. Here they underwent
great hardship, not having uniforms or blankets, and scarcely anything
to make them comfortable. The other three companies on their arrival at
St. Louis, were sent with Colonel Frederick up the South-west branch of
the Pacific railroad, to protect the bridges, etc., in order to keep
that road open for the retreat of General Lyon's army after their
defeat at Wilson's Creek, Mo. This work being accomplished, Colonel
Frederick returned to St. Louis, and after overcoming many difficulties
succeeded in getting the nine companies back to the arsenal. The next
thing to be done, was to have them uniformed and drilled. This, also,
was perseveringly and successfully attended to by the Colonel and Major
McGibbon.

The men and the officers with one or two exceptions, were sadly
deficient in a knowledge of military tactics or drills, and Colonel
Frederick consequently took upon himself the task of drilling the
regiment daily. In a short space of time he succeeded in making them
quite well acquainted with company and battalion drills.

About the 1st of September 1861, Colonel Frederick and Major McGibbon,
in order to promote the welfare of the regiment and secure good to the
Union cause, tendered the command to Captain J. C. Kelton, then A.A.G.
for General Fremont. Captain Kelton, after a time, accepted the command
with the proviso that Frederick should have the Lieut. Colonelcy, and
McGibbon the Majority. This arrangement was speedily confirmed by an
election of the officers of the regiment, and the organization became
complete,--one company only being required to make a full regiment.
Upon Colonel Kelton assuming command, he procured the Tenth Company,
viz. Company K, Captain Snyder, of Chicago, Ills., commanding, and this
completed the Ninth Missouri, Volunteer Regiment.

Company K, was organized in the city of Chicago in the month of
September, 1861. A majority of the men were recruited by Lieutenant
Abram J. Davids. It was originally intended as a company of sappers and
miners, to be attached to Bissell's Engineer Regiment of the West. At
least that was the inducement held out to the men. On the 5th of
September the company was not quite full, and its services being needed
immediately, forty-five men were taken from the Forty-Second Illinois,
(then organizing at Chicago), and enrolled with the company on its
muster into service on the 6th day of September, making an aggregate of
ninety-seven men. Their camp equipage was drawn on the night of the
6th, and on the morning of the 7th marched under the command of Captain
Henry N. Snyder, to the Chicago, Alton and St. Louis depot, and took
the cars for St. Louis. They arrived at Illinoistown the evening of the
same day, and in the morning crossed the Mississippi, and marched
through St. Louis to Benton barracks; they here learned that they were
to be attached to the Ninth Regiment Missouri Volunteer Infantry. It
caused considerable dissatisfaction in the company, not that they had
any objection to the regiment, but they wished to enter the arm of
service for which they were recruited. Notwithstanding, there was no
disobedience of orders.

On the 2d of September they were armed with Harper's Ferry rifles, and
well equipped throughout; no company in the service ever started out
better supplied with ordnance and camp equipage. On the afternoon of
the 22d of September they left Benton barracks, marched to the depot,
and took the cars en route for Jefferson City, where they arrived the
next evening. They joined the Ninth Missouri on the following morning,
and embarked with them on the steamer War Eagle, September 30th, bound
for Boonville.

On the 22d of September, 1861, the regiment was ordered to Jefferson
City, Mo., and on the 26th again ordered to Boonville, Mo. After
remaining in camp a short time, Colonel Kelton was placed in command of
a brigade, under General Pope. The brigade consisted of the Ninth
Missouri, Lieut. Colonel Frederick, commanding; Thirty-Seventh
Illinois, Colonel Julius White, commanding, and the Fifth Iowa, Colonel
Worthington, commanding.

While at the St. Louis Arsenal, two companies under the command of
Lieut. Colonel C. H. Frederick, were sent by Colonel F. P. Blair, up
the Mississippi river to Howell's Island, where he captured five
valuable steamboats from the hands of the rebels, who were about to use
them to cross their forces to the south side, to join the rebel General
Price. The total value of property thus secured from the hands of the
rebels, amounted to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. He also
skirmished over the island in search of a rebel camp, and by this
movement it was effectually broken up. Those two companies were
composed of picked men from the different companies of the regiment.



Contents


CHAPTER I.

CHAPTER II.

CHAPTER III.

CHAPTER IV.

CHAPTER V.

CHAPTER VI.

CHAPTER VII.

CHAPTER VIII.

CHAPTER IX.

CHAPTER X.

CHAPTER XI.

CHAPTER XII.

CHAPTER XIII.

CHAPTER XIV.

CHAPTER XV.

CHAPTER XVI.

CHAPTER XVII.

CHAPTER XVIII.

CHAPTER XIX.

CHAPTER XX.

CHAPTER XXI.

CHAPTER XXII.

CHAPTER XXIII.

CHAPTER XXIV.

CHAPTER XXV.

CHAPTER XXVI.

CHAPTER XXVII.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

CHAPTER XXIX.

CHAPTER XXX.



HISTORY OF THE FIFTY-NINTH REGIMENT,

ILLINOIS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY.



CHAPTER I.


The Fifty Ninth Illinois Regiment entered the service of the United
States, on the 6th day of September, 1861, under the cognomen of Ninth
Missouri, at St. Louis, in that State. At that time the State of
Illinois had filled her quota of volunteers, and would not receive the
services of the patriotic young men who had collected themselves
together for the purpose of preserving the glorious Union, then in
danger of being severed.

The call of the President for seventy-five thousand volunteers, as well
as that for forty-two thousand, had been so speedily filled by men
whose business engagements, and perhaps entire want of business,
permitted to enter the service without much sacrifice on their part,
excluded, for the time being, these noble men from entering the service
in the name of their own State. Although disappointed, they were still
determined to devote their services to their country in some useful
field of labor. Missouri was the most convenient and available State
for this purpose, and was willing to accept of their aid, and hence the
companies were organized into the Ninth Regiment of Missouri
Volunteers, on the 6th of September, 1861.

General Fremont was in command of the department of Missouri, and as
soon as the regiment was fully equipped, he ordered that it should
report to General Pope, at Jefferson City, Mo. In the best of spirits
the men left the old barracks and marched to the river for embarkation.
The old and rickety steamer War Eagle lay in waiting, with steam up, to
receive them. A very pleasant and lively time was passed in going up,
and on their arrival at Jefferson City, a pretty camping ground
received them, to await further orders. Here the regiment lay in camp
until the 30th of September, when they were again embarked for farther
up the river.

At Jefferson City the regiment was joined by a pioneer company of
ninety-seven men, and by a squad of twenty men recruited by Captain
Kelly, of Company F, who fell into ranks as the regiment was
re-embarking on the same old War Eagle, for "up the river."

The embarkation of a regiment, was, at that early day of the war, an
exciting scene. Never before had such scenes been witnessed by the
citizens of our inland river towns, nor had the men of the regiment
ever before exhibited themselves to the gaze of the populace in such a
display as they now did. The regiment was first marched in column down
to the wharf, and ordered to stack arms. Then, as the way was open, one
company at a time was marched to the boat and took quarters as
directed. The quarters of each soldier consisted of just room enough to
stand, or sit upon his knapsack on the floor, selected somewhere within
the region of his own company. The regiment as it marched to the
landing, to the time of the fife and drum, attracted the notice of the
whole city. Its appearance was really captivating. The uniform being
all new and unsoiled, and consisting of a closely fitting jacket of
fine gray cloth, and pants of the same material, looked exceedingly
neat and pleasing to the eye, and their knapsacks, cartridge boxes and
guns, all new, and glistering in the sunshine, caused a sensation
indescribable. No regiment has ever entered the service with more éclat
than the Ninth Missouri. The men, wagons, horses and mules, all being
huddled indiscriminately on board, the bell rang, and the old boat
steamed up the turbid Missouri. During the night the boat rounded to at
Boonville, Mo., and the regiment went into camp here for fourteen days,
for the purpose of collecting supplies and fitting up for a campaign
into the interior.

Boonville is a pretty town, of perhaps one thousand inhabitants, and is
situated on the right bank of the Missouri River. It seems to be quite
a flourishing place, and has something of an inland trade. The country
in the vicinity is good and under good cultivation, and the
improvements on the adjoining farms are excellent. The land is
considerably broken, but very productive. It is a most splendid fruit
country. No country in the world can produce larger and finer apples
and peaches, than that around Boonville, as the soldiers of the Ninth
can testify. It is also a fine grape region and can boast of many fine
vineyards. Wine is made here to some extent, as the Ninth can also
testify, for they had the pleasure of tasting some of it, as well as
having plenty of fruit while in camp here. A majority of the citizens
are professedly friends to the cause of the Union, and are disposed to
treat the soldier kindly and with hospitality, so long, at least, as
the Union army is in the neighborhood. There are some who turn the cold
shoulder and show a disposition to insult and annoyance, but they are
more numerous in the country than in town, and this is more to our
liking than otherwise; for it is but little we need from the citizens
in town, but from the country we need mules, horses and forage, and
confiscation is now the order of the day.

As soon as the regiment had comfortably arranged camp, a detail was
made to go into the country prospecting for contraband stock. There
were twelve or fifteen wagons to each regiment to be furnished with
mules or horses, at the rate of six to a team. The boys were not many
days in finding stock enough to supply the demand, and in doing so they
found some amusement for themselves, and received many deep and bitter
curses from the owners of the stock.

Some four miles down the river, lived a wealthy old rebel sympathizer,
who possessed several mules and some fine horses, which the boys took a
fancy to, and concluded they must have. The old gentleman stubbornly
refused to give them up, and made threats to shoot any one who
attempted to interfere with his property. The prospecting party were
too few in number to catch the mules and bring them off, so they
started one of their number to camp after reinforcements, while the
others remained to guard the stock, and amuse the old secesh with some
of their Union arguments. The old man, at first, seemed very uneasy,
but after a time quieted himself so as to apparently enjoy the society
of the boys very much. Thus time passed until night approached, and
supper was announced. The boys partook of the bounties of the table,
and again engaged the old gentleman in conversation, and thus the hours
went by till bed time. An invitation to retire was proffered them,
which they politely refused, preferring rather to bunk it on the floor,
where they were, than to indulge the luxury of sheets and feathers. If
the old gentleman entertained any suspicions of roguery on the part of
the boys, he gave no indications of the fact, but quietly wished them a
good night's rest, and withdrew to his own apartment for the night.
About three in the morning, the reinforcements arrived from camp, and
quietly proceeded to let out and drive the mules off to town, while the
boys on guard bridled and saddled four good horses and joined the
detachment. Early in the morning, the old farmer presented himself to
Colonel Kelton with his complaints. Patiently the Colonel listened to
him, and then gave him vouchers for his confiscated property, to be
paid if he should prove himself a faithful, good citizen of the United
States. Thus, in the course of ten days, was the wagons all supplied
with good teams.

Other preparations for a campaign being nearly completed, the regiment
was in daily anticipation of a move. The sick were sent to town to be
left at hospital. Dr. H. J. Maynard, First Assistant Surgeon of the
regiment, was assigned to the duty of fitting up quarters for their
reception, and with energy of purpose and goodness of heart he
performed the duty. Fifty of the regiment were unfitted to start on the
campaign on account of sickness. There were many cases of measles. This
disease had attacked some of the boys at Jefferson City; three of whom
were left in hospital there. Many of the cases left in charge of Dr.
Maynard, were critical, but by his kind care and good treatment,
speedily recovered.

The regiment was now in good condition for a march, and the boys all
anxious to try the realities of a campaign. The weather was delightful
and the roads good. Price and his army was somewhere in the country,
and every one desired to be after him. Drilling had been faithfully
practiced since coming to Boonville, and the men began to feel like old
soldiers in military tactics, and were confident if they could overtake
Price he would be defeated, and the war in Missouri would be speedily
terminated. Orders finally came to march, and on the morning of the
12th of October, all was hurry and confusion in preparation for the
start. Tents were to be struck and the wagons loaded. Knapsacks were to
be packed and comfortably fitted to the back; haversacks to be filled
with plenty of rations; wild mules to be caught from the corral and
hitched to the wagons; and last, though not least, pretty apple girls
and wash women to be settled with before leaving. All was accomplished
in due time, and about noon the brigade moved out.

Three regiments composed the brigade: the Ninth Missouri, the Fifth
Iowa and the Thirty-seventh Illinois--three as good regiments as ever
shouldered a musket. Colonel Kelton was in command of the brigade.

While in camp here, two boys who had joined the regiment at St. Louis,
deserted, and were never heard of. Their names are now forgotten, as
they should be, and they themselves are now perhaps, if living, no more
than wandering vagabonds.



CHAPTER II.


On Sunday, the 12th day of October, 1861, the brigade bid adieu to the
attractions and comforts of civilized society, for the long period of
three years or during the war. Little did they think, as they marched
through the streets of Boonville, that it would require three years of
sacrifice for the government of the United States to put down so
insignificant a rebellion as that which was now raging through its
borders. They doubted not of the ability of our armies now in Missouri,
to drive Price from the State, and restore peace in a few months. Their
confidence in Fremont, in their own commanders and in themselves was
unbounded. Their belief that the rebels would not withstand an equal
contest, was well founded and did not diminish their ardor or their
hopes of a speedy termination of the rebellion. They looked forward to
a campaign of a few months duration, and then to a return to their
homes, with peace attending them on the way. But how sadly were they to
be disappointed! They supposed the policy upon which the war was to be
conducted was fully established, and that all there was to do was to
whip out the rebels, who were at this time in arms against them. They
did not anticipate that time, as it passed, would develop new schemes
and new policies until the whole became entirely revolutionized, and
magnified into the most terrible rebellion the world ever witnessed.
They did not think that while they were going to battle with the enemy
in their front, the Government at Washington was changing its policy,
so that instead of one they would have ten rebels to fight, and instead
of a six months campaign they would have a five years war. They had
read the closing words of the President's inaugural address, to-wit:
"Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not remove our
respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall
between them. A husband and wife may be divorced and go out of the
presence and beyond the reach of each other; but the different parts of
our country can not do this. They can not but remain face to face; and
intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is
it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more
satisfactory after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties
easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully
enforced between aliens, than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to
war; you can not fight always, and when, after much loss on both sides,
and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical questions, as
to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.

"To the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution
itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be
faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a
simple duty on my part. I shall perfectly perform it, so far as is
practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall
withhold the requisition, or, in some authoritative manner, direct the
contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as
the declared purpose of the Union, that it will constitutionally defend
and maintain itself. In doing this there need be no bloodshed or
violence, and there shall be none, unless it is forced upon the
national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold,
occupy and possess the property and places belonging to the government,
and collect the duties and imports. But _beyond what may be necessary
for these objects, there will be no invasion--no using of force against
or among the people anywhere_.

"In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is
the momentous issue of civil war. You have no oath registered in Heaven
to destroy the government: while I shall have the most solemn one to
preserve, protect and defend it." And they had all confidence in the
promises of the President, that the "laws of the Union should be
faithfully executed in _all_ the States," and that the power confided
to him would be used to "hold, occupy and possess the property and
places belonging to the government, and collect the duties and imposts;
but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no
invasion--no using of force against or among the people anywhere." And
they knew that Congress had voted, for the use of the President, one
hundred thousand more men, and one hundred million more dollars than he
had requested, to make the contest a short and decisive one," and they
knew that that number of men was about "one-tenth, of those, of proper
age, within the regions where apparently all are willing to engage,"
and that the "sum is less than a twenty-third part of the value owned
by the men who seem ready to devote the whole." Knowing these things,
the members of the Ninth Missouri marched out from Boonville with light
hearts and heavy knapsacks, without a murmur. They knew that while they
were under Fremont, they were entirely able to destroy every vestige of
rebellion in Missouri. Over three hundred thousand soldiers, in other
fields, were waiting orders from the Federal government, or were in
active service; and that sixty odd vessels, with one thousand one
hundred and seventy-four guns, were in commission, and twenty-three
steam gun boats were on the stocks rapidly approaching completion, if
not already completed. That sixty regiments of Federal troops were
encamped near Washington, and that every armory in the land was at work
night and day. Knowing all these things, why should they not anticipate
a speedy termination to their soldier life, and enjoy in anticipation
home society once more? Alas, little did they suppose that they
themselves were to be the instruments in the hands of the President to
work out the "salvation of the Almighty."

It is said that Governor Yates, of Illinois, telegraphed to the
President at a certain time, to "call out one million of men, instead
of three hundred thousand, that he might make quick work of the
rebellion." The President replied: "Hold on Dick; let's wait and see
the salvation of the Almighty." Had the President deemed it policy to
have adopted Dick's advice, the rebellion might have been quelled, but
perhaps the cause would not have been removed; and our good, honest
President has not only been aiming to quell the rebellion, but to
remove the cause at the same time. Hence the instrumentality of the
army in establishing the policy of the administration. As the army
progressed in strength and military discipline, so did the views of the
administration and people change in regard to what might be
accomplished in the destruction of the _casus belli_. And hence the
"military necessities."

The brigade marched a few miles from town and bivouacked for the night.
On the 13th and 14th it marched about twenty-eight miles, and went into
camp near Syracuse.

The country is here not so broken as at Boonville, and is under good
cultivation, with neat and comfortable farm houses and barns dotting
the whole landscape.

The regiment lay in camp here on the 15th, and on the morning of the
16th, struck tents and took up the line of march for the rebel army.
Price is reported to be about seventy-five miles to the south-west,
erecting fortifications.

Since leaving Boonville, some of those who were indisposed on starting,
had become so sick as to be unable to proceed, and were consequently
taken to Syracuse, and left there to be disposed of by the Medical
Director in charge. From Syracuse they were sent to St. Louis, to the
hospital.

When leaving camp, the writer being detained until after the regiment
had moved, came across a young man who had laid himself down by the
road-side to die, as he said. He was taking the measles and was quite
sick. The Surgeon of the regiment, Dr. Hazlett, had overlooked, or been
deceived in the appearance of this young man at the morning
examination, and had ordered him to march with the regiment. This he
was unable to do, and would have been left by the road-side if he had
not been accidentally discovered. With some difficulty he was conveyed
to Syracuse and left in hospital. The commander of his company was
subsequently notified of his death in the St. Louis hospital.



CHAPTER III.


From the 16th to the 23d of October, the regiment continued its line of
march daily. It moved in a south-western direction, crossing the
Pacific railroad at Otterville.

Otterville is a small town on the railroad, near the right bank of the
Lamoine river. It numbers from three to five hundred inhabitants, most
of whom are very indifferent to the Union cause. No manifestations of
rejoicing were shown on the approach of the noble men who were coming
to protect them from the ravages of the rebel army; no stars and
stripes were spread to the breeze as they came in sight, but every one
manifested a coolness which indicated very distinctly in which
direction their sympathies lay.

The country still continues to be very good. The farming lands are here
under good cultivation and well improved. The soil is productive, and
gives liberally into the hands of the cultivator. Every one seems to be
prospering but somewhat discouraged at this time, as Price's army made
rather heavy draws on their granaries and larders as he passed through
here, and the Union army is now claiming a share of what they have
left. There is yet an abundance to supply all demands, and no one need
to suffer.

The brigade passes through Otterville without halting, and none but a
few stragglers have any thing to say to the citizens, either to
aggravate or soothe them. The direction taken is towards Warsaw, on the
Osage river, where, it is rumored, Price is entrenching.

The routine of a campaign is now fully commenced. Reveille is sounded
at five o'clock in the morning--all hands must then turn out to roll
call--breakfast is cooked, and at seven the bugle sounds to fall in for
the march. Two hours steady march follows, and then a rest of ten
minutes, and _thus_ until twelve or fifteen miles is passed over,
when, if wood and water is convenient, camp is selected, tents are
pitched, supper is provided, retreat is sounded, and all becomes quiet
for the night. Thus it was with the Ninth, until their arrival at
Warsaw. There is nothing to enliven the monotony of the march but the
lively jokes and sallies of wit of the boys, and the change of scenery
through which they pass.

The distance from Otterville to Warsaw, by the roads the regiment
moved, is perhaps seventy miles, and the face of the country is
considerably variegated. For the most part it is a level, unbroken
region until you approach the bluffs of the Osage. The land is however
rolling and enough diversified with hills and elevated peaks, to make
it interesting to the traveler.

On the 23d of October, the regiment went into camp two miles north of
Warsaw, to await the construction of a military bridge across the Osage
river. The Osage at this point is about three hundred yards wide, with
abrupt high banks and a deep swift current, so that it is impossible to
cross an army in any other way than by means of a strong substantial
bridge.

On the arrival of the division, as many "sappers and miners" and
laborers as could be profitably employed, were set to work, and in
forty-eight hours the bridge was ready for crossing. It was a very rude
structure, but answered every purpose.

At Warsaw other troops came in from other directions, and swelled the
forces which were to cross at this point to quite a large army. Some
arrived in the morning before the Ninth, and about ten thousand passed
the regiment after it had gone into camp. The weather continues
delightful, and regiments coming in and passing, with their bright guns
and accoutrements, present a splendid and most cheering spectacle.

There was great disappointment manifested by the troops on their
arrival here and finding that Price was still on the wing. Here is
where madame rumor had strongly entrenched the rebel army, and the boys
had confidently expected to have a battle with him at this point. Their
chagrin was great when they learned that he had still two or three
weeks the start of them towards Arkansas. They were consoled somewhat
by a probability that he might stop at Springfield and give them
battle. They now felt that after being reinforced by so vast an army as
seemed to have joined them here, they could whip the whole southern
confederacy, before breakfast, some bright morning, if it could be
found. Although disappointed, they were not discouraged, but were very
eager for the pursuit to recommence.

While laying here those who could get passes, and some who could not,
went over to town, and spent the day in making observations. Warsaw was
the first town the boys had any leisure or opportunity to visit since
leaving Boonville, and it was quite a treat for them to chat with the
citizens, and partake of their hospitalities. A few of them came back
to camp pretty blue,--something besides water having been found in
Warsaw,--and a few did not return until the next morning, having found
some other attractions to detain them.

Although there was quite a number of men reporting to the surgeon at
the morning sick call, there were but few serious cases of disease in
the regiment at this time. The seeds of the measles had produced its
fruits and disappeared, and now the regiment was comparatively healthy.
While laying here, news was received of the death of Johnson Kyle, of
Company D, at Jefferson City. He was one of the three left there sick
with the Measles, when the regiment started for Boonville. His name
heads the list of deaths to be recorded by the regiment, after leaving
St. Louis. John Burk, of Co. F, very soon followed him, and occupies
the second place in that honored list.



CHAPTER IV.


On the morning of the 25th of October, the troops commenced crossing
the river, and about 11 o'clock, A.M., the Ninth Missouri landed on
the opposite shore, and halted an hour for dinner, and for stragglers
to come up from Warsaw. Although orders against straggling was very
strict, and the punishment threatened, severe, many of the soldiers
fell out of ranks, and slipped off to town.

Warsaw is situated on the left bank of the Osage river, and is the
largest town passed through since leaving Boonville. There being no
towns of any size within many miles of it, it has quite an extended
country trade, and boasts of several large stores and business houses
of different kinds. The rebels while here, two weeks since, supplied
themselves with goods to a large amount, from two or three Union Stores
which were in the town. The merchants and citizens here are still
undecided as to which cause they should give their influence. They are
all, however, willing to be let alone. No demonstrations of
satisfaction or the contrary, was manifested while the army remained
here.

At 1 o'clock, the bugle sounded, and the line of march was again taken
up and continued until the 30th, when the army went into camp for a day
or two, at Humansville. The direction from Warsaw to Humansville, is
southward, and the fear of the men now was, that the rebels were making
for Arkansas. Rumor again had it that they were fortifying somewhere
between here and Springfield, Missouri; but the boys did not credit it.
Nothing reliable could be obtained of their whereabouts, and Arkansas
appeared to be the most inviting place for a fleeing army. At any rate,
it was evident that they had so far, fled as fast as they had been
pursued.

The country from the Osage to this point is poor, broken and rocky. It
seems as though nature intended this as the stone quarry for the
universe. Here is stone enough to supply the United States with
building material for centuries. The roads are all stone, the hills are
solid rock, and the fields are stone. There is very little tillable
lands south of the Osage, until within the vicinity of Humansville.
There are a few farms, and occasionally a small town, but they are for
the most part deserted. The inhabitants, perhaps, have gone south with
Price. Quincy, the largest town on the road, is entirely deserted; the
citizens all being rebels.

The only incident of note, during the march from the Osage, to
Humansville, was the return to the army of Major White and his Prairie
Scouts.

On the 30th of September, Price evacuated Lexington, and commenced a
retreat to the south. He left a rebel guard there in charge of some
Union prisoners. On the 15th of October, Major White, commanding a
squadron of cavalry, called Prairie Scouts, with two and twenty men,
made a forced march of nearly sixty miles, surprised Lexington,
dispersed the rebels, captured sixty or seventy prisoners, took two
steam ferry boats, and some other less valuable articles, secured the
Union prisoners left there, and with a rebel captured flag, returned by
another route to Warsaw, traveling with neither provisions nor
transportation, and joining Fremont's forces south of the Osage. As
characteristic of the energy of the men whom Gen. Fremont gathered
about him, it is worth narrating, that Major White's horses being
unshod, he procured some old iron, called for blacksmiths from the
ranks, took possession of two unoccupied blacksmith's shop, and in five
days made the shoes and shod all his horses. At another time, the
cartridges being spoiled by rain, they procured powder and lead, and
turning a carpenter's shop into a cartridge factory, made three
thousand cartridges. Such men could march, if necessary, without
waiting for army wagons and regular equipments. As the Major and his
Prairie Scouts proceeded to Head Quarters, they were greeted with cheer
after cheer by the soldiers. The rebel flag, being the first they had
seen, was a great curiosity to the boys. In contrast with their own
loved stars and stripes, it was an insignificant affair. Its stars and
bars elicited the scorn and contempt of every one who saw it. The
curses bestowed upon it were not loud, but they were deep and came from
the heart.



CHAPTER V.


On the 30th of October, the Brigade went into camp, near Humansville.
Humansville, is a small town in Hickory County, Mo., and is the only
place where any demonstrations were made, in honor of the stars and
stripes, between Boonville and Springfield. Here the soldiers of the
Union were welcomed by the waiving of flags and the smiles of the
women, and the kindly greetings of the citizens generally. A portion of
Price's army had passed through this place, some three weeks before,
and had carried off all the goods belonging to the merchants, and had
mistreated the inhabitants of the town and vicinity to such a degree,
that they were heartily tired of their presence, and were rejoiced at
the approach of the Federal troops.

The weather continues pleasant, and an opportunity is here offered the
boys to wash up their clothing. This was rather an amusing task, as
they had not as yet become accustomed to such work. Fires were started
along the branches, and by the use of their camp kettles, they managed
to hang out quite a respectable lot of clean _army linen_. Those
having money and not being partial to the washing business, had their
washing done by the women of the town, at the rate of ten cents per
piece.

When going into camp it was thought that, perhaps, several days would
be spent here, to allow the men some rest and to ascertain the distance
to, and position of the enemy; but about noon of the 31st, orders came
to be ready to march at a moment's notice.

The sick of the regiment, had been increasing for the last ten days, to
such an extent, that now there was no means of conveying them any
farther. Thus far, they had been transported in wagons, but it was now
necessary to select such as could not, in a measure, provide for
themselves, and leave them behind. The Surgeon, therefore, fitted up
the Meeting-house in town, in the best possible manner, and removed the
sick to it. A cook, some nurses, and several days rations, were left
with them. Poor fellows! they all nearly starved to death before they
could get away, and three did die from the effects of disease and want
of proper nourishment. After the army left, the patriotism of the
ladies and gentlemen of the town, oozed out at their fingers ends, and
our sick boys could get nothing from them. One man, John Clemens, of
Co. H, who was very sick when taken there, died on the 4th of November.
Bromwell Kitchen, of Co. F, soon followed, and Nathaniel B. Westbrook,
of Co. A, died on the 20th. The others eventually found their way to
the regiment.

At 4 o'clock orders were received to strike tents and move out. An hour
was now spent in busy preparation for the march. No one had thought
that there would be a move before morning, and all were taken by
surprise at the order to march just as night was setting in.
Conjectures flew thick and fast through camp, as to what caused the
haste in moving. Some supposed that Price was not far away, and that
they were going to surprise him by a night attack. Some supposed one
thing and some another, but all was wrapped in uncertainty.

At 6 o'clock, the bugle sounded to fall in, and the first night march
of the regiment, now commenced. Camp was one and a half miles west of
Humansville, and to get to the main road to Springfield, the regiment
had to retrace its march back through the town. When therefore it
commenced filing off in the direction it had come, the impression
prevailed that they were on the retreat. Retreat! retreat, passed along
the line, we are on the retreat--what does this mean, was the general
inquiry. As soon, however, as they had passed through town, and struck
the Springfield road, they found that they were not retreating, but
were continuing their old line of march. This pleased them, and with
alacrity they moved forward. The moon had not yet made its appearance,
and the evening was quite dark. Several of the boys in going over the
rough roads, fell and crippled themselves so as to be unable to
proceed. The large stones which composed the road, would sometimes form
steps of six inches in height, and in stepping, they would fall forward
with serious results. The moon now makes her appearance, bright and
fair, and the road becomes distinct so that marching becomes easy, and
much more rapid progress is made. The march continued till near
morning, when the troops bivouacked for a few hours rest.

The bugle again sounds, and the march is continued. At 12 o'clock, a
halt is again called, and an order is brought round to lighten baggage.
All extra, useless and heavy baggage is ordered to be left, under
guard, until brought forward by the wagon train. This is indicative of
a forced march, or a going into battle. The latter is not probable, as
no enemy is reported near. At 2 o'clock, the regiment moved out in
light equipments.

Shortly after starting, a rumor got afloat that Price was really making
a stand at Springfield. This news was received with a shout, and a more
rapid movement of the troops. From this time until its arrival at
Springfield, the regiment had no other than absolutely needful rest.
The nearer the approach to Springfield, the more confirmed became the
report of the rebel army being in that vicinity. The regiment having
made ten or twelve miles this afternoon, went into camp on the banks of
a small creek, which happened to run in the right place for their
convenience.

Here an incident occurred which came very near terminating the life of
one of the boys. He had gone to the creek to wash, and while there,
walked out on a small log which projected from the bank over the water.
His weight was too great for the support of the log; it gave way and he
fell with his back across a log below him, and his head and shoulders
into the water. He was badly hurt, and had there been no assistance
near by, he would have drowned. He was unable to march for several
days, so as to keep up with the regiment. The march from here to
Springfield was uninterrupted, and on the night of the 3d of November,
the regiment went into camp within easy distance of Springfield.

On the morning of the 5th, the Ninth Missouri found itself encamped on
the out skirts of a large army. Fremont had arrived with the greater
portion of his army several days before, and driven Price from
Springfield, and was now awaiting for the balance of his forces to come
up. The Ninth had marched, in the last two days and nights, over fifty
miles, to be in time for the anticipated advance, and they were now
rejoiced that they had arrived in due season. A more happy set of men
than those of the Ninth Missouri, could not have been found in the
army. It had been on the march twenty days, with but little prospect of
overtaking the enemy. Now the enemy were before them, and their march
was perhaps terminated for the present.



CHAPTER VI.


On the approach of General Fremont, Price had fallen back to a chosen
position, some ten miles south of Springfield, leaving a garrison of
three or four hundred men to hold the place, until he could get
thoroughly entrenched in his new position, and to give General
McCulloch time to join him from below, with his Texas and Arkansas
forces.

General Fremont, in order to disperse this rebel garrison and get
possession of the town, directed Major Zagonyi, commandant of General
Fremont's body guard, to ride forward with a force of about three
hundred, to make a reconnaissance, and, if practicable, capture or
disperse the rebels, and take possession of the village. Major Zagonyi
was a Hungarian officer, drawn to the western service by the fame of
Fremont.

He had himself recruited the body guard which he commanded. It
consisted of three companies of carefully picked men, armed with light
sabers and revolvers. The first company also carried carbines. One
hundred and sixty of this guard, with one hundred and forty of Major
White's Prairie Scouts, already spoken of, constituted his force. As he
advanced, he learned that the rebel guard had been reinforced, and that
over two thousand men were ready to receive him. They had also been
warned of his approach, and surprise was impossible. Prudence would
have dictated that he return for reinforcements.

But Fremont's body guard had been a subject of much ridicule and abuse.
He determined to make good its reputation for valor, at least. Perhaps
by attacking the enemy in the rear, he might still secure the benefit
of a surprise. This advantage he would gain, if possible. A detour of
twelve miles around Springfield brought them to the rebel's position,
but upon their south flank.

They were strongly posted just west of the village, on the top of a
hill, which sloped toward the west. Immediately in their rear was a
thick wood, impenetrable by cavalry. Before they came within sight of
the enemy, Zagonyi halted his men. Drawing them up in line, he
addressed them in the following brief and nervous words:

"Fellow-soldiers, this is your first battle. For our three hundred, the
enemy are two thousand. If any of you are sick or tired by the long
march, or if any think the number is too great, now is the time to turn
back."

He paused; no one was sick or tired. "We must not retreat," he
continued. "Our honor, and the honor of our General, and of our
country, tell us to go on. I will lead you. We have been called holiday
soldiers for the pavements of St. Louis. To-day we will show that we
are soldiers for the battle. Your watchword shall be 'Fremont and the
Union!' Draw saber! By the right flank--quick trot--march!"

With that shout--"Fremont and the Union!"--upon their lips, their
horses pressed into a quick gallop, they turn the corner which brings
them in sight of the foe. There is no surprise. In line of battle,
protected in the rear by a wood which no cavalry can enter, the rebels
stand, forewarned, ready to receive the charge. There is no time to
delay--none to draw back. In a moment they have reached the foot of the
hill. The rebel fire sweeps over their heads. The Prairie Scouts, by a
misunderstanding of orders, become separated from their companions, and
fail to join them again. Up the steep hill the hundred and sixty men
press upon the two thousand of their foe. Seven guard horses fell upon
a space not more than twenty feet square. But nothing can check their
wild enthusiasm. They break through the rebel line. They drive the
infantry back into the woods. They scatter the hostile cavalry on this
side, and on that. They pursue the flying rebels down the hill again,
and through the streets of the village.

It seems incredible, yet it is sober history--not romance; in less than
three minutes, that body-guard of a hundred and sixty men had utterly
routed and scattered an enemy twenty-two hundred strong. Planting the
Union flag upon the court house, they retire as night set in, that they
may not be surprised in the darkness by new rebel forces. Their loss
was sixteen killed and twenty eight wounded, out of the whole three
hundred.

This has been pronounced an unnecessary sacrifice. The charge, it is
said, was ill judged. But the bravery surely merits the highest
commendation, and the success sanctifies the judgment of Zagonyi, which
directed the assault. Moreover, we needed the example of this
chivalrous dash and daring, to wake up some of our too cautious
generals, and to inspire that enthusiasm and that confidence of
success, which are essential to great accomplishments. For let it not
be forgotten, that this was an expedition, which, in its ultimate
results, was designed to sweep the Mississippi to the Gulf.

The ladies of Springfield, thus redeemed from rebel marauders,
requested permission to present to their heroic deliver a Union flag.
Will it be believed? When this body-guard returned to St. Louis, by
peremptory orders from Washington, it was disbanded; the officers
retired from service, and the men were denied rations and forage. It
was deemed inexpedient that a corps should exist, so enthusiastically
devoted to their chivalrous leader. In the order which came for their
disbanding, they were condemned for "words spoken at Springfield."
Condemned for that war-cry, which inspired to as glorious a charge as
was ever made on battle field, "Fremont and the Union."

Zagonyi, in his official report of the battle, says: "Their war-cry,
'Fremont and the Union,' broke forth like thunder. Half of my command
charged upon the infantry, and the remainder upon the cavalry, breaking
their line at every point. The infantry retired into the thick wood,
where it was impossible to follow them. The cavalry fled in all
directions through the town. I rallied and charged through the streets,
in all directions, about twenty times, returning at last to the court
house, where I raised the flag of one of my companies, liberated the
prisoners, and united my men, who now amounted to seventy, the rest
being scattered or lost.

"From the beginning to the end, the body-guard behaved with the utmost
coolness. I have seen battles and cavalry charges before; but I never
imagined that a body of men could endure and accomplish so much in the
face of such fearful disadvantage. At the cry of 'Fremont and the
Union,' which was raised at every charge, they dashed forward
repeatedly in perfect order, and with resistless energy. Many of my
officers, non-commissioned officers and privates, had three, or even
four horses killed under them. Many performed acts of heroism; not one
but did his whole duty."

On the 29th of October, General Fremont established his head-quarters
at Springfield. From Boonville to Springfield he had invariably marched
with the advance of his army. On the 30th, General Ashboth brought up
his division, and General Lane, on the same day, appeared with his
brigade of Kansas border men, and two hundred mounted Indians and
negroes. And on the 2d and 3d of November, General Pope brought up the
rear with his command, of which the Ninth Missouri formed a part.

Since leaving Humansville, the health of the regiment continued good.
Nearly all the men had been able to march up with the regiment. Those
who gave out on the way were given passes by the Surgeon to fall back
on the train and ride on the wagons. At this time there was but one
ambulance allowed to each regiment, and this was used principally by
the Surgeon for his own convenience, to the exclusion of the sick and
disabled.

Ambulances had been provided, to move in the rear of the regiments on a
march, and to attend them in time of battle for the purpose of
transporting those who became disabled on the march, and for hauling
the wounded from the battle field; but the Surgeons did not seem to
understand it in that light. They took it for granted that ambulances
were an especial comfort provided for themselves, and appropriated them
accordingly. Many an anxious look is cast at the lazy Doctor, riding in
the ambulance, by the sick, sore-footed soldier. Many a sick, weary and
worn-out soldier is allowed to fall by the wayside, or to climb on the
top of a loaded lumbering old army wagon, and ride with the hot sun
pouring his ardent rays upon him, until night, or until the march is
ended; while the healthy, robust Surgeon takes his ease in the closely
covered and nicely cushioned ambulance.

The Surgeon is allowed two horses for his especial use, and now his
lackey, detailed from the ranks, is riding one and leading the other
behind the ambulance. The Surgeon has ridden on horse back during the
cool of the morning, but now the heat is too oppressive and he retires
to the shade of the vehicles, leaving his fat, sleek and magnificently
caparisoned charger to be cared for by the unmanly soldier, who prefers
being a lackey to wearing the honor and manhood of the man in the
ranks.

The staff officers, and those of the line also, are allowed by
government eleven dollars per month to pay servants for attending them,
but as a general rule, they manage to get a soldier from the ranks to
do their work, at the expense of the government, and put the eleven
dollars into their own pockets. There are some men who scorn to stoop
to such trickery; but it is a notable fact, that there are many,
wearing the insignia of high official stations, who take advantage of
their oath for the pitiful sum of eleven dollars per month. And it is
also a fact, that there are men who have voluntarily taken upon
themselves an oath to serve their country as good soldiers, who
willingly allow themselves to be placed upon a footing with the veriest
colored slaves in the land. The language is not too harsh. A soldier
has been seen washing the feet and trimming the toe-nails of his
captain, and this not only once, but habitually. The appellation given
to him, and those of his calling, was "Toe-Pick."



CHAPTER VII.


On the morning of the 5th the regiment moved quarters to within a mile
of town, and pitched their tents in regular camp order. The whole
country for miles around Springfield was now filled with tents, and
soldiers were as thick as ants on an ant hill. The whole army of
Fremont was now here, and was said to number seventy-two thousand--or,
there was said to be seventy-two thousand rations issued. A more noble
looking set of men were never gathered into an army. Filled with
enthusiasm and confidence in their leader, this army could not have
been defeated by any rebel force brought against it. The men were very
anxious for a forward move toward the enemy, and rumor had it that in a
day or two the enemy would be met. But, alas! for human calculations.
No movement was at this time to be made against the foe; but, instead,
an inglorious retreat. Shame, and deathless infamy, attend the
instigators of the retrograde movement of this splendid army.

On the 2d day of November General Fremont received notice of his recall
to St. Louis to answer charges preferred against him, and of his being
superseded in his command by General Hunter. Why was this retrograde
movement to be made? Why was General Fremont removed from the command
at this most auspicious moment? "Not until the secret _political_
history of the rebellion, which unmasks hearts and exhibits motives,
shall be written, can these questions be fully answered."

As soon as the intelligence that General Fremont was superseded by
General Hunter spread through the camp, the wildest excitement
everywhere prevailed. "Officers and men organized themselves into
indignation meetings. Large numbers of officers declared their
determination to resign. Whole companies threw down their arms."

General Fremont consecrated all his personal influence, entreating the
men to remain, like true patriots, at their posts. He sent immediately
to General Hunter the intelligence of his appointment, and, without
delay, issued the following beautiful and effective appeal to the army:

    "HEAD-QUARTERS WESTERN DEP'T.,

    "SPRINGFIELD, MO., Nov. 2d, 1861.

    "SOLDIERS OF THE MISSISSIPPI ARMY:--Agreeably to orders this day
    received I take leave of you. Although our army has been of sudden
    growth, we have grown up together, and I have become familiar with
    the brave and generous spirits which you bring to the defense of
    your country, and which makes me anticipate for you a brilliant
    career. Continue as you have begun, and give to my successor the
    same cordial and enthusiastic support with which you have
    encouraged me. Emulate the splendid example which you have already
    before you, and let me remain, as I am, proud of the noble army
    which I had thus far labored to bring together. Soldiers, I regret
    to leave you. Most sincerely I thank you for the regard and
    confidence you have invariably shown to me. I deeply regret that I
    shall not have the honor to lead you to the victory which you are
    just about to win; but I shall claim to share with you in the joy
    of every triumph, and trust always to be fraternally remembered by
    my companions in arms.

    "J. C. FREMONT,

    "Major-General U.S.A."

In the evening, one hundred and ten officers, including every
brigadier-general in the army, visited General Fremont in a body. They
presented him a written address, full of sympathy and respect, and
earnestly urged him to lead them against the enemy. General Fremont
replied to the address, that, if General Hunter did not arrive before
morning, he would comply with their request. At eight o'clock in the
evening he accordingly issued the order of battle. The enemy occupied
the same ground as that which they had occupied in the battle of
Wilson's Creek. General Lyon's plan of attack was to be substantially
followed.

The rebels were to be surrounded. Generals Sigel and Lane were to
assail them in the rear, General Ashboth from the east, Generals
McKinstry and Pope in front. The attack was to be simultaneous. Every
camp was astir with the inspiriting news. Every soldier was full of
enthusiasm.

But at midnight General Hunter arrived. General Fremont informed him of
the condition of affairs, advised him of his plans, and surrendered the
command into his hands. The order for battle was forthwith
countermanded, and orders were issued to the army to prepare to turn
their backs upon the foe, and retrace their march to St. Louis. The
next morning General Fremont and his staff left the camp. As he passed
along the soldiers crowded the streets and the roadsides to witness his
departure, and, as they returned to their quarters, each one asked
himself the question: "Why has Fremont been removed?" No ground for his
removal had ever been made known. It was suggested that he was too
extravagant in the financial management of his department. But there
was no more justice in charging him with extravagance than there would
have been any other General in command of a department. "Wherever there
is carrion the vultures flock." Wherever there is an opportunity for
public plunder corrupt men greedily gather. They abounded in
Washington, in New York, in St. Louis; but no definite charges could be
made that General Fremont ever participated in any scheme to defraud
the Government. The mystery lay in the fact that General Fremont was
far in advance of the nation's representatives, either in the field or
cabinet. "He realized that the rebels were in earnest. He realized that
all attempts at pacification by timidity and concessions to traitors
were unavailing, and would but add fuel to the flame. He realized that
the only way to stop rebellion was to chastise rebels with the rod of
justice." And, realizing these things, he issued the following
proclamation, which gave great offense to the more timid officials:

    "HEAD-QUARTERS WESTERN DEP'T.

    "ST. LOUIS, MO., August 31st, 1861.

    "Circumstances, in my judgment, of sufficient urgency, render it
    necessary that the Commanding General of this Department should
    assume the administrative powers of the State. Its disorganized
    condition, the helplessness of the civil authority, the total
    insecurity of life, and the devastation of property by bands of
    murderers and marauders, who infest nearly every county in the
    State, and avail themselves of the public misfortunes and the
    vicinity of a hostile force, to gratify private and neighborhood
    vengeance, and who find an enemy wherever they find
    plunder,--finally demand the severest measures to repress the daily
    increasing crimes and outrages, which are driving off the
    inhabitants and ruining the State. In this condition, the public
    safety and the success of our armies require unity of purpose,
    without let or hindrance, to the prompt administration of affairs.

    "In order, therefore, to suppress disorder, to maintain, as far as
    now practicable, the public peace, and to give security and
    protection to the persons and property of loyal citizens, I do
    hereby extend, and declare established, martial law throughout the
    State of Missouri. The lines of the army of occupation in this
    State are, for the present, declared to extend from Leavenworth, by
    way of the posts of Jefferson City, Rolla and Ironton, to Cape
    Girardeau, on the Mississippi River. All persons who shall be taken
    with arms in their hands within these lines shall be tried by court
    martial, and, if found guilty, will be shot. The property, real and
    personal, of all persons in the State of Missouri who shall take up
    arms against the United States, and who shall be directly proven to
    have taken active part with their enemies in the field, is declared
    to be confiscated to the public use; and their slaves, if any they
    have, are hereby declared free men.

    "All persons who shall be proven to have destroyed, after the
    publication of this order, railroad tracks, bridges or telegraphs,
    shall suffer the extreme penalty of the law. All persons engaged in
    treasonable correspondence, in giving or procuring aid to the
    enemies of the United States, in fomenting tumult, in disturbing
    the public tranquility, by creating and circulating false reports
    or incendiary documents, are in their own interest warned that they
    are exposing themselves to sudden and sure punishment.

    "All persons who have been led away from their allegiance are
    required to return to their homes forthwith; any such absence
    without sufficient cause will be held to be presumptive evidence
    against them.

    "The object of this declaration is to place in the hands of the
    military authorities the power to give instantaneous effect to
    existing laws, and to supply such deficiencies as the conditions of
    war demand. But it is not intended to suspend the ordinary
    tribunals of the country, where the law will be administered by the
    civil officers in the usual manner, and with their customary
    authority, while the same can be peaceably exercised.

    "The Commanding General will labor vigilantly for the public
    welfare, and in his efforts for their safety, hopes to obtain not
    only the acquiescence but the active support of the loyal people of
    the country.

    "J. C. FREMONT,

    "Major-General Commanding."

"An out-cry from all pro-slavery _partisans_, in all parts of the
country, went up against the man who had first dared to proclaim
liberty to the slaves of rebels." A demand was made for his removal.
Fair means were not alone used for this end. The most strenuous efforts
were secretly made to undermine him in the confidence of the
Administration, and by bitter public attacks through the press to rob
him of the confidence of the people. And success attended those
efforts.

The President, whose duty it was to hold a controlling influence in the
councils of the nation, coincided with this intriguing faction against
his better judgment, and submitted to this great injustice--injustice
both to Fremont and the country. The proclamation of General Fremont
was accordingly modified, and Fremont himself deprived of his command.

On the reception of the President's letter, requesting him to modify
his proclamation, Fremont replied:

"If," said he, "your better judgment decides that I was wrong in the
article respecting the liberation of slaves, I have to ask that you
will openly direct me to make the correction. The implied censure will
be received as a soldier always should receive the reprimand of his
chief. If I were to retract of my own accord it would imply that I
myself thought it wrong, and that I had acted without the reflection
which the gravity of the point demanded. But I did not. I acted with
full deliberation, and with the certain conviction that it was a
measure right and necessary, and I think so still."

General Fremont submitted to the modification, which was to confine the
confiscation and liberation of only such slaves as had been actually
employed by the rebels in military service. If they worked the guns
they were to be free. If they only raised the cotton which enabled the
rebels to buy the guns they were not to be free, but to be returned to
their masters if they should escape to our lines in search of freedom.
But this did not satisfy those who were even more anxious to treat the
rebels with conciliation and have Fremont removed and his influence
destroyed, than to strike the rebellion with heavy blows. Let Fremont
be removed at all hazards. He was removed, and his army was recalled
from Springfield, and in less than six months another army under
General Curtis, pursuing the same plan which General Fremont had
formed, and governed by the very policy recommended in his
proclamation, marched over the same ground, under much more adverse
circumstances, and met the enemy only after a tedious pursuit of one
hundred and twenty miles farther off than the fall before.

On the morning of the 4th of November Abraham C. Coats, of Company C,
was brought into the regimental hospital in an entirely unconscious
condition. He was taken in the night with what was supposed to be a
congestive chill. Every means known to the Surgeon was resorted to to
restore him to consciousness and preserve his life, but all were
unavailing. He never spoke after being brought in, and died about noon
of the next day. A _post mortem_ examination revealed nothing to
indicate the cause of his death.

Several of the boys were taken sick while in camp here, and when the
regiment marched they were loaded into an army wagon to be transported
to wherever the regiment might be destined. One of these died in the
wagon the second night after leaving Springfield and was buried by the
roadside. The others, after eight days' torture, arrived, more dead
than alive, at Syracuse, where they remained in hospital all winter.



CHAPTER VIII.


On the morning of the 9th of November, with sad hearts and elongated
countenances, the Ninth Missouri Volunteers took up the line of march,
which they had so lately spun out in such glorious anticipations, to
wind it back to the very place from whence they had started one month
before.

The weather still continued fine, but the roads had become so awful
dusty, that suffocation threatened to be the fate of every one who
traveled them. There had been no rain since leaving Boonville. Water
was becoming scarce, excepting in the larger streams; although Missouri
is usually abundantly supplied with that refreshing element. Abundant
crystal streams of purest water; springs bubbling from many a creviced
rock and wells of unfailing depths, are met with every where in
southern Missouri.

The regiment followed its old line of march, until after crossing the
Osage, when it took the most direct road to Otterville. From Otterville
it continued down the railroad to Syracuse, where it arrived on the
17th of November, having marched from Springfield in eight days,
without rest. In its devious course from Boonville to Springfield, and
from Springfield to Syracuse, the regiment had marched over three
hundred miles.

On arriving at Syracuse, it bivouacked on a common in town, in
anticipation of taking the cars in a day or two for St. Louis. Rumor
had it, that the troops were all going to St. Louis, either to go into
winter quarters or to be sent South. No one thought of wintering at
Syracuse.

There was no enemy within one hundred and fifty miles of this place,
and a necessity for stopping here did not exist. Yet, in this vicinity
were they destined to lay in idleness for three long months.

As the regiment passed Warsaw, on its return, some of the boys, who had
learned the working of the wires on their previous visit, again slipped
from the ranks and succeeded in getting their canteens filled with the
ardent. Two of these, on coming into camp just in the dusk of the
evening, caused quite a sensation. They had been "hale fellows well
met," until whisky had got advantage of their better judgment, when
they agreed to disagree, and the one using the breech of his gun, as
the strongest argument he could think of, knocked the other over the
head with so severe a blow as to cause insensibility. A crowd was soon
collected, and the belligerent one was placed under guard, while the
defunct was hurried to the hospital, to be placed in hands of the
Surgeon. On examination, the Surgeon discovered something of a cut on
the scalp, which was bleeding pretty freely; and having a little too
much of the ardent in his own hat to see single, he pronounced the man
mortally wounded, with a fractured skull.

After having the bruise dressed, the Surgeon retired to his own
quarters, leaving the impression that the man would not live through
the night; in fact he gave it as his opinion, that he was in _articuls
mortis_ at this moment.

The commander of the regiment placed the one who gave the death-blow,
under double guard, binding his hands and feet so as there should be no
possibility of escape. By and by all retired to their quarters, and
none, except the guard and the watchers by the side of the dying man,
were awake in camp. The man lay very quiet until about eleven o'clock,
when he was observed to draw a very heavy and prolonged inspiration.
Soon another followed, and his eyes opened. For a moment they wandered
restlessly over the tent, and then he sprung to his feet.

"Well! where the hell am I? What does this mean? Say, what is the
meaning of this? Is this the hospital? How is it that I am here? I'm
not sick. There is nothing the matter with me; where is my quarters,
say, I am not going to stay here, that's certain!" and off he started
like a quarter horse for his company.

The mystery was, that he was very much intoxicated when he was hit, and
the blow only set him into a most profound drunken slumber. Early the
next morning the Colonel released the prisoner, and the Surgeon passed
the joke in good spirits, although his reputation in prognosis was
somewhat impaired by the incident.



CHAPTER IX.


On the arrival of the regiment at Syracuse it was discovered that about
fifty of the men were on the sick list. Some were quite sick from the
effects of the continued jolting they had suffered in the wagons, while
others were only worn down by hard marching.

The Surgeon immediately took possession of the Planter House, a
deserted hotel in town, and established his hospital in it. Straw was
procured, and the men were as comfortably placed upon it over the floor
as circumstances would admit.

On the morning of the 18th the regiment was moved out two miles from
town, and went into regular camp.

As the men were marching through the town the rain descended in
torrents, wetting them thoroughly. This was the first rain seen since
leaving Boonville, and was received in high glee.

Visions of St. Louis now began to grow dim in the eyes of some of the
men, although many still believed that they were only waiting
transportation. The Surgeon delayed, from day to day, making any
provisions for the comfort of the sick, expecting orders to ship them
for St. Louis. But orders never came, and it became a fixed fact that
the regiment was to winter here.

Newspapers were brought to Syracuse daily, and something of what was
going on in the world could be learned from them. During the last month
a newspaper had not been seen in the regiment. Some of the officers
would occasionally get a paper, but the soldiers never. From these it
was ascertained that the war was still progressing, and that the
rebellion was assuming a magnitude of unexpected dimensions.

Many of the soldiers were led to believe, by their withdrawal from
Springfield, that their services would not much longer be required in
the field, and that they would soon be allowed to go home, but on
reading the papers they lay aside all such pleasing ideas.

The weather was now becoming quite cool, and tents were more carefully
pitched than usual--ditches were dug, and embankments thrown up, to
keep the cold winds from blowing in under them. Good warm blankets were
issued, and a new suit of clothing provided, so that, so far as
possible, suffering might be prevented. Plenty of wood was provided,
and on cold days large fires were burning in front of every tent. At
night pans of living coals were taken into the tents as substitutes for
stoves. Thus they managed to keep quite comfortable. Army rations were
in abundance, and the citizens were liberal in their supply of cakes,
pies and apples, at a moderate compensation, and sometimes without any
pay whatever. Occasionally one would come into camp more greedy of gain
than his neighbor, or, perhaps, tinctured a little with secession
proclivities; in such cases "confiscation" was the word, and his load
would soon disappear, without his being any the richer.

The sick men, who were left at Boonville under the care of Doctor
Maynard, now joined the regiment. Without an exception, the kind care
and judicious treatment of this excellent Surgeon had restored all to
good health, and they joined the regiment in good spirits, and were
welcomed most cordially by their comrades.

About the 10th of December the regiment broke camp here and moved out
to the bottoms of the Lamoine river. The object of the move was the
erection of fortifications for the defense of the railroad bridge
across the Lamoine. Their camp was selected on some swamp-bottom lands
on the left bank of the river. The boys were immediately set to work
cutting the trees and cleaning off the grounds, while details were sent
off to work on the fortifications on the opposite bank of the river.

On the morning of the 14th marching orders were issued for the next
day, and on the 15th, through a heavy snow storm, they marched to
Sedalia, twenty-five miles distant. The roads were bad, and the
marching very heavy, yet most of the men came into camp with the
regiment. They were marched out for the purpose of cutting off recruits
and a large supply train going to Price's army. When they arrived at
Sedalia the work was being accomplished by another portion of the
Division. A part of Davis' Division had taken another route, and had
succeeded in overtaking and capturing some seventy wagons and one
thousand one hundred prisoners, among whom was the son of the old
General. The Ninth Missouri consequently had nothing to do but march
back to its camp on the Lamoine. This it was two days in accomplishing.
Thus marching fifty miles in three days. Thus making in all, since
leaving Boonville, fully four hundred miles. Here the regiment remained
until the 25th of January, 1862.

When the regiment removed from Syracuse to the Lamoine, the Surgeon,
Doctor Hazlett, went with them, leaving sixty sick men at Syracuse in
charge of the Hospital Steward, without having made any preparations
yet for their comfort. The building was very well calculated for an
hospital, but needed renovating very badly, and should have had bunks
built for the patients to lay on; but nothing of the kind had been
attended to; and now, to attend to the wants of sixty sick men, only
one nurse, one cook and the Steward, were to be had. Many of the men
were desperately sick, and should have had better care taken of them;
but, fortunately, only two cases proved fatal after the Surgeon
left--Henry Rue, of Company F, on the 1st day of January, 1862, and
John Rule, of Company D, on the 28th of the same month. Two also died
while the Surgeon was in attendance--Boston Cherrington, of Company A,
and McClenning, of Company E. At the Lamoine, Phillip Shindola, of
Company B, James Edwards, Company C, George W. Lewis and William St.
George, Company B, and William S. Gore, Company F, were taken sick, and
died in January, 1862.

The living at the Hospital consisted of beef, pilot-bread, sugar and
coffee or tea.

There was an hospital fund of money, accumulated by the commutation of
rations belonging to sick men; but, as with the ambulances, the
Surgeons are sometimes dishonest enough to appropriate this fund to
their own use. The cooking facilities about the hospital consisted in a
camp-kettle, (holding about five gallons,) for coffee or tea, and one
of the same size for boiling beef, and a log fire out of doors. With
these facilities the cook prepared the rations for sixty sick soldiers
for over two months, rain, snow or shine, as the case might be.

The manner of feeding the patients was thus: The kettle of coffee and
soup is brought into the center of the room where the sick are, and
tin-cups are filled and handed round, and a "shingle" (pilot cracker)
is handed at the same time, with a piece of boiled beef on it. If the
patient has had money he has perhaps provided himself with a biscuit or
piece of light bread, purchased of some citizen. The men set around
over the floor on their straw pallets, and eat, some swearing at the
coffee, and some cursing the soup, and all making some remark or other
about the fare. One, for instance, would like some potatoes or chicken
soup; one some bread and milk, one some corn bread, and another would
fancy mush and milk. Sometimes these things could be procured by paying
their own money for them, and thus there would be a feast. Poor
fellows! They deserve better things than these, but it is impossible
for the Steward and attendants to provide anything more suitable. May
God forgive those who should look after these things for neglecting
their duty, or for being dishonest.

The soldier in camp lives very similar to this: Messes are formed from
the occupants of one tent, perhaps numbering four or five, or more; the
rations are drawn, and all cooked in the same vessels. A small
camp-kettle supplies them with coffee, and a larger one with boiled
beef, bean-soup, etc. Then, with tin-cups, tin-plates, knives and
forks, they pitch in, each one helping himself until he is satisfied.
While eating he either stands or sits on the ground, as he may elect.
Thus they live day after day and month after month and no variety
unless they buy and pay for it them selves. Many of them _do_ spend all
their wages in buying something to eat. It is amusing to look through
the streets of Syracuse, and see the soldiers buying the _luxuries_
that the farmers' wives bring to town to sell. Here are several wagons,
surrounded by soldiers, buying and trying to buy, sausage meat, fresh
pork, chickens, butter, eggs, pies, cakes, corn-bread, milk, apples,
etc. The argus eyes of the ladies are kept busy, or else they make
small profits. While many are honestly paying for what they get, others
are playing confiscation, and dishonestly getting what they do not pay
for. Pies and cakes are in great demand; and such pies! The pie-crust
is made by wetting some flour with water until it becomes pasty, some
sour apples are then wrapped up in it, and it is then dried in a
moderately heated oven. When it is sufficiently done it can't be
broken, but must be twisted asunder and swallowed in mass; yet the
soldiers pay a quarter for such pies, and consider them a luxury.

The first case of bushwhacking known to the regiment occurred at
Syracuse. A boy belonging to the Eighth Indiana Regiment was on his way
to join his regiment, and stopping at the hospital to ascertain where
he would find it, was induced to stay a day or two before going
farther. The day following he walked out into the brush, about one
hundred yards from the hospital, and was shot down by some unseen hand.
The report of the gun was heard at the hospital, and in a few moments
the body was found, laying on the snow, in a dying condition. There was
an inch or two of snow on the ground, and it was thought the murderer
might be found by his foot-prints in the snow. Several of the boys from
the hospital started immediately in pursuit. The afternoon was spent in
following foot marks through the woods, but nothing definite was ever
learned of who committed the murder. One of the scouts reported on his
return that "the scoundrel would never shoot another soldier,"
intimating that he had overtaken and shot the bushwhacker; but credit
was not given to his story.

Toward the latter part of January, 1862, a post hospital was
established at Otterville, near the Lamoine, and Dr. Hazlett, Surgeon
of the Ninth Missouri, was appointed Post Surgeon. Dr. Maynard, in
consequence, was relieved at Boonville, and, greatly to the
satisfaction of the boys, took charge of the regiment. The Regimental
Hospital Steward being yet at Syracuse, Dr. Maynard requested the
Colonel of the regiment to order him to report to him for duty, as his
presence was more needed at the regiment than at the hospital. The
patients at Syracuse were about being removed to Otterville.

From this request of Doctor Maynard resulted a decision which may be of
importance to many hospital stewards in the army. Many young men
receive the appointment of hospital steward without knowing or
inquiring to whom they are responsible for their good conduct, or whose
orders they are in duty bound to obey. Hence they are imposed upon by
the surgeons, and are made nothing less than menials for those vampires
of the Government. On the request of Doctor Maynard, Lieutenant-Colonel
Frederick, commanding the regiment, issued the order desired. On the
same day Doctor Hazlett, Surgeon of the regiment, issued a similar
order for the Steward to report to him at Otterville for duty. The
decision in the case was, that "the Steward was subject only to the
orders of the commanding officer of the regiment." This decision has
since been confirmed. A hospital steward is not a surgeon's orderly.

Rumor now prevailed that the regiment would leave the Lamoine in a
short time, and outside movements tended very much toward confirming
the rumor. The sick were all ordered to Otterville; the hospital stores
were inspected and reported, and any deficiency in the supply was
ordered to be filled. There was, however, no want of hospital supplies
at this time, thanks to the ladies of Wisconsin.

A delegation from those charitable ladies had, but a few days before,
visited the army, with a large quantity of comforts, quilts, drawers,
shirts, handkerchiefs, and magazines and newspapers, which they
distributed to hospitals at the towns, and to the regiments, with
liberal hands. God will abundantly bless the ladies of Wisconsin. When
they have forgotten that their hands had prepared these inestimable
presents for the soldier, his prayers will be ascending in their
behalf. The death-bed of the soldier is made comfortable by the
thoughtful liberality of these kind friends, and their hearts go out in
thankful praises and gratitude to the fair donors.



CHAPTER X.


Orders were received by the regiment, on the morning of the 23d, to be
ready to march at 8 o'clock, on the morning of the 25th, with three
days rations in the haversack of each soldier.

The morning of the 25th of January, 1862, made its appearance, clear
and cold, and found the regiment in marching trim. Some of the boys
would have preferred waiting a day or two, as they were expecting a
large supply of good things, from home. Some companies had already
received their boxes of pies, cakes, turkeys, butter and etceteras; but
one or two other companies had failed to receive theirs, and were
looking for them by every train. Letters had informed them of their
being on the way, and the boys were starving to have them arrive; but
there was no help for it, they must march and leave their 'goodies' for
some one else to devour. It was too bad to so disappoint the kind good
friends at home, and still worse to be so disappointed themselves.
There was no use of lamentations. At 8 o'clock the bugle sounded to
fall in, and the troops moved out. The direction taken, was down the
railroad, towards Syracuse; but before night, Syracuse was left in the
rear, and Tipton, a small town six miles farther east, was approached.
Here the regiment went into camp for the night. Early the next morning,
the regiment crossed the railroad, and moved in a southerly direction,
leaving all hopes of going to St. Louis, at Tipton. While on this day's
march, an amusing incident occurred, showing conclusively in which
direction the feelings of the soldier inclines.

One Moore, a citizen of Syracuse, with his overseer, came riding along
by the regiments, in search of one of his slaves. The negro had
disappeared from Syracuse, the day before, and old Moore had rightly
suspected that he had joined the army. The Ninth Missouri, happened to
be the regiment he was with. On discovering the boy, old Moore rode up
to him, and ordered that he mount behind the overseer and ride back to
town. The soldiers soon crowded around between the negro and his
master, and ordered the latter to leave. The old gentleman did not
incline to do so, without taking his negro with him. But the threats
and threatening attitude of some of the boys, gave him to understand
that he was not safe in remaining, and concluding that discretion was
the better part of valor, he began an inglorious retreat, which at
first was slow and reluctant; but as missiles of different kinds began
to increase in thickness, his own speed increased accordingly, until
him and his man Friday, disappeared under a sharp run of their horses.
Nothing more was ever heard of old Moore, but his negro continued a
good servant in the regiment, for more than a year.

The march was now continued through a very wild and broken region of
country, with very bad roads and stormy weather, until the 2d day of
February, when the Osage river was again to be crossed.

The regiment went into camp, on the left bank of the Osage, on the
afternoon of the 2d, during a heavy snow storm. The weather had been
stormy, ever since leaving Syracuse, and here it culminated in a cold
driving snow storm. No one who has not experienced the trial, can
imagine how disagreeable it is to go into camp under such circumstances
as now surrounded the army. Rainy weather can be endured, and even
enjoyed, as was proven on this march; but cold snowy weather is very
trying to the nerves.

One evening the regiment went into camp, on a low piece of meadow land,
near the Gravoi creek, after marching in the rain all day. They were
wet, muddy and hungry. Orders had been issued to burn no rails on this
march, under severe penalties. But here there was no other wood
convenient, and the question with the boys was, how are we to make
coffee? Twilight was consumed in trying to find something to start a
fire with, but without success. As soon as darkness became visible, the
rails began to move from the fence enclosing the meadow, and in half an
hour thereafter, most genial and glowing fires were burning in all
directions. Owing to bad roads, the camp equipage did not come up till
towards morning, consequently there was no tents to pitch, and the
entire night was spent by many of the boys, in dancing and whooping
around the fires, in seemingly the most perfect enjoyment, although it
rained in torrents. The next morning disclosed the fact that the meadow
was all out-doors.

The question now arose, "how is the river to be crossed?"

"Look yonder," says a boy pointing down the river. "Yonder's a
steamboat."

A steamboat on the Osage river! This was a surprise, no one had thought
of crossing the river on a steamboat, but it seems that small boats had
occasionally made their trips up to this point, and now one was here
expressly to assist in crossing the army. She was just getting up
steam, and pretty soon the troops commenced crossing. While the troops
were crossing on the boat, the trains and artillery were crossing on a
military bridge, constructed for the purpose. By noon of the 4th, the
whole command was in camp, on the right bank of the river.

The troops lay here on the 5th to rest. The town, at the mouth of Sinn
creek, is mostly deserted, the citizens being mostly rebels. The
wealthiest and most respected one among them, is a Union man, and has
given his money and influence freely, in support of the Government. A
few weeks ago, he had a very large store here, and was doing an
extensive business, but a squad of rebel Jayhawkers, visited him, and
nearly robbed his store of all its goods. A remnant only was left.
These were purchased by 'our' boys, now, at their own price, which was
not at a great profit to the owner. The owner is now absent, and our
boys do their own clerking. Hats, caps, tobacco, and cigars, seem to be
most ready sale. Here the boys also procured some excellent
cherry-bounce, on which they had a real jollification.

On the 6th, the line of march was taken up, and continued towards
Lebanon, where the regiment arrived on the evening of the 7th. These
were two days heavy marching, making fourteen miles on the 6th, and
sixteen miles on the 7th, on very hilly and muddy roads. It is called
seventy-five miles from here to Syracuse; but in coming, the regiment
had marched some days twelve miles, and were at night, only five miles
from the place of starting. Thus making at least, eighty-five miles in
ten days marching, through the most inclement weather, and over the
worst possible roads.

The regiment went into camp, a few miles west of Lebanon, and lay by on
the 8th and 9th, to await the arrival of more troops.

While laying here, John Baker, of Company F, died, and was buried in
the grave yard at Lebanon.

The 9th, is the Sabbath day--a day appointed and established among
christians for public worship, and as a day of rest from labor; but
among the 5,000 men that are here, very few are aware that it is
Sunday, or a day of rest.

The fife and drums are playing and beating as lively, as on any week
day, and the men are as busy drilling as they were through the week
days, in regular camp. It is the first sunny day for two weeks, and
hence the lively appearance of camp. A brass band is discoursing sweet
music, over towards Lebanon, which can be heard very distinctly by the
Ninth, and some of the boys are enjoying its melody, instead of
participating in the hilarity of those around them.

A sham battle is to be fought this afternoon, in anticipation of a real
one, which is expected to be had with the enemy, in a few days. Price
is reported to be fortifying himself, seventeen miles this side of
Springfield, which is about thirty miles from here. The battle has been
decided, and now preparations are being made for an early march in the
morning.

While laying here, a gentleman and lady, of African descent, who had
been with the regiment since leaving St. Louis, concluded that they
would retire from the army, to the shades of private life. The man had
gained the confidence of the boys, and on leaving, they placed in his
hands a considerable sum of money, to be given to their friends at
home. One man gave him a good horse, to take for him, to St. Louis. He
departed, and so the money and horse departed with him, and neither was
ever heard of afterwards. The temptation was too great for a negro's
cupidity.



CHAPTER XI.


On the morning of the 10th, the army was again on the move, the Ninth
Missouri bringing up the rear of Jeff. C. Davis' division. The roads
were very bad, but the weather was favorable, and the country more
level than from Syracuse here. The sick and much extra baggage was left
at Lebanon, to be brought up at a more convenient season.

It was now anticipated that the enemy would be attempting to impede the
advance of our army, but no indications of their presence was
discovered until the evening of the 12th. About one o'clock, of the
12th, General Sigel's column, which was advancing on another road, some
half mile to our left, came upon their out-posts pickets, and a sharp
skirmish ensued. As soon, however, as a piece of artillery could be
brought to bear upon them, they fled in confusion, leaving the road
undisputed. This was the first firing of artillery the Ninth Missouri
had ever heard, and it caused a general excitement. The army halted
about four o'clock, in a good position, and several companies from the
different regiments were sent out through the woods as skirmishers.
Companies F and A of the Ninth, was ordered to scout the woods for a
mile or two in front. They were very proud of the distinction, and
elicited the envy of the other companies. With erect and martial step,
those two companies--the one, (Company F,) commanded by Captain Kelly;
the other, (Company A,) by Captain Hale--filed off into the woods in
search of the hidden foe. The boys in camp listened anxiously for the
report of fire arms, and soon, in the distance, several volleys of
musketry announced that the enemy had been found.

On the return of our skirmishers in the morning, they reported, that
before they had advanced over half a mile, they heard firing in their
front, and that Major Black, commanding the skirmishers, ordered an
advance on double quick. The underbrush was thick and intensely dark,
but by strenuous efforts the men succeeded in reaching an open space
and getting into line of battle, just as the rebels began to disappear
in an inglorious retreat. Some five hundred rebels had made a vigorous
attack upon our cavalry pickets, (First Missouri,) but had been
handsomely repulsed, with a loss of five killed and thirteen wounded,
before the infantry could come up.

Before going out, many of the boys took the precaution to leave their
money and valuables in the hands of their friends, so that if they
should be killed or captured, their effects would be safe.

Early on the morning of the 13th, the army was again in motion.
Springfield was now only seventeen miles distant, and no fortifications
were yet discovered. Price is now known to be at Springfield, and he
must either fight or run within the next forty-eight hours.

The army proceeded to within five miles of Springfield without any
indications of the enemy; but now coming to an open country the troops
were halted, and a long line of battle was formed across a very large
piece of meadow land. The line was formed in front of some heavy timber
skirting the meadow, and the supposition was that the enemy was posted
in the timber, ready for battle. The troops marched into line on double
quick, and in splendid style. The Ninth Missouri, led by its noble
commander, Lieut. Colonel C. H. Frederick, now had an opportunity of
displaying its proficiency in rapidity of action, and fell into line
with the precision of veterans. Very soon the whole line was formed,
and the men standing on their arms awaiting further orders. General
Curtis and staff now rode along the line, with the announcement that
Springfield was in our possession. Price had evacuated without a fight.
The news was received with a shout and the tossing of hats in the air,
mingled with curses and maledictions. Although it was pleasing news,
yet the disappointment in not getting satisfaction out of the infernal
scoundrels, was great among the troops. The line of battle was now
broken and the troops again formed into marching order. And now
commenced the most wonderful retreat and pursuit of two opposing
armies, that the world had ever witnessed.

Price commenced the evacuation of Springfield on the 12th, and in four
hours after the rear of his army had left the town, our advance was
passing through in pursuit. It was said by the rebel sympathizers in
town, that Price would make a stand at Wilson's Creek, ten miles below
town; that he had twenty thousand fighting men, and would drive Curtis
as he had General Lyon the summer before. It was more than probable
that the rebel army numbered at least that many, if not more. Price had
returned from Lexington to Springfield, on the 23d of December, 1861,
with his whole army, and had been using all his energies to recruit and
fill up his army until now. "He began to raise fifty thousand men for
the Southern Confederacy, the object of which was to secure him the
commission of Major General in the Southern Confederacy. He soon
accomplished his object.

The men are sworn into the service for twelve months. Several regiments
of the State Guard were soon broken up; they went into it very readily,
because they were made to believe that as soon as Price was promoted,
he would have power to order troops from any of the Southern States,
and that they would soon make a clean thing of it in Missouri, and also
invade Kansas and leave it as the Lord made it, without a house to
shelter Jayhawkers. These men felt confident that they would soon be
let loose to accomplish this glorious work, and were highly delighted
with the idea, but the poor fellows were badly fooled. General Curtis
and his brave boys were now rather interfering with their glorious
anticipations.

The army made no delay in passing through town, but marched about three
miles beyond, before going into camp. Camp was pitched on a large farm
belonging to an old rebel, and his effects had now fallen into
unsparing hands. The old gentleman had left a large, fine house, large
barn and good log stable on his premises. The log stable was designed
and worked up into quite a strong fort for the protection of the house
and barn. Heavy timbers and earth were so thrown together as to be a
perfect defence against musket balls, and port holes were opened for
the use of the besieged. But they dare not use it at this time, and our
boys soon made it untenable in the future. Soon after dark the house
and barn afforded plenty of light to see to go to bed by, all over
camp. Every thing about the premises was destroyed. The next morning
ashes and embers alone marked the spot where the house and barn stood;
and posts and bottom rails indicated where fences had been.

On the 14th the march was continued to Wilson's Creek, for dinner, and
several miles beyond for camp. Wilson's Creek is the scene of General
Lyon's defeat and death, and the writer can do no better than
transcribe, from Abbott's History of the Civil War in America, an
account of the whole affair:

Wilson's Creek is a tributary of White River. From the village of
Springfield, there is one road leading to Fayetteville, Arkansas,
running in a south-westerly direction. Another road pursuing a course
nearly due west, conducts to Mount Vernon. Along the banks of Wilson's
Creek there is a cross road, which connects the Fayetteville and the
Mount Vernon roads. The valley of this creek is about twenty rods in
width, bounded by gentle sloping hills, which are covered with scrub
oaks a few feet high, except where the land is in cultivation. Upon
this cross road about three miles in length, equally accessible from
Springfield by either of the roads we have mentioned, the rebel camp
was situated.

Concealed by the shades of evening, on the 9th of August, General Lyon,
with floating banners, but silent bands, emerged from the streets of
Springfield, to attack by surprise, if possible, the foe, outnumbering
him nearly three to one. His force was divided; one part under his own
command, moved along the Mount Vernon road, to attack the enemy in
front, while the other part, under the intrepid Colonel Sigel, with six
pieces of artillery, two companies of cavalry, and several regiments of
infantry, took the Fayetteville road, with instructions to attack the
rebels in the rear. Precautions were taken, to render the surprise as
complete as possible, and it was hoped that the rebels, distracted by
the presence of an enemy, thus unexpectedly assailing them on both
sides, and taken by surprise, might be effectually put to flight. It is
proper to add, that the term of service of the Fifth Regiment of
Missouri Volunteers, had expired; that Colonel Sigel, had gone to them,
company by company, and by his personal influence, had induced them to
re-enlist for eight days; that this re-enlistment expired on the 9th,
the day before the battle; that many of the officers had gone home, and
that a considerable part of Sigel's force, was composed of raw
recruits.

The morning of the 10th of August, was just beginning to dawn, when
Colonel Sigel cautiously arrived within a mile of the rebel camp. So
quietly did he advance, that some forty of the rebels going from their
camp to get water and provisions, were taken prisoners without being
able to give their commanders any warning of their danger. Silently the
Union troops ascended the hills, which bordered the creek, and there
beheld spread out before them, the tents of the foe. The rebels were at
their breakfast. Colonel Sigel bringing his artillery into position,
with a well directed shot into the midst of their encampment, gave the
rebels the first intimation of his presence. They were thrown into
utter disorder, by the suddenness of the surprise, and retreated in
confusion down the valley. The infantry pursued, and quickly formed in
the camp, so lately occupied by the rebels. The rebels, however,
recovering from the first panic, were almost as quickly formed into
line of battle, and Colonel Sigel found his little force opposed by
one, three thousand strong. The artillerymen moved down into the
valley, to co-operate with the infantry, and after a short fight, the
enemy retired in some confusion. Meanwhile, the sound of heavy firing
from the other end of the valley, was distinctly heard, and it was
evident that Lyon was there, engaging the enemy in force. In order to
aid Lyon, Colonel Sigel pressed forward his columns up the valley,
selecting a position to cut off any attempted retreat of the enemy. He
had already succeeded in taking over one hundred prisoners, when by a
natural, but unfortunate mistake, his well-laid plans were overturned,
and he was compelled to retreat. The firing in the north-west had
ceased. He presumed that Lyon had been successful, and that his troops
were in pursuit of the enemy. This was confirmed by the appearance to
the east of him, of large bodies of rebels, apparently retreating to
the south. Of course there could be no communications between him and
Lyon, as the rebel force was directly between them. At this juncture,
word was brought to Colonel Sigel, that Lyon's forces were advancing
triumphantly up the road. His troops were told not to fire upon them,
and with exultant hearts, they waved their flags, to those whom they
supposed to be their victorious comrades.

Suddenly from the advancing troops, there burst upon Sigel's little
band, a point-blank destructive fire, which covered the ground with the
dying and the dead. At the same moment, from the adjoining hills, where
they had supposed that Lyon's victorious troops were pursuing the
enemy, there came plunging down upon them shot and shell, from a rebel
battery. The Unionists were thrown into utter confusion, for they still
believed that the volleys which swept their ranks, came from their
friends. The gloom of the morning, and the absence of all uniform,
prevented the prompt detection of the error. The cry ran from mouth to
mouth, "our friends are firing upon us." The soldiers could not be
dissuaded from this belief, until many had fallen. Nearly all the
artillery horses were shot down at their guns, and death was sweeping
the ranks. Most of these young patriots, had recently came from their
peaceful homes, and had never before heard the spiteful whistle of a
hostile bullet. It is not strange that a panic should have ensued.
Under these circumstances, it might have been expected in the best
drilled army. Five cannon were abandoned in the disorderly retreat. The
foe, exultant and with hideous yells, came rushing on. Colonel Sigel
himself, in his efforts to arrest the rout, narrowly escaped capture.
With anguish, he afterwards summed up, that, out of his heroic little
band, he had lost, in dead, wounded and missing, eight hundred and
ninety-two. Some popular complaints have been uttered against Colonel
Sigel, for not having afterwards, with the remnant of his forces,
formed a junction with General Lyon. But this was not possible. There
were but two roads, by which he could gain access to Lyon's position,
at the other end of the valley. One was the long circuitous route of
twenty miles, by the way of Springfield. The other, was the valley
road, then in full possession of the exultant rebel army. There was,
therefore, nothing for Colonel Sigel to do, but to withdraw his
shattered and bleeding ranks as safely as possible, from the field.

General Lyon, meanwhile, having left Springfield at about the same
time, with Colonel Sigel, arrived at one o'clock in the morning, in
view of the enemy's campfires. Here his column lay, on its arms, till
daylight, when it moved forward. The enemy had pickets thrown out at
this point, and their surprise, was therefore, less complete than it
had been in the rear. By the time Lyon reached the northern end of the
camp, he found the enemy prepared to receive him. He succeeded,
however, after a brief struggle, in gaining a commanding eminence at
the north of the valley, in which the camp was situated. Captain
Plummer, with four companies of infantry, protected his left flank. The
battle was now commenced, by a fire of shot and shell from Captain
Totten's battery, and soon became general. In vain did the rebel host
endeavor to drive Lyon from his well chosen position.

On the right, on the left, and in front, they assailed him, in charge
succeeding charge, but in vain. His quick eye detected every movement,
and successfully met and defeated it. The overwhelming number of the
rebels, enabled them to replace, after each repulse, their defeated
forces with fresh regiments, while Lyon's little band found no time for
rest, no respite from the battle. The rebel host, surged wave after
wave upon his heroic lines, as billows of the sea dash upon the coast.
And as the rocks upon the coast beat back the flood, so did these
heroic soldiers of freedom, with courage which would have ennobled
veterans, and with patriotism which has won a nation's homage and love,
hurl back the tireless surges of rebellion, which threatened to engulf
them. It will be enough for any of these patriots to say. "I was at the
battle of Wilson's Creek," to secure the warmest grasp of every
patriot's hand.

Wherever the missiles of death flew thickest, and the peril of the
battle was most imminent, there was General Lyon surely to be found.
His young troops needed this encouragement on the part of their adored
leader, and it inspired them with bravery, which nothing else could
have conferred. His horse had been shot under him; three times he had
been wounded, and, though faint from the loss of blood, he refused to
retire even to have his wounds dressed; in vain did his officers
beseech him to avoid so much exposure. It was one of those eventful
hours, which Gen. Lyon fully comprehended, in which there was no hope
but in despair. Again and again had the enemy been repulsed, only to
return again and again with fresh troops, to the charge. Colonels
Mitchell, Deitzler and Andrews, were all severely wounded. All the men
were exhausted with the long and unintermitted battle, and it seemed as
though one puff of war's fierce tempest would now sweep away the thin
and tremulous line. Just then the rebels again formed in a fresh and
solid column for the charge. With firm and rapid tread, and raising
unearthly yells, they swept up the slope. General Lyon called for the
troops standing nearest him to form for an opposing charge. Undaunted,
and ready for the battle as ever, they inquired: "Who will be our
leader?" "Come on, brave men," shouted Gen. Lyon, "I will lead you." In
a moment he was at their head. At the next moment they were on the full
run; at the next a deadly storm of bullets swept their ranks,
staggering, but not checking them in their impetuous advance; on, on
they rushed for God and liberty, and in another moment the foe were
dispersed like dust by the gale. The victory was entire. This division
of the rebels could rally no more. The army was saved; _but Lyon was
dead_! Two bullets had pierced his bosom. As he fell, one of his
officers sprang to his side, and inquired anxiously: "Are you hurt?"
"Not much," was his faint reply. They were his last words. He fell
asleep, to wake no more. O! hateful pro-slavery rebellion! Such are the
victims immolated upon thy polluted shrine. Indignation is blended with
the tears we shed over such sacrifices, which we have been compelled to
offer to the demon of slavery. A nation mourned the loss of Lyon, the
true Christian knight, without fear and without reproach. His remains
now repose in the peaceful graveyard of his native village.

While passing this battle ground the soldiers picked up many human
skulls and bones, which were scatted upon the earth, in the places,
perhaps, where the soldiers to whom they belonged had fallen.

On Friday evening, (the 16th,) after twenty-four hours' retreat from
Springfield, the rebel army was encamped on Crane Creek, twenty-nine
miles distant. The Federal army was five miles in the rear, preparing
to make an early start in pursuit next day. Price had placed his train
in his advance. About one hundred wagons contained supplies, which were
brought into Springfield from Forsyth only a few hours before the
retreat was ordered. He will have some advantage among the hills, and
the rebel sympathizers here claim that he will be reinforced by twelve
or fifteen regiments from Bentonville, under General Van Dorn. On
Friday afternoon four officers and thirteen privates were captured by
our forces and sent to Springfield. They were captured near the rebel
outposts by a squad of the First Missouri Cavalry. They were looking up
mules, and got into our advance, supposing they were rebel pickets. The
same evening Lieutenant Bushnell advanced on the rebel pickets with his
mountain howitzer, and threw four shells, scattering them like sheep.

About six o'clock the army halted near Dug Springs, and prepared to
bivouac for the night; but, before the preparations were completed,
orders came to push forward. A messenger had announced that our cavalry
was close upon the enemy, and desired that the infantry be sent forward
in support. Hunger, fatigue, and all, were forgotten. Onward was the
word, until twelve o'clock at night. The division of General Davis was
in the advance, with the cavalry of Colonel Ellis and Major McConnell.
The enemy had halted on Crane Creek, and, had not the night been so
terribly dark, it is more than likely General Curtis would have
attacked him immediately, but he was fearful of being drawn into an
ambuscade. The troops lay on their arms awaiting the break of day.

At an early hour February 15th, the column moved forward, but during
the night Price had again fled, leaving a large portion of his camp
equipage, and a number of wagons. During that day the chase was very
exciting, there being constant skirmishing between our advance and his
rear guard. The road was strewn with broken wagons, dead and dying
mules and horses, and every conceivable kind of goods. At four o'clock
in the afternoon the booming of cannon notified us that Price had made
a stand. The Dubuque battery was pushed forward, and for an hour we had
a fine artillery fight. By the time our infantry got up the enemy had
precipitately fled. On the 16th instant we pushed on, finding many
evidences of the hasty flight in that day's march. During the afternoon
our cavalry again overtook the rebels at Cross Timbers, and here was
made a gallant charge by Colonel Harry Pease and forty men. Coming on
the enemy's picket, they drove it in, dashing at once in the very midst
of his camp. One of our men, a lieutenant of cavalry, was wounded, and
five or six horses killed. The enemy's loss was much greater. The
charge was really one of the most brilliant things that occurred on the
route. On the 17th instant we had several skirmishes, and at last
discovered the enemy in position on the south side of Sugar Creek.
Taking it altogether the flight of Price, and our pursuit, will form
one of the most interesting passages in the history of the war.

The valley through which Sugar Creek pursues its meandering course is
nearly half a mile in width at Trott's Store. From the brows of the
opposite ridges the distance is somewhat more, as the road winds.
Skirmishing between the pickets of the two armies occurred during the
morning, when Price moved out of sight beyond the brow of the
south-western hills. His army, as was since ascertained, then formed in
two lines on both sides of the road, and two Louisiana regiments, under
command of Colonel Louis Herbert, which had arrived from Cross Hollows
to reinforce Price, marched with their batteries, determined to give us
a warm reception. Two of the enemy's cannon were planted on the brow of
the hill, overlooking Sugar Creek, and their pieces were also ranged
along the road, about two hundred yards apart, for half a mile or more.
These pieces had prolongs attached, indicating that a running fight was
intended in case of pursuit. In the meantime our cavalry formed on the
opposite side of the valley, and marched across the creek to a point
near Trott's Store, and halted. The enemy then opened fire from their
batteries. One shot fell short, and a shell exploded over the heads of
our men stationed on the opposite hill, doing no damage. Captain
Hardin, of the Ninth Iowa Battery, answered the enemy's fire from the
opposite bluff, throwing three shells from a howitzer with such good
effect that the enemy were forced to fall back with their battery.
General Curtis then ordered the cavalry to move up the hill and charge
on the retreating foe. The order was gallantly obeyed by Colonel Ellis,
in command of the First Missouri Cavalry, followed by Major Wright,
leading his battalion, and Major McConnell, with the Third Battalion of
the Third Illinois Cavalry. The whole force of our cavalry making the
attack numbered some eight hundred. Gaining the brow of the hill, it
was ascertained that they had fallen back over a mile to an open field,
where their battery was again stationed, and the enemy in force, formed
in line. Our cavalry, regardless of danger, plunged forward to the
charge on the enemy's position, mostly screened by the intervening
woods. Nothing could have withstood the impetuosity of such a charge,
had not our advance, led by Colonel Ellis, when debouching from the
woods into the open field, been met by a murderous fire poured in upon
their ranks from behind the trees. Our loss was seven in killed and
wounded at this point. Inevitable destruction, without a chance to
resist so galling a fire, caused our brave men to recoil, when Colonel
Ellis, with great coolness and presence of mind, ordered his men to
right and left and scour the woods. The order was obeyed with telling
effect on the enemy, many of whom were cut down behind their places of
concealment, and the rest fled. Meantime Major McConnell, with his
battalion, left the road, and, deploying to the left, advanced on the
enemy's line, while Majors Wright and Boliver performed the same
maneuver on the right.

Two regiments of infantry arrived to support the cavalry, and formed in
line. Colonel Phelps' regiment deployed on the left of the road, and
Lieutenant-Colonel Herron, with the Ninth Iowa, deployed on the right.
Captain Hayden, of the Dubuque battery, answered the enemy's batteries,
which had opened upon our advancing columns, with a brisk fire. The
cannonading was kept up for a few minutes, when the enemy precipitately
fled, taking away most of his killed. Other regiments were coming into
the field to take part in the ball. Among the latter was the Fourth
Iowa. The men, anxious for the fray, had pulled off their coats and
threw them aside.

There is little doubt that if the rebels had been followed up closely
the rout would have been complete, and no time would have been given
them to burn their barracks at Cross Hollows.

The Colonel Herbert who commanded the rebel brigade was the gentleman
of California notoriety, who slew the waiter at Willard's Hotel, a few
years since. The other Confederate Colonels under him in the fight were
McRae and McNair.

Among the badly wounded is J. A. Edwards, of Co. H, Eighth Indiana. He
belonged to the infantry, but, getting possession of a horse, was the
foremost in the fight, running the gauntlet of the leaden hail, which
poured in upon him from the timber, without quailing. He got ahead of
the cavalry, and was cut off by the enemy.

The Hospital Steward of the Third Illinois cavalry (Baker) had his
horse shot down. He fell with the horse, dismounted, and leaped upon
another horse in the melee, and rushed forward on the enemy with
renewed vigor. Like Edwards, he had no business in the fight, but
nothing could keep him from pushing to the front and have a "hand" in.

A man belonging to the Dubuque battery had his horse's head taken off
by a cannon ball. He was leaning forward at the moment, and the ball
passed just above him, doing no injury.

The inhabitants along this route, from Cassville to this point, were
told by Price's army that the Northern troops were marching down, and
were burning all the houses, ravishing the women, and killing the
children. These ignorant people, it seems, believed the silly tale, and
the result is that a general stampede took place. Men procured teams,
gathered up what little valuables could be carried along, and, taking
their families aboard, deserted their homes. Only three men were found
in Cassville when our army arrived.

At Keitsville nearly all the inhabitants fled. From that point to Cross
Hollows about two-thirds of the inhabitants on the road have deserted
their dwellings. In several houses the tables were spread for
breakfast, and in the hurry of flight were thus left. The wash-tub was
seen filled with water on the back of the chair, indicating that the
hegira occurred, as it actually did, on a "wash-day." The doors were
ajar, the clock on the mantelpiece had ceased ticking, feather beds
were piled in the center of the floor, all sorts of furniture were
scattered about, and not a sound was heard but the mewing of a cat. An
air of lonesome, heart-sick desolation prevailed. One large dwelling
was recently burned down, and the ruins were still smoking. Surely the
leaders in this cursed civil war will have much to answer for.

Although strict orders forbid our boys from disturbing any private
property, they, nevertheless, helped themselves to such things as they
fancied. Clothing, quilts, dishes, cooking utensils, hams, lard,
molasses, vinegar, meal, beans, and whatever else their hands inclined
toward, was appropriated.

Rations at this time were very small, owing to having outmarched the
provision train, and the boys were very glad to have such opportunities
of filling up. Coffee had been played out several days before, and many
had been restricted to hominy and parched corn. But now the fleeing
rebels had left enough to more than satisfy their hunger, and they were
not disposed to treat their liberality with contempt. Some Indiana
troops threatened mutiny, on the 16th, in consequence of not having
their proper provisions. They positively refused to march any farther
until they were supplied with rations. Appropriations supplied them.



CHAPTER XII.


After laying in camp two days on Sugar Creek, resting from the
wearisome march it had undergone since leaving Springfield, the
regiment again moved out in the pursuit. After making somewhat of a
circuitous route by Osage Springs, it arrived in the neighborhood of
Cross Hollows, and went into camp, on the 22d day of February--lacking
three days of being one month since leaving Syracuse, Mo. During that
time it had marched over two hundred and fifty miles.

Cross Hollows, from which Price's army has just disappeared beyond
pursuit, is on the Fayetteville road, eighteen miles from that place,
and sixteen miles from the Arkansas line, in Benton county. The road
passes due south at this point, along the bed of a deep valley with
precipitous sides, covered with brush, and the eminences covered with
forests of black-jacks and swamp-oaks. Two other ravines cut across
this valley at right angels, the other obliquely in a south-east and
north-west direction. The junction of these ravines is called "Cross
Hollows." A cantonment of three thousand Arkansas infantry has been
located here during the winter. An excellent spring gushes forth under
one of the banks, giving origin to a creek. It was thought that the six
bold promontories, which send their salient points into the valley,
would constitute natural ramparts for placing cannon to enfilade the
gorges and render the place impregnable, but it seems that the gorges
were untenable in the face of the ardent troops of General Curtis. This
is the last place at which it has been said by rebel sympathisers, that
Price was going to give the Federal army battle. It is now said that he
has fled to the mountains of Indian Territory, where it would be
useless to undertake a pursuit.

  [Illustration:

  LIEUT. C. C. DOOLITTLE.              LIEUT. JOHN KELLY.
  LIEUT. ANDERSON.                     LIEUT. MOSSMAN.
  LIEUT. R. D. IRVINE.                 LIEUT. SANDERSON.
  SERGT. T. J. MELVIN.                 SERGT. CH^s. SMITH.

  Lith. by W^m. BRADEN & C^o. Indianapolis.]

Ben McCulloch arrived from Fort Smith the day before the fight at Sugar
Creek, but did not participate in any part of the action, except the
retreat. He insisted on making a stand at Cross Hollows, but Price
objected. His habit of running has become a second nature to him. The
stampede of the deluded people was exceeded only by the hurry of the
rebel army to get away.

Camp Benjamin, located in a beautiful place, three miles west of Cross
Hollows, in the principal valley, had one hundred and eight commodious
huts erected, with chimneys in the center. The rebels burned all but
five, and in the hurry of their flight, left thirty game cocks: some of
these brandished silver spurs. Their best fighting material was thus
evidently left behind. A book containing the general orders, and a
quantity of brass knuckles were also left behind by the chivalry. It is
a wonder to our troops why the two grist mills at this point were not
fired.

As soon as the Federal army went into camp, many refugees returned to
our lines, among whom were two intelligent women from their homes south
of Fayetteville. They represented that their husbands were Union men,
who fled to avoid being pressed into the rebel service. A threat was
made that the wives of such who favored the Union cause would be hung,
and many of these poor women were trying to make their way into the
Federal lines to escape this threatened doom. The day before these
women left home, there were two Union men hung at Hewit's Mills. These
women were piloted through to our lines by an intelligent
contraband--the trusty slave of their father. This negro says that the
retreat of Price was preceded by dispatches sent ahead, calling every
citizen to arms. A perfect reign of terror prevails; committees were
appointed to hang every man refusing to join the rebel army. People
were removing their provisions to the woods and burying them, and
fleeing in large numbers to the mountains. By a recent act, no negro
must be found beyond his master's premises, under pain of thirty-nine
lashes, administered on the bare back. A few weeks since, five negroes
caught fishing together in a stream, twelve miles from Fayetteville,
were hung, and their bird-pecked carcass can be seen swinging in the
air to this day, as a warning to others. The negros are told that the
Northern Abolitionists are trying to get them in their power for the
purpose of transporting them to Cuba. This negro says that the war has
made the Southern men "mighty temperate;" none but the vilest corn
whisky can be procured. The "quality" are suffering headaches from
being deprived of their accustomed beverage, coffee. Sassafras tea,
used as a substitute, sweetened with sorghum, was not generally
relished. Coffee in Fayetteville held at sixty cents a pound, and none
could be had even at that price. Sheeting and shirting was worth one
dollar a yard. The negro made a statement to General Curtis, and gave
the latter a plan showing the roads through the Boston Mountains. Full
confidence is placed in his statement. The two women and negro were
sent forward to Springfield.

On the evening of the 24th, the head of a train on the way, five miles
this side of Keitsville, and four wagons belonging to a Sutler of the
Twenty-Second Indiana, were burned. The balance of the train,
containing five days provisions, was several miles behind, and returned
to Cassville. On the same evening, Captain Montgomery's command, of
Wright's battalion, stationed at Keitsville, was attacked by eight
hundred and fifty Texan Rangers, under Colonel Young. Montgomery and
his men escaped to Cassville, with the loss of two killed, one wounded
and one taken prisoner. Seventy-five horses were left in possession of
the rebels. The enemy, it appears, came on our pickets in the dark. In
reply to "who comes there?" the answer was, "a friend." The rebels then
rushed forward, the pickets fired, but were overpowered. The enemy
rushed into Keitsville and fired upon the house occupied by the
cavalry. Captain Montgomery did not order a fire in the darkness and
confusion, as his men and the enemy became undistinguishable. The
rebels had two killed and one wounded. They said they were Texan
Rangers, encamped on Sugar Creek, and had burned one of our trains and
intended to destroy another.

On the 21st, one of the First Missouri Cavalry ventured into
Bentonville, the county seat of Benton county, five miles from Cross
Hollows, alone; got into difficulty with some citizens, and was
literally stoned to death. The next day, the company to which he
belonged retaliated by burning several houses and razing the town
generally.

While laying here, the news came to camp, that the Ninth Regiment of
Missouri Volunteers was no longer a Missouri regiment, but was now
numbered among the honored regiments of its own State, and was
hereafter to be known as the Fifty-Ninth Illinois Regiment. The news
was received with acclamations of hearty satisfaction. Colonel Julius
White, who now commanded the brigade, read the dispatch announcing the
fact, and the Major of the regiment, P. Sidney Post, made some few,
well chosen and congratulatory remarks, which were received with three
hearty cheers. Three cheers for Colonel White; three for Colonel C. H.
Frederick, and three times three for the State of Illinois.

While at the Lamoine, some time in January, Captain S. W. Kelly,
Captain Winters and Captain Elliott got up a petition to the Secretary
of War, to have the regiment transferred from the Missouri to the
Illinois service. Nine-tenths of the men in the regiment were from that
State, and the feeling was almost universal in favor of the transfer.
In order to add weight and influence to the petition, they procured the
signatures of General Palmer and Colonel White, now commanding brigade,
and, with one exception, all the line officers of the regiment. Colonel
Frederick being a citizen of Missouri, and having used great exertions
and made much personal sacrifice to recruit and organize the regiment
for his own State, did not feel inclined to encourage the petition. Yet
he most generously withheld any effort to prevent its free circulation
and passage to the Secretary of War; and after the transfer, he
withheld not his kindly feeling towards the regiment, nor spared any
labor to promote its efficiency or welfare. Through the personal
influence of General Palmer, the Adjutant General of Illinois, and
Governor Yates became interested in the matter, and through their
exertions the petition was acted upon.



CHAPTER XIII.


On the 24th, the regiment moved to a more pleasant situation, and
anticipated going into regular camp for some time, as it was rumored
that the campaign was now fully lengthened out, and that the tents and
extra baggage that had been left at Lebanon was coming up. The army
also needed rest. The grounds were accordingly measured off in military
style, and tents pitched in systematic order. The weather is
delightful, and if the men had plenty of rations, they would enjoy it
hugely; but hunger is annoying. There was a scarcity of provisions, and
for several days coffee had disappeared from camp. It was two hundred
miles to our base of supplies, and mule teams are proverbially slow,
especially in muddy roads and with lazy drivers. The country is scouted
over by the boys, but they find little to compensate them for their
trouble. The citizens have nothing left for themselves.

Colonel Kelton was recalled to St. Louis, soon after returning from
Springfield, in the fall, and placed on the staff of General Halleck.
Major McGibbon had also returned to St. Louis, and in consequence,
their positions were vacant in the regiment. Camp Halleck, where the
regiment now lay, was the first since leaving the Lamoine, that
afforded any leisure for consultations as to who should fill these
important positions. The result of several night meetings of the
officers of the regiment, was the election of P. Sidney Post to the
position of Colonel, and Captain J. C. Winters to that of Major.

P. Sidney Post left a promising law practice in Galesburg, Ill., and
came to St. Louis with Captain Clayton Hale's company, (Company A,)
and at the organization of the regiment received the appointment of
Adjutant. This position he had filled with entire satisfaction to the
regiment and credit to himself. And from this position had, deservedly,
been promoted to the position of Major, and from Major _now_ to the
Colonelcy.

Lieut. Colonel C. H. Frederick had commanded the regiment ever since
leaving Boonville, to the entire satisfaction of the men in the ranks;
but being a strict disciplinarian, both as regarded men and officers,
he had procured the ill will of some of the latter, and hence the
election of the regimental Major to the position which rightfully
belonged to him. Such injustice frequently occurs in the army.

Captain J. C. Winters commanded a company, (G,) which he had recruited
near White Hall, Ill., and was richly deserving the position of Major.
He had served in the Mexican war, and was one of the first military men
in the regiment.

The regiment now lay basking in the sun shine for several days. Their
time was spent in discussing rumors concerning the enemy, and in taking
a retrospect of their previous hardships and long marches.

The rumors to be discussed were that Price was now at Boston Mountains
filling up and preparing his army for a return to give us battle, and
drive the invaders from Arkansas and Missouri. The retrospect included
the time spent in marches since leaving St. Louis up to the present at
Camp Halleck.

It was now only five months since leaving the arsenal at St. Louis, and
the regiment had marched over seven hundred miles. Camp Halleck is six
miles south of Bentonville, the county town of Benton county. Benton
county is the north-west county of Arkansas. To get here, the regiment
left Boonville, Mo., and marched to Syracuse; from thence to
Otterville; thence to Sedalia, Warsaw, Bolivar, and Springfield. Then
from Springfield through Warsaw back to Syracuse. Then from Syracuse to
Sedalia and back to Otterville. From Otterville to Typton, thence by
Lynn Creek Ferry across the Osage to Lebanon and on to Springfield.
From Springfield through Cassville, Keitsville and Bentonville to Camp
Halleck, Arkansas.

Another matter of discussion is, "where to, next?" This is not known,
but one thing is known, and that is, that a march of two or three
hundred miles is before us. We are two hundred miles west of Cairo,
three hundred or more from St. Louis, and these are the two points
nearest home. If we go on south, it is eighty miles to the nearest
steam boat landing, on the Arkansas River, and there is no probability
of our riding on a steam boat, so that to do the very best we can, we
have two hundred miles to march.

And still another topic of conversation, is the probabilities of a
speedy termination of the war. Those who have been home on furloughs,
and are now returning, bring reports that the people at home and around
St. Louis, are firmly in the belief that peace will soon be proclaimed.
The soldier's heart expands with joy at these glad tidings. If all the
armies of the Union have been as successful as _this_, the joy and
hope is not delusive. May the hope of a speedy termination of the war
be not as delusive as the anticipation that the Fifty-Ninth would have
a long rest in Camp Halleck.

On the morning of the 1st of March, General Davis' division broke up
camp near Osage Springs, and fell back about ten miles, to a stronger
position on Sugar Creek. The Fifty-Ninth Illinois Regiment going into
camp on the summit of one of the small mountains of this region. This
is not really a mountainous country, yet the hills are so gigantic that
_mountain_ would not be an improper appellation. The hill on which
the Fifty-Ninth is encamped is three hundred feet above the bed of
Sugar Creek, in the valley below, and seems to be composed of millions
of little rocks thrown together in one huge pile. Its surface is
literally nothing else but fractional pieces of stone--and these the
soldier must have for his bed. Yet he sleeps soundly.

The second day of March came in cold, and during the day some snow
fell, as did also on the 3d and 4th. This made it very disagreeable in
camp. Short rations, thin clothing, and some with bare feet, caused a
good deal of suffering and no little discontent among the troops.

An incident, new and intensely interesting, occurred to the Fifty-Ninth
on the afternoon of the 5th of March. Sometime in January, a slight
difficulty had occurred between Captain ---- and one of his men, in
relation to who should furnish the Captain's fire with wood. The
Captain was inclined to have his fire supplied with wood at the expense
of the dignity of this young private, and the young man was determined
he should not, and hence came the charge of "disobedience of orders."
Before, however, the thing was entirely settled some further
difficulties occurred, and the young man was threatened with corporeal
punishment; this he resisted with his knife, cutting the clothes of the
Lieutenant of the company, and threatening to take his life. This added
to the previous charge, one of still greater gravity. The young man was
court-martialed, and sentenced to have his head shaved, his uniform
taken from him, and to be drummed out of the service.

On the afternoon of the 5th, this farce was played off, to the delight
of some, and the disgust of many. The whole division was called out and
formed in two lines across an open field in the valley, to witness the
great show. At an appointed time, the young man made his appearance at
one end of the amphitheater, with shaved head, uncovered, accompanied
by two guards with fixed bayonets, and a fife and drum following in his
rear. To the tune of the rogues march, he was thus paraded from one end
of the line to the other, and back to the place of beginning. The farce
was now over, and the young man supposed to be forever ruined. But not
so. It only made him a hero and martyr in the eyes of the soldiers.
Their sympathies were all excited in his favor. They saw in the act
nothing but tyranny, on the part of the officers who pronounced the
sentence, and folly in its execution.

On returning to camp, a subscription was raised in his behalf, and
quite a sum was donated to defray his expenses to parts unknown. He
went to Cassville, and immediately enlisted in the Montgomery Guards,
and about the time his hair had grown to a respectable length, he
married one of the fairest maidens of the country.

Rumors now began to thicken, that the enemy was really returning upon
us. And in fact they were, for on the morning of the 6th, they made an
attack upon General Sigel, at Bentonville, and drove him to the main
lines at Sugar Creek.

General Curtis, in anticipation of an attack, had erected some
fortifications in and around the main crossing of Sugar Creek--which he
prided himself very much with, but which, in fact, were small affairs.
After General Sigel had safely placed his command in position, he
reported to General Curtis in person. The General received him at the
door, and before asking him in, inquired his opinion in regard to the
fortifications he had erected. General Sigel merely glanced his eyes
over the works, and without any remarks, inquired if General Curtis had
anything to eat at his quarters, as he was almost starved to death, and
alighting from his horse, walked into the tent without a word of the
fortifications. He seemed to think that his supper was of more
importance than General Curtis' fortifications.



CHAPTER XIV.


The morning of the 7th of March broke clear and pleasant over the hills
and valley of Sugar Creek and Cross Timbers. The soldiers were
everywhere, early on the alert, and camp presented a good deal the
appearance of a bee-hive on a sunny morning. Better spirits than had
been for several days seemed to prevail among the boys, and all was
cheerful. There seemed to be no thought that before another morning
should break on Cross Timbers, many who now felt so buoyant and full of
hope would be numbered among the "brave boys slain." Little did they
realize that this bright morning was the harbinger of such a bloody
sun-set as closed this day, over the battle-ground of Pea Ridge.

About seven o'clock orders were received at regimental head-quarters to
strike tents immediately, and move out toward the right. The right, or,
rather, rear of the army, lay at this time across the road leading to
Cassville. The regiment, as soon as the tents and camp equipage could
be loaded in the wagons, moved in a circuitous route, through the
brush, until it struck the Cassville road, one mile north of Sugar
Creek. Here it filed to the right, and halted, about fifty yards east
of the road, apparently to wait further orders. It seemed as though the
plan of the battle was yet undecided. An hour elapsed while in this
position, and then the order came to "fall in." The regiment now
retraced its steps to the road, and again stacked arms. In a short time
thereafter, several horsemen were seen coming down the road from the
right, at break-neck speed. Some had lost their hats, some their coats,
some their guns, and nearly all of them had lost their wits. "The
rebels--the rebels are coming in the rear!" was their war cry, as they
charged along the road toward some place of safety. They received, and
deserved, the jeers of the soldiers, as they passed.

The rebels had made a slight attack on the rear as a feint, and these
cowardly cavalry had fled to save their paltry carcasses from the rebel
balls. Shame on such dastards!

It was now eleven o'clock, and the enemy was attacking our left wing in
earnest. Davis' division now moved forward on the double-quick, through
Leetown, and half a mile beyond, where it formed in line as rapidly and
judiciously as the brushy condition of the position would admit. On the
road leading west from Leetown, and three-quarters of a mile distant,
is an open field of, perhaps, twenty acres, with a cross fence through
its center, and skirted with densely thick underbrush all around it. On
the east side of this field the Fifty-Ninth and Thirty-Seventh Illinois
were placed in line. When first gaining this position, no enemy were in
sight, but very soon a column of men were seen filing through the
timber, to the left of the field, and coming into line in our front. At
first it was supposed to be a column of our own men, as the thickness
of the underbrush prevented from distinguishing the motley uniforms of
the rebels from our own. The mistake was soon discovered by some of the
men, but the order to fire was withheld from our boys until a volley
from the rebel column was poured into them. Then the fact that it was
the enemy became too evident, and the fire was returned with double
interest. The firing now became incessant. Volley after volley, in
quick succession, was sent by our brave boys into the falling ranks of
the enemy. For a long time it seemed as though no impression was being
made upon the column of the enemy, although those who were not engaged
could see men falling from their ranks by scores. They kept their ranks
always full, by marching fresh regiments up to take the place of
decimated ones. Thus one single, unrelieved line, stood and fought five
different regiments, from one o'clock until darkness closed the scene.
The first fire from the enemy killed and wounded several of the men of
both regiments, but it created no panic, no confusion, in either. The
Fifty-Ninth only replied with a more hearty good will. At one time
their ammunition gave out, and they fell back to a safer position,
until it could be replenished. They then advanced to their old
position, and let into the rebels with increased energy.

During the whole afternoon not a man flinched, not an officer wavered.
One or two subordinate officers failed to share the honors of the
battle, by being dilatory about going in, and a very few of the men;
but those that were there did their whole duty, and more than prudence
demanded of them.

Companies K and F suffered more in killed and wounded than any other
two companies, from their being in a more exposed position, on the left
of the regiment. At the first fire several of their men fell. Captain
Snyder, commanding Company K, and Captain Kelly, commanding Company F,
by their coolness and good judgment, soon maneuvered their companies
into such positions as was most destructive against the enemy, and most
protective to themselves. During the whole action these two officers
displayed a bravery and clearness of judgment worthy of all imitation.
Captains Hale, Paine, Winters, Elliott, Veatch and Taylor, alike
deserve honorable mention for their bravery and daring during the
engagement. Each vied with the other in proper conduct and exemplary
bravery. Colonel Frederick and Major Post were ever present where duty
called, fearless of consequences. Although constantly exposed, Colonel
Frederick escaped unharmed; not so with Major Post. About the middle of
the afternoon, a minnie ball struck him on the arm, passing through the
fleshy parts without injury to the bone, and yet making a severe wound.
He retired to have his arm dressed, and then, only by the peremptory
order of the Surgeon, was he prevented from going back into the fight.

The Assistant Surgeon of the regiment, Doctor H. J. Maynard, now acting
Surgeon, in the absence of Doctor Hazlett, established his
head-quarters at Leetown, where the wounded were ordered to be brought
for surgical attention. Very soon after the first volley the wounded
began to arrive, and continued to come, as fast, and sometimes faster,
than they could be attended to, the remainder of the day. Thirty-eight
from the Fifty-Ninth alone were brought in. Doctor Maynard, assisted by
his Hospital Steward, (the writer of these pages,) by his surgical
skill and kindness of treatment, made these men as comfortable as the
nature of their wounds would admit.

The names of those brought from the field wounded are as follows:

From Company K: James Yocum, Corporal Willard W. Sheppard, Corporal
William Burns, John B. Bass, V. S. Hawk, Julius Hiederick, Emuel
Herbert, James Higgins, Sergeant Peter Elliott, Patrick Powers, John J.
Rue, and James Donathy, wounded. Michael D. Sullivan, of this company,
was killed on the field. Thirteen wounded, and one killed.

The wounded of Company F were: John W. Williams, Silas P. Kamer,
Sergeant Samuel J. Spohn, Hiram Snearly, John Chittenden, William
Welker, David Groves, and Davis L. Kelly. James H. Furgueson, of
Company F, was killed on the field. Eight wounded, and one killed.

Company B had two wounded, viz: Richard Ernest, and G. B. Finch, and
one killed on the field--G. W. Evans.

The wounded of Company H were: William H. Smith, John L. Ransom,
William N. McGowan, John W. Hurst. Peter P. Goodman was killed on the
field. Four wounded, and one killed.

Company D lost three killed on the field, to wit: Eugene Cramball,
Henry Spohn, and Isaac Palmer.

Company I lost three killed--Alfred B. Blake, Henry Cramer, and William
H. Cline.

Company C, one wounded--James Murphy.

There were a few whose names the writer has mislaid and forgotten.

Toward evening the fire began to slacken, and by five o'clock had
entirely ceased, both armies being willing to withdraw from the
contest. The Fifty-Ninth fell back to the east of Leetown, a short
distance, and lay on their arms till morning.

On the morning of the 8th, just as the sun began to redden the eastern
horizon, the booming of cannon was heard from the direction of
Cassville. It was very soon ascertained that General Sigel had engaged
with the enemy, on our right. The Fifty-Ninth was soon in motion toward
the scene of action. Arriving on the ground, they were placed in
position, again in front of the enemy, and similar to yesterday, with
an open field between them. They remained in this position but a short
time, when they were ordered to charge across the field, and rout the
enemy from the woods beyond. This was accomplished without the loss of
a man. The enemy were driven from the woods, and the Fifty-Ninth had
played its part of this great tragedy. Their position, before making
the charge, was behind a fence, in range of a rebel battery, and the
shot from this battery was very annoying, although no one was hit by
it. They lay on their stomachs, so that the shot, for the most part,
passed over them. Occasionally one would fall short, and throw the dirt
into their faces, through the cracks in the fence. One, in particular,
struck so near to the head of one of the boys as to fill his eyes
completely. "D--n the thing," said he, and, twisting himself around,
until his other end was directed toward the enemy, he remarked that
"now they might shoot, and be d--d." While making the charge, a
musket-ball passed through the clothing of Captain Kelly, and dropped
into his boot-leg. In the early part of the day, while Colonel
Frederick was riding in front of the regiment, a twelve-pound
cannon-ball passed so close to his head as to knock him from his horse,
insensible. It was several hours before he could be restored to
consciousness, and many days before he entirely recovered from the
concussion.

During the fight of the 7th, very many narrow escapes of the men
occurred. One boy, while loading his gun, had the ram-rod knocked from
his hand, by a musket ball from the enemy. Another one had his
gun-barrel hit, and bent so bad as to be useless. One man had three
bullets to pass through his hat, and many escaped with holes through
different parts of their clothing. The great wonder is, that all were
not killed--their escape can only be accounted for, on the principles
that "God and right was on our side."

An anecdote was told of the regimental hospital nurse, who is a "live
Dutchman in a fight," and when not employed, was always in the front.
Soon after the engagement commenced, he, with his gun, was standing
near Davidson's battery, looking at the scene, when one of the
battery-men discovered a rebel, in the distance, making preparations to
shoot at him. The battery-man warned him of his danger, and pointed to
the rebel; instantly the nurse raised his gun, and both guns cracked at
the same time. The rebel fell, and Ebling was unharmed.

During the night of the 7th, Dr. Maynard, had a sufficient number of
tents pitched, to shelter comfortably all the wounded, and the morning
of the 8th presented a sad, but lively appearance at Leetown. Cooks and
nurses, were active in providing for and administering to the wants of
the unfortunate heroes of the day before. Nothing that would tend to
alleviate their sufferings, was neglected. Long will the wounded of Pea
Ridge, remember Dr. H. J. Maynard.

Sunday, the 9th, was a day of rest to the Fifty-Ninth. The enemy had
disappeared, and all was quiet over the hills of Cross Timbers. The
soldiers had nothing to do, but wander over the battle-field, and talk
of the incidents of the two day's fight. And this was enough for one
day. The dead and wounded were, many of them, still on the field. The
rebel dead were all unburied, and many of their wounded were uncared
for. Detachments from the rebel army were busy, under a flag of truce,
in collecting and carrying their wounded to hospital, and in burying
their dead. Many are hid away in the bushes, who will never have a
burial. Years hence, their bones will be discovered bleaching in the
sun. Such is the case on every battle field. Friend and foe alike, are
left undiscovered. Some, perhaps, mortally wounded, crawl away to the
shelter of a friendly thicket, that they may escape capture by the
enemy, and here remain, until death claims them for his own. Months
hence, they are discovered, and then the cry goes out, that the enemy
is barbarous, because the dead were left unburied.

The scene over this field of carnage, beggars all description. Sights
calculated to chill the blood, and strike the mind with horror, meet
you on every side. Here is a human body, with the mangled remnants of a
head, which a cannon ball has torn to fragments. There lies another
with both legs shot away. Here is one, the top of whose skull is gone,
leaving the brain all exposed to the weather, and see! he is still
alive. After twenty-four hours in this condition, he yet lives. Great
is the tenacity of human life! Look yonder! there is one whose light of
life has gone out, as a lighted lamp in a gentle wind. There is no
disturbance of features, no marks of violence about him. He is sitting
at the roots of a large tree, with his back supported by the trunk; his
gun is resting in the bend of his arm; how natural! while sitting thus,
a minnie ball had pierced his heart, and thus he died. The number on
his cap denotes the regiment to which he belongs, which is now in
another part of the field; thus accounting for his not having yet
received burial. Ah! here comes two men with the same numbers on their
caps that he has on his, and they are in search of him. How fortunate
they are. They are his friends and were his mess-mates. How sad to find
him thus, what news to send his friends at home! His mother! 'Twill
break her heart; so loved was he, so loved by all who knew him. He had
a premonition of his doom the morning of the battle, and told his
friends so, told them he would be killed that day, and gave them all
his letters and his pictures of the dear ones at home. Among them was a
picture of his hearts beloved, his betrothed, an angel in beauty. These
two friends weep, and we pass on.

What is that fellow doing? That fellow in the dress of a Union soldier,
what is he doing? He is rifling the pockets of the dead. Let's see what
he has found in that man's pocket. A small pocket book, and a letter or
two, pen knife and comb. The pocket book has two or three dollars of
confederate script, for the dead man was a rebel, and a locket of hair,
very fine silky hair, evidently clipped from the locks of some very
young person, perhaps an infant daughter. How mean this Union soldier
is, to rob the parent dead of this cherished memento of his lovely
little daughter! Why not bury it with him?

The man those men are lifting so carefully into the ambulance yonder,
was wounded yesterday morning, and has been lying on the cold ground
without any covering, ever since. His wound was not a mortal one, but
now his limbs are all stiffened by the exposure, and his life is the
sacrifice. Had he remained a short time longer in his exposed
condition, he would have added one more to the number of these they are
collecting for burial, over in that pleasant grove. The grave is being
dug, and only seven have yet been found to fill it. It is large enough
to hold at least a dozen. The Union soldier, when buried by his
comrades, is generally buried in a civilized manner; but rebels are
traitors together, while living, and are not separated in the grave,
when dead. Such are a few of the many interesting sights that meet the
eye, in passing over the battle ground of Pea Ridge, on this Sabbath
morning.

Sergeant Silas Carner, and private John Williams, of Company F, died in
the hospital from the effects of their wounds on the 8th, and were
buried with the honors of war. Wm. N. McGowan, of Company H, Samuel J.
Spohn of Company F, and John W. Hurst of Company H, died, the two
former on the 12th, and the latter on the 13th. Wm. N. McGowan was one
of the musicians for the regiment. It was his duty to beat the drum,
not to handle the musket; but when he saw his comrades marching to the
battle, his brave heart spurned the idea of his remaining idle. He
shouldered a musket, fell into ranks with his old company, and manfully
assisted in repelling the foe. He remained on the field doing his duty,
until towards the close of the day's battle, when a minnie ball struck
him, and he was brought off mortally wounded. He lingered, under great
suffering, but with a proud consciousness of the noble sacrifice he was
making for his country, until the morning of the 12th, when he expired
with the resignation of a hero. All honor to the brave! In this brave
boy's pocket, was twenty dollars in money, which was placed in the
hands of Captain ----, to be forwarded to his widowed mother, at
Charleston, Illinois. Several months afterwards, the writer was
informed, by letter received from this poor widow woman, that the money
had never been given to her. Captain ---- resigned his commission soon
after the battle of Pea Ridge, and it is to be hoped he found a resting
place in some parts _unknown_ to anybody. Many a dollar, belonging
to the dead soldier, has been thus appropriated.

After a very stormy night, Monday morning came in clear and pleasant,
and hundreds of idle soldiers were scattered over the battle field, to
the west of Leetown, in search of whatsoever might be found there.
General Davis' Division was lying to the east, and General Sigel's to
the north of town. About eight o'clock, boom went a cannon, from the
direction of Sigel's camp, and a shell went hurling over Leetown, in
the direction of the battle field. Soon another followed, and at the
same time a column of cavalry was seen approaching from the west, which
was supposed to be rebel. "The rebels are coming, the rebels are
coming," was shouted from mouth to mouth, over the field, and each one
broke for his regiment. The attention of all in town, was attracted by
the reports of the guns, and the street was soon lined by the curious,
eager to know what was up. "The rebels are coming," came up the street,
followed closely by scores of fleeing soldiers, some on horseback, but
many more on foot, each vying with the other, as to who should get out
of the way the quickest. "The rebels are coming, stop them!" cries a
horseman, with hat off and hair flying in the wind. "What's up?" asks
one of the boys of this valorous horseman. "The rebels are coming, and
I am trying to stop these fellows--halt there!" and away he goes, more
frightened than the rest. Pretty soon, General Sigel comes riding very
deliberately up the road, by himself, and some one asks him the cause
of the stampede. "Oh, nothing," said he, with a peculiar twinkle of the
eye, "I was only making a few of my leetle arrangements." Discipline
had become too loose to suit his military fancy, and he had arranged
this scare for the purpose of putting the army on the _qui vive_. In
five minutes after the first report, the whole army was under arms,
ready for any emergency. The first shell fired, struck not far from a
forage train that was bringing in corn, and the way they came into camp
was a caution to all mule drivers. No one was hurt, only in feelings.



CHAPTER XV.


On the afternoon of the 10th, the regiment moved with the division, a
few miles south of Leetown, and here the writer lost sight of it for
several days, as he was detained at the hospital to assist in caring
for the wounded. Nothing, however, of interest occurred during his
absence, except the visit of the Paymaster, and a few changes of camp.

By remaining at hospital, the writer escaped much hard fare, as the
army was, for several days, entirely destitute of provisions, and
subsisted solely on parched corn and _nothing else_. By very great
exertions, Dr. Maynard succeeded in keeping a supply at the hospital,
until the orders came to move all the wounded to Cassville, twenty
miles farther north.

On the 14th, the wounded were started for Cassville; some were too
badly hurt to be handled so roughly, and were not sent. Among these
were James Murphy and John L. Ransom, and John B. Bass, who had a leg
amputated. James Murphy died on the 18th. The others were subsequently
brought up. The writer was ordered to report at Cassville with the
wounded, and here is an extract from a letter written to his daughter
soon after his arrival:

"Wednesday morning, the 19th. I am up pretty early this morning as
usual. The sun is just beginning to tinge the horizon with his red
beams, and the promise of a pretty day is written on the sky above him.
The night has been a stormy one. It was raining when I spread my
blankets, but now the sky is clear, the atmosphere pure and bracing,
and indicates a few days of fine spring weather. Spring is opening
earlier here than in Illinois, as we are farther south. If you will
examine, you will find that Cassville is more than two hundred miles
south of where you live, and of course the climate is more mild and the
seasons earlier. We have had quite a number of warm, spring-like days,
and the grass looks quite green. The buds on the trees will soon open
out, and it will not be long till nature will all be clothed in its
summer garb.

"Cassville is situated in a pretty location. It is in a small valley,
surrounded by hills of different magnitude. On the east are several
ridges of considerable height, dotted on their sides with cedar trees
in green, which are nature to the rocky hill sides of this region. At
the foot of one of these ridges, a four story mill contrasts her white
coating of paint with the green of the cedar, and produces a pleasing,
romantic picture. A small stream meanders along at the base of those
hills, with here and there a spring gushing from among the rocks, or
boiling up from even the bed of the stream. On the west there are also
hills of considerable height. The valley is a mile wide, and two or
three miles long, or perhaps more. The soil is rich and productive.
From my room I can look out over a field of wheat, which completely
clothes the ground in living green. It is quite refreshing to sit here,
and look upon a green spot of earth, after having contemplated only the
sear and barren trunks of trees and brush for four long months of
winter. From another window I can see a pretty little cottage, white as
the driven snow, nestled in among the surroundings of a cultivated
home. A large fine orchard, and all the out-buildings of comfort, and
all deserted. Wounded soldiers are spread over the floors of the house,
and soldiers' horses are tied to and destroying the fruit trees, and
soldiers' fires have burned the rails and boards which inclose the
premises. Dreadful are the ravages of war! Cassville is situated in the
center of this valley, and was a thriving, pretty town before the war.
There are about forty good dwelling houses, six store rooms, and a very
decent little court house, besides blacksmith shops, &c.

"When we came here, there were only four families remaining in town,
and they were women and children, the men being in the army. Now, there
are over four hundred wounded and sick soldiers quartered here; every
house is full and some are in tents outside. The houses are being torn
up, so as to be made more convenient for bedding the wounded. The
fencing before the door yard is being torn down and burned, and
anything which adds to the comfort and convenience of those here, is
being appropriated without let or hindrance.

"There is another pretty town, five miles from here, in precisely the
same condition, filled with sick and wounded. These two towns are
samples of all the towns in Missouri, where the armies have been. The
citizens have fled and the soldiers have destroyed their property. Many
fine houses have been burned on our march, and others entirely riddled,
windows broken, doors torn from their hinges, &c. Both armies are
engaged in destroying; what the enemy leaves, our men destroy. The
enemy destroys Union property, and the Union troops destroy secesh
property--and there being only the two kinds of property, it is
ALL destroyed.

"An express rider has just came in from the army, bringing news that
Price is moving towards them again. We, here, can't tell what reliance
can be given the report. If it is true, and he should continue to
advance, there will be some more hard fighting. I do most sincerely
hope that our regiment may not get into another engagement here. If it
should, we, in the hospital, will not get away from here for two or
three months to come, unless Price should be victorious and drive us
out on double quick; for the wounded will be brought here, and of
course will prolong our time as much longer as the difference between
the time of the first fight and that which shall come off now. But it
is not on account of that alone, that I am unfriendly to another
battle. I have seen enough of the suffering attending the wounded of
the last battle. Poor fellows! They bear it patiently, and make light
of the most serious wounds. I do not suppose it would be very
interesting to you to read a description of the wounds we have to dress
every morning, or I would describe some of them. We have eighty
different wounds to dress in our building, and you can imagine how
great the variety. Some are about the head, some about the body, arms,
legs, feet and hands; some are only slightly wounded, but the majority
are badly hurt. One poor fellow died yesterday, from the effect of a
ball through the lungs; and others will die from their wounds. Our men
are well provided for here. They have all the attention from Surgeons
and nurses that they require, and all the food and other comforts
necessary for them. Dr. Clark, of the Thirty-Seventh Illinois
Volunteers, is our Surgeon. Dr. Maynard was left with the regiment. I
am in charge of the wounded from our regiment, and Thomas Kelly is with
us as Warden. We two are the only ones of our acquaintances here,
excepting Hiram Snearly, who is quite badly wounded, the ball passing
through the arm, close to the shoulder, and into the side under the
arm, and coming out below the shoulder blade behind. His wound seems to
be doing well, yet it is difficult to tell what the result may be. I
shall now retire from the desk, and finish this short epistle at some
other sitting.

"I am sleepy to-day, at three o'clock, because of not sleeping well
last night. The floor, some how or other, was unusually hard last
night, and caused me to be restless. I prophesied fair weather
yesterday--this is the 20th--but was deceived by appearances. We are
very often deceived by appearances. In an hour after I had made the
prophesy, the sky was completely clouded over, and has remained so ever
since; and now it is spitting snow.

"Reports are still coming in of the advance of the enemy, and the
retreat of our army. It is said that Price has been strongly
reinforced, and now numbers more men than he did at first. We have also
been reinforced to the number of one thousand men, but are still far
inferior, as to number, to the enemy. It is probable, that our army
will make a stand at or near Keitsville, eight miles from here, where,
if the enemy comes upon them, they will have a hard fight.

"The Fifty-Ninth and the Thirty-Seventh Illinois regiments, occupied
the court house as an hospital. Dr. Clark, of the Thirty-Seventh
Illinois, having the supervision of the whole.

"On the 23d of March, it became evident that Johnson Kelly, of Company
D, Fifty-Ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, would either have to
undergo the operation of having his leg amputated, or lose his life--or
perhaps both. Dr. Clark proceeded to the operation. Chloroform was
administered in the usual manner, and the leg taken off without the
knowledge of the patient. The amputation was very handsomely performed,
but it proved to be useless. In four hours the patient was dead.
Johnson Kelly was buried with the honors of war, on the 24th of March,
1862. Hiram Snearly lingered until the 22d of April, 1862, with the
hope firmly fixed in his mind that he would get well. He was told by
the Surgeon and by his friends, that he could not survive, but he
believed them not. His spirits were buoyant to the very last hour of
his existence. He died and was also buried with the honors of a
soldier.

"A day or two after coming to Cassville, Dr. Clark requested a detail
from the Provost Marshall, to clean up around the court house. Captain
Montgomery happened to have a squad of rebel prisoners at Cassville, at
this time, and they were set to work picking up the rubbish in the
court house yard--Captain Montgomery overseeing them himself. From the
wrongs his family had received at their hands, his heart had become
entirely callous to any pity. With the greatest apparent satisfaction,
he rode round among these fellows very much like one of their own negro
drivers, with whip in hand and bitter curses on his tongue; and if one
ceased from his labor, whack went the whip and glib the tongue.

"Among these prisoners was an intelligent Catholic priest, from
Louisiana. This morning he was unwell, and entirely unaccustomed to
picking up chips, his progress at work was rather slow. The Captain
seemed to take special delight in tormenting him. 'Well,' says he, 'old
fellow I pity you, indeed; but it can't be helped. You must take care
in the future to be caught in better company. If you had kept out of
the company of these imps of hell, you would not now be degrading
yourself by manual labor--work away then my old priesty.'"



CHAPTER XVI.


On the 6th of April the Fifty-Ninth, with the balance of the Division,
arrived at Cassville, en route for Forsyth, which is sixty miles east
of here. After halting long enough to rest, and visit their wounded
friends in hospital, they moved out some two miles to the east of the
town, and encamped on Big Mill Creek. The march was continued on the
seventh, through the most dreary and least inhabited portion of
Missouri that the army had yet seen. For seven or eight miles east of
Cassville the soil is arid, and covered with small white flint-stone,
with here and there a miserably poor specimen of a black-jack,
struggling for a scanty existence. From this upper plateau of the Ozark
Mountains, the road drops down through a narrow defile, with hills two
hundred feet high on either side, the base of the hills meeting so
close at the foot as barely to admit the passage of a wagon, until it
emerges into the Rock House Creek Valley. From this point the valley
begins to widen to the south, where, as far as the eye can reach, the
horizon is bounded by a low range of purple-colored hills.

This beautiful valley has been the frequent scene of lawless incursions
from the rebel outlaws, and the inhabitants, before the arrival of the
Union army in the vicinity, were kept in a continued state of
trepidation and alarm. The people are mostly Union in their sentiments,
there being but three secesh in this whole region of country. Bands of
outlaws frequently came down from Cassville, and would rob the Union
men of everything in the house--blankets, bread and bacon. If they
caught the owner, he would be taken under guard to Cassville, where he
would be tried before a self-constituted vigilance committee.

The head of this committee was the notorious "Joe Peevy," former
Sheriff of Barry county. This Peevy was a terror to the whole country.
He is resolute, brave, and a man of great and indomitable energy. He
seems to have been governed in his actions by a spirit of rude justice,
which he administered alike to friend and foe. His capture and
imprisonment at Cassville, by our men, gave great satisfaction to the
people everywhere.

General Curtis, while passing through Keitsville, had planted a Union
flag on one of the houses in town, and this man Peevy, a few days
afterwards, took it down, and carried it off. In a few days, therefore,
some of our boys came across him, in the timber, and brought him to
Cassville, under guard.

Joe Peevy came down through this valley, last summer, with a squad of
his lawless jay-hawkers, and got a handsome drubbing by the hardy
mountaineers, under Charles Galloway and "Old Jimmy Moore," at Clark's
Mill, on Flat Creek. Only one Union man, by the name of Boyce, was
killed, while twelve of the rebels were left on the field hors du
combat. A man named Jeff. Hudson was waylaid, last week, by a party of
secesh, and fired upon. He was hit in the toe, but returned the fire on
his pursuers, while falling back, and made his escape. Another young
man, named James Reeves, was shot at, while returning home, the other
evening, near Jenkins' Creek.

The farms through this valley, in the neighborhood of the main roads,
are laid waste. Fences are burned up, and buildings are deserted, and
torn to pieces. No preparations are being made for putting in spring
crops by the few farmers yet remaining here.

    "To mute, and to material things,
    New life revolving summer brings;
    The gentle call dead nature hears,
    And in her glory re-appears.
    But O! this country's winter state,
    What second spring shall renovate."

The evening of the 8th found the regiment encamped at a place called
"Cape Fair," in Stone county, Missouri. It reached this "God-forsaken"
place after having marched over a broken range of mountains, of some
twenty-five miles, since morning. The direct distance would not exceed
twelve miles, to the old camp, but, owing to the circuitous windings of
the road, it was increased two-fold.

No one can have an adequate idea of the picturesque scenery, and wild
alpine views, which everywhere greets the eye of the traveler in this
section of the State.

The road passes along the winding crests of a successive range of
mountains, frequently curving around, and doubling, so that, in many
places, the head of the column seemed to be marching to the rear, and
to be within speaking distance of the troops two or three miles behind.
Occasionally the eye would overlook profound gorges, of seemingly
impenetrable depth, anon broad valleys would appear on either side, and
the blue tops of mist-covered mountains be seen away to the north, as
far as Springfield, or shutting in the horizon, on the south, far
beyond the Arkansas line, some sixteen miles distant. This noble
scenery extorted frequent expressions of surprise and admiration from
the most indifferent spectator of the sublime in natural scenery. We
frequently saw those singular looking hills, often met in Missouri,
covered with a white, flinty rock, as if sown broad-cast, giving the
landscape an appearance as if whitened by a snow-storm, or a shower of
ashes.

We passed through a portion of the extensive "pinery," from which
lumber of a fine quality is procured, and transported for building
material to various parts of the State. The day was cloudy, and the
melancholy murmur of the breeze through the "pine tree's wavy top,"
added to the sombre character of our march. Not a house was to be seen,
nor did we meet with but one solitary passenger, who, of course, was
taken in hand by each successive officer, and subjected to an ex-parte
examination. The desolate condition of the region passed was hit off by
a cavalry-man, who volunteered the opinion "that a blue-jay, in flying
over, would have to carry a haversack, lashed to his wings, or starve."
The assertion would certainly be true of a "blue-jayhawker."

Cape Fair, where we are encamped, has a few windowless huts, situated
in the bend of Flat Creek. The latter stream, which bubbles up out of
the ground at Cassville, is here anything but flat. The stream, like
the "arrowy Rhone," pours an angry, black volume past here, as it comes
down from the mountains, and, at this period of the year, is swollen so
as to be impassable, except to horses or boats. Flat Creek empties into
James River, a mile below this point. The latter stream is so much
swollen, by the recent freshets, that fording is impracticable, and the
army, it is thought, will have to rest here several days, unless the
stream, some three miles below, at Mr. Carr's, is fordable.

Had Price been a few miles on the other side, it would not have taken
the army long to have found a way of crossing over.

In coming from Springfield the streams were not an impediment. The
cavalry were invariably in the advance, with some mountain howitzers,
and, whenever they could come within shelling distance of the enemy,
they threw some shells at them. The report of the guns would come back
over the hills to the column of infantry, and then the order would
surely be sent along the line to double-quick. The column would move
off, for a mile or two, on double-quick, and if a stream, large or
small, was to be crossed, no halt would be made, but "forward" was the
word, and the stream was crossed. This stream would have been crossed,
in the same way, had the enemy been in the front. Fortunately there was
no great emergency, as it was rather uncertain where the enemy would
spring up. Rumors were unreliable, and positive information could not
be had as to Price's whereabouts. A force was known to be at Forsyth,
but how large, or of what importance, no one seemed to know; yet it was
important that the army should be on the move, as this was an
out-of-the-way place, and rations might soon become scarce. How was the
river to be crossed? Some suggested one plan, and some another. But the
ingenuity of some one suggested a bridge of wagons for the troops to
march over on. Wagons were, therefore, placed in line, from one shore
to the other, and boards laid over the tops of the wagon beds. This
made an excellent bridge for footmen, and, by four o'clock of the 9th,
the army was all over, and in camp on the opposite shore.

The march was continued the next morning, and the evening of the 10th
witnessed the camping of the army on the east bank of Big Bear River,
forty-eight miles from Cassville.

The streams in this country are most beautiful. They are not large, nor
deep, but of very rapid current. Their waters, excepting after heavy
rains, when they become thickened by the washings from the mountains,
are as clear as the purest crystal. They are fed by springs from the
mountain gorges, and these are so numerous as to increase the small
rivulet to a good-sized stream, within the distance of a few miles.

The march, at one time, was down a narrow ravine, at the head of which
was issuing, from under an overhanging rock, a small spring. In
following down the ravine, this stream was crossed several times, and
each crossing developed a largely increased stream, when, at the last
crossing, not five miles from the first little spring, the water was up
to the axle-trees of the wagons, and at least twenty feet in width, and
large fish were seen swimming beneath its pellucid surface.

On the morning of the 11th, the regiment pitched tents at the foot of
one of the rugged Ozark mounts, that overlook the small valley of Big
Bear River. The camp is named "Good News," because here was received
the news of the capture of Island Number Ten, by General Pope. It is
ten miles from Forsyth, in Taney county, Missouri.

An incident of exceeding interest occurred here on the afternoon of
Sunday, the 13th. It was no less than the delivery of a sermon by the
Chaplain of the regiment.

Dr. Hazlett had returned to the regiment while it lay at Cassville, and
was now in charge--Doctor Maynard being still detained with the wounded
at Leetown. On the evening of the arrival in camp here, the wagons were
not all up, in consequence of bad roads, and Doctor Hazlett was without
blankets. Lieutenant Brasher, Quartermaster of the regiment, was a
particular friend of the Doctor's, and proffered to lend him blankets
for the night. The Doctor sent his orderly, and had a nice bed made.
Being very tired, he soon fell asleep, and slept soundly for two or
three hours. Something now seemed to disturb his slumbers; he became
restless; a crawling sensation pervaded his skin, and the inclination
to scratch was irresistible. From this time forward there was no more
rest for the Doctor. Some two hours earlier than was his custom he
arose from his couch, unrefreshed, and in bad humor. After sick-call he
retired to ascertain the cause of his peculiar sensations. The fact
soon became patent that he was literally covered with "body-guard,"
(army lice.) "Hell and furies, Chris., look at these blankets, and see
what's on them!" was his immediate orders to Chris. An examination
showed them full of body-lice. "Carry them out, and burn the d--d
things!" and out the Doctor rushed, in search of the Quartermaster.

"Brasher, did you know that those blankets you loaned me last night
were filled with lice?"

"Why, no; were they?" says Brasher, very innocently. "Well, now, maybe
they were, for my negro has been using them for the last month."

The Doctor's anger was great, but he manfully swallowed it, and
received the joke, and a bottle of whisky, with the best grace
possible. There was no man in the regiment who prided himself so much
in having neat clothing, and a cleanly person, as Doctor Hazlett, and
this, perhaps, was the only time he had ever been tormented by these
"plebeian tormentors."



CHAPTER XVII.


On the morning of the 16th of April, the regiment broke camp on Bear
River, re-crossed it, and filed off up its western bank, until it came
to Bull Run, then up Bull Run fifteen miles, to Bull's Mills, when it
again went into camp. In coming up the run, it was necessary for the
boys to wade it nineteen times. One man in particular, was compelled to
take it, deep or shallow, because of some previous misconduct. He was
tied to the tail-gate of a wagon, and thus trudged all day "_nolens
volens_." Tying men behind wagons, on the march, is a favorite way
of punishing the soldier for trivial offenses.

The encampment is now in a small valley, entirely shut in by mountains,
excepting the narrow gorge through which Bull Run finds its way to Bear
River. From where the writer sits, the view is beautiful. Many of the
trees on the opposite mountain side, are clothed in their summer garb,
and many are only putting on their vestments of green, with sear and
yellow leaves exposed beneath. Here is one green as can be, just
beyond, is another red with flowers of the red bud, and then another,
as white as the driven snow, with dogwood blossoms. Now is a spot of
green earth, and just above it hangs a heavy mass of moss-grown rock,
threatening the destruction of this magnificent scenery, by its speedy
fall. Flowers of many kinds, are blooming everywhere around. Sweet
Williams, Johny-jump-up's and blue bells are abundant, and lend
enchantment to the view.

At the foot of this mountain slope, are the white tents of the
regiments. The blue smoke of their camp fires, is apparently climbing
the mountain, giving a peculiar shade to the picture. Soldiers are
everywhere mingled in the scene, some are busy cooking, some sitting or
lying down, some walking, and _there_ is an officer on horseback. To
the right is the mill and the dwelling house of the miller. Close by
the mill, are some soldiers, fishing, and they complete the scene, as
presented on the 18th day of April, 1862.

Some excitement was created in camp, on the morning of the 19th, by the
appearance of three very indignant ladies from the country, seeking
Colonel Frederick's head-quarters, for the purpose of entering
complaint against two boys of the Fifty-Ninth, for creating a
disturbance at their house the night before, and sleeping with two of
these ladies "_nolens volens_." The other, the mother of the two
younger ladies, was on the hunt of a cavalry man, who was guilty of
some offense against her. These boys were arrested and court-martialed.
Two were convicted and one acquitted. The two convicted ones, were
summarily drummed out of service with shaved heads.

The Division broke up camp again on the 20th, and moved out in the rain
and over the muddiest roads imaginable. They marched this day twenty
miles, without anything to eat from the time of starting, until going
into camp, and many of the boys had no supper the night before.

At West Plains, some fifty of the Fifty-Ninth, were detached to report
under Captain Elliott, to the gun-boat fleet, then laying at Cairo, for
duty. They left the regiment about, the 25th of April, from which time,
they spent the remainder of their term of service on the water. From
West Plains, the regiment proceeded to Sulphur Rock, arriving there on
the 8th of May.

On the 10th of May, the Fifty-Ninth Illinois, Twenty-Second Indiana,
and the Twenty-Fifth and Thirty-Fifth Illinois regiments, being
detached from General Curtis's command, started "en route" for Cape
Girardeau, Missouri. After marching nine days out of ten, these
regiments arrived at the Cape on the evening of the 20th of May; having
marched two hundred and fifty miles in ten days, resting one. On the
morning of the 20th, the Fifty-Ninth started in the rear of the column.
They were some thirty-five miles from the Cape, and all very anxious to
arrive at their destination. The Twenty-Second Indiana was next ahead
of the Fifty-Ninth, and equally as eager to make the Cape that day. It
was a hard march, and about sundown all the regiments had bivouacked,
except the Twenty-Second and Fifty-Ninth. These pulled ahead and passed
the others some mile or two, when the Twenty-Second caved in. The
Fifty-Ninth pushed on and came out nearest the Cape, and went into
camp, exultant over their grey-hound perseverance.

These regiments, on their arrival at Cape Girardeau, presented a "war
worn" and rugged appearance. Some were entirely destitute of shoes,
some had no coats, some were without hats, and many possessed only the
remnants of pantaloons. Teams were immediately sent off to town for
clothing and rations, and by the next evening, the men scarcely knew
themselves in their new uniform.

The 23d was a bright fair day, and Colonel Frederick priding himself
exceedingly on the fine appearance of his regiment, determined to
exhibit them to the admiring gaze of the citizens of the Cape. At nine
o'clock, they left camp and marched to town, arriving in town the band
struck up a lively march, and the steady tramp of the boys, to the time
of the music, attracted the attention of the multitude. After marching
through several streets, the regiment stacked arms and proceeded by
companies, to the Paymaster's office, to receive their pay. After
getting paid, the regiment fell into line and marched to the landing,
where a steamboat was in waiting, to take them on board. This was the
first indications of a ride, since leaving the old War Eagle, at
Boonville. Since then, the regiment had marched twelve hundred miles,
and now to be transported was quite a treat.

At five o'clock, on the 23d, the boat left the camp for Hamburg
landing. When opposite Paducah, Governor Yates, of Illinois, from the
guards of another boat, addressed a few congratulatory and cheering
remarks to the Fifty-Ninth, "upon what had transpired while they were
out in the wilderness." Arriving at Hamburg landing on the 25th, the
regiment went into camp some two miles from the river, out towards
Corinth.

Hamburg is the landing for all of General Halleck's army supplies, at
this time, and the scene about the landing, is a lively one. Boats are
coming up and unloading their cargoes daily. Mules, horses, wagons,
rations, &c., are everywhere lumbering up the bluffs. From the boats
the supplies are loaded into wagons, and forwarded to the army now
before Corinth. Here are still seen many of the effects of the late
battle. Here are the bluffs from which it is said many of our brave
boys threw themselves into the river, to escape from the pursuing
enemy." "Brave boys were they." Here the regiment was furnished with a
new outfit of camp equipage, wagons and horses.

Corinth was now supposed to be their destination, and in confirmation,
the march towards that place was commenced on the morning of the 27th.
The country from Hamburg landing to Corinth, is an unbroken wild, level
and swampy. After a march of sixteen miles, over a recently constructed
military road, the regiment went into camp about three miles to the
north of Corinth.

After the battle of Pea Ridge, P. Sidney Post obtained leave of
absence, until his wound should so far heal, as to permit of active
service. _Here_ he rejoined the regiment as Colonel of the same,
having received a commission during his absence. Lieut. Colonel C. H.
Frederick, after having commanded the regiment for nine months, with
honor to himself and credit to the regiment, now resigned his command
to Colonel Post, and very soon, thereafter, received and accepted an
appointment on General Jeff. C. Davis' staff.

On the morning of the 28th, the regiment moved into position before the
works of the enemy, leaving the tents standing, and the camp equipage
all in camp. Some skirmishing was occurring occasionally, between our
pickets and those of the enemy, but no fighting of any consequence.

The evacuation of Corinth, by the rebels, commenced on the 28th, so at
least it was reported around camp, and so it was believed by several of
the Division commanders; but General Halleck either discredited it or
did not wish to encourage such an idea. General Pope was satisfied of
the fact, and solicited the privilege of moving his command into a
position that would prevent their escape; but was refused the request,
with the reply that they could not escape. Large trees in elevated
positions, had been selected and trimmed, and "look outs" stationed on
the tops of these, so that the movements of the rebels could be seen in
Corinth. These "look outs" confirmed the reports of the evacuation. No
efforts were, however, made to prevent it. General Halleck's army all
lay quietly behind their breastworks, to the north of town, leaving the
way for the enemy to escape, entirely open; whereas, a small force
could have been sent to prevent it and with General Halleck's army, the
whole rebel army could have been captured. This was seen and believed
by nearly all the privates in the army; yet on the morning of the 30th,
Corinth was in our possession without a fight, _and nothing else_.

The vast army, that General Halleck had been for months collecting,
from all parts of the country at an enormous expense, and the great
amount of labor and suffering of this vast army had all been in
vain--entirely useless. Corinth and the whole territory left in our
possession, was entirely worthless. And all this because Beauregard
would not remain in Corinth until Halleck could dig his way under his
fortifications and blow him up.

As soon as the rebels, with all their material, were out of danger from
our troops, a forward movement was ordered. Great and universal
disappointment was manifested by the whole army when the fact was known
that the rebels were all gone. Many and bitter were the curses against
General Halleck. Every man felt that it was by his incapacity, want of
energy, or a good feeling towards the rebel army, that they escaped so
easily. All confidence was lost in the capacity of General Halleck as a
commander, and it has never been restored by any of his subsequent
official acts. There has been two great errors committed by some body
during this war. The one was the removal of Fremont from the command at
Springfield, Mo., and the other is the placing Halleck in command of
the army before Corinth.

The fortifications about Corinth were found to be trivial, in
comparison to what was expected. One line of breast works of weak
construction, and nothing but a few slight embrasures comprised the
whole thing. Such fortifications one year afterwards, would have been
looked upon as no impediment to the advance of our army.

On the 30th, the Fifty-Ninth Illinois again broke camp, and moved out
ten miles below Corinth, where they awaited the reconstruction of a
bridge, which the rebels had burned. Cannonading is occasionally heard
in the distance, which indicates that our advance is skirmishing with
the rear of the flying enemy. Camp is pitched near Boonville, Miss.,
and on the morning of the 2d of June, the regiment moves out on a
scout, leaving every thing but their blankets and haversacks in camp.
Those unable to march are left in charge of an officer, to guard the
camp, and the sick are left in the care of the Hospital Steward. The
regiment pursued the enemy about twenty miles without overtaking them,
and then returned to camp. It now lay in camp ten days without
molestation. The enemy had fled beyond pursuit for the time being, but
was still in hearing distance of our scouts, and the anticipation of
another move was daily increasing. Instead of pursuing the enemy, the
regiment returned to within two miles of Corinth, on the 12th, and went
into regular camp on Clear Creek. There having been no rain for two
weeks, the roads were now very dusty, and the marching very
disagreeable; consequently it was a pleasant thing to go into camp on
the shady banks of a clear stream of running water.

This weather is delightful; only when the sun is at the meridian, then
it is a little too hot for comfort. The early morning in camp is
delightful, especially. The sun is just peeping up through the
tree-tops. The birds are singing their early matins, before the smoke
of camp becomes too thick for their vocal organs. The mules are adding
their musical braying for their feed of dry oats, and the drivers are
aiding the mules with their morning notes of universal cursing. To
arise these mornings and witness all this, is charming.

The boys are now having easy, good times. They have plenty of leisure
to lay in the shade, and write letters to their friends at home.
Policing of camp grounds in the morning, is all that is required of
them, and this is usually done by extra-duty men. These are lazy
fellows who will not get up in the morning in time to answer to their
names at roll call. As a punishment, they are used as scavengers for
the benefit of the industrious ones.

There is considerable sickness amongst the men at this time, owing,
perhaps, to the hot, dry weather, and bad water of this region. There
are some nice springs along Clear Creek, but as a general thing, the
only drinking water the men have had since leaving the Tennessee River,
has been obtained from the marshes which here abound. All this region
of country around Corinth, is a low, swampy, worthless marsh. Why, in
the name of common sense, the rebel army was ever molested in the
peaceable possession of Corinth is more than can now be comprehended.
Why not have left them here; that they might starve, or sicken and die
after their own liking.

There are some very noisy fellows in camp, and it seems as though they
are always making the most noise when respect for others should keep
them most quiet. There are two good brass bands in the immediate
neighborhood of our regiment, which frequently dispense most delightful
music--but many times these rude fellows are like the dog in the
manger, they will neither listen themselves, or let any one else enjoy
the music. They are just the kind of men for an army, though--for a
"man who has no music in his soul, is fit for treasons, stratagems and
spoils."

The boys have many ways of amusing themselves while laying in camp, and
some of these they put into practice here. The most profitable and
interesting of all others, is the attendance on the prayer meetings,
the Chaplain is now conducting in the regiment. The Rev. Shoemate has
been with the regiment since its organization, and has preached some
three times since leaving Boonville, and is now having the first prayer
meetings. These sermons and meetings have only cost the government the
moderate sum of two hundred and fifty dollars each. An active,
energetic and christian Chaplain is of invaluable service to the army,
but an unconverted Chaplain is a nuisance. If there is any place on
God's fair earth, where wickedness "stalketh abroad in daylight," it is
in the army. It is lamentable to hear and see the profanity and
wickedness which every where and all the time meets the ear and eye.
Ninety-nine men out of every hundred are profane swearers. Gambling is
not quite so universal, yet there are hundreds of young men who devote
all their leisure time to this nefarious practice. Walk through camp at
almost any hour, and you will see squads of young men engaged in
risking their money and their souls on the chance throw of the die.
This game is called "chuck-a-luck." A faithful, working christian
Chaplain, would, in a great measure, control these practices among the
young men of the army.

While at Cross Timbers, in Arkansas, Captain Kelly, of Company F,
resigned his commission, on account of ill health, and returned to his
home in Illinois. Captain Kelly was invariably inclined to be kind and
generous towards his men, even to the sacrifice of his own comfort, and
his departure was regretted by all. As a testimony of the regard and
esteem which the officers of the regiment had for Captain Kelly, the
following "expression" was handed to him by the Major, whose name heads
the list of signers:

"We, the officers of the Fifty-Ninth Illinois Volunteer Regiment, take
this method of expressing our esteem of Captain S. W. Kelly, as an
officer and as a gentleman. In camps and on the march, as his health
and strength permitted, his duties were always promptly and faithfully
attended to. On the battle field he was firm and unflinching. In
retiring to private life, he bears with him our best wishes." Signed J.
C. Winters, and by twenty other officers of the regiment.

On the resignation of Captain Kelly, the command of Company F devolved
on Lieutenant John Kelly. The Lieutenant had faithfully filled the
position from that time until now, and was justly entitled to a
commission as Captain of the company. This, however, he failed to
receive. Lieutenant Curry, of Company C, of the same regiment, obtained
the commission, and took command of the company after its arrival at
Jacinto, Miss. By the resignation of Captain Taylor, of Company H,
Lieutenant A. Anthony, was left in command of _that_ company. More
fortunate than Lieutenant Kelly, he subsequently obtained a Captain's
commission and commanded the company as such, until ill health
compelled him also to resign.

On the 20th of June, the regiment received orders to move out towards
Jacinto, Miss., without tents or baggage, and to leave the sick,
cripples and convalescents behind. It marched some twenty miles and
bivouacked within two or three miles of Jacinto. Here they remained
until the 28th. On the 26th, orders were received at camp to remove the
sick to General Field hospital at Corinth, and bring forward the tents
and other camp equipage to the regiment. This was accomplished in good
order; the trains reporting to the regiment about eleven o'clock, on
the 28th. While laying in camp, sickness had increased considerably,
and now there was quite a number to be left at hospital. When the train
arrived at the regiment, it was under marching orders and making
preparations to move. Rations were being distributed to the men, and
the Surgeons were drawing a supply of medicines and other hospital
stores for their respective regiments. All the indications were that a
long and rapid march was in contemplation, or else an engagement with
the enemy. Old soldiers are not often deceived in their prognosis.



CHAPTER XVIII.


At three o'clock of the 28th, the regiment again started on the march.
Rumor had it that the destination was Holly Springs, which is
thirty-five miles south of Memphis. The roads were now in good
condition. The dust was nicely settled by a previous rain, and the
weather was not so excessively hot as it had been a few days before.
The men were well rested, and in good health and spirits. The teams
were in good condition, and all seemed propitious for a successful
campaign.

Passing through Jacinto, towards Rienzi, the regiment made eight miles,
and went into camp. The next morning, starting early, it made fifteen
miles, and went into camp one-half mile east of the town of Ripley.

This is quite a pretty town, of, perhaps one thousand inhabitants. It
is the county town of Tippah County, Mississippi, and is prettily
situated in the best portion of the country the regiment had visited.
This was Sunday, and the citizens were all at church when our army made
its appearance. The minister was reading a hymn when our advance was
first descried, and some one at the church door sang out, the "Yankees
are coming!" It may be supposed that this created some alarm--perhaps
as much as the cry of fire would have done. The congregation rushed for
the door, and, as fast as they could get out of the house,
skedaddled--some for their homes, but most of them for the timber, on
double-quick. It can easily be believed that there was some tall
running about this time. They were taken entirely by surprise. The
rebel soldiers that had been there, a few days before, were all gone to
some other point, and their withdrawal had caused the citizens to
suppose that the town of Ripley was in perfect security; but now, of
course, they expected, if caught, to be roasted, and eaten by the
cannibal Yankees. Our army, however, marched through the town in
perfect good order, molesting no one, nor touching a thing belonging to
any one.

A few negroes, three or four old men, and some children, were all that
could be seen in the streets, as our soldiers passed.

"Yah, yah, yah; Massa said you 'uns would neber come dis here way--yah,
yah." Thus said an old darkey, as we passed him. "He was mistaken dat
time, for here you is, sure 'nough--yah, yah."

"Where is your master now?" asked one of our boys.

"He's done gone. Wen you 'uns was seen comin', he broke for de
brush--yah, yah."

Monday being muster day, the army lay in camp until Tuesday morning, to
allow time for making up the muster-rolls.

The women, and some of the male citizens, had returned to their homes,
as soon as they ascertained that the Yankees were not particularly fond
of roasted rebels, and many of the officers became domesticated at
their houses. At one of these houses an officer was talking with the
lady, in the parlor, when a private stepped to the door, to make some
inquiry. There was in the parlor at the time, quite a pretty,
smart-looking girl, ten or twelve years old, who was attentively
listening to the conversation. When the soldier came to the door, the
mother pointed towards him, and said to the girl:

"Look there, Eliza. There's a Yankee. You was just asking what kind of
an animal they were."

The girl looked at the soldier with astonishment, for a second, then,
turning to her mother, said:

"Why, mother, that's not a Yankee; that's a man."

This poor girl had expected to see a wild animal of some kind. She had
no idea that the Yankees were men. This is in kind with the ignorance
of a young woman, whose husband was in the rebel army. She was,
herself, a most rabid secesh. Some of our boys were telling her of the
victories they had gained over the rebels, particularly the one at Pea
Ridge, in Arkansas. "O, yes," said she, "you whipped us there; but you
never could have done it if it hadn't been for the gun-boats."
Gun-boats at Pea Ridge, more than ninety miles from water! What an
idea! Ignorance is not always bliss.

Tuesday morning, the army again moved out, passing back through Ripley,
and on towards Holly Springs. Here Colonel P. Sidney Post came very
near being captured. Many of the young "bloods" of the army were in the
habit of leaving their commands, and taking up their quarters at
citizens' houses whenever an opportunity of the kind offered, on the
march, or while in camp. Colonel Post had here formed the acquaintance
of some secesh ladies, and enjoyed himself hugely in their society.
When the regiment left town, he remained behind a short time to have a
parting word with the sweet charmers, and would, perhaps, have remained
some time longer had not an acquaintance rode to the door, and urged
him to go on with the command. The plot laid to capture him was just
completed as he rode away. These fair ladies had made arrangements with
some half-dozen rebels to come to the house, and lay in wait, until
notified of the opportune moment for their purpose. One of these ladies
left the presence of the Colonel for that object, just as the Colonel
was urged to go to his command. Five minutes later, and he would have
been a prisoner.

Soon after leaving town, two of our boys, who were some distance in the
rear of the regiment, on account of ill health, were unexpectedly
ordered to halt. On looking around, they discovered some half-dozen
guerrillas by the roadside, with guns pointing toward them, in
threatening attitude. "Halt! you damned Yankee sons-of-bitches, or
we'll blow your brains out," was the order of the rebs. The boys were
in a ravine, with hills in front and rear; and, just at this time,
there were none of our men in sight. There was no alternative but to
surrender. This they did, with as good grace as possible. They were
taken some distance from the road, and whatever of value they had was
taken from them. A consultation was then held among the captors, to
determine whether these two "Yanks" should be shot on the "spot," or
taken to General Price, who was then at Tupelo. One or two were for
shooting them at once, and thus save trouble; but the majority opposed
it, and they were marched off in a southerly direction. They marched
until nearly night, when they came to an encampment of rebels, near
some small town, the name of which they did not learn. Here they were
placed in an old deserted house, together with a number of other
prisoners.

The names of these two men were Joseph H. Sullivan and Jesse L.
McHatton. They were soon joined by Moses T. Anderson, captured about
the same time, and in the same manner. These three belonged to the
Fifty-Ninth Regiment. The other prisoners were from different
regiments. There was one prisoner there who had been captured at the
siege of Corinth. He was Chaplain to some regiment, and was now under
sentence of death, for being a spy. He was a Southern man, with Union
sentiments, and hence the supposition that he was a spy for the Union
army. He had just had his court-martial, and the sentence was to be put
in execution on the morrow. During the evening he told his story to the
boys of the Fifty-Ninth, and at once enlisted their sympathies in his
behalf. A plan was soon devised, and suggested by Joseph Sullivan, by
which he, perhaps, might make his escape. The night happened to be most
favorable, and the plan succeeded admirably. There were no lights about
the building, consequently all was in darkness as soon as the daylight
disappeared. Before that time, however, Joseph Sullivan had noticed a
comparatively loose board in the floor, and that the house was
considerably raised from the ground, by being set on blocks at the
corners.

The plan then was, that the Chaplain should hold prayer-meeting, about
nine or ten o'clock, and, while the praying and singing was attracting
the attention of the guards, the board in the floor should be taken up,
and the Chaplain pass through under the floor, and there remain until
he should hear a slight thumping on the floor above him, when he should
crawl out at the north-west corner, and make his escape. The Chaplain
gave out the hymn from memory, offered up a most excellent and fervent
prayer, asking forgiveness on his to-morrow's executioners, and pardon
for the whole rebel Confederacy, and praying that they might soon see
the error of their ways, and return to their allegiance, etc. He then
gave out another hymn, and, while it was being sung, slipped through
the opening to the ground beneath the floor. The board was carefully
replaced, and all soon became quiet. In about an hour Joseph Sullivan
and McHatton, leaving Anderson to give the signal on the floor, used
some strategy to attract the attention of the guard, so that the
Chaplain had an opportunity to pass out undiscovered. It is not known
that he was ever re-captured. The supposition is that he made good his
escape, and is now with his friends.

The next morning the prisoners were started on for Tupelo. Arriving at
Price's head-quarters, they were ordered to Mobile; from Mobile they
were sent to Macon, Georgia, where they were kept until the 8th of
October, when they were shipped to Richmond, Virginia, for exchange.

While at Macon, Joseph Sullivan was granted the privilege of the city,
that he might work at his trade. He was a shoemaker by trade, and made
shoes for the benefit of the sick in hospital. The money he received
for his work he expended for quinine, and other necessaries, for the
sick prisoners. In this way he accomplished a great amount of good, and
will ever be remembered by those thus benefitted with gratitude. These
three men were reasonably well treated while prisoners, and returned,
September 8, 1864, to their old regiment, in good health.

The march of the regiment was continued, in the direction of Holly
Springs, until late in the evening. Reveille at three, and march at
five o'clock, is the order for the following morning. True to orders,
at five o'clock the regiment is on the move. The march is continued all
day, and until one o'clock at night. The men are very tired, and take
no time to prepare coffee, but stretch themselves on the ground, and go
to sleep. At four o'clock orders came to fall in. Most of the men are
yet asleep, but the order must be obeyed, and slowly they fall into
ranks. No supper, no breakfast, and yet must march. 'Tis hard, but
"Forward, march!" The column moves out, and takes the back track. The
enemy is threatening the rear, and will cut us off from our supplies.
Hungry and weary, the men drag the march along all day, and go into
bivouac ready to pull out again at a moment's notice. We are now not
far from Rienzi, having made over sixty miles since the morning of the
1st. The men are on less than half rations, and the teams without
forage. Many of the horses were without feed for forty-eight hours, and
many of the men, for twenty-four hours, did not have a mouthful of
nourishment. This is the heaviest marching the regiment has ever done.

On the 4th the army went into camp at Jacinto, the Fifty-Ninth camping
about two miles from town. Although the three days' marching had been
very trying on the nerve and muscle of the men, the regiment came into
camp at Jacinto in good condition. The health of the regiment was never
better. There were very few who had failed to keep their places in the
ranks. One man had been severely wounded by the upsetting of a wagon.
He was riding on the wagon, asleep, when the driver, in going down a
hill, upset his wagon, throwing the sleeper from the comfortable
quarters he was enjoying to the earth. An axe being his companion on
the wagon, struck his foot as he fell, making a severe wound.



CHAPTER XIX.


Jacinto is a pretty little town, twenty-five miles south of Corinth, in
Nishamingo County, and is situated in a cultivated part of the country.
As a general thing, this is an uncultivated region. From Corinth
through Ripley to within a few miles of Holly Springs, wherever the
regiment has marched, the country is comparatively a wilderness. In the
immediate vicinity of Rienzi, Jacinto and Ripley, there are some small
plantations under ordinary good cultivation. The land is poor and
rather unproductive, yielding but small compensation for the labor
required to till it. The appearances of the few women and children
which are seen along the march, indicates the prevalence of agues and
fevers during the spring and fall seasons of the year, and the many
swamps and marshes seen in all directions, confirm the supposition that
it is a very unhealthy country. The country around Jacinto and the
other little towns is more elevated and broken, and affords some
assurance of health. Jacinto is in a comparatively healthy location,
and should the army remain here during the heat of summer, it may enjoy
good health. The water is obtained from springs, and is much more
healthy than the brackish water of the swamps, which the soldier was
compelled to drink while on the march.

It is now probable that active operations will be suspended till the
hot season is over, and the troops are busy making preparations to
enjoy a recuperative season in camp. They are determined to have camp
as attracting as possible, and as comfortable as green shades and good
bunks can make it. The camp grounds of the Fifty-Ninth has been
judiciously selected on one of the small pine ridges which skirt the
streams of this region, and is convenient to both fence rails and
water. Fence rails make most excellent fires for cooking and the cool
spring water is a luxury much to be prized during the hot days of this
season of the year. The small pine shrubbery affords excellent material
for the construction of shades and arbors to protect against the
scorching rays of the sun. Some of the companies are taking great pains
in the construction of arbors adjoining their tents. Company K has
excelled all the others in artistic skill and ingenuity in the
construction of these shades. All over camp these bowers are so
constructed as to effectually shield from the scorching rays of Old
Sol, and groups of hardy looking soldiers are now to be seen engaged in
every conceivable pastime, unconscious of the oppressive heat outside.
Some are discussing the conservative policy of General Halleck in
pitying the rebels--guarding their property from molestation by our
soldiers while on the march and while laying in camp, and in feeding
the families of those in arms against us from our scant rations.

A squad of men has just left camp to go a mile out, for the purpose of
guarding a rebel family against intrusion by any of the soldiers. This,
the majority of the disputants are opposed to, while some are in favor
of the policy. Some of these boys have been compelled very much against
their will, to stop while on the march, and stand guard at the gate of
some fine mansion, whose owner was in the rebel army, while the
families occupying the log houses along the road were left to the mercy
of every straggler in the army. This is looked upon by those opposed to
the policy as great injustice.

Some are engaged in writing letters to their friends at home, and some
in playing cards, some are reading, and here is a squad attracted by
the exciting game of chuck-a-luck. Some are rubbing up their muskets
and others are stretched upon their beds of pine, taking a nap. This
will continue to be the daily camp scene until orders come to move out
again.

Soon after coming into camp, Dr. H. J. Maynard reported from Cassville,
Mo., and again took charge of the sick. Dr. Hazlett assumed the duties
of Brigade Surgeon, and located himself at Jacinto. As is always the
case, while laying in camp, sickness now increases, so that a large
hospital tent is required to shelter the patients. This field hospital
is still continued at Corinth, and orders are to send all serious cases
up there for treatment. The indications also point towards an early
move, and it is not policy to have many sick men with the regiment.

There had been an order for several days, to be ready to move at a
moment's notice, but no move was made until the 4th of August. On the
4th, the regiment started out on a scout, as was supposed, leaving the
camp standing, as is usual on such occasions. The 4th of August was,
perhaps, the hottest day of the season, and the men suffered
excessively from the heat. Quite a number fell from the ranks with
"sun-stroke," and some expired from its effects. None of the
Fifty-Ninth died, but two or three never fully recovered from its
impression.

On the 6th, the Acting Quartermaster, Lieutenant H. W. Hall, received
orders to break up camp, and move his train to Iuka, Miss., some twenty
miles farther east. The sick were all sent to general field hospital,
and about noon the train moved out. Passing through Jacinto, it
continued to move until nine o'clock, when it overtook the regiment, in
bivouac, some six miles from Iuka. The regiment had thus far returned
from its expedition, and bivouacked for the train to come up, so as to
be safely escorted to Iuka. There were many guerrillas through the
country, and it was unsafe to send the train without a strong guard.
Early in the morning the march was continued to Iuka, where the
regiment again went into regular camp.

The regimental Sutler did not come through with the train, but waited
until the next day. When coming through, on the 8th, with three wagons
loaded with goods, and six splendid mules to each wagon, the guerrillas
came upon him about five miles from Iuka, and captured two wagons and
mules with their drivers, and also one man belonging to the ranks in
the regiment. The Sutler, who was on horseback, made his escape, as did
also one of the wagons. After taking as many of the goods as they could
carry away with them, they set fire to the wagons and burned them. The
mules and prisoners were taken to Tupelo. Besides the mules and wagons,
the Sutler lost about two thousand dollars worth of goods. The
prisoners were taken to General Price. Two of them being citizens, one
the driver and the other the Sutler's clerk, were released on parole of
honor. The soldier, William Workman, of Company F, was released by
taking an oath of pseudo alliance to the Confederate government.

As soon as it was known that these guerrillas had committed this
outrage, a squad of cavalry was started in pursuit, but too late to
overtake them. A short distance from where the wagons were burned, the
rebels had taken breakfast that morning, and perhaps concealed
themselves there the night before. The family at first denied any
knowledge of the affair, but in looking around some of the Sutler's
goods were discovered. This settled the matter to the satisfaction of
our boys, and they immediately ordered the family to pack up such
things as they wished to save from the flames, for their house should
never harbor any more guerrillas. Soon the house was emptied of its
contents, the Sutler's goods were retaken, and the house shared the
fate of the wagons--nothing was left but the ashes.

The regiment on leaving Jacinto, marched in a southern direction about
twenty-five miles, to a place called Sand Springs. A large cotton
factory and dry goods establishment was in operation there, and a camp
of three or four hundred rebels in the vicinity. It was for the purpose
of breaking up this establishment that the expedition was undertaken.
Several regiments were detailed from the different brigades for that
purpose, and General Robert Mitchell was in command. The first night
out, the command bivouacked on an old rebel's plantation, some fifteen
miles south of Jacinto. In the evening, General Mitchell, with his
staff, rode forward in advance of the column to this old planter's
house, and was most cordially received and welcomed by the old
gentlemen, with true southern hospitality. The General soon discovered
which way the wind blew with the old man, and encouraged him in his
delusion. He informed the planter that he was General Price, of the
Confederate army, and that he wished to camp some of his boys near by,
and take up his own quarters at his house for the night. The old
gentleman was highly delighted, and generously proffered his house and
premises for the accommodation of General Price. By this time it had
become the dusk of the evening, and our boys were coming into camp in
good order. General Mitchell detained the old planter in conversation
so closely that he had no opportunity to discover the difference
between our boys and his friends, the rebels. After the General had
pumped this old rebel to his entire satisfaction, he retired--but
before doing so, had a guard placed around the house, with orders to
let no one out or in. Before going to bed the old planter attempted to
pass the guard, but was not allowed to do so. He thought rather strange
of the proceedings, but submitted with a good grace, and retired to
dream of the honor to his house in the entertainment of the great
General Price, of the Confederate States army.

He was up in the morning early, and again attempted to pass the guard,
with no better success, however. It was now becoming light, and the
uniform of the soldiers at the door attracted his attention. His
suspicions were aroused.

"Are you a Confederate soldier?" said he to the guard.

"No, sir ee," replied the soldier.

"What are you, then?" said the planter, "and how came you here?"

"I am a Union soldier, and am here by the order of General Mitchell."

"Who is General Mitchell, and where is he?" asked the planter, eagerly.

"General Mitchell commands these regiments out here in your fields, and
is now in your house."

"And where are the soldiers of General Price?" inquired the old
gentleman.

"To hell, for all I know," replied the soldier, who, not understanding
the matter, turned away and walked his beat.

The old man re-entered his room, wondering how it all happened. Pretty
soon General Mitchell made his appearance, and greeted the planter with
a pleasant "good morning."

"How is it, General, that I see so many Union soldiers out here?"

"Those are my boys out there," says the General, "and I am General
Mitchell of the Union army, and not General Price, as you was glad to
believe last night. It is now time I was on the move, and you will
prepare to go with me. I want you to guide me to the Sand Springs, and
if you deceive me in one particular your life shall immediately pay the
forfeit."

The old planter was sold, and there was no help for it. Sullenly, but
faithfully he obeyed orders, and when the expedition returned he was
allowed to remain with his family. The rebels fled at our approach; the
factory was destroyed; the store gutted, &c.



CHAPTER XX.


Iuka is a pretty little town twenty-five miles east of Jacinto,
Mississippi, and is on the Memphis, and Charleston railroad. It is
twenty miles south-east of Corinth, and is pleasantly located. The
country is rather better than any we have seen in Mississippi, and the
improvements are good. The town has some very fine buildings, for
private residences, and one fine large hotel. It has several mineral
springs in the neighborhood, which have obtained quite a notoriety for
their curative properties. Iron, sulphur and salts, characterize the
water of these springs. The chalybeate spring is highly impregnated
with the medical properties of iron, and is no doubt admirably adapted
to some cases of disease. The sulphur spring is also strongly tinctured
with sulphur. On account of these springs, Iuka has been a favorite
resort for invalid planters and their families, and perhaps, some day
may become a noted "watering place."

The regiment went into camp half a mile south of town, on a pleasant
piece of ground, formerly used as a play ground for the scholars of an
academy located there. The academy building was yet standing, but had
been used as barracks for soldiers, and was very much abused. Doctor
Maynard took possession of it now, for the use of the sick.

The regiment had now marched in its advances and retreats, over two
hundred miles since coming to the State of Mississippi, and the men
were willing to rest for a short time at Iuka.

Rumor now has it, that one Brigade is to remain here during the balance
of the summer. The men are thereby encouraged to erect some more
pleasant bowers, to protect themselves from the excessive heat.

A day or two after coming here, two of our boys, while scouting through
the country, stopped at a widow womans, and in genuine guerrilla
fashion, proceeded to rob her of all the money she had, some forty or
fifty dollars. The woman followed them to camp, and reported the affair
to the Captain of the company. The boys were arrested, but what
punishment they received, deponent saith not.

Two other cases of a similar character, only on a much larger scale,
and perhaps with more justice, occurred while laying here. A rich old
planter, living about two miles from town, had the reputation of being
a rebel, although he remained at home, and apparently minded his own
business. General Mitchell, however, supposed him to be a fit subject
for arrest, and to have the law of confiscation applied to his
property. He, therefore, sent a squad of men, and brought the old man
to town, together with horses, mules, wagons, cotton, and negroes, to
the amount of twenty thousand dollars. All the property was taken for
the benefit of the Government, and the old gentleman was held for the
safety of the commonwealth.

The other case was that of an old planter in Alabama, about twenty
miles south of Iuka. He, too, was rich, with negroes, cotton, mules,
etc., and was tainted with disunion sentiments. General Mitchell deemed
it necessary to clip the wings of his riches, also, lest they should
fly over to the rebel cause. Accordingly, a detachment of two or three
regiments, the Fifty-Ninth included, were started out one evening,
about sun-down, to make him a visit. After marching all night, they
came to the plantation at sun-rise, or just before, but not early
enough to catch the old planter. The negroes, cotton, mules, horses and
wagons, were taken in possession. Other plantations were visited, and
many bales of cotton were found hid away in the brush, the hiding
places being pointed out by the negroes. The expedition returned, with
ninety bales of cotton, besides other property, to the amount of
several thousands of dollars. These three cases were somewhat similar,
but with this difference: the one was in accordance with guerrilla
warfare, the other according to the law of civilized warfare.

The health of the regiment continued good while here, although some
cases occurred from the excessive use of green corn, and other
imprudent indulgences. One patient, (Nathan Logue, of Company B,) was
taken sick on the morning of the 18th, was sent to town to general
hospital on the morning of the 19th, and died that afternoon, at three
o'clock.

The First Lieutenant of Company F, (John Kelly,) was here compelled to
leave his company, and attend solely to his own afflictions. For
several months his eyes had been affected with severe inflammation,
which now became almost insupportable. The Surgeon, (Doctor Maynard,)
had frequently advised him to resign his commission, and leave the
army, until he could get his eyes restored to a healthy condition. This
he persistently refused to do. His love of country was above all
considerations of self. Said he: "My country needs my services. I was,
also, instrumental in getting the boys of Company F to enlist, and they
were generous enough to give me the second position in the company, and
now I will not desert them. I will share their toils and hardships as
long as it is possible for me to do so." Now his eyes had become so
much inflamed that he could not see. The pain was excessive, his whole
system became deranged, fever set in, typhoid symptoms soon made their
appearance, and he became prostrated. He was taken to a private house
in town, was well nursed and medically attended; but nature could
endure no longer, and, in August he was buried at Iuka, Mississippi. He
was beloved by all belonging to his company, and highly respected by
every officer and private in the regiment. His love of country was only
excelled by his love of virtue.



CHAPTER XXI.


Orders came to the regiment on the morning of the 18th of August, to
march at twelve o'clock. This order had been anticipated for a day or
two, and did not create any surprise. Although the men had been
expecting to remain some time longer at Iuka, they willingly proceeded
to pull down arbors and strike tents. The Fifty-Ninth had been in
service long enough to learn that orders were not rumors or
suppositions, and that to obey with alacrity was characteristic of a
contented soldier; and that, however much they might desire to stay at
Iuka, the better policy was to leave without complaint.

"Rumors, rumors; vague, contradictory! Surely, like the heath on which
the witches in 'Macbeth' stirred their gruel, and summoned the spirits
of many colors." As W. L. F. writes of Memphis, so Iuka is at this
time--the gathering place of "black rumors and white, red rumors and
grey." Every hour there is a new batch of them. One rumor says that
General Buell is now in the Sequatchie Valley, east of Stevenson and
north of the Tennessee River, nearly north of Chattanooga, with General
Kirby Smith in his front, with Polk and Bragg in his rear, and with
Forrest's cavalry on the north, which is large, and another formidable
force on the south, leaving him a bare possibility of escaping with his
command. Then comes another one on the same day, and tells that General
Bragg was near Bolivar, with an army of twenty thousand men, and about
to surround General Ross, who is in command at that place. And still
another--that "Price is at Grand Junction," and is about to eat up the
army of General Rosecranz, at Corinth. To the relief of some one of
these points, the command of General Davis is now to be sent. Some
suppose it will be back to Corinth, and some to relieve Buell. The
latter proved to be the correct supposition, and hence the direction
taken was towards Tennessee.

At twelve o'clock, the command moved out. At one o'clock it commenced
raining, and continued raining till the next morning. The command
marched eight miles that afternoon, going into camp sometime after
dark--and dark it was, too. Wet and hungry, the men had to lay that
night without fire or tents. It was too dark to find wood, and the
wagons did not come up in time to pitch tents. About day-light the rain
ceased, and the sun came up bright and cheering, and disclosed to view
the small town of Eastport, and the Tennessee River. Two steamboats
were in waiting at the wharf to ferry the troops over.

Eastport is on the left bank of the Tennessee River, in the north-east
corner of the State of Mississippi. It is, altogether, a one-horse
town, although some business in the way of shipping produce has been
carried on here. The town is situated on one of those high, abrupt
banks, which are everywhere met with along the Tennessee River. The
view from the bluff just above town affords a most magnificent scenery.
In the east the sun is lending a brilliancy to the dispersing
rain-clouds of the night before. In the south the blue waters of the
Tennessee, are seen emerging from a narrow avenue, among the heavy
foliage of the forest trees, in the distance; and in the north the same
waters are seen disappearing as they came, to find their level in the
bosom of its rival--the Ohio. Beneath you lay the two steamboats,
sending up their wreath of white, and their black columns of smoke. A
line of soldiers are forming on the wharf to await the order for
crossing. In the back-ground are the camps, with their thousand
soldiers, in all conceivable attitudes, giving a lively finish to the
picture.

Soon after sun-rise the troops commenced crossing. At three o'clock the
Fifty-Ninth crossed over, and went into camp about one mile from the
river. The 20th was consumed in getting the trains over, and in fitting
up rations, etc., for a continued march. While here the boys amused
themselves bathing in the river, and washing up their dirty clothing.
Here, too, Colonel Post again came very near being captured. He, with
Doctor Maynard, who was ever ready for a scout, or a dash at the Johnny
secesh, rode out beyond the lines in the evening, and called at a
plantation, where two or three ladies detained them until after dark.
Soon after starting for camp they were ordered to "halt" by some unseen
foe; but, not being inclined to an ambush, they put spurs to their
horses, and made their escape, although several shots were fired after
them.

On the morning of the 21st we again broke camp, and did not pitch tents
until we reached Florence, Alabama. Florence is a beautiful town, of,
perhaps, one thousand inhabitants. It is situated near the right bank
of the Tennessee River, not far from the Tennessee State line. It seems
to be a place of some business, but, to judge from appearances, it is
principally occupied by wealthy citizens, who are destitute of
employment. There is no other town so well calculated for the enjoyment
of repose as Florence. The houses, for the most part, are set back some
distance from the street, and the front yard is filled with most
delightful shade trees. Many of these trees are quite large, indicating
great age, but have been cut off at the top so as not to be of too
great a height for ornament as well as shade. In riding along the
street, in hot weather, the inclination to stop, and take a siesta
under these cool shades, is almost irresistible. A glimpse of the white
cottage, within, is only now and then obtained through the thick
foliage of the trees in front. No wonder the citizens of Florence are
opposed to the emancipation policy. To lay in the shade here, and have
slaves to wait on you--what more could be desired?

The regiment encamped near the river, not far from a railroad bridge
that had been burned by General Sherman, a few months before.

The tents, and all camp equipage, were now ordered to be left behind,
and the men march with light knapsacks. From Florence the march was
continued to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee; thence to Columbia, from Columbia
to Franklin, and through Franklin to Murfreesboro', Tennessee. Here we
lay in camp one day, and then moved out for Nashville. Starting late in
the evening, we reached Nashville next afternoon at four o'clock,
making over thirty miles in less than twenty four hours.

The country, from Florence to Murfreesboro', is under good cultivation,
and is the most productive of any the army has passed through since
leaving Boonville, Missouri. The splendid plantations of General Polk
and brothers are on this road, and are unsurpassed by any that we have
ever seen. The buildings are of the most approved style of modern
architecture, and the grounds are most beautifully arranged, after the
English model. All that money, art and slave labor can accomplish is
here displayed. The land is rich, and under a high state of
cultivation.

Columbia, Franklin and Murfreesboro' are interesting towns, of twelve
or fifteen hundred inhabitants each. At Columbia is an obelisk, erected
to the memory of the heroes who volunteered to leave their homes, and
the town of Columbia, for the purpose of serving in the Mexican war.
The inscriptions on this monument give the names, rank, age and time of
death of these honorable heroes. It is quite an ornament to the public
square of the town, and speaks volumes in praise of the good and
patriotic citizens. The honor was due the Mexican heroes.

The command passed through Franklin on Sunday. The citizens were
consequently at leisure to meet on the streets and witness the soldiers
as they marched through town. The soldier prides himself, at all times,
on his soldierly appearance when in the ranks, but, when passing
through these secesh towns, he more than takes delight in showing
himself to good advantage. "Here's your Yankee soldier, you
insignificant traitor, you--look at him, and tremble"--is the
expression he wears on his countenance, and exhibits in his military
step and bearing. The citizens of Franklin were much more numerous than
had been seen in any of the towns hitherto passed through. There were,
perhaps, more union people, and a less number who had fled at our
approach.

Five miles west of Franklin a large cotton factory is in operation,
and, as the army passed, the factory girls, to the number of two or
three hundred, came out to see it pass. The girls were neatly dressed
in their holiday clothing, and presented a very interesting spectacle
to the soldiers. Many months had passed since so many young ladies had
been looked upon by these war-worn soldiers. Home and civilized society
was brought to the memory, and many a sad thought forced itself through
the mind, of the loved ones at home, who, to-day, were congregated at
their places of Sunday gathering, in the country, to hear glad tidings
from the preacher. Jests and repartees flew thick and fast between the
girls and the soldier-boys, as the regiments moved by. Many of these
girls were very pretty and intelligent, although they, more than
likely, belonged to the families of the "poor white trash" of the
South.

When going into camp near Murfreesboro', two boys of the Fifty-Ninth
left the regiment to visit a house half a mile from the road for the
purpose of getting something for their supper. While there they were
surprised by three or four guerrillas and taken prisoners. News of the
affair soon came to camp and a squad was sent out after them, but
without success.

Arriving at Nashville on the 4th the regiment went into camp two miles
south of the city, and lay there until the morning of the 6th, when it
again moved out. Passing through the city it crossed the Tennessee
river and encamped near Edgefield. Here General Davis lays in wait
until the balance of Buell's army could come up and cross the river.
General Jeff. C. Davis was detached from the army of General Rosecranz,
at Iuka, with eight thousand men, and reported to General Buell at
Murfreesboro'. The Fifty-Ninth Illinois was in his command and was
among the first regiments that crossed the river at Nashville.

The positions of General Buell's army at Battle Creek, Huntsville, and
McMinnville, on account of the movements of General Bragg's rebel army,
became untenable, and had to be evacuated. General Bragg massed his
army at Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee. One corps, under General
Kirby Smith, had succeeded in a flank movement, and had already reached
the borders of Kentucky. Two other corps under General Hardee and
Leonidas Polk were about to succeed in joining Smith, thus forming an
army of forty thousand men--sufficiently strong to threaten either
Cincinnati or Louisville, and cut General Buell off from all his
communications. These movements caused General Buell to move his army
with all dispatch towards Louisville to secure his own safety and that
of Louisville and Cincinnati.

The crossing was effected on the 8th, and about sunset the Fifty-Ninth
again pushed out. The evening was mild and pleasant, although somewhat
lowering. Clouds were accumulating and thickening in the west, and
appearances rather indicated rain. No rain had fallen since leaving
Eastport, and the roads were getting very dry and dusty, and water very
scarce. A rain would therefore be very acceptable at this time--but
such a rain as fell that night was more than agreeable! The troops had
hardly got under way, when it became dark, and continually growing
darker. It finally became "darkness visible," and the rain commenced.
The heavens opened and poured their floods of water in torrents; the
lightning's vivid flash is blinding, and the thunder's roar exceeds the
combined report of all earth's artillery. No mortal man could march in
such a storm, and for half an hour the _mighty_ hosts of General
Buell bent themselves submissively to the will of Him "who rides upon
the whirlwind and controls the storm." When the storm moderated, the
march was continued and kept up until two o'clock in the morning. After
marching all night, the regiment lay here quietly in camp for over
thirty-six hours, and then made another night march, and lay in camp a
day. Why this night marching, and laying by through the day, is
unaccountable to outsiders.

The march now continues from day to day until the 27th of September,
when the army encamps at Louisville. The route traversed by General
Jeff. C. Davis' division, was from Nashville via Franklin, Dripping
Springs, Cave City, to Bowling Green; from Bowling Green through
Mumfordsville, Elizabethtown and West Point to Louisville. The distance
from Nashville to Louisville, by the roads marched over, is over two
hundred miles, and the time occupied in marching was fourteen days. The
army having laid by four days and counter-marched one. At Dripping
Springs the division encamped one night, and marched out early the next
morning, and until twelve o'clock. A halt was called, the column faced
about and marched directly back to the last night's camp. Buell was
either a knave or a coward, or perhaps both. The probabilities are that
if Buell had marched his army as a _General_ should and would have
done from Nashville on, he would have saved the surrender of the four
thousand brave men at Mumfordsville. But what time he could not loiter
away, he took up in counter-marching his weary and half-fed troops.

A division of only two brigades of Bragg's army under General Buckner,
attacked our forces at Mumfordsville. This force consisted of the
Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Sixty-Seventh and Eighty-Third Indiana
regiments, under Colonel Wilder. After being repulsed three times, with
a loss of two or three hundred, they retire to await reinforcements. In
a day or two they renew the attack with a largely increased force.
After a desperate resistance, Colonel Wilder is compelled to surrender.
The prisoners are paroled, and in a day or two they pass through our
columns to the rear, without arms. Why was it that General Buell did
not reinforce that bravely defended garrison? If, instead of
counter-marching twenty miles and wasting two or three days in
idleness, he had steadily advanced with his army, Mumfordsville would
have been saved. Had he have been seen and known along the lines at the
time those brave men were passing to the rear, his hide would never
have held bran.

When our army passed through the ground held by the rebels, during the
attack, the dead were yet unburied. A rebel officer and private
soldier, the one in splendid uniform, the other in rags, were side by
side, awaiting the sexton's aid. From Mumfordsville to Louisville the
march was continued unintermittingly, and on less than half rations and
some days without water. Some of the men were without food for
forty-eight hours. Without shoes, ragged and dirty, they arrive at
Louisville, contrasting beautifully with the neatly uniformed recruits
about the city, with their paper collars and blacked boots.

General Jeff. C. Davis' division had now marched about three hundred
and seventy-five miles since the 18th of August, and over six hundred
miles since leaving Corinth, Miss.

The sick and disabled were left in hospital at Bowling Green as the
regiment came through, so that on its arrival at Louisville there was
but one disabled man in the Fifty-Ninth, and he unfortunately became
disabled by falling from the top of a loaded wagon and breaking his
arm.

While at Louisville, the boys, as a general thing, had the privilege of
the city and enjoyed themselves very much. Some of them took "french
leave," and visited their friends over the river. One man, William
Rumsey, Company H, lost his life while here, in an unfortunate
difficulty with a fellow soldier. Rumsey was a good soldier, and not at
all inclined to be quarrelsome, but through some evil influence he
enraged one of General Mitchell's body guard to such a degree that he
drew his pistol and shot him.

Here, also, the regiment met with a great loss by the transfer of Dr.
H. J. Maynard to another department. Through the influence of some
friends in Arkansas, he was commissioned First Surgeon of the First
Arkansas Cavalry Regiment. This entitled him to a transfer, and he bid
adieu to the Fifty-Ninth Illinois at Louisville. His withdrawal from
the regiment was seriously regretted by all who had ever had any
intercourse with him. As a man, he was affable and gentlemanly in his
intercourse with the men, and as a Surgeon, he was courteous, kind and
scientific. His liberality and goodness of heart endeared him to all in
the regiment. He will ever carry with him the respect and gratitude of
all those to whom he ministered while with the command.

The most _striking_ incident which occurred while the regiment lay at
Louisville, was the shooting of General Nelson by Jeff. C. Davis. It is
to be hoped that the act was morally and legally justifiable.

General Jeff. C. Davis was at home on leave of absence, which he
obtained a short time before his division left the State of
Mississippi, on a plea of ill health. When the alarm was raised in
Louisville that the enemy were marching on that city, General Jeff. C.
Davis, who could not reach his command under General Buell, then at
Bowling Green, went to General Nelson and tendered his services.
General Nelson gave him the command of the city militia, so soon as
they were organized. General Davis opened an office and went to work in
assisting in the organization. On Wednesday, General Davis called upon
General Nelson in his room at the Gait House, in Louisville, when the
following took place:

General Davis said, "I have the brigade, General, you assigned me,
ready for service, and have called to inquire if I can obtain arms for
them."

General Nelson--"How many men have you?"

General Davis--"About twenty-five hundred men, General."

General Nelson--roughly and angrily--"About twenty-five hundred! _About
twenty-five hundred!_ By G--d! you a regular officer, and come here to
me and report _about_ the number of men in your command. G--d d--n you,
don't you know sir, you should furnish me the exact number?"

Davis--"General, I didn't expect to get the guns now, and only wanted
to learn if I could get them, and where, and having learned the exact
number needed, would then draw them."

Nelson--pacing the floor in a rage--"About two thousand five hundred.
By G--d, I suspend you from your command, and order you to report to
General Wright, and I've a mind to put you under arrest. Leave my room,
sir."

Davis--"I will not leave, General, until you give me an order."

Nelson--"The h--l you won't. By G--d I'll put you under arrest, and
send you out of the city under a provost guard. Leave my room, sir."

General Davis left the room, and in order to avoid an arrest, crossed
over the river to Jeffersonville, where he remained until the next day,
when he was joined by General Burbridge, who had also been relieved by
Nelson for a trivial cause. General Davis came to Cincinnati with
General Burbridge, and reported to General Wright, who ordered General
Davis to return to Louisville, and report to General Buell, and General
Burbridge to remain in Cincinnati. General Davis returned on Friday
evening, and reported to General Buell.

Nothing further occurred until yesterday morning, when General Davis
seeing General Nelson in the main hall of the Galt House, fronting the
office, went up to Governor Morton and requested him to step up with
him to General Nelson, and witness the conversation that might pass
between Nelson and him. The Governor consented, and the two walked up
to General Nelson, when the following took place:

General Davis--"Sir, you seemed to take advantage of your authority the
other day."

General Nelson--sneeringly and placing his hand to his ear--"Speak
louder, I don't hear very well."

Davis--in a louder tone--"You seemed to take advantage of your
authority the other day."

Nelson--indignantly--"I don't know that I did, sir."

Davis--"You threatened to arrest and send me out of the State under a
provost guard."

Nelson--striking Davis with the back of his hand twice in the
face--"There, d--n you, take that."

Davis--retreating--"This is not the last of it; you will hear from me
again."

General Nelson then turned to Governor Morton and said: "By G--d, did
you come here also to insult me?"

Governor Morton--"No, sir; but I was requested to be present and listen
to the conversation between you and General Davis."

General Nelson--violently to the bystanders--"Did you hear the d--d
rascal insult me?" and then walked into the ladies' parlor.

In three minutes General Davis returned with a pistol he had borrowed
of Captain Gibson, of Louisville, and walking toward the door that
Nelson had passed through, he saw Nelson walking out of the parlor into
the hall separating the main hall from the parlor. The two were face to
face, and about ten yards apart, when General Davis drew his pistol and
fired, the ball entering Nelson's heart, or in the immediate vicinity.

General Nelson threw up both hands and caught a gentleman near by
around the neck, and exclaimed, "I'm shot." He then walked up the
flight of stairs towards General Buell's room, but sank at the foot of
the stairs, and was unable to proceed further. He was then conveyed to
his room, and when laid on his bed, requested that Rev. Mr. Talbott, an
Episcopal clergyman stopping at the house, might be sent to him at
once. The reverend gentleman arrived in about five minutes.

Mr. Talbott found General Nelson extremely anxious as to his future
welfare, and deeply penitent about the many sins he had committed. He
knew he must die immediately, and requested the ordinance of baptism
might be administered, which was done. The General then whispered:
"It's all over," and died in fifteen minutes after he was conveyed to
his room. His death was easy, the passing away of his spirit as though
the General had fallen into a quiet sleep. His remains lay in state two
days, and his funeral was witnessed by many of the Fifty-Ninth and
other regiments.

General Davis immediately gave himself up to the military authorities
to await a trial by court-martial.

This is the first case of the kind that has ever occurred in the
American army, and its effect both North and South, will be startling.
Nelson, although rough, tyrannical and insulting to General Davis, yet
in a military point of view, General Davis was unjustifiable in
shooting. Davis, however, has the sympathies of the people, both in
Louisville and in the army, and would undoubtedly be pardoned by the
President had a court-martial found him guilty.

A brief review of General Davis' military career may not be
uninteresting. He was born in Indiana, and is now about thirty-four
years of age. He was married about six month since, and his wife is
living fourteen miles back of Jeffersonville. He went to Mexico as a
private, when only sixteen years of age; and on June 17, 1848, entered
the regular army as Second Lieutenant of Artillery. He was with Major
Anderson at Fort Sumter, and fired the first gun on the rebels at that
celebrated engagement. His services, as officer of the guard, are well
known to the public. After the surrender of the fort, he sailed in the
Baltic for New York, and was ordered to Indianapolis as Mustering
Officer, Quartermaster and Commissary. Remaining in this duty three
months, he was appointed Colonel of the Twenty-Second Indiana Regiment,
and was ordered to Jefferson City, Mo., to command that post with
twelve thousand men under him. It was here he held important
correspondence with General Fremont, upon the necessity of reinforcing
Colonel Mulligan, at Lexington. He was ordered to report himself on the
Potomac, with other regular officers. Arriving at St. Louis, General
Halleck ordered him to report by letter and remain with him. Davis was
then sent to Tipton, and there moved in junction with the force of
General Curtis to Lebanon, Springfield and Pea Ridge. At the latter
place, in the great battle, General Davis commanded the third or center
division. After the battle, the officers of his division petitioned the
President to appoint him Major General.

At Blackwater, Mo., General Davis captured one thousand three hundred
prisoners, with two hundred and forty cavalry and three pieces of
artillery. Among the number was Colonel Magoffin and three other
Colonels, four Majors and a number of inferior officers.

The President forwarded a commission for a Brigadier General, and he
was ordered to Corinth, at which place he arrived with his command two
days before the evacuation. He continued with General Halleck until at
Jacinto, Miss., he obtained twenty days leave to return home. He was
unable to return and join his command, and thus he was thrown into
Louisville.

General Nelson went from Kentucky into the navy as a Lieutenant, and
with his movements and actions in the army in Kentucky, since the war
broke out, every one is familiar. He was made a Brigadier General on
the 16th of September, 1862, and afterwards promoted to the rank of
Major General. He was formerly a resident of Maysville, and never was
married. He has a large circle of relatives in the State, and a few
residing in the East. He was also a relative of Mrs. Lincoln.



CHAPTER XXII.


After resting four days at Louisville, the regiment, on the morning of
the 1st of October, received orders to pack up and be ready to move out
at ten o'clock. The army was partially re-organized at Louisville, and
the Fifty-Ninth Illinois, Twenty-Second Indiana, Seventy-Fifth Illinois
and Seventy-Fourth Illinois regiments composed the Third Brigade of the
Ninth Division of the army of the Ohio, with Colonel P. S. Post, of the
Fifty-Ninth Illinois, commanding; and Brigadier General Jeff. C. Davis
commanding the division. The command of the Fifty-Ninth now again
devolved on the Lieutenant Colonel, C. H. Frederick. At ten o'clock the
brigade moved out, and, passing through the city, took the Bardstown
road.

It was now known that General Bragg, with thirty-five thousand men, was
at Bardstown, Kentucky, and the supposition was that General Buell
would meet him at that place, where a general engagement would be had.

Bardstown is thirty-five miles from Louisville and a forced march of
twenty-four hours would bring the two armies together.

The old troops were all anxious to overtake the rebel army and give it
battle. They had marched from one point to another until they had lost
all patience, and would rather fight the enemy, two to one, than follow
him any further. The new troops were also willing to encounter the foe
if necessary--but would as soon have remained at Louisville, with their
paper collars and black boots, and their nice light bread and butter.
The first day or two after leaving the city these green soldiers looked
upon the war-worn veterans as dirty, lousy fellows, unfit for
associates to such nice clean gentlemen as they were. Two or three days
march, however, began to reverse the feeling and by the time their
appetite for hard tack and sow-belly had become of full growth they
looked upon the old regiments with some degree of reverence and a
considerable amount of awe. While they were dragging their sore and
weary feet along, the old soldier marched with ease and martial
bearing, and while these poor fellows were mincing and making wry faces
at fat bacon and pilot bread, and dreaming of butter and baker's bread,
the veterans were delighting over their good fare, and resting well o'
nights. And the lice preferring new fields of enterprise, left their
old haunts and established new quarters on these fresh troops.

Although two days easy marching would have taken the army to Bardstown,
its advance did not arrive there until the fourth, and then only to
find the town evacuated by the enemy. The Fifty-Ninth passed through
Bardstown and encamped one mile east. Here the sick was selected from
those able to march and sent back to hospital. Here, also, P. Sidney
Post, commanding brigade, and Lieutenant Colonel Frederick, commanding
regiment, remained behind, by order of the Surgeon, on account of ill
health. The command of the regiment, in the absence of Frederick,
devolved, of course, upon the Major, J. C. Winters.

It was now rumored that the enemy would give battle either at Danville
or some selected position this side. The three succeeding days were
therefore taken up in reconnoitering and slow marching. On the morning
of the 8th cannonading was heard some distance to the left, and the
command, of which the Fifty-Ninth formed a part, was advanced some two
or three miles in the direction of Perryville. The cannonading
continued with only short intervals during the day. The Ninth Division
changed positions slightly during the day, but did not get within
striking distance of the enemy until just before the dusk of the
evening and only one brigade of this division _then_ became engaged.

The enemy had met the left wing of our army early in the morning, and
the battle had raged along the line towards the center until the whole
left wing had become engaged, and now, about four o'clock, the right of
the left wing was being rapidly forced back by an overwhelming
concentration of the rebel forces.

To save his division from utter destruction, General McCook sent an
urgent request that the Third Brigade of General Davis' division be
immediately forwarded to the rescue. The Third Brigade is composed of
the Fifty-Ninth Illinois, Twenty-Second Indiana, Seventy-Fourth and
Seventy-Fifth Illinois. The Seventy-Fourth and Seventy-Fifth were new
regiments, just from home. The distance to the point of danger was
something less than a mile. It was now nearly sunset. Cheerfully the
brigade marched out to meet the foe. The men had been held within
hearing distance of the fearful carnage all day, with feelings akin to
those of the chained lion when most eager for his prey.

Many were the inquiries, "Why are all these thousands of soldiers kept
here idle all the day so near the battle-field?" "Why not move them to
the assistance of our brave boys on the left?" The General in command
alone stands responsible to his country and his God for a satisfactory
answer to these inquiries.

Very many of those who witnessed the movement of the army at Perryville
believe in their hearts that General Buell desired the destruction of
his own army instead of that of Braxton Bragg's. The good generalship
of his subordinates, and the bravery of the troops engaged, most
gloriously defeated his designs.

It is impossible to give a description of the part the Third Brigade
played in this dreadful tragedy.

The brigade was commanded by Colonel Goodin, of the Twenty-Second
Indiana. The Colonel bravely conducted the regiments to the position
assigned them, but before he could form them in battle array, the enemy
opened fire with grape and cannister from their batteries, and poured
volley after volley of musketry into his ranks. Nothing daunted, the
brave men returned the fire with fatal effect for half an hour, each
one loading and firing as rapidly as possible without order or system.

The enemy at this point had massed their forces for the purpose of
turning the right flank of the left wing, which, if accomplished, would
have placed it entirely at their mercy, and numbered at least ten to
one of our brigade. It was useless to attempt to resist this mighty
host, and the order was therefore given for each one to provide for his
own safety. Major Winters, of the Fifty-Ninth, repeated the order the
third time before the men ceased firing, and then they most reluctantly
left the field. Fortunately the ground on which the brigade was halted
by the proximity of the enemy was most favorable. Owing to the dusk of
the evening and the favorable formation of the ground many of the rebel
bullets overshot the mark. Those on horseback were in the most danger.
The escape, however, of any of the brigade seems almost a miracle. The
slaughter of the rebels in that half hour was dreadful. The idea of
cutting off and capturing the left wing of the "Yankee army," as one of
the wounded prisoners remarked the next morning, was driven from
"Braxton's cranium." That night they evacuated the field, leaving their
dead to show the execution of the Third Brigade in thinning their ranks
during that short contest. The ground was literally covered with the
dead and wounded of both sides. The loss to the Third was heavy, but to
the rebels enormous. Every shot from the patriot guns must have taken
effect.

The Fifty-Ninth, on going into the trap, numbered two hundred and
ninety-one men, and on coming out brought off one hundred and
eighty-three--leaving one hundred and eight on the field; twenty-three
of whom were killed, sixty-two wounded, and twenty-three taken
prisoners. Some of the other regiments lost more heavily. The wounded
all lay on the field until next morning. The rebels holding the ground
until daylight. As soon as it was ascertained that the enemy had
retreated, the ambulances were sent out to gather up the wounded and
convey them to hospital. The pen can convey no adequate conception of
the scene presented on that small field that morning.

In the approach to the ground, the ambulances pass through a lane
leading from some thick-timbered land to the mansion of the plantation
on which the trap was set. Leaving the timber, a small open field on
each side of the lane is passed, and then a thinly-wooded pasture-field
to the left, and open fields on the right, extending to and surrounding
the house. The appearance of the field now shows that the rebels were
advancing en mass, through these open fields, from the mansion towards
the thinly-wooded field to the left, when the Third Brigade was marched
in, directly in front of them, to the wooded pasture-field. The
distance from the house to this field was less than half a mile.
Through the lower side of this field a small ravine passed, and from it
the ground gradually ascended towards the mansion. The Third was
marched down this ravine, and in easy range of the rebel muskets. The
ravine was not deep enough to protect entirely from the rebel bullets,
but the rising ground in front caused the enemy to overshoot, to a
great extent. In this little woods-pasture lay the dead and wounded of
the Third, with now and then a rebel in the midst, showing that our
boys had fired as they fell back, and killed some of their pursuers.
The grounds between this and the house, to the right and left, was
strewn with dead rebels. More than five to one of those in the field,
belonging to the Third, was here stretched out, in full possession of
their deserved Southern rights.

The sixty-two wounded of the Fifty-Ninth were soon collected, and
carefully transported to hospital, among whom was Adjutant Samuel West.
Samuel West entered the service as a private, in Captain Hale's company
(A.) He was appointed Sergeant-Major soon after the organization of the
regiment, and, during the campaigns through Missouri and Arkansas, most
satisfactorily performed the duties of that position. On the march he
was daily seen with his knapsack on his back, keeping step with the men
in the ranks, and in camp he was constantly engaged in doing his own
legitimate business, as well as the principal part of that belonging to
the commanding officer of the regiment. When Adjutant P. Sidney Post
received his commission as Colonel of the regiment, West was promoted
to the place of Adjutant. This position he has filled, with honor to
himself and much benefit to the regiment, until now. At the battle of
Pea Ridge, as Sergeant-Major, he gave that indication of bravery, and
coolness in battle, which so clearly manifested itself at Perryville,
while striving to preserve order and encourage the men to battle
valiantly for their country. Very soon after coming in sight of the
enemy, a ball hit him in the leg, above the knee, and soon another, and
another, and yet another, and still another, which brought him from his
horse, and he was carried from the field. Five times was the leaden
messenger sent into his person, but, fortunately, at no vital point.
Although so many times severely wounded, he eventually recovered, with
the loss of only one eye. The loss was great, to be sure, but thankful,
no doubt, was the Adjutant to escape with even so great a loss.

Another of the severely wounded was Captain Charles F. Adams,
commanding Company I. Captain Adams was promoted from First Lieutenant,
soon after the resignation of the former Captain of the Company,
(Captain James A. Beach,) and, by his gentlemanly manners and kind
treatment of his men, had become very much endeared to them. He was
mortally wounded, and died in hospital, on the 15th day of October,
1862.

Company A lost one man killed--Francis W. Goff.

Company B lost its First Lieutenant--A. R. Johnson--than whom no one
was more highly esteemed. He had always been a faithful soldier, and a
good officer. His manners and habits were those of a gentleman and a
christian.

The killed of Company C were Corporal F. C. Cherry, Henry Imel, William
H. Blane, Thomas Loyd, James M. Jones, William H. Japaw. Of Company D,
Thomas Abbott, Elias Walden. Company F: William H. Layman, Leander
Reese, George W. Malatt. Company G: Sergeant William R. March, Harry M.
Strickland, James Cade and Joseph Geering, who died on the 11th from
the effects of his wounds. Company K, Christian Assmus.

Doctor Hazlett, the Surgeon of the Regiment, was, also, numbered
amongst the slain. He was shot through the neck while dressing the
wound of a soldier. His remains were found the next morning, and
through the instrumentality of Captain Snyder, of Company K, were
respectably buried beneath the sheltering branches of an evergreen tree
that stood close beside the spot where he was found. His boots had been
stolen from his feet. A gold watch, and several hundred dollars in
money, had been taken from his pockets. His hat, and a splendid case of
instruments, were also gone. The Doctor rode a very fine horse, most
splendidly caparisoned, and he, too, was gone.

In Doctor Hazlett the regiment had lost a very fine gentleman, and a
scholar. He was not so universally respected by the men of the regiment
as he, perhaps, deserved. His position was one requiring peculiar
abilities, which, in many respects, the Doctor was deficient in.
Surgical skill will secure a full reputation at the operating table,
but something more is required to secure the entire approbation of a
regiment of indiscriminating soldiers. His head was covered with hair
silvered o'er, not with age, but naturally, and some gave him the
epithet of "Tow-head." His prescriptions consisted largely in quinine,
and hence the name of "Quinine" was frequently applied.

He, one time after a hard day's march, proposed to treat the regiment
to a good "snort" of whisky. This was received with a hurrah by the
men, but, on taking the "snort," it was so bitter with quinine that the
wry faces along the line were universal.

Captain Clayton Hale, who was now acting Major, had his horse shot from
under him while in advance of the regiment, transmitting orders to the
men. He soon, however, procured another, and with it made his escape.

Colonel Goodin, commanding the brigade, was captured, and, with the
other prisoners, taken to General Bragg's head-quarters, where they
were paroled, and sent back into the Union lines.

The 9th was principally occupied in burying the dead and providing for
the wounded. The regiment, however, moved about one mile farther to the
right, and lay in that position until noon of the 10th, when it again
moved some four miles in the opposite direction, going into camp near
the point where the battle first commenced, on the morning of the 8th.
Here were many indications of the severity of the contest. Dead rebels
were everywhere met with, through the woods, as yet unburied. Two of
them lay within twenty steps of the regiment for twenty-four hours
after its arrival there, and would have rotted above ground had not
some friends of theirs scattered dirt over them. Not that the
Fifty-Ninth was unfeeling or inhuman, but it was not their business to
kill, and then bury traitors. Close by was a small open field, in which
were three hundred muskets, apparently thrown down by some regiment
that had been camped there.



CHAPTER XXIII.


On the morning of the 12th, the regiment again moved out in pursuit of
the enemy. Passing through Danville on the 13th, and through Lancaster
on the 14th, it arrived in the neighborhood of Crab Orchard, on the
evening of the 15th, and went into camp on the bank of Dix River, Ky.,
two miles from Crab Orchard, on the morning of the 16th, or rather the
army went into bivouac, for the tents and camp equipage were yet in
Louisville. An order, however, was immediately sent back to have them
brought up. The distance marched since leaving Louisville, is one
hundred and thirty miles. And here and thus ends Don Carlos Buell's
campaign in Kentucky. A campaign which should have resulted in the
capture or annihilation of the rebel hordes, but which will hereafter
be regarded as one of the most miserable failures in the military
history of the country. True, the State of Kentucky is now rid of the
insolent, thieving foe, but this was not the task assigned the
commander of the army of the Ohio. He was expected to utterly destroy
them, and he had the men and the opportunities to do so; but instead,
he permitted the enemy to fall upon, in force, and almost destroy a
wing of his army, when fifty thousand men were in easy supporting
distance; and then, as if to complete his work of imbecility or
treachery, allowed them to escape, when their retreat might still have
been cut off.

It is said that the army in Flanders swore terribly, and there is no
doubt of that fact. Most armies do. But if any one had been fond of
profanity, and wished to hear vigorous denunciations, in unmistakable
Saxon, they should have heard the army of the Ohio, on the merits of
the arch traitor, Don Carlos Buell.

The third great error of the war was now most clearly
demonstrated--that of continuing Don Carlos in command, after his
arrival at Louisville, Ky.

Here is an extract from a soldier's letter, written to his boy at home,
after losing his summer's harvest by the excessive high waters of that
season, showing in what the thoughts of the soldier frequently consist
while idle in camp:

    "DANVILLE, KY., October 22, 1862.

    "DEAR SON:--For the first time since the 28th of September, I am
    sitting in a tent, writing. We came here yesterday, and are
    indebted to the report that some rebel cavalry are following us
    up pretty closely, for the purpose of picking up stragglers or
    capturing some of our train, for our leisure day. Our army is
    moving back to Lebanon, which is on the Louisville and Nashville
    railroad, and our brigade is the rear guard.

    "We left Crab Orchard, Monday morning, and got this far, when we
    were halted, and two regiments, the Twenty-Second Indiana and
    Seventy-Fourth Illinois, were sent back to attend to the rebels. We
    will, perhaps, only remain here until these regiments return, and
    then move on.

    "This is a beautiful day, and causes me to think of home. I would
    delight, above all things, to be with you this pleasant afternoon.
    I should like to look around with you, and see what you have left
    after your year's hard work. I know it is not much, but perhaps
    what you have is worth looking at. You have two or three nice
    'shoats' in the pen, which you are feeding for your winter's meat.
    They are doing finely--will make fine, tender, juicy ham, such as
    we in the army are not accustomed to. Their spare-ribs will be most
    delicious, and the sausage meat you can get from them will repay
    you for the trouble of making it. Chickens you have, I see, in
    abundance--ah! yes, they are very nice. One fried now and then is
    not bad in a small family like yours, or even made into a pot-pie,
    is not hard to take--decidedly better than a dose of rhubarb. I see
    one there, now, that would do either for a fry or a stew--that one
    with the plump breast and yellow legs. Yes, chickens are a great
    help to a family, but an army has no use for chickens. The
    individual soldier sometimes finds use for them, as the people
    living along the line of march have learned to their sorrow.

    "I see that you have a milch cow or two. Well, I reckon you make
    that which some people call butter, from the milk of the cow.
    Butter, if I remember rightly, is a yellow greasy substance which
    people sometimes spread on bread or hot biscuit, which, as they
    fancy, adds materially to their relish. I suppose it is quite
    necessary to those who have learned to use it, judging from the
    longing of the new recruits after it on leaving Louisville; but we
    in the army have no use for such stuff, and consequently a cow
    would be of no service to us, while alive, at any rate. If she had
    been starved a few weeks, and then skinned, we, perhaps, could make
    use of her bones for making soup, as we understand _that_. Ah,
    ha, you have one horse left too. Well, that's better than some
    folks I know of down here in Dixie. The less stock you have the
    less feed it takes, and the more time you have to spare for
    something else. And then there is another consolation about
    it--your taxes will not be so great next year. And then also you
    will not be called up o' nights to see if your horses haven't got
    loose in the stable and gone to kicking each other in the dark. I
    think it is a blessed thing to have nothing. Now, when we left
    Bowling Green, Kentucky, on our march from Nashville to Louisville,
    our wagons were all left behind, and all the knapsacks and trunks
    left with them. Our young officers had lots of fine clothes, etc.,
    in their trunks, and our soldiers had pants, coats, etc., in their
    knapsacks, which were all left and consequently lost, and now they
    are lamenting their heavy losses. _I_ had nothing of the sort.
    The clothes on my back--two shirts and two or three pair of
    socks--was all I had, and of course I brought them with me and lost
    nothing; consequently didn't care a snap about the wagons, and now
    one little handkerchief will hold all my worldly goods, and I am as
    happy as--a fish on dry land. So I say, blessed be nothing."

On the morning of the 26th the brigade moved out for Lebanon; passing
through Lebanon, it took the direct road for Bowling Green, where it
arrived on the morning of the 4th of November. In the meantime General
Rosecranz, succeeding Buell in command, had arrived at Bowling Green,
and was personally inspecting and forwarding the different divisions on
towards Nashville as fast as they arrived.

General Jeff. C. Davis, having been released from arrest, for shooting
General Nelson, also arrived here and assumed command of his division.

Here, too, the Fifty-Ninth received an unlooked for acquisition, in the
shape of an Assistant Surgeon from Knoxville, Illinois. Charles Bunce
reported himself for duty as a commissioned Surgeon of the Fifty-Ninth
Regiment Illinois Volunteers, somewhat to the astonishment of the men,
as no intimation of his appointment had ever reached them. It would
naturally be supposed that the men of a regiment would be more deeply
interested in the selection of a proper person to look after the health
than any others, and in most regiments they have the selection of their
own Surgeon, but in the Fifty-Ninth it seems to have been taken for
granted that the men were mere automatons, only fit to be looked after
as a lot of mules should be in corral.

It is a universally admitted fact that many more men die in the army
from other causes, than those produced by the shot and shell of the
enemy. Some would fain believe that disease alone is chargeable with
this fatality, but it is not so. A large majority of the fatal cases in
the army are, _without a doubt_, produced by the malpractice of
ignorant young men, who, through the influence of some personal friend,
receive a commission as Surgeon. Very culpable is that man who
recommends to the position of Surgeon a man entirely unfitted for the
place, merely because he is a personal friend or relative. There are
many young men who are now tampering with the lives of the noble
soldier, whose qualifications are only such as they have acquired in
attendance behind the counter of some one-horse drug store, or such as
is obtained by taking care of some eminent doctor's horses. There is no
other position in the army having so great a weight of responsibility
attached as that of Surgeon, and there is no other position filled with
so little regard to qualification as this one. It is to be hoped that
more care may be bestowed by those in authority in ascertaining the
qualifications of those sent to preserve the health and lives of the
soldiers.

Leaving Bowling Green the regiment passes over the same road it had
traversed about a month before, and arrives at Edgefield on the evening
of the 7th of November, 1862. The only incident of note on the march
was the burning, by the "Louisville Legion," of two large residences,
from the windows of which they had been shot at while passing towards
Nashville on their former visit, and the capturing of eleven prisoners,
by our advanced skirmishers, on the morning of the 6th.

The distance from Crab Orchard to Nashville, via the route marched, is
one hundred and fifty-six miles.



CHAPTER XXIV.


The morning of the 8th of November broke clear and frosty over the
tired and sleepy soldiers of the army of the Cumberland. The town clock
of Nashville failed to wake them at the proper time for reveille, and
the fife and drum kept silence until the sun had sent his piercing rays
into many a sleepers face. Anon the drums begin to sound the signal for
the morning roll call, and now the scene is changed. Men are seen in
all directions creeping out from under blankets, wet with melting
frost--some in full uniform, having slept all night in full dress; some
half undressed, and some old veterans falling in for roll call with
coat and pants both off. The custom in camp is to put on extra duty all
who fail to answer at roll call.

Early in the forenoon, Colonel Frederick, who has regained his health
and is now with the regiment, received orders to establish his regiment
in camp. Colonel Frederick delighted in having order and neatness
through his camping grounds, and consequently always superintended the
pitching of tents and policing the camps himself.

The ground on which the tents were to be pitched, was a rolling piece
of land, belonging to an old secesh, and delightfully situated for a
camp. It was about half a mile from Edgefield, which is on the right
bank of the Cumberland River, immediately opposite the city of
Nashville, was well shaded by several large forest trees, and covered
nicely by a good coating of blue grass. The river affords a good supply
of water, and several springs are close at hand.

The tents are pitched something after military regulations, but not
exact. The Colonel selecting the position of the tents to suit his
fancy. The soldiers' tents are pitched in line by companies. First is
Company A, at the right of the regiment; next in order is company B;
next, C, and so on down to company K, on the left. The company tents
are set in line, one behind the other, with a space of thirty feet
between the companies. In front of these are the tents of the
commanders of companies; each Captain thirty feet in front of his
company. Thirty feet in front of these again, are the tents of the
field and staff officers. When regularly pitched, and with clean white
tents, the appearance is quite pretty. Each regiment has its own
separate grounds, in connection with its own brigade. A brigade
consists of four regiments and a battery, and covers several acres.

Now, then, what is the daily occupation of the inhabitants of these
tents? Persons not in the secret might suppose that there was nothing
to do but eat and sleep, and amusement generally. But not so. In the
morning at four or five o'clock, reveille is sounded by the drums and
fife. This notifies the sleeper that he must get up and answer to his
name at roll call. The Orderly Sergeant calls the roll, in the presence
of some one of the commissioned officers of the company. Fires are now
kindled, and each one prepares his own breakfast. After breakfast the
"sick call" is sounded. The Orderly Sergeant then reports all the sick
men in his company to the Doctor. Sometimes there are twenty or thirty
brought to him for examination and medicine. Those who are really sick,
the Doctor excuses from doing any duty that day, so that he may lay
around at his leisure and get well; or, perhaps, he is retained at the
hospital, where he can be nursed and have medicine given him.

At eight o'clock comes guard mounting--that is, placing guards around
the camp, so that soldiers can't leave camp without a pass or written
permit from the Colonel. These guards are stationed all around camp at
certain intervals, and must continually walk back and forth from one
station to the other, so that they can see any one who tries to pass
out. One man walks two hours, then another relieves him. This set of
guards remain on duty for twenty-four hours. New guards are mounted
every morning. After guard mounting, extra-duty men are usually set to
work sweeping the grounds. By the time this is done, dinner is to be
prepared. In the afternoon, the men are taken out on battalion drill,
usually from two o'clock until four. Then supper. After this comes
dress parade. At sun-down the drums beat retreat. At eight, tattoo; and
at nine, all becomes quiet--the day's work is done. This is the daily
employment of the soldier in camp. But there is some other work that
has to be attended to, such as going out on picket, for instance, one
company or a part of a company, is sent out a mile or two from camp, to
stay for twenty-four hours, so that an enemy may not make a surprise on
the camp. There is, also, other work to be done, such as drawing
rations, getting wood, washing clothes, &c. The soldier's life is not
an idle one.

While the regiment lay at Florence, Ala., several contrabands came to
camp and engaged themselves as servants to the officers; amongst them
were two females. One of these soon donned the habiliments of a
soldier. In this garb she marched with the regiment until now. On the
evening of the 7th, when coming into camp, she incidentally passed
through the yard of the planter, close to the chicken roost. The guard
stationed there supposed that she was after some of the feathered
tribe, and ordered her to halt. Not supposing the order addressed to
her, she paid no attention to it, and was passing on, when the guard
fired, shooting her in the "seat of honor." The guard did not suspect
he was shooting a woman; but supposed her to be some thieving buck
negro. She was taken to camp, and now Dr. Bunce had the opportunity of
performing his first surgical operation. The wound was merely a flesh
wound, and the most difficult part of the operation was the
examination, in the presence of several unfeeling witnesses. The Doctor
soon applied the dressing--very neatly, considering the
circumstances--and then left nature to perform the healing.

On the 30th the Division crossed the river, and pitched tents again,
south of Nashville. An extract from the author's diary, of the 5th
December, says:

"We are still in camp, four miles south of town, and nothing, as yet,
indicating a move. Our pleasant weather has gone, 'glimmering among the
dream of things that were,' and now we are wrapping our blankets and
over-coats around us to keep out the chilling north winds, and to
protect us from the driving snow. To-day the snow has been filling the
air with its downy flakes, and covering the earth and trees with a
beautiful garment of white. This is the second time since last winter
that the earth has been clothed in a symbol of purity. There are,
however, but slight indications of its continuing in that gait long,
for even now rents are perceivable, through which its nakedness is
manifest. The warmth of the ground is too great for the snow's frail
fabric, and not long can it resist the heating influence. Perhaps by
to-morrow's eve it will have returned to its native element, and
disappeared. Snow in the Northern States, when the ground is hard
frozen, is a great benefit to the farmer in protecting his small grain;
but in the South, where it falls one day and disappears the next, is of
little profit, yet it is not without its use, as there is no
providential occurrence without some good result."

The diary continues:

"6th--Another morning has dawned, bright and cold. After the
snow-storm, yesterday, the clouds passed away, and the night set in
with a clear sky and brilliant moon, and stars innumerable. This
morning the snow is crackling under feet, and glistening in the
sun-beams splendidly. It is the coldest morning of the season, but old
Sol will soon warm the atmosphere to a pleasant temperature. The
woodman's axe is ringing merrily in all directions. The soldiers are
busy cutting down the trees for wood, that they may have warm fires to
stay by these cold mornings. In a very short time this noble grove will
be all destroyed. 'Woodman, spare that tree,' is not the motto here.
The delight of the soldier seems to be, to lay the monarch of the
forest low, in this secesh country.

"One old lady, on whose premises we camped one day, exclaimed:

"'Good Lord! are they going to cut _all_ our trees?'"

"Her husband was in the rebel army, and her trees were not spared.
Before the army left, stumps alone remained to tell the fate of that
splendid grove--a grove, of which the old lady had been proud for many
years, and with which she was very loth to part. Her children, and her
grand children, had delighted her old heart many times with their
childish gambols, under those noble shade-trees; but, alas, and alack!
they are gone now; and the grass that is now so green and bright will
be all withered and browned by the scorching rays of the sun. The next
generation will have to play in the sunshine, or seek some other grove
in which to sport. It will not be so bad for the little woolly-headed
darkies, as their complexion is but little affected by the tanning
influence of the sun; but the fair skin of the white children will
suffer.

"7th December, 1862--This is a cold, bright Sabbath. Winter is here in
earnest. We in camp are well prepared for cold weather. The boys have
plenty of good, warm clothing, and blankets, over-coats and tents, and,
if they suffer, it will be because they will not get wood for their
fires.

"December 8th--The snow has all disappeared, but the weather is still
cold. The paymaster has been paying off a part of the regiment to-day.
Company F fails to get pay because of having no pay rolls. Captain
Currie, who has lately been transferred to the gun-boat service, left
the regiment a few days ago, and carried the rolls along with him, very
much to the inconvenience of the company. Lieutenant Maddox is now in
command of the company.

"December 9th--It yet continues most charming winter weather. In fact
it more resembles early spring than winter.

"Something is now going on four or five miles from here. What it is we
do not know; but the reports from secesh cannon indicate a skirmish
with the enemy, some foraging party being resisted in their
depredations. The regiment is going out on a scout of a few hours, and
will ascertain, perhaps, what that cannonading means. I think it is
quite time that Rosecranz was doing something. One month has passed
since we arrived at Nashville, and no advance has yet been made. Why
remain idle so long? The men are all anxious to move forward, and do
something towards terminating the war. Better die fighting the enemy
than linger out a miserable existence in camp.

"8 o'clock--The regiment has just returned to camp, without learning
anything of the cannonading. They bring no spoils of victory, except
one or two contraband hogs, and a few chickens.

"December 10th--Reveille sounded in the old camp this morning at two
o'clock, and at five we moved out on the march. Our course was taken
due east from camp, as could be known by the redness of the horizon,
indicating the point at which the 'God of day' would first make his
appearance. The morning was cool and bracing, and the boys put out with
a will, being also encouraged by a prospect of a fight with the enemy,
as it was rumored that that was the object of the march. The march
continued about five miles, and terminated by our going into camp here.
We are, perhaps, a little nearer the enemy than we were this morning,
but have only changed our position in relation to Nashville. We are now
more directly between Nashville and Murfreesboro'--four miles from the
former, and twenty-six from the latter--about two miles west of the
pike leading to Murfreesboro. This State, as well as Kentucky, is
abundantly supplied with macadamized roads. Stone is easily procured,
and has been unsparingly used for road purposes.

"It is now about four o'clock on the morning of the 11th of December.
'Early to bed and early to rise' is an example set by all who have ever
made any great progress in the world, and this morning I have followed
it. Early rising is pretty generally practiced in the army, especially
by the privates; the officers, having attained to all they desire,
sleep till surfeited.

"This is a lovely morning, just such an one as would suit me at home.
Oh, how much I would enjoy home this morning! The christian, who has
resigned his claim to all earthly things, and transferred his treasures
to the 'better land,' alone can tell the feelings of a soldier when he
_indulges_ in the thoughts of home. Home, to the soldier, is as the
treasure-house above to the christian, for where the treasures are
there will the heart be also. 'Home, sweet home, there is no place like
home.' 'Oh, dark is how my heart grows weary, far from my good old
home.' Shall I never more behold it? Never again look upon the bright
and cheerful faces of those I left behind me there? Yes, I fancy that I
shall, but the time seems long--seems very long.

"Well, I have just returned from a walk I have been taking, out beyond
the camp, and there the birds bid me be of good cheer. They sang, 'When
the spring time comes,' you may with us go back to your northern home,
and we'll spend the summer together there. I blessed the little
songsters, and came back to camp more resigned and cheerful. _Now_
the day is numbered amongst those that were before the flood, and a
'wee bit' candle is all the light I have to see by.

"About half a mile from camp is a large cane brake, or cane thicket.
The cane stands so thick on the ground that a hare could not pass
between them, only in places where they had been cut or broken down.
They are from fifteen to twenty feet in length; they are now in thick
foliage; the leaves are as green as in the summer time; it is quite
cheering to look at them. The little birds come from miles away to
sleep among the thick leaves; it is so much warmer for them than on the
branches of the big leafless trees of the forest. Here the cold wind or
the sharp frost can not penetrate; but the innocent little creatures
had better run the risk of being frozen than seek shelter here at this
time, for every night hundreds of them are sacrificed to the rapacity
of the ruthless soldier. The boys take candles and torches, and by
dazzling their eyes with the bright light, pick them from their perches
without difficulty, or knock them off with sticks do they try to
escape. The birds are principally the red-breasted robin, but there are
other smaller ones of different kinds. Pot-pie is a common dish in camp
now.

"December 12th--The mail comes regularly to camp now, bringing letters
from the dear ones at home. Good, kind, cheering letters some of them
are too. I just had the pleasure of reading one from a good old mother
in Illinois to her noble boy in the army. Such loving, cheering
words--such good advice. The boy's heart was softened, ennobled,
elevated. There is no danger of his becoming wicked so long as that
kind mother continues her controlling influence over him. Would that
there were more such mothers in Illinois! If there were there would be
much less wickedness manifested in the army of the Cumberland. No one
can estimate the restraining influence of an affectionate letter from a
beloved mother, or a kind friend, to the young soldier. I fancy that I
can go through our regiment and point out every young man who has a
good family at home, or a pious loving mother who devotes a portion of
her time in writing to her soldier boy in the army. Richly will she be
rewarded for labor thus spent. The soldier is constantly exposed to
peculiar temptations, and needs all the restraining influences that can
be thrown around him, and there can be none more restraining than the
admonitions of an absent, loving mother.

"December 22d--The weather continues most delightful. We are under
marching orders. The tents are all struck and loaded in the wagons. The
sick have all been sent back to Nashville to remain in hospital until
their health becomes restored, or they are transported to that bourne
from whence no traveler returns.

"Mason Campbell, of Company B, was under treatment at the regimental
hospital three days before being sent to Nashville. The most energetic
treatment was pursued in his case--about five grains of calomel being
given him every three hours for three days, making, in all, one hundred
and twenty grains, and no motion from the bowels during the time; with
all this he was sent to Nashville and died.

"December 25--Here we are in camp again. After loading our traps in the
wagons we lay around promiscuously until yesterday noon, when we
marched about five miles towards Nolensville, right about faced, and
marched back again to the very spot we started from. "Strategy, my
boy!"

"Occasional reports from artillery have been heard out in front to-day,
and I shouldn't wonder if they were the harbingers of a battle shortly
to take place.

"One of the boys deserted from the regiment last night, and it is
supposed he has gone over to the rebels. He was tied up yesterday for
leaving camp without first getting a pass. He slipped the guards and
visited Nashville, where he remained all night. When he came back he
was arrested by the Captain of his company and tied by both hands to
the lower limbs of a tree, where he was kept some two hours or more.
This morning he is missing. There are various ways of punishing men in
the army. Some are tied up, either with their arms encircling the trunk
of a large tree, or with their hands high above their heads. Some are
made to pack rails on their shoulder with a guard following them, for
two or three hours at a time.

"One young man was paraded through camp one day with both hands tied
fast to a single-tree, hitched behind a mule; a man was riding the
mule; two guards with fixed bayonets marching beside the captive, and
the fife and drum beating the rogues march behind.

"Sometimes the punishment consists in having a board strapped to the
back, with large letters in chalk, stating the offense, and being
marched around through camp.

"In some cases it seems to be necessary not only to bind the hands but
to tie the tongue also. This is done by forcing some substance into the
mouth so as to keep the jaws separated. The practice of this sort of
punishment by one of the officers gave him the name of 'Buck and Gag.'"



CHAPTER XXV.


On the morning of the 27th, every thing being in readiness, the
division moved out, taking the direction of Nolensville, which is nine
miles from camp. The day was not so pleasant as was desirable, but the
men were willing to march, and did not mind the rain and mud to be
encountered.

Lieut. Colonel Frederick started out with the regiment in the morning,
but having poor health, soon fell back to an ambulance and returned to
Nashville. Major Winters was at home, on leave of absence, and Captain
Hale, the ranking Captain in the regiment, was also absent. The
command, therefore, fell to the lot of Captain Paine, of Company B.
Captain Paine was a strict disciplinarian, and commanded one of the
best drilled companies in the regiment. His strict discipline and
peculiar way of punishing his men, had procured for him the name of
"Buck and Gag." Captain James M. Stookey, being the next ranking
Captain assumed the position of Major. By this arrangement, Company B
was left to the command of First Lieutenant J. R. Johnson, and Company
E, to the command of Lieutenant Goodin.

Soon after leaving camp, the Fifty-Ninth was sent in advance as
skirmishers. They soon came across the rebel pickets and began
skirmishing. As the Fifty-Ninth advanced, the rebels in front of them
fell back to the town of Nolensville, where it seems they intended to
more severely contest the ground. Here they had a battery planted, and
threw several shells at our men before they could get one in position
to reply. As soon, however, as a shot or two was fired from a twelve
pounder, placed in range, the rebels withdrew on double quick, and the
Fifty-Ninth took possession of the town. As the regiment was advancing
across an open common, between the woods and town, a volley was fired
at one of the companies from the windows of a large frame house, in
front of them, without doing any injury. Colonel Pease, of General
Davis' staff, saw the shooting, and being close to one of our guns,
ordered the cannoneer to plant a shell into the house. This gun had
been instrumental in silencing the rebel battery, and was within good
range of the house. The first shell exploded within one of the upper
rooms, doing wonderful execution among the furniture and tearing the
plastering and casing into a thousand fragments. This brought the rebs
to light, and a volley from the company sent them howling to the woods.
The second shell passed through the hen house, scattering chickens and
feathers in all directions, and continuing on its course, burst in the
rear of the fleeing rebels. The town was now in possession of the
Fifty-Ninth, but to the right heavy skirmishing continued, and the
regiment passed on in that direction. Heavy skirmishing continued until
the enemy were driven to the opposite side of "Big Gap," about four
miles south of Nolensville. Darkness now prevented any further pursuit,
and the army went into bivouac. The loss in the division was light, the
Fifty-Ninth not having a man hurt. Several of the enemy were killed and
a few taken prisoners.

Colonel Pease, while setting on his horse, directing the cannoneer, was
hit on the leg by a minnie ball, which passed through his pants, just
creasing the flesh. "That's pretty close," remarked the Colonel, and
continued his directions without any farther notice of the flying
missiles.

The regiment here lost another man by desertion, or rather gained the
room and rations of a worthless, thieving Frenchman. He was a member of
Company G, and had frequently offended by disobeying orders in regard
to straggling, particularly in times of danger. There are a few men in
all regiments who, whenever there is a prospect of a fight "play off"
either by feigning sickness, or by slipping from the ranks on some
trivial pretense, and dropping to the rear, there to remain until the
danger is all over. This fellow of a Frenchman, had practiced this
habitually, and now the Captain determined to punish him. This he did
by tying him up. In a short time thereafter, the fellow managed to
loosen the cords that bound him and make his escape. Pursuit was
immediately made and an exciting chase resulted in the defeat of the
pursuers. It is supposed the fellow fled to the rebel lines, and it is
to be hoped that all sneaks who will fall back to the rear, to places
of safety, when their friends and companions in arms are in danger,
will follow his example, and cast their lot with traitors.

The morning of the 27th was so murky, that an enemy could not be seen
at any distance, and consequently the troops did not move until the fog
had disappeared in rain drops. About nine o'clock, the skirmishers were
advanced and continued moving forward until evening, without meeting
with any serious resistance. The Fifty-Ninth followed in regular
marching order for six or eight miles, and went into bivouac.

The 28th being Sunday, the army lay in camp all day. General Rosecranz
was religiously opposed to moving his army on the Sabbath, unless
unavoidable. All honor and praise to him for setting such a noble
example. Success will ever attend the General who pays due respect to
the command, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy."

This morning the Acting Adjutant, Hale Phillips--Adjutant West being on
Colonel Post's brigade staff--and the Commissary Sergeant, Thomas J.
Melvin, obtained permission to return to Nashville on business. On
their way they overtook the train a few miles from Nashville. With the
train was Captain Clayton Hale and Lieutenant Fred. Brasher,
Quartermaster; the former returning to the regiment from a leave of
absence, and the latter in charge of the train. Very soon after the
Adjutant and Commissary arrived at the train, and before they had
dismounted from their horses they were surrounded by a large squad of
rebel cavalry and all taken prisoners. Resistance was useless, as there
was no guard with the train, and consequently they surrendered without
an effort to escape. They were treated very kindly by their
captors--paroled and allowed to proceed to Nashville. From Nashville
they visited their homes, and had a good time of it generally, until
they were exchanged.

On Monday morning, December 29th, the army was again put in motion.
General Davis, taking the advance of General McCook's corps, with his
division, turned from the Nolensville pike, in an easterly direction,
towards Murfreesboro'. The writer was fortunate enough to witness the
passing of this corps, as it proceeded to the lane at which it left the
pike. First came General Jeff. C. Davis and staff, immediately followed
by a body guard of one company of cavalry. Next followed Colonel P.
Sidney Post, commanding brigade, with his staff, and then the four
regiments of his brigade, closely followed by a six gun battery. Then
followed the other brigades in the same order. While the column was
passing, General McCook and staff came dashing by in magnificent style.
They came, they were seen, and they were gone. General McCook is a good
commander, but like most of his rank, he prides himself on _being_
General McCook. While looking at this well appointed corps, the heart
swelled with emotions of pride, to think that there were so many
noble-hearted men willing and eager to meet in deadly contest the enemy
who were attempting to destroy their country.

The 29th and 30th were spent in reconnoitering and skirmishing with the
enemy, General Davis' Division terminating its movements by getting
into position Tuesday evening, on the left of McCook's command, near
Wilkerson's Creek. The Fifty-Ninth Illinois Regiment occupied the left
of Colonel P. Sidney Post's brigade, and the extreme left of the right
wing of the army. The enemy had fallen back to their chosen position,
about two miles from Murfreesboro', and the Fifty-Ninth Illinois lay on
the ground all Tuesday night, within five hundred yards of their line
of battle. The night was quite cold, and the ground saturated with
water. Without blankets or fires, the men shivered through the night.
Company G, commanded by Captain Starkey, was stationed to the right of
the regiment, and somewhat in advance, as picket-guard. This continued
the position of the regiment until the rebels made the attack,
Wednesday morning.

General Rosecranz marched from Nashville, with forty-five thousand men,
and one hundred and two pieces of artillery, and skirmished all the way
to the battle field, the enemy resisting bitterly. The whole of Tuesday
was spent in reconnoitering. The enemy was found strongly posted, with
artillery, in a bend of Stone River, his flanks resting on the west
side of Murfreesboro'.

The center also had the advantage of high ground with a dense growth of
cedar masking them completely. Their position gave them the advantage
of a cross fire, and General McCook's Corps closed in their left on
Wilkerson's Creek. Negley, of Thomas' Corps, worked, with great
difficulty, to the front of the rebel center. Rousseau's Division was
in reserve. Crittenden's Corps was posted on the comparatively clear
ground on the left, Palmer's and Van Cleve's Divisions in front, in the
woods, and held in reserve.

A battle was expected all day Tuesday, but the enemy merely skirmished
and threw a few shells, one of which killed Orderly McDonald, of the
Fourth United States Cavalry, not ten feet from General Rosecranz. That
afternoon the Anderson Pennsylvania Cavalry, on McCook's flank, was
drawn into an ambuscade, and its two Majors (Rosengarten and Ward) were
killed.

Crittenden's Corps lost four killed and two wounded that day, including
Adjutant Elliott, of the Fifty-Seventh Indiana, severely wounded.
McCook's loss was about fifty. The same day the rebel cavalry made a
dash on our rear, at Lavergne, burned a few wagons, and captured
thirty-five prisoners. That night dispositions were made to attack the
enemy in the morning. After dark the enemy were reported massing upon
McCook, obviously to strike our right wing. This corresponded with the
wishes of General Rosecranz, who instructed General McCook to hold him
in check stubbornly, while the left wing should be thrown into
Murfreesboro', behind the enemy.

At daybreak, of the last day of December, everything appeared working
well. Battle had opened on our right, and our left wing was on hand at
seven o'clock. Ominous sounds indicated that the fire was approaching
on the right. Aides were dispatched for information, and found the
forests full of flying negroes, with some straggling soldiers, who
reported whole regiments falling back rapidly. Meantime one of McCook's
aides announced to General Rosecranz that General Johnson had permitted
the three batteries of his division to be captured by a sudden attack
of the enemy, and that that fact had somewhat demoralized the troops.
This was obvious. The brave General Sill, one of our best officers, was
killed, General Kirk severely wounded, and General Willich killed or
missing, besides other valuable officers. General Rosecranz sent word,
pressing General McCook to hold the front, and he would help him. It
would all work right. He now galloped to the front of Crittenden's
left, with his Staff, to order the line of battle, when the enemy
opened a full battery and emptied two saddles of the escort. Van
Cleve's Division was sent to the right, Colonel Beatty's Brigade in
front. The fire continued to approach on the right with alarming
rapidity, extending to the center, and it was clear that the right was
doubling upon the left. The enemy had compelled us to make a complete
change of front on that wing, and were pressing the center.

General Rosecranz, with splendid daring, dashed into the fire, and sent
his Staff along the lines, started Beatty's Brigade forward, some six
batteries opened, and sustained a magnificent fire. Directly a
tremendous shout was raised along the whole line. The enemy began to
fall back rapidly. The General himself urged the troops forward. The
rebels, thoroughly punished, were driven back fully a mile. The same
splendid bravery was displayed in the center, and the whole line
advanced. Meantime the enemy made formidable demonstrations on our
left, while they prepared for another onslaught on our right. Meantime
orders had been issued to move our left upon the enemy. Before they had
time to execute it, they burst upon our center with awful fury, and it
began to break.

Rousseau's Divisions were carried into the breach magnificently by
their glorious leader, and the enemy again retreated hastily into the
dense cedar thickets. Again they essayed our right, and again were
driven back. This time the number of our stragglers was formidable, and
the prospect was discouraging, but there was no panic. The General,
confident of success, continued to visit every part of the field, and,
with the aid of Thomas, McCook, Crittenden, Rousseau, Negley and Wood,
the tide of battle was again turned.

Early in the day we were seriously embarrassed by the enterprise of
rebel cavalry, who made some serious dashes upon some of McCook's
ammunition and subsistence trains, capturing a number of wagons, and
artillery ammunition was alarmingly scarce. At one time it was
announced that not a single wagon-load of it could be found. Some of
our batteries were quiet, on that account. This misfortune was caused
by the capture of McCook's trains. About two o'clock the battle had
shifted again, from right to left, the rebels discovering the
impossibility of succeeding in their main design, and suddenly massed
his forces on the left, crossing the river, or moving under high
bluffs, from his right, and for about two hours the fight raged with
unremitting fury. The advantage was with the enemy for a considerable
length of time, when they were checked by our murderous fire, of both
musketry and artillery. The scene at this point was magnificent and
terrible. The whole battle was in full view, the enemy deploying right
and left, bringing up their batteries in fine style, our own vomiting
smoke and missiles upon them with awful fury, and our gallant fellows
moving to the front with unflinching courage, or lying flat upon their
faces to escape the rebel fire, until the moment for action. There was
not a place on the field that did not give men a satisfactory idea of
the manner of hot fire, solid shot, shell and minnie balls, which
rattled around like hail. Rosecranz himself was incessantly exposed--it
is wonderful that he escaped. His Chief of Staff (noble
Lieutenant-Colonel Garesche) had his head taken off by a round shot,
and the blood spattered the General and some of the Staff. Lieutenant
Lyman Kirk, just behind him, was lifted clear out of his saddle by a
bullet, which shattered his left arm. Three Orderlies, and the gallant
Sergeant Richmond, of the Fourth United States Cavalry, were killed
within a few feet of him, and five or six horses in the staff and
escort were struck.

Between four and five o'clock the enemy, apparently exhausted by his
rapid and incessant assault, took up a position not assailable without
abundant artillery, and the fire on both sides slackened, and finally
ceased at dark, the battle having raged eleven hours.

The loss of life on our side is considerable. The field is
comparatively limited. The whole casualty list that day, excluding
captures, did not exceed, perhaps, one thousand and five hundred, of
whom not more than one-fourth were killed. This is attributed to the
care taken to make our men lie down. The enemy's loss must have been
more severe. But among our losses we mourn such noble souls as General
Sill, General August Willich, Colonel Garesche, Colonel Minor Millikin,
First Ohio Cavalry; Colonel Hawkins, Thirteenth Ohio; Colonel McKee,
Third Kentucky; Colonel Gorman, Fifteenth Kentucky; Colonel Kell,
Second Ohio; Lieutenant-Colonel Shepherd, Eighteenth Regulars; Major
Carpenter, Nineteenth Regulars; Captain Edgarton, First Ohio Battery,
and his two Lieutenants, and many more.

When the battle closed, the enemy occupied ground which was ours in the
morning, and the advantage theirs. Their object in attacking was to cut
us off from Nashville; they almost succeeded. They had played their old
game. If McCook's corps had held more firmly against Hardee's corps and
Cheatham's, when he fought, Rosecranz's plan of battle would have
succeeded. At dark they had a heavy force on our right, leading to the
belief that they intended to pursue. Their cavalry, meantime, was
excessively troublesome, cutting deeply into our train behind us, and
we had not cavalry enough to protect ourselves. The Fourth Regulars
made one splendid dash at them, capturing sixty-seven and releasing
five hundred prisoners they had taken from us. The enemy took a large
number.

"General Rosecranz determined to begin the attack this morning and
opened furiously with our left at dawn. The enemy, however, would not
retire from our right, and the battle worked that way. At eleven
o'clock matters were not flattering on either side. At twelve o'clock
our artillery, new supplies of ammunition having arrived, was massed,
and a terrible fire opened. The enemy began to give way, General Thomas
pressing on their center, and Crittenden advancing on their left. The
battle was more severe at that hour than it had been, and the result
was yet doubtful. Both sides were uneasy, but determined. General
Rosecranz feels its importance fully. If he is defeated it will be
badly, because he will fight as long as he has a brigade. If he is
victorious, the enemy will be destroyed. At this hour we are
apprehensive. Some of our troops behaved badly, but most of them were
heroes. The enemy seem to number as many as we, and perhaps more.
General Joe Johnson and General Braxton Bragg are in command." Thus
writes a correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial.

When the enemy surprised General Johnson, the Fifty-Ninth Illinois was
under arms and ready for the conflict. Had the attack been made on
General Davis instead of Johnson the ground would have been held and
the inglorious stampede of the right wing prevented. The attack was
made at the only point in the Union lines where the rebels would not
have met with a warm reception. Some of the boys were captured while at
the Springs after water; some at their fires while cooking, and some of
the artillery-men were surprised while watering their horses.

The attack was manfully resisted in front of the Fifty-Ninth Illinois
until Johnson's Division had doubled back in confusion on Davis, and
the enemy was forcing Davis' right so as to threaten the rear of Post's
Brigade, when Colonel Post ordered a retreat. Reluctantly and in good
order the regiment moved back, occasionally throwing a volley into the
ranks of the pursuing enemy, which held them in check until General
Rousseau's command came to the rescue. On its retreat it passed the
point where our brigade battery had been in position. One gun of the
battery had been left behind still in position, for the want of horses
to pull it off the field, some of these having been killed. The men, by
permission, left the ranks and soon run it out of danger of falling
into the hands of the enemy. As soon as reinforcements arrived the
Fifty-Ninth ceased its retreat and advanced again upon the enemy. They
were driven back and the regiment went into bivouac north of the
Murfreesboro' and Nashville Pike. Of all the regiments belonging to
Johnson or Davis' divisions the Fifty-Ninth came off the field with the
most men and in the best order.

James A. Howser, Company F, Sergeant John J. Hatham and Andrew J.
Watts, Company D, James H. Sheets, Company C, Patrick Reynolds, Company
H, Jas. R. Dennis, Company B, Sergeant Alfred B. Barber and Corporal
Reuben Cummins, Company G, and Thos. I. Hopper, Company A, were left on
the field killed. Jefferson Slusser and James Slusser were left on the
field wounded, and fell into the hands of the rebels. They were taken
to Murfreesboro', and kept there until retaken by our forces on the
evacuation of the town.

On the 1st day of January, 1863, the regiment advanced to Stone River
to within two miles of Murfreesboro', and General Davis being ordered
to charge across and dislodge some of the enemy who were on the
opposite side, the Fifty-Ninth waded the stream on double-quick,
charged up the bank and took possession of the ground, the rebels
retreating before their glittering bayonets without resistance. Here
they lay under fire, and returning shot for shot until after dark, when
they silently withdrew, crossing back to their old position. The battle
continuing through the 2d and 3d days of January; the regiment was
constantly kept under arms, frequently changing position so as to
always be in front of the enemy.

During the stampede on Wednesday the rebel cavalry broke through our
lines and made a dash on the train. The hospital wagon of the
Fifty-Ninth Regiment was halted by one of the Texan Rangers, and the
driver was ordered to drive his team off in an opposite direction.
"Certainly, certainly," said the driver, but in the meantime made his
calculations, and sprang from the wagon on the other side. Some fleeing
soldier had thrown away his loaded musket; this fortunately was seen by
Foster--the driver's name was Albert Foster--who picked it up. Passing
rapidly to the rear and around his wagon he shot the rebel from his
horse, mounted it and joined our cavalry, which was now charging back
on the greasy scoundrels, and assisted in driving them to the woods.
After chasing them until pursuit was useless he returned to his team
with his spoils of victory. The horse was a valuable one, and was well
equipped with a good saddle and bridle, a pair of pistols in the
holsters, and saddle-bags containing some clothing and corn bread. A
few more such heroic drivers would save many a government wagon from
the torch of the guerrilla.

The rebels retreated from Murfreesboro' on the night of the 3d, and on
the 4th General Rosecranz established his headquarters there. The army
moved on through town and went into camp two or three miles below. The
trains were soon ordered up with tents and all necessary camp equipage,
and in a few days the troops were comfortably resting from the
excessive toil and exposure of the last two weeks' campaign. Eight days
constant exposure without rest or sleep had tried the muscle and nerve
of the brave men of the army to the extent, almost, of endurance. Nobly
had they endured the hardships, and now they are entitled to all the
comforts that is possible to be provided. They had driven the rebels
from their comfortable winter quarters at Murfreesboro', and had made
the prospect for a termination of the war much more flattering than
when lying idly in camp at Nashville, and they were satisfied. Their
hardships were soon forgotten, and in a very few days they would have
been willing to have made another advance.



CHAPTER XXVI.


The Fifty-Ninth pitched tents to the right of the pike leading from
Murfreesboro' to Shelbyville, three miles south of town. Stone River
ran a short distance from camp on the right, and in front lay the large
plantation of ex-senator Bell, recent candidate for Vice President of
the United States, but now a traitor.

The splendid mansion of this arch traitor is now occupied by General
Johnson, of the Union Army. The owner of this plantation fled with the
rebel army on its retreat from the battle of Stone River, and General
Johnson took possession and encamped his division on the premises the
day following. The house is most delightfully situated on an elevated
spot overlooking the whole plantation, and near the banks of Stone
River. From the portico in front of the mansion, may be seen the pure,
blue waters of the river, as it winds its tortuous course along its
rock-bound channel, for two miles above and below. The negro cabins,
and the slaves at work any where on the plantation, can be seen from
the piazza, or could have been a few days ago; but now the white tents
of the soldier has taken the place of the slave at his work.

The Fifty-Ninth was not allowed to enjoy a lengthy repose in camp, but
was soon sent with a part of the division to reinforce the command at
Franklin, Tenn., thirty miles west of Murfreesboro'. Leaving all but
such things as they could carry in their knapsacks, they reached
Franklin the second day after leaving camp. Here they lay in bivouac
about ten days. They then returned to camp, bringing with them three or
four prisoners and a few extra horses. The three prisoners and three
horses were captured by two of our boys. Wm. Ebling and Samuel
Wambroth; the one the hospital nurse, and the other a cook; being both
mounted on extra horses, were a short distance from the road, when they
saw three rebel horsemen riding across an open field towards a house in
the distance. These two boys put spurs to their horses and made
pursuit. On coming within hailing distance they shouted to the rebs to
halt, which they did, surrendering themselves prisoners of war. The
boys, proud of their capture, marched them off to General Davis, and
they were handed over to the provost guard.

This same William Ebling, while scouting over the battle ground of
Stone River the day after the battle terminated, came across a citizen
dressed in butternut clothing, and supposing him to be a rebel,
arrested him. Ebling had just before passed a sutler establishment and
bought a bottle of whisky. Although he was death on rebels, he freely
shared his whisky with his prisoner, and when he presented his captive
to General Davis, they were both pretty tight. The man was a good Union
man, and was hunting over the field for a missing relative. General
Davis amused himself at their expense a short time, and sent them, the
one to his quarters and the other to his home.

A few days after going into camp here, Lieut. Colonel C. H. Frederick
returned to the regiment for the purpose of settling up his affairs and
to bid the command "good bye." While at Nashville, he resigned his
commission and was now a private citizen. His departure was witnessed
with regret by the whole command. He had ever been a good, faithful
officer, and a kind, good friend to the men of the regiment.

Major J. C. Winters, having returned from his leave of absence, now
assumed command of the regiment, and Captain Paine, that of Major.
Captain Stookey again taking command of his company. After the capture
of Adjutant Phillips, Lieutenant Minnett, of Company D, was appointed
Adjutant.

While the regiment lay at Murfreesboro', the following young men were
deservedly promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant: Reuben Maddox,
Company F, I. M. Vanosdel, Company K, Charles Doolittle, Company I, A.
Sanderson, Company B, S. Eleric, Company A, and Hiram Wendt, Company G.

To that of Second Lieutenant: ---- Curtis, Company C, H. C. Baughman,
Company F, D. L. Korhammer, Company I, Fred. N. Boyer, Company H, ----
Irwin, Company D, and ---- Anderson, Company B.

To that of Captain: Hamilton W. Hall, Company F, Adjutant Minnett,
Company D, Henry Wiley, Company H, S. L. Burris, Company G, I.
Henderson, Company C, D. Bagley, Company A, Samuel West, Company I.

These young men, with one or two exceptions, were enlisted as privates
in the ranks. They have all been faithful soldiers, doing their duty
manfully, both in time of battle and in camp. At Pea Ridge, at
Perryville and Stone River they were among the bravest of the brave.

After laying in camp a few days, the regiment again moved out towards
Franklin, but not so far as before. The enemy was now threatening
another point in our lines, between Murfreesboro' and Franklin, and to
strengthen this point General Davis moved out with his Division. No
serious attack was made, and the regiment returned to camp. The lines
were now shortened, and the camp all moved up nearer town. As soon as
the camps were arranged, the regiments were set to work building
fortifications. Until the 24th of June, work at the fortifications and
picket duty was all that was required of the Fifty-Ninth. In building
forts, and digging entrenchments, one-third or one-half the regiment
was employed at a time. In doing picket duty, the whole regiment moved
out to the lines, and remained there from five to ten days at a time.

One day, while on picket, Walter C. Wyker, of Company K, was standing
guard at his post, near the pike bridge across Stone River, some rebel
cavalry came in sight, a mile or two down the pike, and, to get a
better view of them, Wyker stepped upon a large rock near by, and, in
bringing his gun up after him, struck the lock against the rock, and
fired it off, the load lodging in his bowels, killing him in a few
seconds. He was brought to camp, and buried with the honors of war. He
was a faithful soldier, and an agreeable mess-mate, and was universally
respected by the members of his company.

Here, for the first time since leaving Boonville, Missouri, the
regiment had the privilege of attending church regularly every Sabbath,
and frequently during the week.

The writer's diary of the 17th of May, has the following:

"I have just returned from hearing an excellent sermon, spoken by the
Reverend Colonel Granville Moody. Colonel Moody was my favorite
preacher, of the Methodist Church in Oxford, Ohio, more than
twenty-five years ago. I have never seen him, from that day till this.
It may well be believed that his appearance brought to mind many
pleasant thoughts of old times. I was again sitting in the old familiar
seat, in the old brick church, of my boyhood days. Although the
preacher's head has now become silvered o'er with age, his voice and
looks are but little changed. His sermon was to me a 'feast of reason
and a flow of soul.' His text was: 'Choose ye this day whom ye will
serve. If the Lord is God, serve him.' His remarks were listened to
with the most wrapped attention, and, I think, made quite an impression
on the soldiers. I would that there were more such preachers in the
army. Colonel Moody commands an Ohio regiment, and is a fighting
Colonel. His regiment was in the thickest of the fight at Stone River,
and did good execution. While he was speaking, I could not help but
think of the vast amount of good he has been the instrument, in the
hands of God, in doing in the world. For thirty years his words of
entreaty have been spoken to thousands of anxious hearers, every
Sabbath, to turn from the evil of their ways, and seek the paths of
righteousness and peace. Can he be otherwise than happy?--happy in the
consciousness of having done his duty towards God and man. His sermon
was preached in one of the block houses inside a fort. It was a novel
sight to see the preparations for dealing death and destruction to our
fellow beings, surrounding the minister of peace on earth and good will
to men.

"When I came back to camp I found that an order had been issued to turn
over to the Quartermaster all extra baggage belonging to the men--such
as blankets, clothing, etc.,--leaving them only one blanket each, one
suit of clothes, an extra pair of drawers, an extra pair of socks, and
an extra shirt. This looks towards an early move of some kind--an
advance, perhaps, towards the enemy."

Lieutenant J. H. Knight is now Acting Quartermaster of the regiment,
Lieutenant Brasher not having, as yet, returned from his parole.

David Thompson, of Company K, returned to the regiment, from Nashville,
on the 16th of April. He was reported to the Surgeon the next morning
at sick call. On the following day he was sent to the general field
hospital, with well-developed symptoms of smallpox, and on the 21st he
expired.

James Slusser, of Company F, was brought to the hospital, with
dysentery, about the middle of June. He soon became convalescent, with
a very good prospect of soon returning to his company in good health;
but, when the regiment marched, on the 24th, he was yet unfit for duty,
and was, consequently, left at the general field hospital. A relapse
soon followed, and he, also, died.

In the latter part of April, one Doctor Kelly reported himself to Major
Winters, with a commission as First Surgeon of the Fifty-Ninth Illinois
Regiment. He was an entire stranger to all concerned, but his
commission gave him authority to remain and take charge of the sick men
of the regiment. He soon proved himself qualified for the position, and
the boys were well pleased with the imposition.



CHAPTER XXVII.


On the 15th of June the regiment went out on picket to remain ten days.
Their picket post was on the Shelbyville Pike, about two miles south of
Stone River.

On the 23d of June orders were received at camp to strike tents, and
move out with the train on the 24th. Consequently, on the morning of
the 24th, the train moved down the pike to where the regiment had been
standing picket. The regiment was already gone, and the train followed
after, taking the direction of Liberty Gap. The day was very
disagreeable; a drizzling rain had set in early in the morning and
continued all day, wetting everything and everybody completely. In this
plight the men lay on their arms all night. They were now in the
neighborhood of the Gap, and it was reported that the enemy had a
strong force there.

The morning of the 25th was dark and cloudy, but the troops were early
astir, and soon on the advance towards the Gap. About noon the enemy
were observed in force immediately in front. A disposition was speedily
made of our forces, and the Fifty-Ninth was sent out as flankers, or
rather as advanced skirmishers, on the right flank of the Division.
Fortunately for the Fifty-Ninth, this move kept them from entering the
engagement, only as skirmishers, as the fighting was all done in
another part of the field. The regiment, however, skirmished pretty
lively with the enemy all the afternoon. Some of the rebels were hit by
our balls, as the boys could see them fall, or crawl from their hiding
places badly wounded. The trees behind which the boys concealed
themselves were frequently hit by the balls from the rebel guns, but
none of the regiment was injured. On other parts of the Pass there was
heavy fighting until evening, when the enemy fell back and gave our men
possession.

  [Illustration:

  CAPT. HENRY WILEY.                   CAPT. J. JOHNSON.
  LIEUT. H. C. BAUGHMAN.               LIEUT. D. L. KORHAMMER.
  LIEUT. FRED. N. BOYER.               LIEUT. J. VANOSDELL.
  LIEUT. HIRAM WENT.                   LIEUT. JOS ELERIC.

  Lith. by W^m. BRADEN & C^o. Indianapolis.]

The command held the ground until about three in the morning, when it
was silently withdrawn and marched on towards Tullahoma. It was said
that the enemy withdrew about the same time, neither army having any
desire to renew the contest.

The march now continued daily until the 3d day of July, when the
Division again went into camp at Winchester, Tennessee.

The march from Murfreesboro' to Winchester was very fatiguing. It
rained almost incessantly, keeping the men continually wet, and making
the roads very muddy and the streams high. The rebels, on their
retreat, destroyed the bridge across Elk River, and in consequence our
army was compelled to wade it. At the point where the Fifty-Ninth
crossed, the water was waist deep to the men and the current very
swift. Two or three of the boys would lock arms, and by assisting each
other would succeed in forcing their way over. Several who braved the
flood single-handed were swept away and carried a considerable distance
down stream before they could effect a landing. The enemy continued to
retreat from Liberty Gap, through Tullahoma, Manchester, Winchester,
and Stevenson, Alabama, towards Chattanooga; so that our infantry did
not overtake them before going into camp at Winchester.

The brigade of Colonel Post went into camp one mile east of the town,
and in advance of any troops belonging to the corps. The Fifty-Ninth,
as usual, being the picket regiment. This was pleasing to the boys, as
it gave them the privilege of the country, and an easy access to
blackberries, peaches, potatoes, etc. The camp is pleasantly situated,
and if the weather becomes fair the boys can enjoy themselves.

Soon after arriving here, Lieutenant Brasher, Quartermaster, and
Captain Clayton Hale, (now Major Hale,) returned to the regiment. After
the resignation of Lieutenant Colonel Frederick, Major Winters was
promoted to the position of Lieutenant Colonel, and Clayton Hale to
that of Major. Frank Clark, of Company A, now received the appointment
of Adjutant.

The routine of camp life now commenced in earnest; policing, guard and
picket duty, foraging and amusements of various kinds occupies the time
of the regiment. The history of one day is the repetition of the
preceding one, and so on.

Winchester is ninety-five miles south of Nashville, and is an old
dilapidated place of perhaps eight hundred inhabitants, mostly secesh.
The country around is very well improved and quite productive, but
thinly populated at this time, as the citizens have, many of them, gone
with the rebel army. There are several families remaining in town, but
the men folks have disappeared, leaving only the women and children. Of
the former there are quite a number, and many of them are young and
good looking. These are an attraction for the young bloods of the army,
and those of the Fifty-Ninth are very attentive. The tediousness of
camp life is very much relieved by a few hours spent in the society of
interesting young ladies now and then.

After a few days of idleness in camp, the boys get very mischievous,
and if there is any whisky to be had the monotony is broken by some
serious termination to the pranks being played.

One evening, after imbibing pretty freely, the boys were about getting
into a general engagement, when Sergeant ----, of Company E, supposing
it to be his duty to keep the peace, interfered. This proceeding was
resented, and in the melee the Sergeant was severely cut with a knife,
in the hands of one Davis, of another company. Davis immediately fled,
and was never heard of afterwards. The Sergeant was taken to the
hospital, to have his wound attended to. The wound was inflicted by a
sharp instrument, and penetrated through the muscles of the back, into
the lower lobe of the right lung. The cut on the surface was about four
inches in length, and on the surface of the lung half an inch in
length, deep enough to afford a full breathing surface. At every motion
of the lungs the air rushed in and out of this opening as through the
mouth of a bellows. When brought to the tent, the man was in a dying
condition. His life was rapidly going out at the opening in the lung.
The old Hospital Steward was in favor of immediately closing the wound
by sewing the lips together, but the two young Assistant Surgeons,
Doctors Bunce and Gaston, (Gaston had a few days before been
commissioned from the ranks of the One Hundred-and-Second Illinois
Regiment, to the position of Second Assistant Surgeon of the
Fifty-Ninth,) overruled the idea, under the impression that by closing
the wound the blood would have no egress, and by its accumulation
inwardly, cause injury to the patient. The man was dying, as every one
could see. His pulse was failing rapidly, and a few hours would
undoubtedly finish his career. Doctor Kelly, who was in town, was sent
for--came, and for appearance sake, as he said, put a couple of
stitches in the wound. By this time the pulse had entirely disappeared
from the wrist, and the Doctors left the tent, not doubting but that
the man would soon be dead. As soon as the Surgeons left, the Steward
carefully closed the wound with a compress, and caused the man to lay
on that side so as to keep the compress to its place. As soon as this
was done the breathing passed through the natural channel--the
mouth--and in an hour the pulse could be distinctly felt at the wrist,
and in the morning the Doctors were surprised to find the Sergeant, not
only still living, but bright and cheerful. In ten days the man was
well. Ignorance is bliss, but not always safe for the patient.

Doctor Kelly here resigned his commission as Surgeon, and Doctor Bunce
immediately applied for and received a commission in his stead.

Indications now point strongly towards another move. A general
inspection of the troops and trains almost always precedes a forward
movement of the army, and this is now going on in this department. The
next move will be across the Cumberland Mountains, and the trains must
all be in good condition, or they will never stand the trip. It is only
about three miles to the foot of these mountains in a direct course
from here, but it is said that we must pass through Cowen before we can
climb them, which is ten or twelve miles away. Cowen is a station on
the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, and is near the entrance of the
tunnel which here runs through the mountain.

On the 17th of August, the army evacuated Winchester, and camped at the
foot of the mountain, to be in readiness for crossing on the following
morning. The 18th was spent in getting the artillery and trains to the
top of the mountain--the regiments having to assist in dragging the
heavy cannon and heavy loaded wagons over the most difficult places.
The 19th completed the crossing, and the troops bivouacked at the
eastern foot of the mountain until morning. The march was continued on
the 20th, until a convenient camp was reached near Stevenson, Alabama.

Stevenson is a small town at the junction of the Nashville and
Chattanooga Railroad with the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. It is
twenty-five miles from Chattanooga, and three miles from the Tennessee
River. It is one hundred and twenty miles by rail from Nashville. The
camp of the Fifty-Ninth is one mile from town, near the right bank of
the famous Battle Creek, and within about the same distance of a high
conical-shaped mountain, at the foot of which nestles the little town
of Stevenson.

On the 28th the First and Second Brigades of Davis' Division moved out,
and the probability was that the Third would soon follow. This the men
were willing for, as they usually enjoy the march, in pleasant weather,
better than much laying in camp. After a few days in camp the routine
of camp life becomes tiresome, and the men wish for a change. Sickness
usually increases in proportion to the length of time spent in lying
idle in camp, showing that it is more agreeable to be moving
occasionally. In camp there are many more indulgences in the way of
gormandizing, to be sure, than on the march; but the mind, also, has
its influence in preserving the health of the soldier. On the march the
mind is withdrawn from brooding over the sacrifices made, and a longing
for the return of those home comforts and associations which have been
so long left behind. The anticipations of coming events, the changes of
scenery, both of a natural and artificial character, such as hills and
dales, valleys and mountains, rivers and creeks, springs and rivulets,
large plantations, with their fine mansions and negro cabins, beautiful
groves and lawns, or the isolated log hut of the native forester--all
tending to relieve the mind of "brooding melancholy," preserve the
health, and restore the convalescent, by their ever-changing
attractions to the soldier, as he passes them on the march.

The sick were now sent to the general field hospital, at Stevenson,
and, on the morning of the 30th, the regiment struck tents, and moved
out. Passing through Stevenson, it proceeded, by a short and direct
road, to the Tennessee River. Here it bivouacked till a pontoon bridge
was in readiness for crossing upon. About four o'clock in the evening
the brigade crossed over, and went into camp one mile distant from the
river.

The 30th of August was a beautiful day, and, while awaiting the
opportunity to cross, the boys amused themselves bathing in the river.
The river here was three-quarters of a mile wide, and many of the men
swam from one shore to the other, apparently without much difficulty.
It was very amusing to stand on the bank and witness the feats of
agility performed by these aquatic actors. After witnessing this lively
scene, the writer and Lieutenant Sanderson, of Company A, seated
themselves in the shade, near the pontoons, to witness the activity of
the scene in that vicinity. Just below the bridge was the only place
where the mules could be taken to water, and here the hundreds of mules
and horses belonging to the trains were now being brought. Each driver
brought six mules, fastened together, so that, by riding one, the
others could be led without difficulty. On coming to the water there
was such a crowd of them that a great deal of trouble was sometimes
required to get them out without becoming considerably entangled.
Swearing is a universal practice amongst M.D.'s, and now it was
remarkable. It seemed as though each one tried to do more of it than
any one else could. The writer had noticed that not one had left the
water without leaving many curses resting on the "souls" of his poor
mules. He finally remarked to the Lieutenant that he believed all
mule-drivers, without an exception, would swear.

"It seems so," said the Lieutenant, "but yonder is a fellow who has
been trying to disentangle his mules for some time, and he has not yet
used an oath."

Patiently the fellow worked for sometime longer, but to no purpose. The
mules were very stubborn, and resisted all entreaty to come to shore in
order. Patience now ceases to be a virtue, and he let out--and, of all
the swearing that had been heard that day, his was most satanic--'twas
awful. The Lieutenant gave it up, and acknowledged that all M.D.'s
would swear.

Colonel Post's brigade was now constituted rear guard to the corps
train, and was, of course, the last to cross the river, and will be the
last to cross the Sand Mountain, which now looms up before us. The
crossing will be most difficult. The road is said to be very rugged,
and in many places so steep that it will be impossible for the teams to
pull the wagons up. The passage of the Alps, in miniature, is before
us, and Colonel Post, in size and stature, as he directs the men in
their labors, brings to mind the "Little Corporal," as he is
represented in the "passage of those alpine heights."

Early in the morning the ascent of the train commences. The four
regiments of the brigade have gone on, and been distributed along the
ascent by detachments, so as to be in readiness to assist any of the
teams that should be unable to make the "riffle." The road, in its
tortuous course, was frequently obstructed by huge flat rock, broken
square, so that the wagon-wheels would have to be lifted twelve or
fifteen inches perpendicularly to get over them. At such places, as
many men as could get near the wagon would lay hold and hoist it, and
then the mules could again proceed. About two o'clock the trains
succeeded in reaching the top of the mountain, and the brigade then
moved on for two or three miles, and took up quarters for the night.
The descent was almost as difficult as the ascent, and the brigade was
again stationed at the difficult places, as before. Where the declivity
was steep large ropes were fastened to the rear of the wagons, and
grasped by as many soldiers as was necessary to keep the wagon from
rushing upon and crushing the mules in front. The crossing of Sand
Mountain was accomplished, and the brigade again went into quarters.

From the 2d day of September until the 6th, the trains were moved by
easy stages towards the foot of Lookout Mountain, at a point called
Valley Head. Here they went into corral to await the movements of the
army in the front. The brigade, of course, also went into quarters.
Valley Head is about forty miles from Chattanooga, and about the same
distance from Rome, Ga. It is enclosed by Sand Mountain on the west,
and Lookout Mountain on the east. It extends between these mountains
from this point up to the Tennessee River. It is a very narrow valley,
and is poorly improved. An occasional plantation only being met with.
Here, at Valley Head, are two or three good plantations, but very much
impaired by the depredations of the soldier, both rebel and Union. Here
the fences had been burned from many of the fields, and some buildings
destroyed by the rebels before the Union soldiers came to the
neighborhood. The plantation on which the brigade was now camped, was
in a measure destroyed by the rebel soldiers. Major Winston, the owner
of the plantation, had been opposed to the war, and had suffered these
depredations in consequence.

On the 10th, the trains were again in motion. They moved to the foot of
the mountain, and again went into corral. The Fifty-Ninth Regiment
moved to the top of the mountain, and bivouacked about two miles in
advance of the wagons. Here it lay until the 13th, when it was again
moved down to the foot of the mountain.

The road up the Lookout Mountain is here very good, and offers no great
obstructions to the passage of the trains. It winds around all the
steep acclivities, and misses all the large rock that project from the
sides of this mountain. Huge masses of rock are everywhere hanging from
the top and sides of this mountain; in some places affording "look out"
points, from which may be seen the valley beneath, and the mountains
around as far as vision can extend. It is from these points that the
mountain derives its name of "Lookout." A few rods from the road is one
of these projections, allowing a full view of Valley Head with all its
surroundings.

On the 18th, the brigade again ascended the mountain, and made a forced
march of about twenty-five miles towards Chattanooga, going into camp
sometime after night, not far below Dug Gap, and near the eastern
summit of the mountain.

The 19th was spent in camp, with orders to be ready to move at a
moment's warning. A battle was now momentarily expected to take place
in the valley below, and the boys were very restless. Not far from camp
was a famous "look out," and hundreds of the soldiers visited it
through the day for the purpose of viewing the "landscape o'er." From
this point, the whole of Lookout, or Chattanooga Valley could be seen.
For miles the valley is spread out to the view in all its variegated
loveliness. Plantations, with their white mansions visible, here and
there are seen, nestled as it were, in dark, deep forests; wreaths of
smoke ascending from the depths of other clumps of dark, dense foliage,
indicates the habitations of other dwellers in the valley, yet no house
is seen. Nearer by, the open fields, with their herds of cattle and
their flocks in pasture, as yet undisturbed by the ruthless soldier,
and close by the planter's house and negro cabins. These may be seen
with the naked eye. With a field glass or telescope, another feature is
added to the scene. Soldiers, both cavalry and infantry could be seen
marching in the distance, far over towards the Chickamauga. From this
deep valley, now comes up the booming of distant cannon, adding deep
interest to the scene. The armies are as yet only feeling for each
others weakness--to-morrow they will try each others strength.

All day the point was crowded with eager eyes, looking over that vast
field of vision. And in the morning, as early as the light permitted,
some returned to see what change the night might have produced, and
they were well satisfied with their early visit. Before the sun began
to shed his rays above the horizon, the scene presented in the valley
below reminded one of an ocean of water. The smoke and fog had settled
through the night on all the lower lands of the valley, and resembled
in appearance the blue of the deep waters of the ocean. The ridges in
the valley elevated the tops of the trees growing upon them, above this
canopy of smoke, and gave them the appearance of islands in the ocean.
As soon as the god of day began to pencil the horizon with his rays,
the oceanic illusion vanished. At first a faint tinge of red appeared,
and from this the redness gradually increased and grew broader and
deeper until his whole broad face was visible. Redder and more fiery
than any living coal was his appearance. It was not the white heat of
noon-day, but the most brilliant red imaginable. The sight was most
magnificent--most sublime. The setting sun, as witnessed from the
"point" on the opposite side of the mountain was most beautiful--but
this was most sublime.

At seven o'clock the order came to march. At eight the brigade was in
motion, and in an hour it was wending its way across the valley towards
the battlefield of Chickamauga. About twelve o'clock it had reached the
"Crawfish Springs," and formed in position to resist an expected attack
from the enemy. Before getting to the Springs rebels had been seen
hovering on the flank of our command, and one or two shots had been
fired at our advanced skirmishers.

On arriving at the Springs it was ascertained that the enemy had
intercepted our march with too heavy a force for our brigade to advance
against, and that he was also throwing a large force upon our right and
rear. This was more than had been anticipated, and it became evident
that there was now only one course to pursue, and that was to get away
from the Springs in the best way possible. The only way to do this was
to take the road towards Chattanooga immediately--this was done. The
train moved on in advance, and the regiments followed. The command
bivouacked about five miles from Chattanooga, and lay on their arms
that night. The next day it moved two miles farther towards town, and
on the morning of the 22d continued the retreat until it reached the
lines at Chattanooga. When within about one mile of the lines the enemy
began to throw shells into the ranks. The battery nearest the command
from the lines in town, being apprised of the approach of the rebels,
now came out and replied so vigorously to the rebel battery that it
soon withdrew and the brigade marched in unhurt. In coming from the
mountain to the Springs several stragglers were taken prisoners by the
rebels. The Fifty-Ninth lost three or four men in this way. Had the
brigade been one hour later in coming up to Chattanooga it would have
been cut off and captured. The army had all fallen back the day before,
and Post's command was the only one outside of the strong position in
front of town. The position was now so well chosen, and our lines so
compact, that the enemy dare not attack it.

The campaign for the summer was now over, and the army intrenched
itself at Chattanooga. Works were immediately constructed sufficient in
strength and magnitude, to resist any attempt on the part of the enemy
to take the town, and the army quietly awaited further developments.
The campaign had been a severe and tedious one. The men were worn out
and needed rest. Their clothing was becoming thin and the weather
disagreeable, so that they began to suffer for the want of comfortable
covering to protect them from the storm and against the cold and chilly
nights. It was fully time they were also better supplied with food as
well as clothing. Rations were becoming very short. One half rations of
bread and one quarter rations of bacon was all the most of the men
could get, and some of them, for a time, did not get even so much as
that. For about ten days after the occupation of Chattanooga the men of
the Fifty-Ninth Illinois Regiment received five crackers each for three
days' rations, with about the same proportion of bacon. This was a near
approach to starvation.

The enemy now invested Chattanooga closely; artillery firing was
practiced daily, and many a laugh was had at the expense of the rebel
shells. Thousands of shells were thrown at Chattanooga during the
siege, without doing any damage of any kind, except, perhaps, in one
case. It was said that a negro man, while bringing water from the
spring, was shot through by a solid six-pound ball. This, however, is
doubted.

One of the boys of Company K, of the Fifty-Ninth, was frying his ration
of bacon one morning when a twelve pounder struck his pan and knocked
it into the "middle of next week," and the boy lost his bacon.

The Fifty-Ninth lay behind breast-works on the left bank of Chattanooga
Creek, and the rebel pickets were stationed on the opposite bank, not
over two hundred yards distant. The water from the creek supplied both
parties, and meetings would frequently take place between the boys and
the rebels, when they would have a friendly chat and a tobacco or
newspaper trade. An understanding was had between the parties that
there should be no shooting at each other. These friendly relations
continued until the regiment was removed to another part of the field.

The month of October was a very wet, rainy month, and caused some
sickness in the regiment. Several of the men were compelled to give up
doing duty and go to hospital, amongst whom was Sergeant William
Curtis, of Company K, David M. Minard, of Company A, Sergeant Marcus D.
Leigh, of Company F, and John B. Forester, of Company F. These were all
young men of exemplary reputations for good moral conduct and soldierly
behavior in all their intercourse with the regiment. They had undergone
all the hardships, and endured all the exposure and fatigue of all the
marches and campaigns, and been in all the battles the regiment had
experienced since being in the service. The friends and relations of
these young men have now to mourn them as numbered among the honored
dead. Sergeant Curtis died at Chattanooga on the 26th of October, 1863,
William M. Minard on the 2d of December, 1863, Sergeant Leigh died at
Nashville on the 26th of December, 1863, soon after being removed from
Chattanooga, and John B. Forester on the 7th day of January, 1864, at
Louisville, Kentucky.

About the middle of October the regiment crossed the Tennessee River,
and went up into the Sequatchie Valley, with a train, after forage. It
was gone three days, and had a good time of it. In the Valley the boys
found plenty of hogs, chickens, honey, and other luxuries, which were
unsparingly appropriated. An order to go foraging was always hailed
with delight, as it promised better living than was usually to be had
in camp.

The question is frequently discussed in camp, "Why are we not better
provided for--why are we compelled to live on hard bread and old
bacon?" We are fighting our own battles, at our own expense, and we are
able and willing to pay for good living. Why do we not get it? Is the
question an unreasonable one? Can any one satisfactorily explain the
reason why our soldiers are restricted to a certain kind of food? and
such food, too, as no man thinks of living on at home. The expense of
providing good palatable diet--such as bread, with salt and shortening
in it, instead of that which is so hard and tasteless--with potatoes,
beans, fruit, etc., etc.,--would be more than saved by preserving the
health of the men, and thereby keeping them on duty, instead of having
them become scorbutic and worthless to the Government, and not only
worthless, but a useless expense. After the scurvy is established in
the system of the soldier, a more generous diet is resorted to for the
removal of the disease. Why not provide the diet as a preventive to the
disease?



CHAPTER XXVIII.


On the 25th of October, the brigade left Chattanooga for Shell Mound.
Early in the morning, before the sun had risen, the Fifty-Ninth broke
camp and marched down to the river. The other regiments of the brigade
were crossing over on the pontoon bridge below town, and the
Fifty-Ninth fell into column at the proper time and crossed over.

The bridge at this point is about three hundred yards long, and
requires fifty-two pontoons to float it. A few nights before the
regiment crossed, the rebels sent a large raft, made of heavy timber,
down the river, which striking the bridge, stove it into pieces. It did
not take long to repair it, and very little damage was done by this
sharp trick.

After crossing, the command took the road leading down through the
river bottom lands for five miles, when it reached the foot of the
Sequatchie Mountain. Here it rested a short time, and the men refreshed
themselves with a hard tack and a slice of bacon. Before them now looms
up a mountain, around the side of which winds a road four miles long,
which they must climb. The bugle sounds, and the march up the mountain
commences. Had there been nothing to attract attention on the way, the
march would have been a toilsome one, but as it was, the men did not
think of getting weary. The road in many places was marked by objects
of much interest on the side of the road next the mountain. Masses of
rock of all shapes and of every dimension meet the view. Some of these
appeared just ready to fall, and crush the column as it passed. Here
was one forming a perpendicular wall, of a hundred feet in height, and
three hundred in length; and then another of as large dimensions, in
appearance like to an old ancient castle set in the side of the
mountain. Here is another, with an opening to a cave within, of unknown
extent. There issues a stream of limpid water large enough to turn the
wheels of fortune; and not far from this, a beautiful jet of pure, cold
water bursts, as it were, from out the solid rock, and trickles along,
way down the mountain, in pearly drops. At the foot of the mountain,
the Tennessee River urges its way through its narrow rock-bound
channel, in billowy grandeur. It is only now and then that its waters
can be seen from the line of march, but when they are, it is only to
cause a frequent turning of the eye in that direction to get another
glimpse.

In this passage up the mountain, there is one place, of half a mile in
length, which is called the "Narrows." From the high bluffs, on the
opposite side of the river, a minnie ball may be thrown against the
rocks above the road, on the Sequatchie Mountain. Several mules and one
or two men had been killed while passing these narrows by rebel sharp
shooters, from the bluffs across the river. Two or three shots were
fired at the column now passing, but no one was hit. About one o'clock
the regiment arrived at the summit of the mountain, and there halted
for dinner.

After dinner and an hour's rest, the march was continued. The road now
taken is called the Old Ridge Road. It leads along the summit of this
ridge for twenty miles. Sometimes the ridge is just broad enough for
the passage of a single wagon, and at these places you can look down,
down, down, until your head swims. There are some very good "look out"
points on this ridge.

The regiment went into camp on the evening of the 26th, near one of
these points, and had the pleasure of witnessing the departure of Old
Sol, as he disappeared below the horizon. It was a pretty sight. During
the twilight they had an opportunity of looking up and down the
Sequatchie Valley, as it lay in the depths below. It had the appearance
of being a very rich and finely cultivated country. Farms and farm
houses were quite numerous and seemed snug and inviting.

The descent from this mountain summit commenced early on the morning of
the 27th, and after ascending and descending innumerable acclivities
and declivities, the regiment went into camp on the bank of the
Tennessee River. Here it was expected that the command would be ferried
across the river, at what was called Brown's Ferry, but after about two
hours in quarters, the order came to march. It was still about seven
miles to Shell Mound, and this was the distance now to be marched. The
sun was setting, as the regiment moved out, and about nine o'clock it
crossed the river at Shell Mound, and went into camp again.

Shell Mound is seven miles above Bridgeport, and twenty-one below
Chattanooga. To get from Chattanooga here, the command had marched
sixty-miles. Shell Mound derives its name from the innumerable quantity
of shells that is piled up there. The entire mound is composed of
muscle shell, as though they had been hauled there and tilted from the
cart. Their number is most astonishing. It might be supposed that all
the muscles from the first creation to the present time had made this
their charnel house.

If some shrewd Yankee should ever take it into his head to load a few
flat-boats with these shells, and have them pulverized and barreled up,
he could make a fortune by selling the powder as a fertilizer for
Northern farms. This bed of shells is ten feet deep at the river brink,
and covers several acres, in some places to a greater depth.

At this place is another great curiosity--the "Negro Jack Cave," as it
is called by the natives. The entrance to this cave is large--perhaps
twenty feet wide, and fifteen feet to the arch above. The arch is most
beautifully turned, smooth and regular. The smoke from the fires which
have been kindled under this arch has given it a cloudy appearance,
which is very pretty. This is a saltpetre cave, and the rebels have had
very extensive works through it. Around the entrance, on the outside,
are furnaces and kettles; on the inside are hundreds of filterers, or
hoppers, for filtering the clay, which holds the saltpetre. On
penetrating fifty or sixty feet within, the light disappears, and it is
necessary to use torches or candles to see the way over the slimy
hillocks of mud and broken stone, which fill the passages. The cave is
said to be fifteen miles in length. There is a large stream of water
running through it, which has been ascended by canoes for ten miles,
from the entrance. This stream flows out from an opening a short
distance to the right of the mouth of the cave, in size sufficient to
turn a large grist mill. It is crossed on a plank bridge, about five
hundred feet from the mouth of the cave. The water can not be seen, but
a stone dropped from the bridge can be heard as it plunges into the
water far below. The walls, in some places, are very rough, and in
others quite smooth.

Some distance, after crossing the river, you come to a small chamber,
which is very pretty. It is, perhaps, twenty feet square. The ceiling
is ornamented with stalactites, resembling icicles, and the walls are
perpendicular and smooth. The corners and the edges of the ceiling are
as though they had been ornamented by some master workman. There are
many different passages leading from the main entrance, and great
attention is required, or you lose your way.

When Buell's army was here some of his boys got lost in this cave, and
were three days in finding the way out, and would not then if a band of
music had not went in, and blowed their instruments, which were heard
by the wanderers, and thus discovered to them the direction they ought
to take. While seeking their way out, these boys came across the body
of a Lieutenant, who had lost his way, and thus perished. This cave
received the name of "Negro Jack" because of its having been the hiding
place of an old negro by that name, in an early day.

There had been a small town at Shell Mound, and the railroad depot was
yet standing when our boys got there, but the next morning it was torn
down to make shelters and fires for the men. It was a nice brick depot,
and its destruction ought not to have been allowed. It was the last of
Shell Mound City. The saltpetre works are all destroyed, and there is
nothing here now of interest but the pontoon bridge across the river.

The regiments lay at Shell Mound two days, and then moved up to
Whitesides, seven miles nearer Chattanooga. Here the brigade went into
winter quarters. Whiteside Station is fourteen miles below Chattanooga,
and is at the foot of Raccoon Mountain, in Marion County, Tennessee.
Camp is situated on the side of the mountain, just above the railroad,
and is within protecting distance of the "Falling Waters" railroad
bridge, now in course of reconstruction. This bridge was destroyed by
the rebels on the approach of Buell's army. It was a fine structure,
and cost ninety-five thousand dollars. It was five hundred feet in
length, and ninety-five feet in height.

The mountain summit is at least a thousand feet above camp. Near the
top is a large ledge of rock, and just below this ledge is an opening
to a coal mine. These mountains are full of coal, and there are several
mines within a short distance of camp.

The chute from the one above the depot, deposits the coal near where it
is loaded upon the cars for shipment. These chutes are square tunnels,
made of boards. By putting the coal in at the top, it is conducted,
with the rapidity of a cannon ball, to the bottom. The boys are now
amusing themselves by throwing large stones into this chute, and
watching them come out at the bottom. Below camp runs a small mountain
stream called the "Falling Waters." On the opposite side of this stream
rises another mountain, to the height of two thousand feet. The Ninth
Indiana Regiment is stationed on the summit of this mountain.

While at Chattanooga, the army was reorganized, and, instead of four
regiments, there were now eight in a brigade. Colonel Post was now
acting as President of a Board of Claims, and Colonel Gross, of the
Thirty-Sixth Indiana, was in command of the brigade. The brigade
consisted of the Fifty-Ninth Illinois, Seventy-Fifth Illinois,
Eightieth Illinois, Ninth Indiana, Thirty-Sixth Indiana, Ninety-Sixth
Ohio, and Eighty-Fourth Illinois Regiments. The eighth regiment had not
yet joined the brigade.

Colonel P. Sidney Post, on relinquishing the command of the First
Brigade of General Davis' old division, which was consolidated in the
new organization, issued the following order:

    "HEADQU'RS 1ST BRIG., 1ST DIV., 20TH ARMY CORPS,

    "Chattanooga, Oct. 16, '63.

    "_General Order No. 51._--In the organization of the army, this
    brigade will lose its identity, and be transferred to another
    division and corps. Organized on the banks of the Ohio more than a
    year ago, it has traversed Kentucky and Tennessee, scaled the
    mountains of Northern Alabama and Georgia, and now terminates its
    existence on the south bank of the Tennessee. The year during which
    it has remained intact will ever be remembered as that in which
    the gallant armies of the West rolled back the advancing hosts of
    the rebellion, and extinguished the Confederacy in the valley of
    the Mississippi. In accomplishing this glorious achievement,
    you--soldiers of the First Brigade--have performed no mean part. On
    the laborious march you have been patient and energetic, and in the
    skirmish and battle second to none in stubborn valor and success.
    In one year you lost upon the battle-field eight hundred and fifty
    heroic comrades. Baptised in blood at Perryville, this brigade led
    the army in pursuit of the retreating foe, and again attacks him at
    Lancaster, whence he fled from Kentucky. In the mid-winter campaign
    it opened the battle at Stone River, by attacking and driving the
    enemy from Nolensville, on the memorable 31st of December, together
    with the rest of the Twentieth Army Corps valiantly met the attack
    of the concentrated opposing army. At Liberty Gap, and in the late
    battle of Chickamauga, it performed well the part assigned it, and
    finishes its honorable career weaker in number but strong in the
    confidence and discipline of invincible veterans. For the able and
    hearty co-operations its commander has received from the officers,
    and for the cheerful support yielded by its gallant men, he returns
    his sincere thanks. No petty jealousies, no intrigue or
    demoralizing influences, have ever disgraced and paralyzed our
    efforts for the country's cause; and the commander unites in the
    just pride which all feel in the history of, and in their
    connection with, the First Brigade, First Division, Twentieth Army
    Corps.

    "P. SIDNEY POST,

    "Colonel Commanding Brigade."



CHAPTER XXIX.


On the morning of the 23d of November, the brigade broke up camp at
Whitesides and took up the line of march towards Chattanooga. About six
o'clock that evening it went into quarters at the foot of Lookout
Mountain. The anticipation was that the command would cross the river
the next morning and join General Sherman, who was about engaging the
enemy above Chattanooga. This anticipation was not realized. Early on
the morning of the 24th the men were under arms and facing the Lookout.
Soon the column commenced moving, and now the object of the move became
apparent--which was no less than the storming of Lookout Mountain. Is
it possible that these men are to march up that rugged mountain side in
the face of a relentless foe above, who are prepared to hurl
destruction down upon them from the height. Nothing daunted by the
formidable task assigned them, the troops moved boldly forward. The
enemy resisted stubbornly, but could not withstand the onward move of
our brave men. The fight was terrific for about five hours. The Third
brigade acted nobly, and the Fifty-Ninth Illinois added new laurels to
her war-worn banner. Not a man wavered, but each vied with the other in
urging on the advance.

Those who witnessed the maneuvering of the men--and every move could be
seen from Chattanooga and the adjacent hills--expressed the greatest
admiration at the masterly manner in which the regiments made their
charges. The Fifty-Ninth retained an unbroken line during the whole of
this arduous contest. General Hooker, who witnessed the whole affair,
remarked that he never saw a more perfect line of battle maintained by
any regiment, during successive charges, than was here maintained by
the Fifty-Ninth Illinois. The regiment lost but one killed and three
wounded. The rebels invariably over-shot us. James Medford, of Company
G, was killed while in the act of shooting at the enemy.

The morning of the 25th revealed to all in the valley below the
glorious flag of the Union floating over the point of Lookout.

Early on the morning of the 25th our brigade again advanced and
skirmished with the enemy all the way across Chattanooga Valley to
Missionary Ridge. Here the enemy attempted to make another stand. With
a shout our men charged upon them with fixed bayonets and again put
them to flight. In this charge the Fifty-Ninth was in the advance, and
was the first regiment to reach the summit of the Ridge. Although the
charge was a most dangerous one, only one man of the regiment was
wounded.

The regiment lay on the Ridge that night, and at sunrise continued the
pursuit. On the morning of the 28th, the command reached Ringgold,
eighteen miles from Chattanooga. At this place the rebels made another
stand, and the battle raged most furiously all the forenoon, but
terminated in the complete rout of the enemy. The Fifty-Ninth was on
the field and in line of battle, but did not become engaged.

After the battle, the Third Brigade was ordered to move five miles down
the railroad towards Tunnel Hill, and ascertain how far the rebs had
gone. About four miles from town a line of battle was discovered in our
front, and the brigade was halted. Here it remained 'till after dark,
when many fires were kindled as if it was intended to remain all night,
but the men silently withdrew behind the lights and returned to town.

On the afternoon of the 30th, the brigade started on its return to
Whitesides. The division returned through the Chickamauga battle field,
and spent all the 1st day of December in burying the dead that had been
left unburied by the rebs. After over two months' exposure, there was
nothing left of the bodies but bones to bury. Hundreds of these were
found and covered. They had buried their own dead, but the Union
soldier was left to moulder where he fell. On the 6th day of December
the regiment again went into winter quarters, in their old camp at
Whitesides.

There was now a fair prospect of remaining in camp for some time, and
the boys went to work in earnest to prepare themselves comfortable
shanties. In a few days they were all comfortably housed, and ready for
all kinds of mischief.

Corporal William A. Gilbert was left in hospital at Whitesides when the
regiment marched, and soon after its return he departed this life. He
was buried with the honors of war, on a pleasant spot above camp, on
the side of Raccoon Mountain.

The regiment, on this expedition, was commanded by Major Clayton Hale,
Lieutenant Colonel Winters having resigned and gone home, a short time
before the regiment moved. Captain James H. Stookey was Acting Major.
These two officers, soon afterwards, received a promotion--the one,
Major Hale, received a commission as Lieutenant-Colonel; the other,
Captain Stookey, a commission as Major of the Fifty-Ninth Regiment
Illinois Volunteers. Captain Stookey's promotion was highly pleasing to
the men of the regiment. By his unassuming manners, and kindly
disposition, he had obtained the good will and esteem, not only of the
men belonging to his own company, but of the whole regiment. He had
proven himself a brave, good officer, and one of the best tacticians in
the regiment. His promotion was richly merited. Major Hale had never
taken any pains to conciliate the feelings of the men towards himself,
but had ever been reticent in his manners towards the private soldier,
and, consequently, had lost that feeling of regard which friendly
communings, and social manners, always engenders.



CHAPTER XXX.


While the regiment lay at Ringgold, an order was received at
head-quarters authorizing the enlistment of veteran volunteers, to
serve for three years, or during the war, with the proviso that those
who had been in service for two years would be accepted, and none
others; and that each should receive a bounty of four hundred and two
dollars, and a thirty days furlough; and, also, that their old term of
service should expire, and their new term commence, on the day of
enlistment. Some fifteen or twenty re-enlisted immediately, and, after
returning to Whitesides, some two hundred and fifty others entered
their names for the veteran service. This, according to an act of the
War Department, constituted the Fifty-Ninth a veteran regiment. It,
therefore, now lost its identity as the Fifty-Ninth Regiment Illinois
Volunteers, and assumed the name of Fifty-Ninth Veteran Volunteer
Infantry Regiment of Illinois. The men were mustered on the 5th day of
January, 1864, as veterans, and, on the 13th of February, arrived at
Springfield, Illinois, to receive their promised furloughs. On their
arrival, Adjutant-General Fuller addressed to them the following
beautiful expression of welcome and regard:

"I congratulate you on your soldierly appearance, and the favorable
auspices under which you have returned to fill up your decimated ranks.
The liberal bounties offered by the Government, and the almost
universal liberal policy adopted by the several counties of the State
to aid and encourage enlistments, together with the high character
which your regiment has deservedly acquired, will, doubtless, attract
to your ranks hundreds of our patriotic and loyal young men who have
awaited the return of our veteran regiments to identify their destinies
and unite their fortunes with them.

"On the 21st of September, 1861, you took the field as undisciplined
recruits. You now return a regiment of veteran _volunteers_, and
as such are entitled to wear the badge of honor--the mark of
distinction--the evidence of recognition of your country for past
meritorious service.

"So great was the rush to arms in this State, in the early stages of
the rebellion, you were unable to obtain admission as the Ninth
Missouri. At that time our sister State of Missouri was undergoing the
throes of a revolution within her own borders, and nothing but the
strong arm of military power prevented her from throwing off her
allegiance to the General Government, and openly espousing the cause of
her enemies. Your services, and that of other Illinois regiments, did
much to rescue her from the abyss of ruin into which she was plunging.

"Though you went to the field, and have returned from it unheralded,
your history is not unknown, nor have your services been unnoticed.
Without disparagement to others, all of whom have done so well, I can
truly say that in no Illinois regiment has the State authorities and
the people of the State taken a stronger interest, or felt a greater
pride, than in the Fifty-Ninth. Why should they not? The rapidity of
your long marches, your patient endurance, and your daring dash in
battles, have rarely, if ever, been excelled. The Polish Lancers were
not more fleet, nor the French Hussars more daring, nor the English
veterans more unyielding, than you. And, while you have been making the
circuit of Western battle-fields, as this, the general officers under
whom you have served, testify of you.

"We hear of you on the 22d of September, 1861, embarking on transports
at St. Louis for Jefferson City. At Jefferson City on that day, we hear
of you at Otterville, on the 1st of October; at Syracuse on the 14th;
at Warsaw, on the 24th; crossing the Osage on the 25th; by forced
marches, at Springfield on the 3d of November; at Syracuse again on the
17th of November; at Lamoine Bridge preparing winter quarters, December
7th; at Lamoine Bridge again on the 15th; breaking camp again and
marching in mud, and rain, and snow, with scanty camp and garrison
equipage and half rations, for Lebanon; leaving Lebanon on the 10th of
February for Springfield, as a part of General Curtis' army, to fight
the rebels under Price, at that place. You arrive on the 13th, and find
the enemy fled; pursuing and fighting the rear guard, you bring him to
battle and fight and whip him at Dry Springs; crossing the Arkansas
line on the 19th; at Cross Hollows on the 22d; and at Pea Ridge, on the
7th and 8th of March, shoulder to shoulder, with the Twenty-Fifth,
Thirty-Seventh, Davidson's Battery, and other Illinois troops, you
fight and win one of the most stubborn and well-contested battles of
the war.

"Without rest after this terrible struggle, and the enemy leaving their
dead Generals behind, and fleeing across the Ozark Mountains, you leave
Pea Ridge on the 10th, and we hear of you at Cross Timbers, April 6th;
at Bull Creek, April 20th; at Sulphur Rock, May 10th; and at Cape
Girardeau, almost in sight of your homes, May 20th; en route to
reinforce General Halleck's army at Pittsburg Landing, stopping at
Paducah a short time, on the 24th; you hear from Governor Yates, who
there addressed you cheering words upon what had transpired while you
were in the "wilderness;" you proceed to Hamburg Landing, and
participate in the engagement of the 30th of that month. On the 3d of
June we again hear from you at Boonville, Miss., in pursuit of the
enemy; at Ripley, Miss., on the 30th; at Jacinto, Miss., on the 4th of
July; at Iuka, Ala., on the 15th of August; at Florence, on the 24th;
at Murfreesboro', September 2d; at Nashville, September 4th; at Bowling
Green, on the 17th; at Louisville, on the 26th; and entering the fight
at Perryville, on the 7th of October, with three hundred and sixty-one
men, and coming out of it with less than two-thirds that number.

"The distance actually marched, from the time you left Boonville, Mo.,
until you bivouacked at Franklin, Tenn., was two thousand five hundred
and forty-seven miles. With such a record of marches and counter
marches, of skirmishes and battles, you have indeed merited the
compliment paid you by one of your Generals, as the 'grey hound, or
fleet-footed fighting regiment of Illinois.'

"I have no time to dwell upon the honorable and brilliant part you bore
in the subsequent battles of Stone River, Chickamauga and Chattanooga.
Nine hundred and fifty-seven men have entered your regiment, at and
since its organization. Two hundred and sixty-seven have re-enlisted as
veterans. These figures tell the tale, and are more eloquent of your
praise than any words which I could utter. You will be furloughed for
thirty days, and at the expiration of that time, rendezvous here for
re-organization. The good people of Coles, Cumberland, Edgar, Greene,
Knox, Madison, McDonough, St. Clair and Warren, who have an especial
interest in your fame and welfare, will welcome you with loving words
and open arms. Return then, to families and friends, and receive a
soldier's welcome and your country's gratitude.

"But in your thankfulness to a kind Providence which has permitted you
to return to receive your children's love, your brother's friendship,
and your parent's blessings, forget not to console the bereaved.
Bleeding hearts await you to learn the last tidings of those who have
wasted away by disease, or been stricken down by your sides. Comfort
bereaved ones by the assurance that your fallen comrades maintained the
fair fame of a Union soldier while living, and died while manfully
battling for their country and their country's cause.

"General White, in whom I recognize a true gentleman, a gallant officer
and an old friend, and under whom you served on many long marches, and
at the memorable battle of Pea Ridge, I feel assured can not resist the
temptation to address his old comrades, now impatient to hear him."

General White then said: "Fellow soldiers of the Fifty-Ninth. The
language usually employed at the meeting of friends, does not express
the emotion experienced by me on this occasion. In you I recognize not
only patriots, who have devoted themselves to the rescue of our country
from the hands of traitors, but men with whom it was my fortune to
share the toils, privations and dangers of the soldiers' life in camp,
on the march and on the battle-field. The bond of affection thus
created is well known to officers and soldiers; and may it never be
broken."

After a few further remarks, the General retired and the men, on the
reception of their furloughs, dispersed to their beloved homes, until
duty again called them to the field.

On the departure of the "veterans" for Springfield, those who did not
re-enlist, to the number of eighty, were assigned to duty with the
Seventy-Fifth Illinois Regiment. Here they remained until the
Fifty-Ninth returned to the field, when they rejoined it and continued
in their old companies until their term of service terminated, which
was on the 6th day of September, 1864, three years and one month after
being mustered in at St. Louis. Their three years' service really
expired on the 6th day of August, but by some chicanery or other they
were compelled to serve one month beyond that time, and even then did
not get their discharge papers until about the 15th of September, being
kept in idleness and suspense for ten days after being relieved from
duty. The last month of their service, which was the month of their
conscription, was the most arduous and most dangerous of any during
their three years' servitude. It was the last month of General
Sherman's campaign against Atlanta. On the last day of their term of
service, the 6th of September, they made one of the most desperate
charges on the rebel line of works that had ever been made by any other
regiment during the campaign. Several of the veterans were killed and
many wounded; and one of the non-vets, Jacob Rader, of Company F, whose
term of service, according to an original act of the War Department,
had expired on the 24th of June, over two months previous, that being
the day of his enlistment, was severely if not mortally wounded.
Another one, James Rowsey, of the same company, was mortally wounded in
the head, and died in a few days afterwards. His term expired on the
6th of August, one month previous, but his life was sacrificed to the
unjust conscription now being practiced upon those who could not
consistently re-enlist as veterans. Whether this injustice was due to
any act of the War Department, or to the neglect or inhuman feelings of
the commanders in the army is left for others than the writer to
decide.

One Donathy, of Company K, also a non-veteran, was killed on the 4th
day of July, while making a charge on the enemy's lines. The remainder
of the non-veterans finally left the army on the 12th day of September,
and, after much difficulty and great risk, arrived at Louisville,
Kentucky, where they were paid, and received an honorable discharge,
and were now permitted to return to their homes. Long may they live to
enjoy the peace and comfort they so richly deserve! May their lives be
prolonged on the earth until the last enemy of the free institutions of
this glorious Union be called hence, to render up the final accounts to
Him who judgeth the quick and the dead.

    "Cheers, cheers, for our heroes!
    Not those who wear stars;
    Not those who wear eagles,
    And leaflets, and bars;
    We know they are gallant,
    And honor them too,
    For bravely maintaining
    The Red, White, and Blue!"

    "But cheers for our soldiers,
    Rough, wrinkled and brown;
    The men who make heroes,
    And ask no renown;
    Unselfish, untiring,
    Intrepid and true,
    The bulwark surrounding
    The Red, White, and Blue!"

    "Our patriot soldiers!
    When treason arose,
    And Freedom's own children
    Assailed her as foes;
    When anarchy threatened
    And order withdrew,
    They rallied to rescue
    The Red, White, and Blue!"

    "Upholding our banner,
    On many a field,
    The doom of the traitor
    They valiantly sealed;
    And worn with the conflict,
    Found vigor anew,
    Where victory greeted
    The Red, White, and Blue."

    "Yet, loved ones have fallen--
    And still when they sleep,
    A sorrowing nation
    Shall silently weep;
    And Spring's fairest flowers,
    In gratitude, strew,
    O'er those who have cherished
    The Red, White, and Blue!"

    "But glory, immortal,
    Is waiting them now,
    And chaplets unfading
    Shall bind every brow,
    When called by the trumpet,
    At Time's great review,
    They stand, who defended
    The Red, White, and Blue."


THE END.





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