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Title: A History of the Trial and Hardships of the Twenty-Fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry
Author: Fulfer, Richard J.
Language: English
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                  A History _of the_ Trials _and_ Hard-
                      ships _of the_ Twenty-Fourth
                           Indiana Volunteer

                         [Illustration: (Bugler)]

                        Indianapolis Printing Co.

[Illustration: RICHARD J. FULFER

Twenty-Fourth Infantry]


This history is based on my pocket memorandum which I kept during the
late Civil War, 1861-1865.



Twenty-Fourth Infantry]


  General Fremont.
  U. S. Grant.
  N. P. Banks.
  E. S. Canby.
  W. T. Sherman.


  General Pope.
  Lew Wallace.
  A. P. Hovey.
  General McClernard.
  E. O. C. Ord.
  C. C. Andrews.


  Colonel A. P. Hovey.
  Lieutenant Colonel Gurber.
  Major C. C. Hines.
  Colonel William T. Spicely.
  Lieutenant Colonel R. F. Barter.
  Major John F. Grill.



  Captain--Hugh Erwin.
  First Lieutenant--George Sheaks.
  Second Lieutenant--H. F. Braxton (resigned). J. L. Cain.
  First Sergeant--Richard F. Cleveland. (Non-commissioned.)
  Second Sergeant--John East. (Non-commissioned.)
  Third Sergeant--Francis M. Jolley. (Non-commissioned.)
  Fourth Sergeant--Henry B. East. (Non-commissioned.)
  Fifth Sergeant--Van B. Kelley. (Non-commissioned.)
  First Corporal--Josiah Botkin. (Non-commissioned.)
  Second Corporal--Chas. H. Dunnihue. (Non-commissioned.)
  Third Corporal--J. N. Wright. (Non-commissioned.)
  Fourth Corporal--John Edwards. (Non-commissioned.)
  Fifth Corporal--George F. Otta. (Non-commissioned.)
  Sixth Corporal--William Erwin. (Non-commissioned.)
  Seventh Corporal--King A. Trainer. (Non-commissioned.)
  Eighth Corporal--Jasper N. Maiden. (Non-commissioned.)
  Musician--James S. Cole.
  Teamster--Alfred Cambron.
  Hospital Steward--Robert J. Mills.
  Sergeant Major--George A. Barnes.



  Arms, Thomas R.
  Bartlett, Haines.
  Blevins, Willoughby.
  Busic, William S.
  Clark, John C.
  Clark, William G.
  Cole, William C.
  Coward, Joel.
  Coward, James.
  Collins, James W.
  Conley, David.
  Cox, Andrew.
  Crow, Walter S.
  Douglass, Edgar L.
  Edwards, William.
  Enness, Charles.
  Erwin, Jarred.
  Fulfer, Richard J.
  Fullen, John.
  George, Andrew J.
  Harvey, James.
  Hamer, Henry.
  Hamer, George.
  Hostetler, Samuel.
  Harbaugh, Benjamin F.
  Higginbotham, David D.
  Gross, James A.
  Gross, Wm. C.
  Jolly, George W.
  Keedy, William.
  Lee, John.
  Lochner, John C.
  Lynn, Ephriam.
  McPike, Francis M.
  Melvin, William
  Mitchell, William H.
  Neugent, Willoughby.
  Orr, Patrick.
  Painter, Noah.
  Palmer, Noah.
  Peters, Henry C.
  Phipps, David.
  Phipps, Isaiah.
  Ramsey, William W.
  Riggle, Timothy.
  Robbins, William.
  Smith, F. M.
  Staples, Abraham.
  Stotts, David.
  Stroud, Washington.
  Tanksley, Charles.
  Teft, James.
  Tinsley, David.
  Toliver, John.
  Walker, Wesley.
  Williamson, George.
  Williamson, Joseph.
  Woody, Henderson.



  Pruitt, David R.
  Pace, David.
  Walker, Lewis.
  Bearley, William T.
  Melvin, Ezekiel M.
  Clark, Francis M.
  Harvey, Robert.
  Landrom, Archie.
  Dodd, John S.
  Watson, Thomas.
  Dalton, James R.
  Hostetter, John W.
  Keithley, Jesse.
  Mitchell, Isaac.
  Rudyard, Jeremiah.
  Stogell, Hamilton R.
  Helton, Pleasant.
  Williams, Solomon.
  Low, John C.
  Andrews, James T.
  Miller, William.
  Harvey, Bird.
  Landreth, William H.

The places at which the different companies were made up:

  Company A--Bedford          Lawrence County, Ind.
     “    B--Paolia             Orange County, Ind.
     “    C--Evansville    Vanderburgh County, Ind.
     “    D--Washington          Davis County, Ind.
     “    E--Petersburgh          Pike County, Ind.
     “    F--Princeton          Gibson County, Ind.
     “    G--Orleans            Orange County, Ind.
     “    H--Petersburgh          Pike County, Ind.
     “    I--Logotee            Martin County, Ind.
     “    K--Medora            Jackson County, Ind.



  Names.             Located at.                  Date.

  Knox            Vincennes, Ind.             August 18, 1861
  Jessey          St. Louis, Mo.               August 2, 1861
  Allen           Carondalet, Mo.          September 16, 1861
  Jessup          Syracuse, Mo.            September 20, 1861
                  Lamine Bridge, Mo.       September 24, 1861
                  Georgetown, Mo.            October 16, 1861
                  Tipton, Mo.                October 21, 1861
  Burr            Missouri                   November 1, 1861
                  Near Springfield, Mo.      November 9, 1861
                  Warsaw, Mo.               November 16, 1861
                  S. E. of Tipton, Mo.      November 27, 1861
                  S. of Syracuse, Mo.       November 29, 1861
                  N. E. of Sedalia, Mo.      December 8, 1861
                  Below Sedalia             December 15, 1861
                  Otterville, Mo.           December 23, 1861
                  Fort Donnelson, Tenn.     February 18, 1862
                  Fort Henry, Tenn.             March 1, 1862
                  Crump’s Landing, Tenn.       March 18, 1862
                  Shiloh, Tenn.                April 18, 1862
                  Broomsage                      May 10, 1862
                  Gravel Ridge, Tenn.            June 5, 1862
                  Boliver, Tenn.                 June 8, 1862
                  Union Station                 June 12, 1862
                  Memphis, Tenn.                June 18, 1862
                  White River, Ark.              July 4, 1862
                  Helena, Ark.                   July 5, 1862
                  Vicksburg, Miss.               July 4, 1863
                  Jackson, Miss.                July 10, 1863
                  Vicksburg, Miss.              July 20, 1863
                  Natchez, Miss.               August 5, 1863
                  Carrolton, La.              August 13, 1863
                  Brasier City, La.           October 3, 1863
                  New Iberia, La.             October 6, 1863
                  Vermillion Bayou, La.      October 10, 1863
                  Camp View, La.             October 18, 1863
                  Barres Landing, La.        October 21, 1863
                  Opelousas, La.             October 21, 1863
                  Caron Crow Bayou, La.      November 1, 1863
                  Vermillion Bayou, La.      November 5, 1863
                  New Iberia, La.            November 9, 1863
                  Algers, La.               December 22, 1863
                  Evansville, Ind.              March 2, 1864
                  New Orleans, La.              April 3, 1864
                  Baton Rouge, La.            August 16, 1864
                  Morganza Bend, La.        December 24, 1864
                  Baton Rouge, La.          December 25, 1864
  Shell           Carrolton, La.              January 5, 1865
  Mud             Kennerville, La.           January 19, 1865
  Redoubt         Pensacola, Fla.            January 26, 1865
  Beauty          Florida                   February 11, 1865
                  Fort Blakely                  April 9, 1865
                  Fort Spanish, Fla.           April 12, 1865
                  Selma, Ala.                  April 29, 1865
                  Mobile, Ala.                    May 8, 1865
                  Galveston, Texas          November 16, 1865


The Twenty-fourth Indiana regiment was one of the first called for
as three years’ volunteers. We were enrolled on the 9th day of July,
1861, to serve for three years, if not sooner discharged. We were
mustered into service July 31st, 1861, at Camp Knox, which is near
Vincennes, Indiana.

Our first camp life after being enrolled was a new mode of living and
sport. Some of the boys had never been very far from our homes, and
were not posted in the pranks and tricks of the times, even in those
early days.

We soon drew a few old Harper’s Ferry muskets. We had a string guard
around the camp. Company drill was held four hours each day. This
was the only amusement which we had in the daytime, but at night
we had magicians, sleight of hand performers, and others who made
amusement for some of us who had never seen many shows. The tall man
and elephant also paraded through the quarters at night, and this
furnished a great deal of amusement for us.

We got our uniforms August 7th. They were gray and were about as
appropriate as our old Harper’s Ferry muskets. The guards soon beat
the stocks off of the muskets and bent the ends of the barrels. These
they used as canes.

Getting used to camp life was quite a change for some of us who had
been raised up on corn bread, hominy and buttermilk. There was also
a change in the bill of fare. We now had hard tack, sow belly, and
black coffee. There were many other changes of life which must be
made to make us a happy, united family.

The weather was very warm at this time, and we soon began to think
that army life was no soft snap.

On the 16th of August we again drew arms. These were new Harper’s
Ferry muskets. Six Enfield rifles were allowed to each company.

On the next day we marched through the city of Vincennes on review.
All was a hurry and excitement, as the troops were being sent to the
front on that day.

We got marching orders on the 18th, and we got on board a train bound
for East St. Louis, Ill. We arrived there on the morning of the 19th.
We crossed the Mississippi river on the steamer “Alton City,” marched
two and a half miles through the city of St. Louis, Mo., and went
into camp in the Lafayette Park. Here were the first tents we ever
pitched, and all the boys wanted to learn how.

Lafayette Park is a beautiful park. It contains many fine animals.
There were many of our boys who had never seen such sights as the
city of St. Louis contained. Some of them had sore eyes on account of
so much sight-seeing.

There were many regiments in camp at this park at the same time we
were there.

In a short time we struck tents and marched down the river a distance
of seven miles. We went into camp at Carondelet. One of the officers
named this camp, Camp Allen.

August 27th, Colonel Alvin P. Hovey took command of our regiment.
He soon commenced battalion drill, which was very hard on us, owing
to the warm weather. We had battalion drill four hours each day and
company drill two hours, so you see that we were somewhat busy.

September 6th, Colonel Hovey, with six of our companies, boarded a
train on the Iron Mountain railway and made a trip of twenty-five
miles. We left the cars at 8 o’clock p. m. and made a rapid march of
several miles out through a very rough, broken country. At 5 o’clock
in the morning we got orders to lie down on our arms for a little
rest, but not to speak above a whisper and to be ready to fall in
line at a minute’s notice. When morning came we learned that the
rebels had evacuated their camps and skipped. Thus we were knocked
out of a fight at this place. On account of not having any rebels to
shoot at, we could do nothing else but march back over the roughest
roads we had ever marched on.

Here was our first experience in foraging off of the country. But we
got a plenty on this trip, such as cream, honey and peaches--all of
which were good things that we could not get in camp.

This trip was called the Betty Decker march. I don’t know why this
name was given it unless she was the lady who furnished us so many
good things for our suppers.

We got back to the railroad at 8 p. m., got aboard a train, and at 10
o’clock arrived at our camp at Carondelet.

While here we had to guard the dry docks while the ironclad vessels,
St. Louis and Carondelet were being built. It was rumored that these
vessels would be blown out of existence before they were finished,
and as half of the people in St. Louis were ready to do anything
for the Southern cause, we believed it. But nevertheless they were
completed and had an active part in putting down the rebellion.

While we were drilling and guarding at this place we could see
other regiments at Benton Barracks who were strengthening their
fortifications. Now was the time when something had to be done to
invade Missouri.


September 16th, 1861, we got marching orders, struck tents, and
boarded a steamboat which carried us to St. Louis. We left the boat
and while marching up Main street on our way to the Union station
was the first charge which the old Twenty-fourth struck. Drums and
fifes were playing when four large gray horses drawing a big delivery
wagon collided with the head of our column, knocking it east and
west. Several of our boys were slightly bruised, but they were more
frightened than injured. In this way James R. Dalton and John W.
Hostetter got their discharges.

That night we boarded a train, pulled by two engines, of twenty flat
cars, fifty men to a car. We started westward to open up the Union
Pacific railroad over which a train had not run for months. The weeds
had grown upon the track until the engines could hardly pull their
own weight. We traveled very slowly, and the morning of the 17th
found us not many miles from St. Louis.

Half of our train had been cut loose and the engines had pulled on to
the next switch. They soon returned for the balance of the train. At
this place we heard the first national songs which we had heard sung
in rebeldom. Some ladies carrying the grand old Stars and Stripes
came out on the portico and sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” “The
Red, White and Blue,” and other national songs. You bet there were
cheers which went up for those union ladies.

This was the first time that Colonel Hovey knew that Indiana
soldiers would eat chickens. But he found it out now, as the boys
came straggling to the cars, at the call of the whistle, loaded with
chickens and peaches. Colonel Hovey called, “Take them back, you
d---- chicken thieves, or I’ll have you arrested. I didn’t think I
had started out with a clan of Indiana thieves.”

Some of the boys became angry and made threats, while others laughed
and were jolly about it. But it was all soon forgotten as the train
pulled out. We had to walk by the side of the engine and throw gravel
under the drive-wheels so that the engine would pull anything.

We went through three tunnels and came to Jefferson City. This is the
capital of Missouri. Governor Jackson had the State House burned and
skipped out with the old rebel, General Price.

At 11 o’clock p. m., September 7th, two engines, coupled together,
and pulling our full train, went on west. Just as we started one of
the boys of Company D fell under the car and was instantly killed.

On the morning of the 18th the engines could not pull their own
weights and each company cut loose and pushed their own cars. While
doing this, Brown of Company B, fell under the car and the wheels ran
over his leg.

We pushed up the grades and rode down them. Sometimes we even had to
push the engines.

We reached Syracuse late on the evening of the 18th. We got off of
the cars, marched out and went into camp near the town. A strong
picket line was posted and a strict order was placed on the pickets.
A heavy penalty of death was imposed on those who slept on their post.

The moon shined bright and at 10 o’clock the still night air was
disturbed by the tramp of horses’ feet and rattle of sabers coming
towards our camp. The picket who was posted on the road did not wait
to challenge the supposed enemy, but fired his gun and skedaddled to
camp. The pickets all around the camp fired their guns and ran.

The long roll was beat and all was hustle and bustle in camp. “Fall
in, fall in!” was the order from colonel and captains, “and get ready
for action.” In four minutes the old Twenty-fourth was ready for
action and facing the supposed enemy. Several were shaking as with
the ague, yet they were ready to take their medicine.

In a few minutes we saw a single orderly coming down the road. He
rode up and asked, “What the h---- does this mean?” Colonel Hovey,
standing there in his night clothes, with his fighting blood up,
answered him pretty roughly and wanted to know who it was. We found
out that it was Colonel Eads’ home guards of “Jayhawkers” who had
come from California to join our army. We then broke ranks and went
back to our quarters to dream of the false alarm and the excitement
which Colonel Eads’ Jayhawkers caused us.

On the morning of the 20th we struck tents and marched seven miles
west. Here, at the Lamine river, we went into camp. THIS camp was
called Camp Morton.

The next morning heavy details were sent out to build fortifications
for picket duty and to guard the Lamine bridge while the carpenters
rebuilt it. This bridge had been burned by the rebels a few days
before we got there.

The Twenty-fourth Indiana was the first regiment to arrive at this
place, but there were more brigades on the way to reinforce us, some
by way of the Missouri river and some by rail, as we had come.

On the morning of the 23d we were joined by the Second Indiana
Cavalry. We now had the bridge completed, and the trains ran over
it and went as far as Sedalia, this being as far as the road was
completed at that time.

At about this time, the Eighteenth and Twenty-sixth Indiana landed
on the banks of the Missouri river, and it being a very dark night,
they ran into the Twenty-second Indiana. They had quite a little spat
before they found out their mistake. The Major and six men of the
Twenty-second were killed.

On the 30th of September we marched to Georgetown, the county seat of
Pettice county. It was dark when we reached the town. As we found no
enemy to oppose us we went into quarters in the court house.

Here the Eighth, Eighteenth, Twenty-second, Twenty-fifth,
Twenty-sixth Indiana regiments and the Eighth Missouri and ten pieces
of artillery joined us. We were collecting an army to raise the siege
of Lexington, which was twenty miles above here. Rebel General Price
had had Colonel Muligan, with a handful of our soldiers, cooped
up there for several days. General Fremont was getting his troops
together to raise the siege, but he was too slow. The little garrison
of 2,800 Union men defended the fort five days against a superior
force of 11,000 men.

An order was given to mount the Twenty-fourth Indiana on mules.
We marched to the corral and tried to break several of those wild
bucking mules. The order was countermanded. That evening we started
on the march, but had only gone a few miles when we met our paroled
prisoners. They reported that they held out five days and then ran
out of rations and ammunition. They also stated that their loss was
60 killed and 40 wounded. The rebel loss was unknown.

We about faced and went back to camp. On the 5th of October we moved
out on an open field and pitched tents. Here we drew two months’
pay. This was the first time that we had ever drawn any of Uncle
Sam’s money. The officers were paid with gold coin.

While at this place we drilled six hours each day. We received
marching orders on the tenth of the month, but the order was
countermanded. On the morning of the 16th we again received marching
orders. We struck tents and marched a distance of two miles to
Sedalia, a town at the end of the Pacific railroad.

The war had stopped all the progress of the railroad. The workmen had
stacked their shovels, picks, and wheelbarrows in a large cut and had
fled in all directions.


We boarded a train and went to Tipton, which was twenty miles
distant. Here, on the 19th, we drew uniforms.

On the morning of the 21st we received marching orders, struck tents,
packed our knapsacks and marched in the direction of Springfield,
which is south of this place. At the end of a fifteen-mile march we
halted and went into camp. On the morning of the 2d we continued our
march. At 4 o’clock we came to a halt and went into camp in a little
black-oak grove. Our feet were blistered from marching over the
rough mountain roads, and many of the boys fell out of the ranks and
straggled in late at night.

On the morning of the 24th we took up our line of march. After a hard
day of travel we came to the little town of Warsaw. We crossed the
Osage river and went into camp.

While here General Fremont received the news from one of his spies
that General Price’s army was at Springfield. We were called into
line early the next morning. We moved out seven miles and the order
was then countermanded. Therefore we went into camp in a field which
was covered with burrs. For this reason we named this place Camp Burr.

Our boys were about played out on account of heavy marching, and
so each of our companies bought an ox team to haul our baggage.
Our quartermaster sent our train back to Tipton after supplies of
ammunition and rations. This was supposed to be our base of supplies.

On the evening of November 1st, 1861, we received orders to leave
our tents, and in light marching order move out and march in the
direction of Springfield. At 8 p. m. we moved out eight miles through
the dark night and came to our main army to consolidate our regiment
with our division, brigades, etc., which were commanded by Generals
Pope, Hunter, and Jeff C. Davis.

The next morning we marched through a little town by the name of
Black Oak Point, and after a hard day’s march we went into camp in a
meadow. We were all very tired and foot-sore.

On the morning of the 3d we marched through the little town of
Buffalo, crossed Greasy Creek, and went into camp.

We were all worn out with the day’s journey. Most of us had eaten a
cold lunch and had lain down for a little rest. A few of the boys
were cooking beef and trying to prepare some food for the morrow when
the bugle sounded the assembly to fall in line and march. We slung
knapsacks, fell in line, and marched off in double quick time. Some
of the boys were swearing because they had to throw their beef, which
had just started to boil, out of the kettles.

We felt sure that we would have a chance to take old General Price in
that night. Everyone was worn out and angry, and their fighting blood
was at its highest pitch. We marched all night, and early in the
morning we waded Pometytor creek. We then halted for a short rest. We
had nothing for breakfast except a few pieces of hard tack to munch

This was the 4th day of November. After a short rest we fell in
line, marched off as fast as our swollen feet would allow us to.
At 4 o’clock we reached Springfield. After a forced march of fifty
miles, without sleep and with very little to eat, we were in splendid
fighting order--mad and worn out.

But our chance for a battle had slipped.

As old Price’s army had skipped, all mounted on gray horses, General
Fremont with his one hundred bodyguards, started in pursuit. They
ran into Price’s rear guard. I heard some shots fired, and it was
reported that a few shots were exchanged with the rear guard of
General Price’s retreating army.

Here we forced a junction with General Lane’s army, which swelled
the number of our forces to about 35,000. General Lane had several
Indians under his command--some 1,200 Cherokees. It was reported that
he sent them after the rebel forces which were retreating towards
Cassville, which is in Barry county. I never heard of those Indians
afterwards. They must have been disbanded.

We went into camp that night about a mile from town. On the morning
of the 5th of November, Colonel Hovey took command of a brigade.

On the night of the 6th, cheering was heard throughout our army, as
some grapevine or false dispatches had reached our officers of a
great victory gained in the east. The thunder of drums and voices
were heard for miles.

General Fremont received instructions not to follow Price farther
into the mountains, or he would be caught in a trap. On the morning
of the 9th we received orders to march back to Tipton.

On the 13th our regiment and the Forty-second Illinois marched on a
race to Camp Burr. We beat them by five hours. On the morning of the
14th we made double quick time back to Osage Bridge, in order that
we might get there before General Sturges’ brigade arrived there. We
crossed the river and went into camp. We stayed two days waiting for
our supply train.

We went to Tipton on the 20th of November. This completed the
Springfield march.

While on this expedition General Fremont issued a proclamation to
free all the slaves who made their way into our lines. Soon they were
flocking in by the score. For assuming this authority General Fremont
was superceded by General Pope. His name was never mentioned again in
the history of our late civil war, as he was placed on the retired
list of our good old generals who had served their time faithfully in
our past wars.


We pitched tents at Tipton and went into camp for a few days rest.
The weather was getting somewhat cold, making our camp life somewhat
disagreeable. We stayed here until the morning of the 27th, when we
struck tents and marched to Syracuse. Here we went into camp and
stayed until the morning of the 29th, at which time we got orders to
march back to Tipton again. We were getting tired of running around
so much, and having no fighting to do, as we had been promised that
we would put down the rebellion in thirty days. As yet we had not
even made a start. Some of our boys were getting homesick and wanted
to fight it out in a pitched battle. Some of them thought that they
could clean up five little greased rebels.

We went into camp two miles north of Tipton, in a little grove. On
the night of December 1st five inches of snow fell, we then had a
grand time hunting rabbits. We remained here until the 6th, when we
drew two months’ pay.

We broke camp the next day and marched to the Lamine bridge. A
heavy rain fell that night, overflowing our camp and making it a
disagreeable place. We lay here until the morning of the 15th, when
we got marching orders to move over to Sedalia. We went into camp
a little north of town. While here we received the report that our
advance under Pope had captured 1,540 prisoners, without firing a

While here we formed a scouting party detailed out of the
Twenty-fourth Indiana. Concealed in covered wagons we traveled all
night. In the morning we came to an open prairie. From here we sent
part of the detail to a large mill and distillery. A few shots were
exchanged between the guards and our boys. In a short time the guards
mounted their horses and rode as if for their lives. There were about
twenty men on guard. They had a number of bushels of corn, several
pounds of bacon, and some barrels of old copper distilled whiskey.
The boys loaded one of our wagons with the beverage and set fire to
the building. We then started back to Sedalia, as we had accomplished
what we were sent to do. On our way back the wagon loaded with
whiskey broke down and we had to leave it. Out of all of that whiskey
we only got a small drink of whiskey each. We reached camp and
reported our success. As soon as it was dark Lieutenant Sheeks, with
a small detail, started after the wagon which we had left.

Colonel Eads had run across the wagon and went into camp at this
place. They were having a time drinking the good old liquor which the
wagon contained. The night was very dark, and when Lieutenant Sheeks
reached the top of the hill he heard quite a number of men around the
wagon. Thinking that they were rebels, he ordered the boys to fire
into them. Colonel Eads’ men also thought that we were rebels, and
returned the fire. After several shots were exchanged, Lieutenant
Sheeks withdrew, as we were outnumbered five to one. We never learned
of our mistake until the next evening. No one was seriously injured,
as all the shots flew wide of their mark on account of the darkness.
This battle was named “Sheeks’ Defeat.”

While here a five-inch snow fell, making a very disagreeable time.
On the night of the 23d of December we got orders to march back to
our old camp at Lamine Bridge. This was one of the coldest, hardest
marches of our service. While on the journey a sleet fell and froze.
The batteries all had to be left at the foot of the hills, as the
horses could not pull them up the hill on account of it being so

When we reached camp we were almost frozen and there was no wood to
make fires with. We had built log cabins here for winter quarters,
but there was no chance to get fire only to tear down our cabins. We
did this and piled the logs in heaps. We set fire to these. We made
coffee and soon became warm and comfortable.

We soon began preparations for sleeping. We spread tents on the snow
and sixteen to a bed we lay down and pulled our blankets over us. A
snow fell, which covered us over and kept us warm. When the reveille
sounded at four o’clock the next morning it was a sight to see the
boys crawling out from under their snow beds to answer roll call.

A heavy detail from the Twenty-fourth Indiana was sent to pull the
batteries up the hill. The horses and mules had failed but the old
Twenty-fourth was reliable.

The 24th of December found us with tents once more, with tents
pitched at the Lamine Bridge. On Christmas Day some of the boys got
drunk on stomach bitters and had a jolly time.

January 1st, 1862, we had a general inspection. Our work at this
place was hard, as we now built Fort Lamine. The snow lay on the
ground six inches deep, and the ground was frozen to a depth of
eighteen inches. This made it slow work building fortifications. Some
days each man could not pick out a yard of the frozen dirt.

While at this work several of the boys froze their hands and feet
and some of them had to have their fingers and toes amputated. These
received discharges.

January 18th a detail of twenty men was called out to go with a
foraging train after hay and corn. We went ten miles northwest. Here
we found plenty of hay and corn. We camped in negro quarters. We
killed a hog and had the negro cooks to get our supper and breakfast.

We loaded our train and gave the old farmer a due bill on Uncle
Sam and started to camp with lots of good things, such as apples,
honey and potatoes, hidden in the hay. The weather continued to turn
colder, and we almost froze on our return to camp.

On the 12th another train composed of ox teams, was sent after corn
and hay. Several of the guards of this train were badly frozen.

On the 15th we drew Sibly tents and stoves, but it wasn’t before we
needed them. On the 27th we drew pay for two months. We also drew
plenty of rations. We had bacon to spare. There was no wood to burn
in our little sheet iron stoves and so we kept them red hot with

The citizens brought cakes, pies, apples, and cider into camp and
sold them cheap. The boys ran some of them out and called them
rebels, but we had not yet seen a real rebel.

At about this date we had one soldier in Company I who did not fill
inspection. For this a detail carried him to the Lamine river, cut
the ice and stripped and washed him all over. He was afterwards one
of our best lieutenants.

After February 1st, 1862, our camp duty was lighter. A string guard
which was composed of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Illinois,
Twenty-fourth and Twenty-sixth Indiana, and Fryberger’s battery of
six twelve-pound guns, was placed around the brigade at this fort.


Friday, February 7th, 1862, we received marching orders, struck
tents, and marched as far as Syracuse. On the 8th we marched through
Tipton and on the evening of the 10th we went into camp near
Jefferson City. We stayed in this camp until the 13th, when we went
to town. Here a part of the regiment had quarters in the State House
and the rest were in a large church house.

The weather at this date was below zero and there was plenty of snow
on the ground. We had marched about eighty miles, over a very rough
road and were worn out. Some of the boys almost played out on the
morning of the 15th.

Stowed away in box cars, with fifty men to a car, we started for St.
Louis. Early in the morning our train stopped at a small station for
fuel and water. We were just in front of a little saloon, and as
the boys were almost frozen, some were allowed to get out and get
them a dram. Frank Smith, of our company, brought back a five-gallon
keg of peach brandy and rolled it in through the car door. The door
was closed as soon as all could get in. Some kind of a hammer was
procured and the head of the keg was knocked in. The boys soon had
their cups filled with brandy instead of coffee. The train started
and the boys soon had the brandy keg emptied.

There was no more complaining of the cold, but it was certainly a
mixed up drunken mess. Some of the boys wanted to fight but it did
not amount to much because we were too thick and crowded to fight.

We got to the Union depot at St. Louis at 7 p. m. and at 8 o’clock we
marched on board the steamer Iatan. On the morning of the 16th we ran
into blocked ice at Cairo, Ill., the place where the Ohio runs into
the Mississippi. We had to hammer away about four hours in order that
we might get through the ice.

We passed Cairo, turned up the Ohio river, and landed at Paducah,

Here, on February 17th, we heard of the surrender of Fort Donellson.
Several boats were lying at this place filled with the wounded. We
went on up the river to Smithland, and here we turned our boat up the
Cumberland river.

On the morning of the 18th of February, 1862, we landed at the
Bluffs, under the big guns of Fort Donellson, Tennessee. We marched
out through the dead bodies of both armies which had not yet been
buried, for our troops were almost played out after three days of
hard fighting.

During the battle, General Pillow and Johnson cut their way through
our lines and made their escape to Nashville with a brigade. Our
final charge was made on the 17th, at which time the garrison
surrendered with 5,000 prisoners and a number of heavy guns which
were mounted on the fort. Our loss at this place was heavy, about
1,500 in killed, wounded and prisoners. The rebel loss was about

We went into camp on a small island opposite Donellson. At 10 o’clock
that night the river rose and overflowed our camp. There was some
hustling around to get our tents and camp equipage moved. We then
pitched tents on the other side of the river.

On the 23d a squad of twenty men was detailed to go up the river on a
scouting expedition. We went as far as Bellwood Furnace, which was
nine miles from Donellson. We saw a few rebels at a distance, fired
a few shots at them and fell back. On our return to camp we killed
several squirrels for our sick in the hospital. The squirrels were
plentiful and gentle at this place.

We remained at this camp until March 6th, when we received marching
orders. We struck tents, got on a boat, and crossed the river. While
landing at this place Adjutant Barter lost his horse. It fell through
the staging and broke its leg.

We marched in the direction of Fort Henry until 5 o’clock in the
evening, when we went into camp for the night. The land was rolling
and timbered with pine at this place.

On the 7th we marched to Fort Henry on the Tennessee river. We went
into camp near the fort. This place had been taken by our forces
about three weeks before. It was well fortified and was mounted with
sixty heavy guns. It showed the marks of a hard-fought battle.

We lay here until the 9th. We then marched down to the landing, and
got on board the steamboat, “Telegraph No. 3,” and ran up the river
as far as High Piney Bluffs. Here we lashed on to another boat, which
had on board the Eleventh Indiana and Eighth Missouri regiments.
The two boats pulled on up the river one hundred miles and on the
evening of the 12th of March, 1862, we landed at a little town called

We marched off of the boats and formed our brigade in hollow square.
Washington’s Farewell Address was read to us by A. J. Smith, who was
to be the commander of our brigade. It was composed of the Eleventh,
Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Indiana and the Eighth Missouri.
General Lew Wallace commanded the Twelfth Division.

We moved back on to the boats and at 10 o’clock that night we ran on
up the river seven miles to Crump’s Landing. Here a shot was fired
by one of our gunboats as a signal for us to land. Our boat ran into
the shore with such force that it knocked almost everyone down. But
we were soon on our feet again. As soon as the staging reached the
shore we got to land as fast as we could run off of the boat.

This was a night long to be remembered. The rain was pouring down,
and it was so dark that we could not see where we were going, only by
the frequent flashes of lightning.

      The thunder rolled from pole to pole,
        Onward we marched this gloomy night
      Which tried the nerve of the brave and bold,
        For we were looking for a fight.

We moved out five miles, found no enemy. We then halted for a short
rest, as the mud was very bad and the water was sometimes knee deep.
When daylight appeared, some were leaning against trees, some were on
brush-piles and others were even laying down in the mud and water,
and all were sound asleep.

Our cavalry passed us here. They went on as far as Perdy, found no
enemy, and returned in the evening. We all marched back to the boats
on the night of the 14th.

Our regiment was called out on picket duty. A battery was planted on
the road, making a strong guard. We knew that there was a large force
of rebels somewhere near us. At daylight we were relieved by the
Eighth Missouri, and went back to the boat. The rain had poured down
all night and we were in somewhat of a soaked condition.

Tuesday, the 18th, our division of 9,000 men moved off of the
boats and marched out into the timber half a mile. Here all of
the divisions went into camp. Grant, whose headquarters were at
Savannah, had 35,000 more troops at Pittsburgh Landing nine miles
above here.

We still continued our brigade drill. April 1st, 1862, our brigade
was on review. We could hear the boom of the cannon in the direction
of Corinth. On that day Colonel Hovey made us a little talk.

He said, “I think that the battle has commenced on our left wing.
But I wish that we could see the whites of the rebels’ eyes. Now,
Twenty-fourth, all of you have mothers, sisters and sweethearts
back in Indiana homes and I hope and trust that you will never let
the disgraceful name of a coward go back to those dear ones who are
praying each day for your honor and life to be spared.” When his
speech was ended three cheers went up for Colonel A. P. Hovey.

At eleven o’clock in the evening of the 5th our bugle sounded the
assembly for us to fall in line. The rain was falling as fast as I
ever saw rain fall, but it was all the same, we had to march to--no
one knew where. The water was from shoe-top deep to knee deep, all
over the road. Still we plunged on. It was so dark that we could not
see where to go and we had to keep touch with the file men.

Lieutenant Colonel Gurber’s horse fell into a hole but got out again.
Captain Erwin measured his length in a ditch that was five feet deep.
There was plenty of swearing and grumbling going on that night. We
marched as far as Adamsville, found no enemy, and returned to camp at
7 o’clock April 6th, 1862.

The roar of cannon and rattle of musketry could plainly be heard.
The battle of Shiloh had now commenced in earnest. At nine o’clock
General Grant, on his way from Savannah to Shiloh, landed and gave
us orders to get to the battlefield as quickly as possible. We were
called into line in light marching orders.

Colonel Hovey spoke a few encouraging words to the boys, impressing
upon their minds friends and honor. He told us what we were about to
go into. He also said that he wanted us to go in like soldiers and

We started off on quick time, our regiment in the advance. The roar
of the battle became plainer every minute. About 11 a. m. our advance
guard came dashing back and reported us to be exactly in the rear of
Bragg’s army and only a few miles distant. We got orders to about
face. We double quicked three miles back and went the river road.
This road curves with the river and this made the march much longer.
We could hear the noise from that desperate struggle and carnage all

Late in the day we passed squad after squad of our soldiers coming
from the battlefield, whipped. We came up within a mile of the battle
ground. Here we passed one soldier laying on his face and scared to
death. Some of the officers said, “Turn him over and see if he is
dead.” He then spoke and said, “Boys, you had better go back. We are
all killed or captured. There ain’t enough of us left for a string
guard.” When we slipped in between the lines a short time later we
found that he had come near telling the truth. But we found a few
brave fellows huddled down at the landing, who were not yet whipped,
but Sherman’s battery and the gunboats were all that saved the little
band of heroes. They also saved the day.

General Prentice was surprised on the morning of the 6th. Most of his
brigade were taken as prisoners, and the General himself captured as
a prisoner, and it was seven months before he was exchanged.

Sidney Johnson had been killed in the evening and this had put a
damper over the rebel army.

Beauregard had been too sure of a victory. He made his brags that he
could let his troops rest during the night, and in the morning ride
down to the river to water his horse and find the yanks all sticking
up white rags. But he missed his mark.

Beauregard and Johnson had 60,000 men and they had pounced upon a
force of 35,000, many of whom had never been in such a fight. There
were not more than 7,000 in the ranks of the Union forces at the
closing charge on the evening of the first day’s fight at Shiloh.


Between sundown and dark our division, under Wallace, slipped in
between the lines of the rebel and union forces, while our gunboats
constantly threw shells over into the rebel ranks. All during the
night, under this same protection, Nelson’s forces were being brought
across the river, and General Buell’s army was coming up the river
from Savannah, as reinforcements. These two forces numbered 35,000.

The union force outnumbered that of the confederates then by 17,000.

That night the rebels drew their lines back about one and a half
miles. Our division laid down in line of battle and remained in that
position all night, with the rain pouring down all the time. The
groans of the dying and wounded were terrible to hear, yet many of us
slept soundly until we were awakened to fall in line.

At 4 o’clock on the morning of the 7th, drenched in rain and very
hungry, Wallace’s division plunged into the fight on the right of the
army of the Tennessee and opened the battle of the second day’s fight.

We moved out one mile and formed our line of battle. Our brigade
supported the Ninth Indiana battery. We were charged by a regiment
of rebel cavalry. They were repulsed in a short time and went back
faster than they came.

Companies A and B were placed on the skirmish line with Birds’
sharpshooters. We charged on two big twelve-pound batteries
which were raining shot and shell into our lines, causing great
destruction. We got within forty yards of their guns and silenced
them for a few minutes, but they then double shotted with canister
and drove us back. We soon met our main column coming up into the

Our two companies got lost from our regiment and fell in line with
a Kentucky regiment. We supported the center of our army, while it
was driving the enemy back on the flanks in every charge. The center
which we supported was masked with three firing lines. The fighting
was awful.

The batteries were pushed up by hand and as many as two files of
wounded were going back to the rear for an hour. The earth shook as
if with an earthquake. It seemed as if nothing could live in the hell
of fire. One could taste the sulphur and the shell and bullets could
have been stirred with a stick. The atmosphere was blue with lead.

The rebels were drawing off on the flanks and were holding their
center with all their strength to cover their retreat. At 3 p. m.
General Bragg, seeing that he had come to stay, withdrew his army and
skedaddled in the direction of Corinth. He was whipped and had left
8,000 men on the field dead and dying. Among them was Sidney Johnson,
one of the South’s best generals.

Our cavalry followed up the retreat a few miles, picked up a few
prisoners and was called back.

The union loss at this place was 10,000. The loss in the
Twenty-fourth Indiana was thirty-two killed and wounded. We lost
three officers who were as good and brave as any who ever drew saber.
Lieutenant Colonel Gruber was struck in the breast with a spent
cannon ball while in front of the regiment on the charge. Lieutenant
Southwick of Company B, had his jaw shot off with grape shot. Captain
McGuffin, of Company I, was shot through the breast.

A report From History of the Battle of Shiloh.

Grant, with his victorious army, moved up the Tennessee river to
Shiloh. Here, April the 6th, 1862, he was attacked by General A. S.
Johnson and driven back.

The night after the battle General Buell brought a large force of
Union troops. The Union troops outnumbered the Confederates now
by seventeen thousand. The next day Grant gained his second great

He said in his report, “I am indebted to General Sherman for the
success of the battle.”

Twenty-five thousand men, dead and wounded, lay on the field after
the battle.

When the battle was over we lay down on the battlefield and remained
there all night without anything to eat. A steady rain was falling
and had been for several days. The 8th and 9th the wounded were cared
for and the dead buried. This put an end to the bloody battle of

The Battle of Shiloh Hill in verse:

      “Come gentlemen and ladies, a story I will tell,
      About a noted battle that you all remember well;
      It was an awful strife and will cause your blood to chill;
      It was the famous battle that was fought on Shiloh Hill.

      It was on the 6th of April, about the break of day,
      The drums and fifes were playing for us to march away;
      The feelings of that hour I do remember still,
      When first my feet were treading on the top of Shiloh Hill.

      There were men from every nation lying on those bloody plains,
      Fathers, sons and brothers were numbered with the slain,
      That has caused so many homes, with deep mourning to be filled,
      All from the bloody battle that was fought on Shiloh Hill.

      Early the next morning we were called to arms again,
      Unmindful of the wounded, unmindful of the slain;
      We fought them full nine hours before the strife was o’er,
      And the like of dead and wounded I never saw before.

      Our army reinforced, we made a desperate stand,
      And before the battle ended we fought them hand to hand;
      The carnage it was fearful and ten thousand men were killed;
      All at the bloody battle of the famous Shiloh Hill.

      And now my song is ended about those bloody plains,
      I hope the sight by mortal man may ne’er be seen again;
      And I pray to God the Saviour if it be His holy will,
      To save the souls of all of those who fell on Shiloh Hill!”

We lay here on the field five days without shelter or rations, except
what the other regiments, stationed here gave to us. On the 13th
a detail was sent after our tents and camp equipage. It was still
raining, but we had to move out and do something, as we could already
hear the “graybacks” crawling in the leaves.

On the 16th we moved out to the front and went into a camp in a nice
meadow. Here we had four hours’ brigade drill each day.

General Halleck soon took charge of this army and commenced to
advance on Corinth, where Bragg had a force of 60,000 troops, well
fortified. On the 20th a small squad of rebel cavalry ran into our
picket line. Our lines were reinforced and we had to stand in line of
battle from 4 o’clock until daylight.

Our fatigue guard duty was now heavy. Almost all of our time was
employed. The weather was getting fine. Leaves were putting forth
and the aroma of the flowers filled the air. The birds warbled their
sweet songs and all Nature seemed to say, “How foolish for human
butchers to slaughter one another.”

On the 26th we marched to a place called Hamburgh, seven miles away.
We found no enemy and returned to camp on the 27th of April.

May 2d, 1862, we marched out near Perdy, a distance of about ten
miles. We halted, went into camp, and sent a force of cavalry on to
burn the railroad bridge. The cavalry returned at 4 o’clock in the
evening of the 3d and reported that there was a heavy guard at the
bridge, and they had not fired a shot at the enemy. General Wallace
sent them back with orders to burn that bridge at all hazards, or he
would dismount them and send the infantry on their mounts. That trip
they burned the bridge, captured some prisoners, and ran the train
into the bridge.

We could hear the distant boom of our gunboats and heavy artillery
that were advancing on Corinth. We started back to camp. It had
rained and we had a very muddy, hard march on the return.

On May 8th we took up our line of march to the front. We moved out in
the direction of Corinth, Mississippi, and went into camp on Gravel

Our division was held in reserve four miles in the rear of our main
army. We had an army of 80,000 collected here. The Union force was
trying to dig a canal to get the gunboats near enough for action. We
had Corinth almost surrounded and the heavy guns kept up a constant

We had battalion drill two hours each day. We were drilled by
Spicely, who was major at that time. About this time we drew four
months’ pay, which amounted to fifty-two dollars.

Our picket duty was extremely heavy, as the rebel cavalry made
frequent visits to our lines. There was heavy skirmishing in the
advance at all times. We were closing in too near to suit old
Beauregard and Bragg.

On the 26th of May Bragg’s army to a man evacuated Corinth. It was
no siege--merely a draw battle. That army went in the direction of
Richmond. Most of them went by railroad. This was the end of the
first battle of Corinth.

June 2d we received marching orders, and on the morning of the 3d
we marched in the direction of Memphis, Tennessee. The roads were
dry and dusty, making our march very disagreeable. We passed through
Union Town on the 8th. Here was the first place on this march where
we had seen the Stars and Stripes waved by citizens, and you bet the
boys gave them three cheers and a tiger.

We marched on through Bolivar and on the night of the 13th we went
into camp near Memphis. After a march of a hundred miles, we were all
tired and ready for a little rest, but our rest was yet to come, for
at 1 a. m. o’clock the next morning the bugle sounded the assembly.
We fell in line and marched to the city.

      The fearful wind it blew a blast,
      The lightning never ceased to flash,
      The thunder roared,
      And the rain it poured.

but on our weary boys tramped into Memphis. We took refuge under
sheds, porches or any place else to get shelter from the rain. The
next morning we marched down to the river bank, pitched tents and
went into camp.

On the morning of the 16th we were ordered out seven miles back of
the town on a scout. We found no enemy and marched back to camp. We
had a heavy provost guard at this place to keep the boys from running
around over town.

We received marching orders on the morning of the 17th. We embarked
on a steamer, and went as far as Helena, Arkansas. Here we got orders
to reinforce General Curtis who was in Missouri with a small force,
at that time. We got on board a boat and ran down the river, sixty
miles below Helena. Here we turned our course up White River as far
as Aberdeen, a small town on the bank of the river.

We could not hear of the whereabouts of Curtis’ army, and on the 4th
of July, we remained all day at Crockett’s Bluff. On the 6th, six
companies of our regiment under command of Colonel W. T. Spicely,
marched out about six miles to Grand Prairie. Here we ran into a
force of the 2nd Texas cavalry, about four hundred in number. Only
four of our companies were in line. These companies numbered about
180. The rebels charged up within thirty steps of us. They lay over
on the opposite sides of their horses and fired at us with double
barrel shotguns, from under their horses’ necks.

They were repulsed, tried the second charge, and were driven off in

Colonel Fitch’s command was two miles in our rear but they did not
get up in time for the fight. Late in the evening we returned to the
boats and Colonel Fitch treated us to the beer. On the morning of the
7th all the troops marched to Grand Prairie again. There was some
skirmishing with the rebel pickets but they made no stand. We had
battalion drill at 10 o’clock that night.


July 7th, we marched as far as Clarenden, a distance of ten miles. We
crossed the river and went into camp in the town. We remained here
until the evening of the 9th. We got a dispatch that Curtis’ army had
made its way through to Helena.

We embarked on boats and at night ran back down the river. Our boat
ran on to a snag and almost sank, but we got it off and repaired
after quite a lot of work. On the 14th we landed at Helena again. We
found General Curtis’ command here. They had had a hard time marching
from Missouri down through Arkansas.

We stayed here drilling and doing camp duty until August 9th. We then
marched to Clarenden on White River, sixty miles distant, but found
no enemy. The weather was hot and the roads dusty, making a fearful
march. But nevertheless, we found plenty to eat on the way, such as
pork, chicken, honey and other good things. On the 19th we got back
to Helena, covered with sweat and dust. We looked more like the black
brigade than white folks.

August 27th, we got on board a boat and went thirty miles up the St.
Francis river, on a scout. We landed the boat, got off, and marched
through the canebrake seven miles. We found no enemy and returned
to our boat the “Hamilton Belle.” When we got on board we found her
loaded to the guard with cattle, cotton, sugar, pork, and all kinds
of forage picked up by the boys.

We started back to Helena, and landed a short distance from our camp
at 2 o’clock in the morning of the 28th. We had quite a time getting
our private forage ashore as the general, E. O. C. Ord, put a guard
at the staging and would not let the boys take anything with them off
of the boat. What they didn’t get off they rolled into the river.

September 4th, 1862, several companies of our regiment went on a
scout up the river after Bushwhackers. We went up to Chalk Bluffs,
below Memphis. We found no enemy and started back to Helena. We had
not gone far when a volley was fired into us by a force of mounted
rebels. Our boat in command of Lieutenant Colonel Barter, landed.
He ordered us off and out after them. After a run of three miles we
decided that we could not run down mounted rebels and make them fight.

We marched back to the boat and continued our return to Helena. We
landed there the evening of the 6th.

On the 16th, a detail got on a boat and went thirty miles up the
river, after a load of wood. On the 23rd, we had a sham battle. We
had quite a time at this and we then settled down to camp life. We
had brigade drill four hours each day from then until October 16th
when we got orders to go up White River.

We embarked on boats and went down to the mouth of the river, but the
water was so shallow that we could not get in at the mouth. We then
returned to Helena.

Our drill and picket duty was very heavy, as we had pickets on the
opposite side of the river. We were in all kinds of employment, some
peddling, some fishing, and some playing games. We had a general
routine of camp life.

November 20th, some of the 11th Indiana boys, while out foraging were
fired into by the rebels. One man was killed.

On the morning of the 28th, we got marching orders. We boarded a boat
and went to Delta, nine miles below. We got off of the boat and
marched out forty miles east, to the crossroads. We went into camp in
a bottom.

December 3rd, General Washburn with part of the command marched to
the railroad. Here they had a sharp skirmish with the enemy, losing
one piece of the 1st Indiana cavalry’s artillery. This was a draw
battle. We got plenty of pork and sweet potatoes on this march.

On the 5th we marched back to Coldwater. The next morning we began
our march at 4 o’clock. Sunday, the 7th, we marched three hours
before day. Half of the boys didn’t get their breakfasts that day. We
reached the river and got on the boats. We landed at Helena at 10 p. m.

On the 9th of December, General Gorman took command of the post, and
we had grand review. On the 11th we were reviewed by Generals Gorman
and Steel. About the 15th, some heavy rains fell, causing the sloughs
to rise, so that we had to haul the picket guards to their posts in

On the 21st, General Sherman, with his army and a fleet of gunboats,
passed Helena. This army was on an expedition against Vicksburg.

On the 22nd, Lieutenant Colonel Barter was appointed Provost-marshal,
and the boys of Company B of our regiment were guards.

About the 25th, General Grant’s communications were cut off while
he was on an expedition against the rebels at Meridian. This caused
his failure to form a junction with Sherman at Vicksburg. Generals
Sherman and Smith with their forces charged Haines’ Bluffs. They were
repulsed with heavy loss.

Sherman was now reinforced by McClearnand. They went up the Arkansas
River and took the Arkansas Post, with six or seven thousand
prisoners and some heavy guns. Sherman captured more prisoners at
this place than he had lost at Vicksburg.

On the morning of January 11th, all of our troops at Helena under
Gorman, except one cavalry regiment, got on boats and went down to
the mouth of White River. We went up the river to St. Charles which
place the rebels had evacuated. On the 15th of January, 1863, a
seven-inch snow fell. The canebrakes and timber bent under their
heavy loads.

The heavy rains had overflowed the river and it was all over the
bottom land. This together with the snow made a very gloomy morning.
That night, the pickets had been sent out with orders not to kindle
any fires. Some of them were angry and set fire to some buildings,
thus causing some excitement in camp. The pickets were called in and
we got on the boat. We went up the river to Clarendon, and on the
evening of the 16th, we landed at Duvall’s Bluff. The rebels had just
evacuated this place. Our cavalry moved out after them and picked up
a few prisoners.

The rebels left two sixty-four pound guns in our possession. We
loaded these on to the boats. On the morning of the 17th, Colonel
Spicely, in command of the 24th and three gunboats, went to Desarc.
This is a beautiful little town. It is about as far up White River as
navigation is carried on.

We found many sick and wounded rebels here. Our officers paroled
them. There was also a great deal of small arms and ammunition here
which we took.

January 19th, all of the command moved to St. Charles. At night
several houses were set on fire, making quite an illumination. On the
21st we went down near Helena, but had to tie up on account of the
fog. On the morning of the 22nd, after a distance of 540 miles had
been traveled, we landed at Helena again.

The weather was cold and disagreeable, and we began building winter
quarters. There were to be sixteen men to a log cabin.

We remained here until the 18th of February. Our camp was then
overflowed and we moved back from the river. We went into camp on
higher camp ground.

The 19th we embarked on a boat and went down the river as far as Moon
Lake. Here the levee had been blown up, and every foot of the lowland
to Yazoo City, had been flooded. In early days this place had been
called Yazoo Pass, and boats had run along here. We crossed the lake
and marched five miles. We went into camp for the night.

On the 20th, we drew some cornmeal. This was quite a treat as we were
tired of hardtack. We found a mill, set her to going, and soon had
enough meal ground for a good corn cake. Some baked their cake in
half canteens, some on boards, and others rolled the dough on a stick
and held it near the fire until it baked.

A cold rain had set in making a very muddy and disagreeable time, but
we had to pull the heavy trees out of the pass, which the rebels had
felled to keep our boats from going through. We fastened two-inch
cables around the butts of the trees, and pulled them out, tops and
all. Several cables broke, throwing the boys twenty feet each way. We
finished cleaning out the pass on the second evening. We were wet and
muddy all over. The officers took pity on us and issued a thimbleful
of commissary whiskey to each man. Some of the boys paid twenty-five
cents a thimbleful for enough whiskey to make a good drink.

On the evening of the 22nd we got on the boat and went down to the
mouth of the pass. We found no more obstructions. When we got to
Coldwater River, our gunboat threw shells into the woods on each
side. We ran down this stream twenty-five miles and tied up for the
night. We could see the signs of a great many rebel boats which had
peeled the bark off of the trees near the shore. All of this country
was flooded.

On the morning of the 24th, our task completed, we turned the bow
of the boat up stream. On our return, we ran up near Moon Lake. When
night set in it was so foggy that we had to tie up for the night. The
next morning we decked our boat with holly and other evergreens and
set out on our journey. We ran into Moon Lake and here met General
Quinby’s division on their way to Fort Greenwood.

We returned to Helena. General Quinby moved on down to the fort and
found that country all under water. At night he planted two guns on a
small knoll near the fort. The next morning the gunboats opened fire
on the fort. The rebels threw a shell into the port of the Benton,
killing seven gunners. The union troops then had to draw off, as they
could not get to the fort. They left the two guns which had been
planted there.

They came back to Helena after a hard struggle to get through to
Yazoo City. All of their plans had failed.

General Prentice was now in charge of the post at Helena. On the 28th
of February, he issued an order for all citizens to be sent out of
our lines who would not take the oath of allegiance to our government.

The river rose, overflowing our camp, and we had to move it.

March 14th, Company B of our regiment was relieved from provost duty,
and they returned to the regiment. Nothing of importance occurred
until the 26th of March, at which time we received two months’ pay.

In the morning of April 6, 1863, we were called into line. Our
brigade marched into the fort and was addressed by Adjutant General
Thomas. He spoke in regard to arming the negroes, as the Emancipation
Act had already been passed. He had come direct from Washington,
D. C., with full authority to arm and equip the colored troops. He
advocated that it would be much better to put the negroes up for a
target to be shot at than for us to risk all of the danger ourselves.

This proclamation caused quite an excitement throughout the army.
Many of the boys deserted and went back home, but they were
afterwards pardoned, and came back to their regiments. About this
time we received two months’ pay.


April 9th, we received marching orders which were read to us at dress
parade. On the evening of the 10th we struck tents, marched on to the
boats, and went down the river four miles. Here we joined General
Quinby’s division. General Hovey was now in command of our division.
On the morning of the 12th, our squadron moved on down the river. We
went past Napoleon at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. On the morning of
the 13th, we ran past Lake Providence, Louisiana.

We landed at Millikin’s Bend at 12 o’clock at noon, this being about
210 miles below Helena. On the morning of the 14th we went up the
river two miles, got off of the boat, and went into camp.

April 15th, we loaded all of our baggage on a barge and prepared for
a march. This country was low and swampy, and a great many of our
boys had died from malaria and other diseases. Many of them were
buried on the levee. Our troops had lain here since the charge at
Chickasaw Landing.

On the morning of the 16th we started to march around Vicksburg.
We went into camp at night near Richmond, a small town in Madison
Parish, Louisiana. The next morning we marched twelve miles and went
into camp on Dawson’s Plantation. We remained at this place three
days. Our teams went back for rations.

About this time General Grant sent his Yankee gunboat past the
blockade at night. It fooled the rebel gunners and each fired a shot
at the supposed monster. As the nights were very dark, we could see
the flashes of the guns and hear the boom of the heavy guns which
were planted on the river bluff for seven miles in length.

At this place we had roll call seven times each day in order to keep
the boys in camp. On the 19th, our cavalry had a small engagement.
After they had taken a few prisoners the rebels fell back.

On the 21st, we marched to Fisk’s Plantation, a distance of about
thirteen miles. We went into camp near the bayou. Grant had been
trying to open up this bayou for several months, so that he might get
the gunboats around Vicksburg. It rained all that day making it very

There was heavy cannonading at night, as our gunboats and transports
were running the blockade. We must have been twenty-five miles away
but the roar and flashes could plainly be heard and seen.

We lay here several days while our pioneers were constructing pontoon
bridges across the bayou. Here our siege guns were brought up. They
were drawn by several yoke of cattle, as it was too muddy in that
black sticky soil for horses or mules to get through, with big loads.

On the 27th we resumed our march. While crossing the bridge one of
our heavy guns fell over the side of the bridge, and went down into
thirty feet of water, dragging the teams with it. It began raining
and after marching nine miles through the rain and mud which was knee
deep, we came to the banks of the Mississippi River.

All of our fleet which had run the blockade at Vicksburg, lay at this
place, which we named Perkins’ Landing.

On the 28th, General A. P. Hovey’s division embarked on boats and
barges and went fifteen miles to Hard Times Landing, which is five
miles above Grand Gulf.

On the morning of the 29th, all of us marched on to boats with barges
lashed on either side, which were filled with troops ready for the
charge. Our squadron of ironclads, seven in number, moved in line on
down toward the rebel forts. It was a grand sight to behold those
great ironclad monsters gliding down against this mighty fortress at
Grand Gulf, with its large guns, to receive tons of iron hail against
their iron sides.

Everything was as still as death when we neared the fort. Many were
holding their breaths and listening for the terrible fray to begin.
On the boats went, the Benton in advance. When she got opposite the
fort, she circled round until within 150 yards of it. She then opened
up with a broadside of six heavy one hundred pounders one after the
other. Each boat followed in succession. Scarcely had our guns opened
fire when the enemy replied with their heavy 284 pound guns.

The fort became a mass of fire and smoke. The Tuscumba in the same
manner as the Benton, poured in her broadside. Next came the Baron,
DeKalb, the Lafayette, the Carondalet and so on.

The fort seemed to be silenced and then it was that our brigade on
a boat and two barges, moved on down with orders to charge that
American Gibraltar. We were in good spirits, for we thought that no
human life could exist in that flame of hell and destruction, which
rained over the rebels for two long hours. All was silent, but we had
run down but a short distance when a white cloud of smoke belched out
of the fort like a volcano, and the heavy shot and shell once more
poured out from that crater.

One of the largest shots struck not over twenty yards from our bow.
It was not many seconds before our pilot had the bows of our boats
turned in the opposite direction.

We were about two miles from the fort when the battle was renewed,
part of our gunboats running close to the fort and using grape shot
and cannister. The old Lafayette lay at a distance of three miles up
the gulf, using her big stern gun and dropping shell directly into
the fort.

The hog chains were cut off of the Tuscumba, and she, put out of
business, dropped down below the fort.

After four hours of hard fighting, our boats drew off to cool down
and rest a while. It must have been terrible for the boys who were
shut up in those iron monsters.

Our force landed and a detail of volunteers was called to stay on the
boats while the blockade was being run. We marched round six miles on
the west side of the river. At 8 o’clock we were on the river bank,
five miles below Grand Gulf. At nine o’clock our entire fleet ran the
blockade. This sight will be remembered by many persons as long as
they live. We could see tongues of fire pouring forth from the mouths
of those mighty monsters. The sound on the still night air was heard
many miles away. The earth trembled as far away as where we were
looking on. Our boats got through but they were riddled up somewhat

Our loss was twelve killed and wounded. The rebel loss was
twenty-six. Among their wounded was a brigadier general. We lost
six battery horses on the transports, while they were running the

On the morning of the 30th we crossed the river. Our regiment crossed
on the old ironclad Benton. The marks of the shot on her iron plates
were terrible. Great pieces of shell had been forced under her iron
plates, and they were blue all over where the minnie balls had struck
and glanced off.

After we had crossed we drew a small amount of hardtack and a
little piece of bacon. At four o’clock we started on a march in the
direction of Port Gibson, which is seven miles back of Grand Gulf.
We marched all night over a very rough, broken country. At 2 o’clock
on the morning of the 1st of May, we ran into the rebel army. We were
halted from our tiresome march by the terrific sound and the crashing
shell of a battery, which broke the still morning air with its echo
over hill and valley for many miles and warned even the little birds
of that desperate day which was to come and cause so many homes to
mourn the loss of some dear friend.

Hovey’s division being in front, our regiment moved down and stacked
our arms in line of battle. We were not farther than 100 yards from
a concealed line of rebels. They lay in a canebrake. Everything
was as still as death and this was the darkest part of the night,
the hour just before day. Our regiment was ordered to move to the
right and form the right wing of our line of battle so that the
troops in the rear might come up and form in line. But before our
lines were formed, that ravine and canebrake became a solid sheet
of fire, caused by the rebel batteries and small arms. Daylight was
now beginning to break and we could see that the shells were playing
havoc with our troops on the hill, that were forcing their way up to
the front to form our lines.

We had stacked our guns and the boys were trying to make some coffee,
but the battery in front seeing that the hungry boys needed some heat
to make their coffee boil quickly, rolled in a few shells and blew
all of the fire out. Some of the boys swearing, declared that it had
come from our own guns, for the shell came directly from the place
where we had stacked our arms that morning.

The fight was now on in earnest, and there was no time for arguing
about the matter. We now piled our knapsacks and prepared for the

General Osterhos had charged in front, and our regiment charged down
across a large ravine, which was grown up with cane, making it almost
impassable. The rattle of shot and shell striking the cane and the
whoops and yells of the charging regiments made a terrible noise.

We moved across and supported the 8th Indiana, which was commanded by
General Benton. The rebels gave way on all parts of their lines and
fell back. We then moved up and supported a battery in the edge of a
big plantation. They were shelling the rebels on the retreat. Some
old houses were near by and the rebel batteries were knocking the
chinking and splinters in all directions.

We followed up the retreat five miles. We found everything imaginable
scattered along the road. The rebels halted and formed their lines
in the timber near Port Gibson. We moved up within a mile of their
lines, halted, and stacked our arms, to take a rest.

At two o’clock, the rebels were reinforced by General Tracy and
Green, who had fresh forces, and they were also good fighters. We
could see them coming down on us in as nice a line as was ever seen
in any army. We then had to get busy, and in a hurry too. We advanced
to meet the enemy. Our regiment stopped at a ditch. The 47th Indiana
and the 19th Kentucky stayed with us.

When the rebel line got within forty yards of us their men fell to
the ground and remained there one and one-fourth hours, before we
repulsed them. We averaged fifty-eight rounds of cartridges to the
man before the rebels withdrew. After that we never grumbled about
carrying sixty rounds of cartridges.

After General Tracy and many others had been slain, the rebels fell
back demoralized. Very many of their men had been slain and wounded.
Our regiment had only thirty-four killed and wounded, as we were
protected by the ditch, and did not suffer like other regiments.

The fighting along the line was kept up until five o’clock in the
evening when the rebels fell back, some by the way of Grand Gulf
and the others in the direction of Vicksburg. At two o’clock on the
morning of the 2nd of May we were awakened by the jar and report of
the exploding magazines which were blown up at Grand Gulf, when the
rebels evacuated that strong fortress. We could see their signals
going up all night, and thought that the rebels meant to concentrate
their forces and fight a pitched battle with us, on the next day, but
they saw that we had come to stay and decided that it would be better
for them to take all of their men to Vicksburg.

Now it could plainly be seen that nothing could hold the blockade of
the Mississippi against our mighty force of ironclads and the army
which had undertaken to open it up.

Our loss at Port Gibson was 500 killed and wounded. The rebel loss
was about 600 killed and wounded and we also took 700 of their men
as prisoners. The divisions that were engaged at this place were A.
P. Hovey’s, Osterhos’, and Carr’s. Logan’s division came up just at
dark, and Quinby’s division did not get into the fight at all.

May 2, 1863, we moved into Port Gibson. Here we had to wait until a
pontoon bridge could be constructed over Bayou Pierre, as the rebels
had burned the bridges, while on their retreat.

Our boys found many valuables, such as watches, jewelry, silverware,
and some gold and silver coin at this place. We also found plenty
of good bacon which was buried in hogsheads and sodded over. This
came in good play as our rations were getting slim. The citizens all
seemed to be in mourning. Many of them had their property burned on
the supposition that they had fought us the day before.

On the morning of the 3rd, our regiment crossed the bayou, and
marched out six miles in the direction of Grand Gulf on a scout. We
found plenty of bacon and other articles of food, which the rebels
had concealed in the woods, but they were not sharp enough to hide
anything from a yankee.

At two o’clock we started back, but when we came to the Jackson road
we learned that our entire army had moved on. We then followed up as
a rear guard.

We marched twelve miles and went into camp near Rocky Springs.
Our army had nothing to eat and we were cut off from our base of
supplies. Thus we had to forage off of the country. We foraged corn
and ran one or two mills, and this furnished a half pint of meal to
the man. Some made bread and cooked it on coals and others rolled the
dough on sticks and baked it, and still others mixed water and meal
together, making mush without any salt. At least we had a time to get
something to satisfy our gnawing stomachs.

We lay here until the evening of the 6th when we moved up eight
miles. We went into camp and drew one cracker to the man, for supper,
but we had plenty of water to wash it down with.

On the morning of the 7th we moved up three miles and formed on the
line of battle which was being established. Our cavalry had a sharp
skirmish and took twelve prisoners. We had grand review by General

Sherman’s corps arrived on the 10th. We marched ten miles and went
into camp. Sherman’s corps passed us late in the evening and went
into camp two miles in advance of us. This was near the enemy’s line
of battle and we looked for a heavy battle at any moment.

On the morning of the 12th we marched on past Sherman’s division.
After a march of five miles we came up with our cavalry command,
which was engaged in a sharp little fight with the rebel advance. We
drove them back to the main Vicksburg army near Edward’s Depot.

We crossed Baker’s Creek and went into the camp for the night. We
were so near the rebels that we could hear them talk at night, and
our teamsters and their cavalry got corn at the same cribs, between
our lines. While our teamster of company A, Timothy Riggle, was in
the crib filling his sack, a squad of rebel cavalry came to the door.

One of the rebels looked in and called out, “Boys, heah is a d----
yank in heah stealing ouah cohn.” Then this to the yankee, “Get out
of heah.”

Our teamster hardly knew how to answer, but he replied, “Gentlemen,
please give me time to get a few more ears. My mules are nearly

When they heard him call them gentlemen they gave him a little time.
I suppose that they had never been called gentlemen before. But the
teamster didn’t take time to fill his sack. He was glad to change
places with the rebs, and feed his mules on half rations. When he
came into camp with his hair standing on end, and reported his escape
from prison, the Captain said to him, “Bully for you, Tim.”

That night Sherman, with his corps passed to our rear, and went with
all speed toward Raymond. On the morning of the 13th we heard the
batteries of Sherman’s force open up on the rebel army at Raymond.

During the night the rebels had concentrated a large force with the
expectation of a general fight the next morning. But at daybreak when
they heard the noise of Sherman’s batteries at Raymond, they came
down on us like demons. The bullets flew thick and fast but the most
of them went too high as we were under the hill.

As we had only a small detachment against the main rebel army, we
were ordered to fall in line and pull out on double quick time.

I will relate a little circumstance which took place while we were
in this critical position. In forming our lines we were ordered to
left wheel into line. One of our old comrades by the name of John
Lochner, who was a very clumsy Dutchman, slipped on a pile of rails
and peeled all of the skin off of half of his nose. He was standing
there cursing in Dutch and the Captain seeing him with the blood
running down his face, yelled out, “Lochner, if you are shot, go to
the ambulance.”

“Shoot, hell Ciptain, shoot mit a rail in de nose.” he replied. But
he stayed in his place in the ranks anyway.

We crossed the creek and were soon out of the range of the rebels’
bullets. A very heavy rain set in making a hard muddy march. Seeing
the rebels did not follow us, we crossed over Baker’s Creek on a
bridge and then set the bridge on fire. We went into camp in the

That night we tore down some cotton pens and each fellow had a good,
soft, cotton bed. But just as a person thinks that he is getting some
great pleasure for himself, death and destruction come along and cut
off his happiness. About 10 o’clock that night, we were almost washed
out of that camp by a flood. We waded to the hills in water that was
sometimes waist deep.

On the 14th, we marched through Raymond. Here we passed over the
battleground. It bore the marks of a hard fought battle. In the fight
Sherman had taken several prisoners, but he had lost 500 men, killed
and wounded. He had gone on to Jackson, the capital of Mississippi.

We, tired and hungry, marched on through rain and mud. At the end of
twelve miles, we went into camp we knew not where. But one thing we
did know. That was that we were tolerably well mixed up with a large
rebel army and would have to untangle soon.

On the morning of the 15th, we began marching at six o’clock, and
after a distance of five miles had been traveled we came to a little
town on the Jackson and Vicksburg Railroad, by the name of Clinton.
The distance to Jackson from here was eighteen miles. We received a
dispatch from General Sherman stating that he had captured the town
of Jackson, captured several prisoners, and put General Johnson’s
rebel army to flight.

Our army consisting of Hovey’s and Logan’s divisions turned back
toward Vicksburg. We were foraging along the road as many of the boys
had empty haversacks, and not a morsel to eat. I jumped over into a
garden and grabbed a few onions. The other boys followed my example
and soon the garden was cleaned up. I had procured a small amount
of Orleans molasses and when we stopped for a short rest I made my
breakfast on onions and molasses. I will always remember that I
enjoyed that breakfast more than any that I ever ate.

We were soon called into line and we began our march again. After
a march of ten miles we ran into the rebel’s advance guard, near
Bolton’s Depot. Our cavalry drove the picket in and we formed a
line of battle. We stacked our guns for we were hungry. As soon as
our guns were stacked, we were out looking for something to eat,
just anything to stop the gnawing at our weak stomachs. Two of my
messmates, John Clark and John Toliver, and I ran for a house down
in the field. When we got to the house we saw an old French lady
standing on the portico, with a large bull dog tied to the post.

The old lady forbade our coming inside, but we could not understand
her gibberish, and even if we could, we were too hungry to pay any
attention. There was a smokehouse on the place and we could smell
the delicious odor which the good hams hanging in there made. We
knocked the gate down, and while I was having a battle with the dog
the boys went for the meat. The dog placed his feet on my breast, but
I had my bayonet in the scabbard and I grabbed the dog with my left
hand and with my right hand I ran my bayonet through the dog’s ribs.
This made the old lady jump up and down and swear like a trooper.
I met the boys coming out of the smokehouse with two big hams on
their shoulders. One of them called out, “We have plenty of meat,
Fulfer, you get the honey.” The old lady came with an ax and I saw
that something had to be done. As quickly as possible, I grabbed up
a large bee stand that was open at the bottom, and threw it on my
shoulder. At last the battle was won. The last time that I saw that
old French woman, she was flying through the door with the yard full
of angry bees after her. There was at least seventy-five pounds of
honey in that gum.

Just at this critical moment the rebel cavalry drove our cavalry
back. The bullets rattled through the cornstalks and past us like
hail. Toliver called back at the top of his voice, “Hold on to that
bee gum, Fulfer.” When we got back to the regiment all of the boys
were in line of battle ready for business.

We camped here that night and the two different cavalries were
skirmishing at intervals all through the night. Some of company A
will always remember that we had honey and ham that night for supper.

      On the cold ground we were lying,
        Filled with thoughts of home and God,
      For we knew that on the morrow.
        Some would sleep beneath the sod.
      Farewell mother, you may never
        Press me to your breast again.
      But you’ll not forget me mother.
        If I’m numbered with the slain.


On the morning of the 16th of May, 1863, a day long to be remembered
by some of us. We were called into line at an early hour, but some
time elapsed before the plan of the march was decided upon by the
generals. Finally Osterhos and Carr moved by the way of Raymond, and
Hovey and Logan by the way of Champion Hill. General Quinby was in
the rear guarding the trains.

After we had advanced a few miles we met some straggling rebels who
reported that the rebels were in full force on the Raymond Road, but
had pitched their battle ground on Champion Hill, near the forks of
the road.

After a six-mile march we ran up against the rebels, posted in a
natural fortification, made by the circling road that curved round
the hill. Logan moved his division up and took a position on the
extreme right flank, in line of battle. Hovey’s division was formed
next to Logan’s and Osterhos’, Carr’s and Smith’s division were on
the left on the Raymond Road.

At ten o’clock Company A was ordered on to the skirmish line. We
charged up within sixty yards of the main rebel line which was formed
in the edge of the woods. This brought on the engagement and it was
general all along the lines of Logan and Hovey. Our company having
one man wounded, while getting here, fell down in a hollow. The air
above us was blue, and the roaring of the guns and the whizzing of
shot and shell was fearful.

At one time I thought that Company A was lost. The rebels in a solid
mass, charged one of Logan’s batteries, which was 150 yards to our
right and rear. They were repulsed with great slaughter, and they
were driven back past us faster than they had come. It was terrible
to look upon the slaughter of that desperate charge. The only musket
balls which I ever saw used, were at this place. By the use of them
the rebels in our front tried to shell us out of that hollow ravine.

The 11th Indiana and 29th Wisconsin of our brigade charged on our
left, driving the rebels out of the road. They also captured a
battery and took 160 prisoners. General Logan’s division charged on
our right, and drove the enemy in a mass, back in front of Hovey’s
division. There was cheering all along the line because the boys
thought that we had the rebels routed. But they had only fallen back
to mask their forces and draw Hovey’s division into a trap.

Our regiment moved up and gave three cheers on account of holding our
part of the skirmish line so near the enemy. Our company joined on to
our regiment and moved two hundred yards to the left flank at the top
of the hill. This was where the 11th Indiana had taken a battery.

We faced the enemy and charged down the hill. On we went, unmindful
of the death and destruction which we were running into. Not a shot
was fired to warn us of the danger, until we were in nineteen steps
of a masked division. Fifteen to one hundred of them came up out of
the ditches. They were to our right flank and rear, not over 200
yards from where we had started down the hill.

Regiment after regiment poured death and destruction into our ranks
until we had only a little squad left, to rally around the flag. At
the first volley the most of our little battalion fell, dead and
wounded. I dropped into a ditch and loaded and fired three shots at
the rebels. They were so close that I could see the whites of their

It seemed as though the hill was filled with rebels. On they came and
I had to get up and change my position. When about half way up the
hill, I ran into a squad fighting hand to hand. Here was the place
where the old 24th almost lost its flag, and also, Colonel Barter
almost lost his hand. The colors were shot out of it and the flag
staff was split into three pieces. Corporal Steel carried the flag
off of the field.

We could not get reinforcements and the chance of any of us being
saved was a forlorn hope, but just at the last moment, we were saved
by reinforcements. They came into line on the right at the top of the
hill. We were a mixed up bunch, but those brave Missouri and Iowa
boys, the 3rd, 5th and 6th Missouri and the 10th Iowa, saved us. When
the rebel host saw our solid line of reinforcements they became panic
stricken. They were so excited that the last load that they fired
they did not return their ramrods, but fired them into our faces,
threw down their guns, and fled for safe quarters.

We had won the day, but Hovey’s and Logan’s divisions had paid dearly
for their prize. At four o’clock the enemy fell back in confusion.
They were being hard pressed on all parts of the lines and they made
no stand until they reached Black River Bridge, which place they had
well fortified.

The rebels, on their retreat, had left many dead to be buried in
fence corners.

Our division, commanded by General A. P. Hovey, was composed of the
following troops: the 11th, 24th, 34th, 46th and 47th Indiana; 29th
Wisconsin; 24th Iowa; 56th Ohio; and 22nd Kentucky.

The loss of our division was 1,500 killed and wounded. The loss in
our regiment was 259. Our company loss was 22. Two of our boys were
taken prisoners. The number of men when we went into the charge had
been 480. Our brigade having suffered the greatest loss, was left on
the field to care for the wounded and bury the dead.

At night a heavy picket was placed around the battlefield, for fear
that the rebel general, Loring, who had cut through our lines, would
come back and make a night attack on our little worn-out force that
had been left on the field of battle.

No person except those who were pickets on that field, that dark
night, can imagine the horrors of that awful bloody field of death
and destruction. The groans of hundreds of wounded and dying could
be heard on the still night air, and one could imagine that they saw
them in their mangled condition, begging for water and calling on God
for help. “War is hell.”

The rebel loss at Champion Hill had been as heavy as our own, and we
also captured 4,000 of their men as prisoners, and took twenty-two
pieces of their artillery.

On the morning of the 17th, the still air was disturbed by the
belching cannon at Black River Bridge. Osterhos and Logan charged
the works at daylight, driving the rebels out and putting them to
fight in the direction of Vicksburg, their last stronghold. Several
prisoners and four pieces of artillery were taken. The enemy set the
bridge on fire, thus checking the advance of the union forces. But
they were not to be hindered in that way, for they were soon crossing
on pontoons. On the morning of the 18th General Grant was forming his
lines around Vicksburg.

May 19th, 1863, having cared for the wounded and buried the dead, our
little shattered brigade took up our line of march. After a march of
ten miles we came to Black River Bridge.

General Sherman crossed Black River some distance above here on his
return from the capture of Jackson, Mississippi. On the night of
the 19th, he charged the enemy at Haines Bluffs, where he had been
defeated about the 23rd of December, the year before. This time he
was successful in capturing the fort. He then established his lines
on our extreme right. The capturing of Haines Bluffs connected us
with our base of supplies above Pittsburg. We had been on less than
quarter rations for twenty days.

At Haines Bluffs, Sherman captured several prisoners and took some
heavy guns. He also forced the enemy back to their main defenses at

On the morning of the 20th, we took up our line of march. We left
Black River Bridge at 4 p. m. We marched until twelve o’clock at
night. We moved up near our troops which were establishing their
lines around Vicksburg.


On the 20th, our troops had had a hard little fight but were repulsed
by the rebels, after they had charged up close to the strong rebel
forts. On the 21st we moved up near our advance lines and on the
22nd a general charge all along the lines was ordered. Our regiment
supported the 7th Kentucky.

Several of our regiments in front had planted their flags on the
rebel forts and the destruction of men was horrible. The earth
trembled under the powerful explosives. Many of our boys were slain
in hand to hand fights.

From some unknown cause, the rebel army in our front was reinforced
and we were driven back with a heavy loss. The blame was laid
to General McClernand, the commander of our 13th corps. He was
superceded and I never heard of him afterwards. He was a fine looking
general. Thus the name of the 13th corps was lost at Vicksburg.

The nurses and wounded whom we had left at Champion Hill, had been
captured but were paroled. They came to us about this time.

Our troops were driven back and some of the regiments lost their
flags. At night some of the wounded were carried away but the rebs
would shoot at any little noise. Many of the wounded perished that
night for want of help.

During all of the siege. Admiral Porter bombarded the city with
twenty-two inch mortars and other heavy guns. It was a sight to see
those huge shells raised to the distance of four miles, and then
explode and send the pieces of shell humming to the ground, and
making a noise like thunder.

On the 24th, we went to work digging rifle pits and preparing for the
siege. Our large guns kept up a continuous firing all along the lines.

On the 25th, our dead, who had fallen in the charge of the 22nd, had
not yet been buried. The rebels had refused to let us bury them. But
the corpses stunk them out and they gave us a four hour’s armistice
in which to bury the dead.

Two of those in our regiment were wounded while working in the rifle
pits. We were relieved from this duty by the second brigade. We then
moved back in a deep hollow to rest.

On the 26th we moved up to support the first regular siege guns.
Our duty was heavy skirmishing all day and digging rifle pits and
planting batteries at night.

On the morning of the 28th our batteries opened a heavy fire all
along the line. They blew up one of the rebel’s magazines, thus
causing a terrible explosion. The rebels returned fire but after an
hour of heavy bombarding they were silenced. On the 30th, a small
dram of commissary whisky was issued all along the line.

On the 31st we took our position on the lines where we remained until
the surrender. Osterhos moved his brigade back to Black River and
began building breastworks to protect our rear.

The rebel generals, Johnson and Breckenridge, had come up with forty
thousand men to raise the siege.

On the morning of the first day of June, 1863, our troops were
stationed on the lines as follows: General Herring on our extreme
left flank, next to the Mississippi River; General Lawman’s division
joined on to them; our division, under General Hovey next; the first
brigade of General Osterhos’ troops, next, which brigade reached
the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad; Generals Carr, Smith, and
Quinby next came in; General Logan’s corps was fronting that strong
fort called “The Queen of Vicksburg,” which afterwards became the
noted part of the drama of Vicksburg; next General McPherson; and
General Sherman’s corps as has already been stated, took their place
on the extreme right at Haines’ Bluffs, near the Yazoo River. We
were reinforced by Burnsides’ ninth corps, which was moved back to
strengthen our rear, and Osterhos’ second brigade, and to fortify the
banks of Black River.

We now had one hundred thousand troops in this vicinity. General
Logan’s troops began tunneling under the largest fort at Vicksburg
that morning. The rebels opened up with several of their heavy guns
but they were soon silenced as we were advancing our rifle pits in
close range and our sharpshooters were getting to be good marksmen.

At night General Lawman’s division tried to advance their rifle pits,
and the rebels in front opposed their advance. There were several
hard charges made on both sides. The rebels would drive our boys out
of the pits and fill them up and then Lawman’s men would charge back
and open up the rifle pits again. It was quite an exciting scene to

Everything was quiet in front of Hovey’s division, but we were
looking for the rebels to oppose our advance at night. On the morning
of the second of June, our army was digging wells all along the
line to supply us with water. We got plenty of water at a depth of
eighteen feet.

The rebel batteries opened up a heavy cannonading, but our boys soon
silenced them. On the morning of the third we were still advancing
our rifle pits and the rebels were getting in a few shots with their
big guns. They were now getting short of ammunition and were loading
their guns with pieces of our mortar shells and railroad iron.

Breckenridge, the rebel, had forty thousand men at our rear, but we
were too well fortified for him to make an attack. On the eighth a
force of rebel cavalry attacked our guards and sick at Millikin’s
Bend, but they were repulsed and driven back with a slight loss.

On the 11th a continual firing was kept up all day. One man in
Company B of our regiment was killed. He was hit in the back with a
piece of one of our own shells, while he was lying on his bunk.

On the 12th a detail from our regiment planted some heavy eighty-four
pound guns in our rear and fifteen thousand men were sent back to
Black River to reinforce our rear guard which was looking for an
attack every hour, as things were getting desperate with the rebel
army which was cooped up in Vicksburg.

On the 14th the rebels opened fire with some small mortars, on
General Herring’s troops. Several were killed and wounded by mortar
shells. They also threw some shells into Logan’s division.

At night some of our boys met the rebs half way between our lines and
exchanged coffee for the papers which the rebels were printing in
Vicksburg. We found much valuable information in these papers.

Since they had been cooped up in Vicksburg, the rebels had been in
communication with Breckenridge’s army by means of some spies. We
also often traded coffee with the rebels for tobacco or something
which we wanted, while we were on picket duty.

On the 16th the rebels opened fire with some of their heavy guns on
our rifle pits which we were advancing within a short distance of
their forts. But they were soon silenced by our sharpshooters.

On the 17th, a battery of our twenty-four pound siege guns threw
hot shot into the city and tried to set the houses on fire, but they
failed to do much damage, as the buildings were so far apart. The
most of them had been pounded down by Porter’s big mortar shells, and
very many of the citizens had dug out houses in the railroad cut,
sixty feet below the top of the ground. Some of the houses had been
dug out in solid rock and they were proof against Porter’s big shells
that rolled to the height of four miles, then dropped and went into
the ground fifteen feet, then they exploded and tore out holes in the
ground as large as a house.

It seemed impossible for any living being to exist in such a hell
through forty-eight days in the presence of those death-dealing
monsters. The earth and air were both filled with iron and lead.

On the morning of the 18th, our company was relieved out of the rifle
pits by Companies C and E. While we were yet standing there two of
the boys were killed by rebel sharpshooters. One was out of Company C
and the other out of Company E. The bullets passed through the loop
in our head logs and then went through the boys’ heads. We were only
sixty yards from the fort at this time. Admiral Porter used his fleet
of mortars and ironclads continually. There was neither rest nor
quiet during those hot days, made still hotter by the whizzing shells
and zipping minnie balls.

On the 23rd we received two months’ pay. We now had money and
could catch a little time to bet on our old familiar game called

General Logan’s men had their tunnel underneath the “Queen of
Vicksburg” completed. On the morning of the 25th, we received orders
for every man to fire fifty rounds of cartridges and each battery
to fire one hundred rounds, all along the entire line. Just imagine
eighty thousand anxious men, standing in the rifle pits, awaiting
orders and ready to charge the mighty Gibraltar of Vicksburg.

Everything was quiet and not a sound disturbed the still air. Many
were thinking of home and God and wondering what was coming next.
About ten o’clock we saw a cloud of black smoke go up like the
upheaval of a volcano. It carried with it to the height of a mile,
hundreds of tons of earth and debris and a great number of men. This
was followed by a mighty shaking of the earth, and the “Queen of
Vicksburg” was no more. She was up in midair with hundreds of mangled
human bodies dropping back to the earth.

At this moment five hundred cannon and eighty thousand small arms
opened fire, and every man yelled at the top of his voice. Just think
for a moment what a panorama this must have been. In five minutes
nothing could be heard except the crash and roar nor could anything
be seen on account of the smoke. Sheets of flame and clouds of black
smoke shot up from the mouths of those great monster guns.

After an hour of work in this awful scene of death and destruction
the lines all ceased firing. A few rebels in front of us gave three
cheers to let us know that they were not all dead. The destruction
then continued in Logan’s division, and it lasted until after dark.

I cannot give a full account of the work of destruction that went on
in that division because I was not there, and got only a brief sketch
of the horrors in that awful crater. After the explosion of the fort,
Logan’s men charged in and tried to make an opening in that terrible
place. They fought the rebels hand to hand, and both sides used hand
grenades. These caused a great destruction on both sides. The rebels
were reinforced and drove our men out, capturing several prisoners.

On the 26th, we moved one section of Captain Foster’s twenty-pound
Parrot guns into our rifle pits, not over one hundred yards from the
main rebel forts. We had to put collars on the guns to protect the
eyes of our gunners.

Hard fighting was going on between Logan’s division and the rebels.
They were fighting for the possession of the crater which was blown
out between the two armies. They used all kinds of devices for
holding that “bone of contention.” At night General Hovey had our
rifle pits extended to within forty paces of their large fort. The
rebels opened on us with canister, but it took no effect as our works
were too strong.

At night our pickets and the rebels stood only ten feet apart and
talked to each other. When four o’clock came, the first one that got
into the rifle pits fired at the other, sometimes cutting the dirt
close to his heels as he went over into the ditch on his head. He
then lay there panting for breath.

The rebels built a wire fence and defied us to cross it. On the
night of the 28th Captain Jackson of our pioneer corps and a working
squad advanced our pits as far the fence. The rebel pickets were
called into the fort and several shots fired. We then sent for
reinforcements. The commander of the fort called out to know who the
officer was who dared to intrude on his rights. We were now within
thirty feet of the fort and were lying under two big guns whose
muzzles one could crawl into.

Our captain answered the rebel thus, “Sir, I am Captain Jackson of
the pioneer corps, and have orders from U. S. Grant to dig you out of
here, and who are you, sir?”

“I am Colonel Jackson of the 20th Alabama Confederate, and have my
orders form General Pemberton to blow you out of existence if you
cross that wire fence.”

They met each other between the lines, shook hands, and had a long
interview, for they proved to be uncle and nephew. I thought that
we were in for it that night when their picket was called in and I
heard the gunner call out, “Double shot with cannister, Number Four.”
But now all was settled and we rested in our rifle pit until morning.

On the 29th the rebels planted a heavy gun to dismount our
twenty-four pounders, that lay to our rear. They had fired two shots
which took no effect, when one of our twenty-pound Parrots in the
rifle pit threw a shot which knocked the rebel gun out of existence.

July 1, 1863, the rebels made a charge on part of McArthur’s
division, but they were driven back into their works, with a counter
charge. They lost thirty killed and taken prisoners. They also
charged out on Lawman’s advance, capturing and filling up several
rifle pits. They covered up several of our wounded, who perished
before we recaptured the pits. That part of the line was reinforced
and we established our line nearer their fort.

On the 3rd, we advanced our works by sapping and mining. We dug up
some negro skeletons as this had been a negro graveyard. We were
building ladders and preparing for a general charge. We could throw
clods of dirt into the rebel’s forts. They had planted several mines
under our rifle pits by digging tunnels.

We all knew that something was going to happen, as this kind of
warfare could not last much longer.

At nine o’clock, on the morning of the 3rd of July, a flag of truce
came out from the rebel lines, and was received at General Grant’s
headquarters. Then came the order to cease firing all along the line
for a three hours’ armistice. But Porter, who had not received the
order, kept his big mortars busy, and threw some large pieces of
shell over the rebels, and into our lines.

This rest was a good thing for all of us. Both rebel and union
troops sat up on our works and talked over the business of the day.

This is a day long to be remembered by many, both of the North and
the South. At twelve o’clock at noon both armies resumed their places
in the works and renewed that long struggle, but the firing was not
as heavy as it had been.

At six o’clock in the evening, we saw the second flag of truce and
firing ceased all around the lines. On the morning of the 4th of
July, at eight o’clock, a salute of eight blank cartridges was shot
from each heavy gun all along the line. At nine o’clock General
Pemberton and his staff rode out and met General Grant under a large
live oak tree, near the lines. Here Grant accepted the surrender of
Vicksburg with twenty-seven thousand prisoners, fifty thousand stands
of small arms and three hundred and fifty pieces of artillery.

White flags went up on each fort and the rebels marched out and
stacked their guns. Yanks and rebs were soon all mixed up and talking
as sociably as if nothing had happened. They were almost starved and
soon we were all at the same tables, eating a good square meal of
hardtack, sow belly and coffee.

Later I went inside their works and found several kettles of poor
mule beef, cooking on fires back of their forts. It was horrible to
witness the sights in the town, especially the hospitals. It did not
take long to get enough of sight seeing for the rotten smell in that
hole of death was terrible.

General Grant soon went to Washington, D. C. to receive thanks
and congratulations for the part he had taken in putting down the
rebellion, and General Sherman took temporary command of the army at


From the History of D. H. Montgomery.

On the Mississippi, Vicksburg and vicinity was held by a strong
Confederate force under General Pemberton. Early in the spring of
1863, General J. E. Johnson, then at Chattanooga, Tennessee, moved
with an army to join Pemberton. In a number of masterly battles,
Grant defeated Pemberton before Johnson could unite with him. He
forced Pemberton to retreat into Vicksburg, and drove Johnson off of
the field.

For several weeks Grant and Sherman, with over seventy thousand,
besieged Vicksburg. Union men were shelling the city night and day.
Food was so scarce that the Confederates had but one cracker a day.
The town was so knocked to pieces that women and children had to live
in caves, dug in the earth. They too were reduced to a few mouthsful
of food a day. Mule steaks gave out and many had to choose between
eating cats and rats.

Out of less than thirty thousand, they had six thousand sick and
wounded. They could hold out no longer and July 4th, 1863, Vicksburg
surrendered. Grant took nearly thirty-two thousand prisoners. Union
loss, twenty-three thousand three. Rebel loss, twenty thousand four
hundred and fifty-one.

Among those that took part in that day of celebration and victory
was the war eagle, Old Abe, the hero of many battles. He was carried
on a perch, near the flag, by one of the color bearers of the 8th


At two o’clock in the evening we received marching orders to go to
the rear after Johnson’s and Breckenridge’s army. There was a routine
of work to do here, such as cleaning up and granting paroles to
prisoners, but we had troops enough to see after all of this.

On the morning of the 5th, we moved out to Black River, which was
twelve miles distant. We had some strong fortifications at this
place. We lay here until the morning of the 7th when we moved out in
the direction of Jackson.

We stopped at the battlefield of Champion Hill for an hour’s rest.
There was hardly a living tree on the field. Those fine, large
magnolias had been torn and shot up until the place looked like an
old deadening. One could see the dead leaves for miles. We found
several bodies off of which the rain had washed the dirt. Not much
pains were taken in burying the dead rebels, while we were at this

We moved on twelve miles to Bolton’s Depot, and here ran into
Breckenridge’s rear. After a few shots had been fired from our
batteries the enemy fell back. We lay here until 5 p. m. on the 8th
when we moved out against the rebels. They contended for every foot
of ground. We drove them about six miles and then lay down for a
short sleep.

On the 9th we marched to Clinton. On the morning of the 10th we moved
out in the direction of Jackson. There was skirmishing all the way
but this did not annoy us very much for we were used to skirmishing.

We went into camp near where Sherman was forming his lines. The
rebels were keeping up a constant firing from their guns. Our cavalry
cut off a train of ammunition belonging to the rebels, and then they
blew up three carloads of their powder and fixed shell to keep us
from capturing it. This made a terrible explosion.

On the morning of the 11th, General Hovey’s division had orders to
take our position in the line of battle. Our regiment, the 24th
Indiana, went in advance. After a march of three miles we ran into a
body of rebels, posted in the edge of the timber, a mile from their
fortifications. Part of our battalion moved out through the timber
and looked for a road to move out and flank them. We drove their
pickets in and returned to regiment to await reinforcements.

Soon a battery came up and unlimbered. They fired several shots at
the rebels at the top of the hill. We then formed in line of battle
and had quite a skirmish before the rebels fell back. We moved up to
open field which was planted to corn, and just in good roasting ears.
We could see the enemy going in double quick time for their fort as
our batteries were pouring their shell into them. Our division moved
down near the railroad and halted. At 5 p. m. the rebels opened fire
on us with several large guns, making it pretty hot for us. This
firing lasted until night. The shells cut through all parts of our
lines. We lay here all night without any thing to eat and with no
protection from shot and shell, as this was a comparatively level

On the morning of the 12th we again fell in line and moved up within
two hundred and fifty yards of their main fortification. It was built
of cotton bales and earth and made a strong fort. A deep ditch was on
the outside.

Here we had some sharp fighting. We were in some black oak bushes and
the bullets and shells, as they passed through, made all sorts of
noises. At 2 p. m., General Lawman’s division came up and formed on
our right. General Lawman, without orders charged the enemy. He got
within twenty yards of their strong works, but they were reinforced
and drove Lawman’s brave boys back with a heavy loss of four hundred,
the most of them killed outright. Lawman’s command was taken from him
and the division was placed under our general, A. P. Hovey.

On the morning of the 13th, the rebel cavalry had captured our
pioneer train. They tried to burn our tools, but our cavalry drove
them off and saved part of them. They were soon brought up and
distributed, a pick and two shovels to the company.

We soon got busy and fair earthworks were thrown up. You cannot find
many lazy soldiers where the bullets are cutting as close as they did
there. While one of the boys was lying on top of the pit, a piece of
shell struck him some place in the rear and tore all the hind part of
his pants off. Another boy in Company B was hit in the shoulder.

We had just finished our breastworks when all of the rebel batteries
in front of us got range of us and shelled us like fury until
darkness set in.

As we had had nothing to eat since the morning of the 12th, each
company had three men detailed to go back one mile in the rear and
pack up rations for the regiment. These men would come running back
to our rifle pits, loaded down with camp kettles, filled with coffee
and roasting ears. We were glad to see them coming for we all had
good appetites.

On the morning of the 14th the smell of our dead comrades near the
rebel works became so bad that they could bear it no longer. They
sent a flag of truce and requested a few hours in which to cover the
dead which fell in Lawman’s charge of the 12th. They had refused to
let us get near their works to bury our dead. We had carried off a
part of our wounded at night, but many of them had perished. They
were in the troops from Illinois.

A few hours armistice was given. The rebels piled our dead in ditches
and merely covered them to keep them from stinking them out of their
fortifications. They didn’t get half of them covered before the
firing was resumed.

All on both sides were busy and each man was trying to see how many
shots he could fire.

I was on the picket line that evening, and while lying behind a
good-sized pine tree, my eyes were almost knocked out by bark and
splinters. Some of the best marksmanship which I ever saw was at this

On the morning of the 15th, our lines extended from the bank of Pearl
River, above the town, to the river below, and we were crossing a
division five miles above. The division on our left made a charge and
gained the rebels’ works, but they could not hold them on account of
the heavily masked batteries. The works here were almost as strong as
the works at Vicksburg. The rebels made a counter charge, but were
repulsed with great slaughter. Several charges were made later on in
the evening, but none of them were successful.

On the 16th our division lost fifty men killed and wounded. Volley
after volley was fired that night all around the line, and our heavy
guns kept up a continual fire. The rebel bands played “Dixie” and
“The Bonny Blue Flag.” Our troops were crossing the river above on
pontoons. All was hustle and bustle until after twelve o’clock at
night. The cars were running back and forth, and locomotives sent
forth their screeching whistles, making this night one long to be

We knew that something was going to happen, but did not know what
that something was. Some predicted that the rebels were getting
reinforcements, but when we awoke from a short nap on the morning
of the 17th of July, we found everything quiet and Breckenridge’s
and Johnson’s army gone. The generals with forty thousand men had
crawled out through a little gap back of town. They had taken all of
their guns except three hundred stands of small arms and one large
siege gun.

All of the fortifications, which were made of cotton, were soon on
fire and many fine buildings in the city were burned to the ground.
The soldiers were allowed to roam the town over. They carried off
many valuable articles. I saw a safe in a bank blown up and several
hundreds of dollars in gold and silver scattered. There was certainly
some scratching and running over each other to get those bright
pieces which were thrown all over the street by the explosion. Many
fine pianos and much furniture was chopped down.

Our cavalry followed the retreating rebs and picked up several
prisoners who had straggled behind, purposely to be caught.

On the morning of the 18th a regiment from each brigade was sent to
tear up the Memphis and New Orleans Railroad. We tore up the track
for ten miles in each direction. We piled the ties and set them on
fire. We put bars of iron on the piles of ties until they were red
hot, and then bent them double so that the track could not be put
down again. We worked hard all day and at night enjoyed a good rest.

We received marching orders on the 21st and at three o’clock we moved
out in the direction of Vicksburg. We went by the way of Raymond. We
lay here until the morning of the 22nd when we moved out for Black
River Bridge. While on our way we were in a cloudburst. It came late
in the evening and it was so dark and the rain fell so fast that we
could see to travel only by the flashes of lightning.

At the end of an hour the storm ceased. We were wading water which
was knee deep. Some of the regiments were sheltered by the heavy
timber. Just as we came up to the river bottom, we were almost
blinded by a flash of lightning. I saw many of the boys go to the
ground and two of the 28th Iowa regiment were killed.

We waded for a distance of three miles before we came to the bridge.
We crossed over and went into camp. We had the cold, wet, ground for
our bed that night.

On the morning of the 23rd, we marched to Vicksburg. The weather was
very warm that day and we were all almost played out by the time we
had marched through the city and two miles down the river. Here we
went into camp.

On the morning of the 25th, we got orders to furlough three men out
of each company home for sixty days. While here we drew new zouave
uniforms. They were sent to us from Indianapolis, Indiana. There was
a hustling time at this place. Some troops were gathering up captured
arms and ammunition. They were scooping up barrels of lead from the
banks of the forts. The heavy rains had washed the dirt down, and had
left a solid wall of blue lead and pieces of shell.

We found a great many wounded and sick here, but the most of them
were rebel soldiers.


Our Vicksburg army was now being bursted up and transported to
different departments. The 9th corps had gone East, and on the
morning of the 1st of August, 1863 our 2nd brigade marched on the
boats and started down the river to join General Banks’ army, or
the Department of the Gulf. Port Hudson had fallen two days after
the surrender of Vicksburg. The Mississippi was now open for
transportation, and its powerful fortresses and blockades were wiped
out forever. But the cost had been thousands of our young American
heroes’ lives, and also many many thousand had been maimed for life.

The cost which it took to make this grand American nation and
republic can never be repaid, not even the interest at a low rate can
be paid.

On the 2nd we received two months’ pay, and in the evening we had
grand review. The weather was now getting very warm. We received
orders to march and on the morning of the 5th, we got on boats and
started down the river after our 2nd brigade. We ran down the river
about one hundred miles and landed at Natchez, Mississippi.

We got off of the boats, marched back two miles, and went into camp.
This was a nice country and camp, but water was the one drawback. We
had to haul and carry water from the river.

We had a great deal of fun at this camp. We were quartered near a
camp of five thousand freedmen who kept up music, dancing and singing
day and night. They were as happy as the children of Israel when
they were encamped in the wilderness, after they had been delivered
out of bondage by Moses.

A heavy provost guard was kept in town, and many of our boys without
passes were arrested and put in the guard house. They were soon
sending for their captains to get them out as they were in a regular
jail and had to look through iron bars.

We lay here until the morning of the 11th. We then got on boats and
moved off down the river. We landed at Port Hudson, at six p. m. Our
boat had sprung a leak and we got off and stayed on shore all night,
waiting for it to be repaired. This place bore the marks of a hard
siege, some very heavy charges having been made here.

On the morning of the 12th, we started on down the river. We landed
at Carrollton, Louisiana. On the morning of the 13th we got off of
the boats, marched back one and a half miles and went into camp.

On the 14th, one of the boys in our regiment, while trying to catch a
chicken, was shot and instantly killed by a negro safeguard. The boys
planned to take him out of jail that night and lynch him, but he was
slipped out and I never heard of him afterwards.

We lay here until the morning of the 17th, when we moved down two
miles. We went into camp in the lower edge of Carrollton, five miles
above New Orleans. The next day Colonel Spicely joined us with the
remainder of our brigade, and we all moved out and went into camp
near the bank of the river.

A division of the army of 10,000 men, under General A. J. Smith,
was “lent” to General Banks to assist him in his campaign against
Shreveport and Texas.

On the 22nd Major General N. P. Banks received us into his army, and
we had grand review. On the 29th we were again reviewed by General

September 4th, 1863, General Grant came down to see after the army
and reviewed our corps, the 13th, and the 19th corps. Late in the
evening, he was thrown from his horse. He struck a curb stone and was
seriously injured.

We lay here until September 12th when we got marching orders for a
general campaign under the command of General Banks. Our army here
consisted of the fragments of the 13th corps, the 18th corps, and the
19th corps.

We got on boats, crossed over to Algiers, and boarded a train at
night. We went to Brasier City which is on the edge of Berwick Bay,
eighty-four miles from New Orleans. This is as far as the road is

The boys had lots of fun on this trip, shooting at alligators in the
railroad ditches. The water was full of them. We almost lived on
crabs and oysters while we stayed at Brasier City. The water we had
to drink at this place was terrible. The boys played several tricks
at this place.

We went to work here and dug wells. We found plenty of water but it
was so brackish that we could hardly drink the coffee that was made
from the salty stuff.

Our pickets stood over across the bay one mile from our army. We had
left our tents at New Orleans, but we had some comfortable shelters
here. They were covered with the leaves of the palm trees which grew
in abundance here.

On the morning of the 25th, our troops were all drawn up in two
lines facing each other. A soldier that belonged to the 1st Missouri
battery was to run the gauntlet. He was drummed out of service with
a dishonorable discharge for stealing from his comrades. One side
of his head and face was shaven. Our sheepskin band ran after him,
playing the “Rogue’s March.” He looked horrible as he passed, with
everyone taunting and kicking him.

That night our officers from Lieutenant to General got on a spree.
They had some kind of a dance, music and singing of camp songs. They
had a heavy guard to keep the file and rank from bothering them. At
ten o’clock they ran out of commissary whisky, and sent a detail back
to the warehouse to get some. The guard that was at the warehouse,
and our string guard decided to have a spree also. We procured
augers, and as the floor was on piling, four feet above the ground,
we went to boring through. The first trial was successful and one
barrel was soon issued. Like a bee getting a taste of honey, the
whole camp came rushing to divide if the guard would let them through.

Several augers were soon working. A German in Company C was standing
on post, when his messmate came running out. He said, “Chris, let
me out!” “I vill, Shon, if you vill divide up mit me,” answered the

John ran to the commissary and seeing the contents of four or five
barrels spilling out, slapped his kettle under and caught it full of
what he supposed to be whisky. He didn’t take time to taste it. The
boys had struck two kinds of “oil” there. Some of it was salt beef or
“red horse” as the boys would call it. It so happened that John got
his kettle full of the salty brine.

When he stopped, he said, “Hurry oup Chris, or dey vill catch us.”
The guard gulped down two or three swallows, threw down the kettle,
and called out “Corporal of de guard--Beat No. 4. Run here queek, I
am seek at mine stomach.”

This put an end to the fun of the night. But there were several drunk
men in the regiment after all. Along in the latter part of the night
all of the officers except one had cooled down and were quiet. That
one’s song I will never forget. It was,

      “Go tell Aunt Nancy, her old gray goose is dead,
      One she has been saving to make her feather bed.”

The 19th corps crossed the bay. Colonel Spicely had taken command in
the absence of Colonel Barter. On the 27th our corps was reviewed by
General E. O. C. Ord. On the 28th we crossed the bay and went into

The next morning we went in wagons on a scouting expedition. While
traveling five miles we saw no dry land. This country was fit for
nothing but raising alligators.

October 3rd we took up our line of March through western Louisiana.
We marched up the bayou thirteen miles. This was on the line laid out
for the Opelousas railroad. This is a beautiful rich country with
rice fields and orange groves, sugar cane and all kinds of tropical
fruits. The water in the bayou was also getting better.

At ten o’clock on the 4th we marched through Centerville, our company
in the rear guard. We went into camp late in the evening near a bayou
in Attakapas Parish. This country is settled up by the French and
Creoles. We found plenty of large yams here and we had all of them to
eat that we wanted.

Our cavalry had a skirmish near this place, capturing a few prisoners
and taking a small gun that threw a four ounce ball. It was a breech
loader and belonged to the 2nd Texas cavalry. It was drawn by two
little mules.

On the 6th, we marched twelve miles and went into camp near the
bayou. This is a nice place, the bayou getting narrower, but very
much deeper. Here General Cameron took command of our brigade. He
was a former colonel of the 34th Indiana. We lay here until the
morning of the 10th. We then began our march early in the day. We
passed though New Iberia, and after a march of twenty miles, we went
into camp on Vermillion Bayou, near Vermillion. This country is a
beautiful rolling prairie.

While at this camp, General E. O. C. Ord issued an order to arm the
citizens, so that they could protect their property from marauders
and thieves. Our boys had no use for such generals. He was removed
from our army shortly after this order was given.

General Banks had a telegraph line built from New Orleans to our
camp, so that he could keep in communication with his army, his
headquarters being at the city of New Orleans.

On the 11th, we had inspection of quarters. We had four hours brigade
drill each day under the direction of General Cameron. On the morning
of the 15th, we received a dispatch stating that the 19th corps
which was in our advance, had struck the rebels in force and had had
skirmishing with them.

At four o’clock that evening we began marching and passed the 19th
corps at midnight. They were in line on the Carron Crow Bayou. We
crossed the bayou and moved out in the advance. At daybreak we
ran into the rebels. We moved out in the timber about a mile and
supported Nims’ battery. The rebs fell back and we went into Camp
Fairview to cook breakfast and make some strong coffee. We had
marched all night and were in need of some stimulant.

We scarcely had time to finish our breakfast, when the rebels made a
dash at us. We had a sharp fight, but they were repulsed. Our cavalry
followed them up. On the night of the 18th, firing was kept up at
intervals by our batteries and outside pickets. On the morning of the
19th, Captain Nims’ battery and the 30th Indiana went to the front on
a scout. They found a strong force five miles out. They exchanged a
few shots with their batteries and returned to camp in the evening.

While here we drew clothing and wool blankets, something that we had
not seen for six months. The nights were now getting cool and they
came in good play. We also had brigade drill that day. On the 20th
General Lee came up with a train of supplies for us, and a force of

On the 21st of October we moved out towards Opelousas. After a march
of a few miles we ran against a force of rebels. We formed our line
of battle and after a good shelling from Nims’ battery, we advanced
on them. They fell back without showing much resistance.

We marched through Opelousas and went into camp at Bear’s Landing on
Bayou Tableaux. Our cavalry had a skirmish with the 2nd Louisiana,
killing five men and capturing several prisoners. We found better
water than we had drunk since we left New Orleans.

On the morning of the 23rd, we built a pontoon. Our cavalry and
forage train crossed over and went out about eight miles. They
captured eleven prisoners and brought back wagons loaded with sweet
potatoes and other forage, besides driving back a bunch of beef

We lay here until the morning of the 29th when we marched back to
Opelousas. Here we met our second brigade commanded by Colonel Slack.
On the morning of the 30th, three companies of our regiment were sent
out on a foraging expedition. We had traveled about three miles when
we met two cavalrymen coming in as fast as their horses could run.
They stopped long enough to report that the rebels were in front of
us in full force. They thought that their company had been taken

By the time that we had moved ahead through a dashing shower of rain
we came up to the grove where the enemy was reported to be. We met
a company of cavalry, which proved to be our own men coming out. We
went on out about eight miles, got our forage, and returned to camp
without the loss of a man.

November 1st, 1863, we went back thirteen miles and went into camp
on Carron Crow Bayou. We left General Burbridge’s brigade at Camp
Fairview, as a rear guard. On the 3d they were attacked by nine
thousand rebels. There was a general engagement. We could see the
smoke rising up out of the timber, and could hear the heavy roar of
the cannon and rattling musketry.

It is hard to describe the fearful thoughts that filled our minds
while we were waiting for the order to go and aid them. But soon it
came, “Move out Twenty-fourth on double quick time.” We had a run of
about four miles before we stopped and formed our lines within eighty
yards of the place where our retreating army was coming out of the
timber. We could not open fire on account of our boys falling back.
Here we were standing right in front, in danger.

Some negro cooks were shaking white rags from a low place into which
they had crawled for protection. Two companies of Texas cavalry
charged round our flank and went flying back to our camp. A section
of Nims’ battery, which we had left at camp, and our sick soon sent
them back about as fast as they went.

One of their number had charged through our lines, making a collision
with our cavalrymen. His horse was killed and his leg was shattered
to the hip. This brave man was a rebel, belonging to the Second Texas
cavalry. I was an eye witness to the amputation of his leg. I never
heard whether or not he recovered.

One man in our company was wounded while we stood here. We got here
just in time to save our wagon train and the rest of Burbridge’s
brigade from being captured. They were falling back rapidly, but were
contending with the rebels to the last. This battle lasted about four
hours. The tide had now turned and we drove the rebs back three or
four miles, and then drew off. We marched back to camp at night.

On the 4th the dead were buried and the wounded cared for. Burbridge
lost five hundred, killed, wounded and taken prisoners. The greater
part of these belonged to the Sixty-seventh Indiana. We were all
drawn back to Vermillion Bayou, where we joined the Nineteenth corps,
commanded by General Franklin.


On the morning of the 6th we could see a heavy body of the rebels
out on the prairie, near our pickets. We then began building rifle
pits on the bank of the bayou. On the 11th we sent a brigade
across to draw the rebels into a fight. Our men drove them back to
Vermillionville, where they were reinforced. They followed our troops
almost in range of our works. We opened up on them with two heavy
batteries and they fell back. They were too smart to be drawn into
a trap. The loss on both sides was slight, as this was simply an
artillery duel.

On the 15th our entire force drew off and marched back seventeen
miles. We went into camp on the shore of Lake Tias. This is a
beautiful pool of water, three miles wide and nine miles long, with
timber all along the edge. We had a strong rear guard all day, as the
rebels were in sight.

On the 16th we marched to New Iberia, five miles distant, and went
into camp. The Confederate army kept pretty well up on our track.
On the 18th a force of them was in sight of our picket line. On the
19th our regiment crossed the bayou and got lumber to build winter

At four o’clock on the morning of November 29th, 1863, we got orders
to fall in line and march out. After a march of an hour we heard the
rattling of musketry. We charged on double quick time. Just as we got
into the fight the rebels surrendered. Our cavalry had surrounded
them and had done the work for them.

We marched eleven officers and one hundred and nine privates into
camp as prisoners of war. Our regiment was formed in hollow square
and was given three cheers. The sound traveled for miles on the still
morning air, and then the echo came back. Thus ended the battle of
Lake Tias.

On the 21st our company was sent out on picket guard. The remainder
of the regiment went out with a foraging train. After they had
traveled about ten miles, they met three hundred mounted rebels, but
they seeing that our boys meant business, pulled off, and gave our
boys the right of way.

When they had loaded our wagon train with forage to its full capacity
the boys returned to camp.

On the 22d our cavalry captured fifty prisoners. They were
not organized in the rebel army, but called themselves “The
Boat-burners.” That day was Thanksgiving and all the officers made

On the 24th we went out with some foraging trains and had a regular
stampede. December 1st, 1863, we heard heavy cannonading at a
distance. Our cavalry and two batteries were having an engagement
with the rebels. They drove the rebels back to Vermillion Bayou, but
there they met the main rebel army and our little force had to draw
off and skip back.

On the 2d our cavalry went to St. Martinsville. They ran into a squad
of home guards who were armed with shot guns. Our men drove them back
and captured several prisoners. On the morning of the 4th we rafted
lumber across the bayou and began building our winter quarters.

On the 7th the Nineteenth corps moved off for Brasier City and left
us. On the 18th we drew a new stand of colors which was presented to
the Twenty-fourth Indiana by Governor O. P. Morton. In the evening we
went out foraging. We returned, both wagons and men loaded down with
as much sugar as they could carry. The boys had just put all of the
kettles to use in making candy when the order came to cook rations
for a hard day’s march on the morrow.

On the 19th we marched twenty-five miles, en route to New Orleans.
We went into camp on the edge of the bayou. On the 20th we marched
seventeen miles and went into camp at Centerville. On the 21st we
marched through Pattersonville. After a distance of twenty miles had
been traveled, we went into camp at Berwick, opposite Brasier City.

On the morning of the 22d we crossed the bay, boarded a train and
reached Algiers at six p. m. We got off of the cars and went into
camp. This was one of the worst camp grounds that we had ever pitched
a tent on. It had been raining almost every day, and the mud was knee
deep all over the camp.

A report was circulated that we were going to cross the gulf, and
just at that time a call was made for veteran volunteers. Two-thirds
of our regiment re-enlisted.

Not over six men in each company were left in camp to do camp duty,
as the boys had taken up quarters in New Orleans.

January 1st, 1864, we were sworn into the veteran corps and “The most
of us drank stone blind, while Johnnie filled up the bowl.” We now
had the times of our lives--those of us who had been spared.

Right here was a change, as we had placed ourselves under obligations
for three years longer, if needed. We lay here in the rain and mud,
no one knew what for.

On the 8th we drew our veteran bounty and our non-veterans were
transferred to the Eleventh Indiana. When we parted with them it was
like parting with brothers, but soon there was something to draw our
attention from this.

It was a thirty day furlough, at home, where we could see our loved
ones, whose loving arms had not clasped us to their tender hearts for
so many long, weary days.

On the 14th we got on board the steamer “J. C. Swan.” We crossed over
to New Orleans, and had quite a time getting all of the rest of the
boys on board. On the morning of the 15th we searched the town over
and gathered them up. We found some in the guard house. Several were
getting somewhat tough, and were having a gay time.

On the morning of the 16th all on board, we pulled out for our homes.
We were happy and in good spirits, for we now thought that we would
see our friends once more.

We passed through Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana. This is a
nice little city, situated on the east bank of the Mississippi river.
On the 17th we passed through Port Hudson and landed at Natchez to
unload some freight.

On the 18th we passed Vicksburg. It still bore the signs and marks
of the terrible struggle during the siege. On the 20th we passed
Lake Providence and Napoleon, and arrived at Helena just at dark. On
the 21st we passed Memphis, and on the 22d we passed Fort Pillow. On
the 23d we ran past Island No. 10 and Columbus. We reached Cairo,
Illinois, at dark. We had been seven days traveling about one
thousand, one hundred miles, but we had had to tie up part of the
time on account of the fog and high winds.

At twelve o’clock that night we boarded a train on the Illinois
Central. We got to Mattoon, Illinois, at four o’clock on the evening
of the 24th. Here we changed cars and took the Big Four railroad for
Indianapolis, Indiana. We reached that city on the morning of the

On the 26th the ladies of Indianapolis gave us a grand reception
and as good a dinner as we had eaten in many a day. This was served
at the Soldiers’ Home. Here we met the Seventeenth and Forty-fourth
Indiana veterans. In the afternoon we all marched down to the State
House, where Governor Morton, General Hovey and other officers gave
addresses. They gave the Indiana veterans much praise and honor.
Three cheers also went up for them.

There was a great time that evening, as many of the boys had friends
who had come there to meet them.

On the morning of the 27th our furloughs were all made out and we
disbanded, going in different directions to our homes, where we
would be free for thirty days. It seemed like we were living in a
new world, as all was joy and happiness. There was rejoicing in many
homes, but there was sorrow and mourning in many more homes, because
of loved ones, who lay beneath the sod on some battle field in Dixie
Land. These would never return to their homes and friends.

I boarded a train on the Indianapolis and Jeffersonville road. I
changed cars at Seymour and ran to Mitchell in Lawrence county. From
there I went on the Monon road to Lancaster. I reached my home on the
29th of January, 1864.

We spent many happy hours in the company of friends and loved ones,
yet some of our boys met with trouble and were killed by their
enemies at home. These were members of the order that were called
“The Knights of the Golden Circle.” Their emblem was a butternut pin.
They supported the cause of the Confederacy.

Ambrose Parish, of Company G, was killed by a man named McCart. Two
of the boys who lived west of Paolia were killed.

Our stay at home soon passed away and on the 29th of February we
all met at Vincennes and reported to the captains of our respective
companies. The boys were all pretty wild. They tore up a printing
press and scattered the type all over the street. The owner skipped
for his life. It was reported that he published a rebel paper, but I
think that he learned a lesson.

We got on board a train and went to Evansville. There we found a
good supper, which had been prepared by the ladies of the town. It
was relished, as we all had good appetites.

On the morning of March 2d, 1864, we drew tents and marched out of
town one and a half miles. We went in camp on the top of a hill near
the coal mine. Almost all of the boys ran off and went back home. The
officers were having a good time and we thought that we would have a
time too. Often there were not enough in camp for a string guard.

On the 9th of March we drew our guns and equipage and began getting
ready for business. At four p. m. we had dress parade for the first
time in many days. On the 17th we marched into town and had a grand
dress parade. This was a sight for some of the citizens, and the most
of them came out to see us perform.

On the 23d we had battalion drill, and in the evening we were called
in line by Major Grill. He took us to the brewery and said, “I am
going to treat my mans if dey vill be good mans and stay in camp mit
me.” We all marched past the beer kegs, cup in hand. Some of the
boys, after drinking their beer, fell back in the rear and marched
past the kegs again, getting another drink, and some got several
cupfuls of the liquor.

After several kegs had been emptied the Major noticed that some had
emptied several cups. He roared out. “Stop dat you mans! You haf done
already had enough.” Some of them certainly had plenty.

After the Major had paid out ten or twelve dollars to treat the boys,
to keep them in camp, about twenty-five of them slipped out that
night and went home.


On the morning of the 25th we were ordered on board the steamer
“Joseph Pierce” and started down the river. We were hailed at Paducah
the next morning. A force of rebels under General Forest had charged
in and set fire to our commissary stores. The town was a cloud of
smoke. They had charged on our fort, which was manned by a few
guards, and the invalids. They were repulsed and had fallen back out
of town, but they had had enough of it and failed to make the second
attack. We lay here until eight o’clock, then ran on down the river.

At Cairo we met some veteran troops on their way home. Among them was
the Eighth Iowa, or Eagle regiment. They were all rejoicing because
of getting to go home. We ran down to Columbus. Here they were making
preparations and looking for Forest’s army, but they did not come.

We ran on down to the mouth of White river in Arkansas. Here a squad
of guerrillas fired into our boat. They killed one man in Company F.
We arrived at New Orleans, April 3d, 1864.

On the 4th we got off of the boat and went into quarters in the First
Louisiana Cotton Press. We were kept in under a heavy guard and the
boys were angry, as they wanted to get out and run at large over the

On the 12th we received a month’s pay. At three p. m. we got marching
orders. We boarded a gulf steamer and went up the river one hundred
twenty miles. We got off at Baton Rouge, and went into camp on the
south side of town.

Here we received news of Banks’ defeat at Sabine Cross Roads. General
Green’s brigade made a charge on our ironclads, but were repulsed
with a heavy loss. While at this camp two men of our regiment were
wounded owing to the carelessness of a recruit while he was cleaning
his gun.

May 2d three regiments and the Fourth Wisconsin cavalry, with the
Black Horse battery, went towards Clinton on a scout. At night we
halted and went into camp. The next morning at eight o’clock we ran
into the enemy, and had a sharp little fight. We drove them back to
Olive Branch Church. Our loss in this fight was two killed and four
wounded. The Major of the Fourth Wisconsin was killed. We reached
camp the 4th. On the morning of the 8th a salute was fired and the
body of the Major of the Fourth Wisconsin cavalry was escorted to the
boat and sent to his home to be buried.

On the 9th quite a skirmish took place on the picket line. On the
21st we drew two months’ pay and one installment of our bounty.

On the 16th of June we were inspected by Major General Sickles. The
weather now was very warm, and our picket duty and drill kept us
busy. We had plenty of watermelons to eat, and if one had the money,
he could buy all of the luxuries of life. Nothing of importance
happened until August 3d, 1864.

At that time a detail of sixteen picked men was sent out five miles
east of camp to guard five hundred acres of cotton that was being
raised by yankees. The government was to get a part of the cotton.
We slipped out after night and about eleven o’clock came to the
negro quarters. Thinking that we were rebels they skipped in all
directions. There were all sorts, sizes and colors of them. They soon
found out their mistake, and came back and cooked for us.

We moved our line down into the edge of the timber, one mile from
quarters. The third evening two spies passed out through our line.
They were dressed in female attire. Soon after the last one passed we
could see some rebel cavalry about three miles distant. We drew off
and had a run for our lives. They overtook us at our cavalry post and
we had a skirmish. Two of our men were killed.

On the 4th we lay in line of battle all night. On the morning of the
7th at four o’clock, we were ordered into line and formed our line
of battle on our picket line. Some of our non-veterans--who had come
back to our regiment--raised a racket, as it was time for them to be
discharged, but they had to face the music. They moved off on a boat
in the afternoon, as they were anxious to get home and did not want
to be killed after they had served out their three years’ faithful

The rebel army was threatening us every day, although several of them
were coming in and taking the oath of allegiance.

On the 15th of August, 1864, our regiment was assigned to the Second
brigade of the Third division, in the Nineteenth corps. On the 16th
at eleven a. m., we struck tents and marched on board the steamer
“Starlight.” We landed at Morganza Bend at seven o’clock. On the
morning of the 14th we ran up the river two miles above the fort.

We got off of the boat and went into camp. We lay here until the
morning of the 21st, when we struck tents and marched down the river
five miles to join our brigade. September 6th, at two a. m., we were
ordered on board the steamer “Chouteau.” We ran down to Bayou Saira,
where one of our boats had been fired into by a rebel battery.

Our force, which consisted of two white regiments and one colored
regiment, got off of the boats early in the morning, and marched out
through St. Francisville. After a rapid march of five miles, we ran
into a rebel camp, but the occupants had all skipped, except four,
which we made prisoners of war. We returned to our boats, and at four
o’clock got back to our camp at Morganza.

On the 12th a salute was fired on account of a victory which had been
gained. It was the surrender of Forts Morgan, Gains and Powell, the
defenses of Mobile. This let us through the pass. Companies B and K
of our regiment were sent on board the ironclad Ozark on duty. We had
almost all of the citizens in this parish protected by safeguards.
The rebels took these men prisoners, and captured their horses. Our
General gave them to understand that if they were not returned that
that parish would be destroyed by fire. They thought that he meant
it, and they came in with a flag of truce and delivered them up. But
we failed to furnish any more guards to guard rebel property.

On the evening of the 16th we marched out to Bayou Atchafayala.
We were in the Second brigade, which numbered two thousand, eight
hundred. Our commander was Colonel Spicely.

A rebel force of three thousand men and nine heavy guns were posted
on the opposite side of the bayou, behind the levee. We charged up at
two o’clock that night and took possession of the levee. The rebels
all along the line opened fire on us. We were running against a solid
sheet of fire, and the air was full of cannister, but we got there
all the same.

We lay here skirmishing all day. The hot sun came down on us and we
had no water or food, but we could not get back until night. At night
we drew off and marched back to camp. We had four men wounded. The
rebel loss was three killed and seven wounded.

On the evening of the 19th another expedition was planned. Some of
us were to go out against the rebels at Atchafayala at night. Our
brigade was chosen to try them again. In addition we took with us two
good batteries. After a rapid march of fourteen miles we came near
the bayou.

At four o’clock in the morning we went to work planting our batteries
and protecting them with redoubts. The two cavalries kept up a
skirmish all day, but we failed to get a reply from the rebels’
batteries. They had disappeared. Our batteries threw shells a mile
into the timber, and our infantry and cavalry began crossing over.

That evening we crossed over in yawls, which were hauled for that
purpose. The cavalrymen swam their horses over. We had no resistance.
We could see a small force of rebels hurrying from behind the levee
when we started to cross. These had been left as guards. The main
armies evacuated their works. They had left four hundred beef cattle,
which fell to our possession. They were guarded by three hundred
rebel cavalrymen, but they skipped out.

We marched up the bayou two and a half miles and captured three
prisoners who had been left out on picket duty. Seeing that the
enemy had all disappeared, we marched back to the place where we had
crossed the bayou. Here we went into camp.

Soon everyone was busy, preparing himself a good square meal, as
almost all of the boys had a good piece of fresh meat. There was
pork, mutton, chicken, goose, or almost any kind of meat that one
could mention. The odor of the fried meat soon filled the air, and
many hungry boys were working hard to satisfy their gnawing appetites.

At night several buildings were set on fire, thus causing a false
alarm. Some of the officers thought that we were going to have a
night attack. One of the fires was a large mill. We fell in line
of battle, but soon found out our mistake. We then went back to
bed, some of the boys swearing because of their night’s rest being

All was well on the morning of the 21st, so we started out on a
foraging expedition. We were soon loaded down with fowl and all kinds
of meat and went back to camp. In the evening we learned that the
rebel force had fallen back about eighteen miles to Yellow Bayou. We
decided to not follow them any farther.

On the morning of the 22d we crossed the bayou, marched one mile,
and went into camp near where the colored troops were building
fortifications. Late in the evening our cavalry, which had been out
on a scout, returned. They had burned and destroyed a great deal of
property, and had captured three prisoners. Several negroes were
following them. These had stuck fire to their quarters, and had
started for the land of freedom.

On the morning of the 23d we began our march back to the bend. We
arrived at camp at five o’clock in the evening. We found Companies
B and K of our regiment in camp. They had been relieved from the

On the 26th of August our regiment escorted General Lawler to Baton
Rouge. We went on the steamer “Laurel Hill.” We got to the city at
noon. We got off of the boat and marched up to our old parading
ground. We were led by our regimental band, one of the best in
the army. Here we stacked arms to await further orders. We were
acquainted with many of the citizens, and were treated very well by
them. At four o’clock we got on board the boat and went back to camp.

October the 1st, 1864, three regiments marched out to Atchafayala. We
found a small force of rebels. After a slight engagement, we drove
them off and returned to camp.

On the morning of the 2d a small force, with Colonel Spicely, went
to St. Francisville. Here they had an engagement with the rebel
general, Scott’s cavalry, and two batteries. They had to fall back
to the gunboats for help. The gunboats shelled them back until our
little force got on the boats and drew off. They then returned to
camp. Our loss was four. The rebel loss was unknown.

On the morning of the 7th, a brigade, with Colonel Spicely in
command, went back to try them again, but Scott was too sharp for us.
He had slipped out and had taken other quarters, unknown to us.

On the morning of the 9th a detail was called out to guard a train
of wagons. They were going after lumber with which to build winter
quarters. We found the lumber at Echo Office, on General Scott’s
plantation, which is near Point Coupee. We loaded the wagons and
returned to camp.

In the evening a body of rebels came into our camp, bearing a flag
of truce. They had come to turn over some arms and horses which they
had captured from our safeguards. The citizens were getting tired of
having so much of their property burned down, in retaliation of their
guerrilla warfare. They also wanted two rebel officers, who had shot
their lieutenant and then had come to our camp for protection.

Late in the evening our troops who had gone out to Atchafayala,
returned to camp. They had had a sharp fight, losing fifteen men
in killed and wounded. The rebel loss was not known, as the bayou
separated the two armies. On the morning of the 10th we got on board
the steamer “Chouteau”. We ran fifty miles up the river, near Fort
Adams. The rebels were trying to swim cattle, which they had driven
from Texas, across the river. They were trying to get them to Lee’s
army. Our gunboats had thrown shell into the herd, killing a great
many of the cattle.

On the morning of the 11th we marched off of the boat and marched out
into a swamp. We lay in ambush all day at this place. After darkness
had set in, we marched back on to the boat. On the morning of the
12th we marched out on track of the rebels. Their herd of cattle had
left a good trail. We went to Black Pass. Here we captured two wagons
and six prisoners. Two of them were officers. We marched back as far
as Swamp Bayou. On the morning of the 13th we returned to the boat.
We were all tired and hungry, for we were out of rations, and nothing
grew in this swampy place, except alligators and snakes.

At three p. m. we got on the boat and started back down the river. We
landed and at ten o’clock we were in our quarters. Here we learned
that some sharp skirmishing had been going on since we left camp.

On the morning of the 18th we sent out a force from the bend
consisting of two batteries, two thousand cavalrymen, and one
thousand, six hundred infantry, to Sims’ Port, on the Atchafayala
Bayou. They ran into the rebel force, drove them back and returned to
camp, on the 20th.

On the 22d a wagon train was sent out after wood. It was guarded by
two companies of the Second New York cavalry. They were surprised
by a small force of rebels and captured. There were also twenty-two
negroes, four of whom were killed. There was a force of our cavalry
at the bend. They pursued the rebels, but did not catch up with them.

On the 23d heavy cannonading was heard from our gunboats on Red
river, and we could see great clouds of smoke. On the 28th a national
salute was fired over news received of a victory gained in the East
by Sheridan’s troops.

In the evening of the 28th a brigade marched out to Atchafayala. They
found no enemy and returned to camp that night. On the 31st a large
detail and a train of wagons went after lumber with which to build
winter quarters.

On the 1st of November all of our brigade except the Twenty-fourth
Indiana, was sent out on an expedition. They ran up the river near
the mouth of White river. On the 7th our regiment, the Twenty-fourth
Indiana, embarked oh the steamer “Ohio Belle,” and ran up the river
fifteen miles to where the gunboat “Ozark” was stationed. We got
off and marched six miles out through the country. This is the most
broken country which we were in while in Louisiana.

We found plenty of women on this trip, but no men. Almost all of the
women claimed to be widows. One old Irish lady gave one of the boys
a good cursing. She said that he was not a genteel Irishman or he
would not be caught in the d---- yankee army. She also said that her
husband was a genteel man and was captain of a company in the Second
Louisiana regiment.

Our officers gave orders for the boys to not take off more geese
and chickens than they could carry. While the old lady was swearing
around the boys soon had her geese, turkeys and chickens divided up
between themselves. The fellow that could run the fastest got the

We started back to the boat loaded down with poultry. It rained on
the way back, making our march very disagreeable. We captured two
prisoners on the return to the boat. We marched at will and were
badly scattered. We got to the boat about sunset. It was a sight to
be remembered to look back and see our straggling boys coming down
the long slope to the river, loaded down with flopping geese and
squalling chickens.

We got on the boat and landed at the bend at ten o’clock that night.
On the 23d two hundred rebel cavalrymen made a dash on our picket
line, half a mile from camp. The colored troops were stationed at
this place. The rebels killed a white lieutenant and six negroes and
left. They also made a dash on the lower part of our picket line.
Here they killed two of our white soldiers and then made their escape
to the rear.

November 27th we had grand review by General Ulman. Nothing more of
importance, except camp duty and drill, occurred until December 11th,
1864, when the captain of gunboat number fifty-three of our Mosquito
Fleet, while the boat was near Hog’s Point, went on shore and was
killed by guerrillas.

We were immediately called upon to fit up an army to go on an
expedition, and scour and destroy all of the country for twenty
miles around that vicinity. The troops that were fitted up were the
Twenty-fourth and Sixty-seventh Indiana, three companies of colored
troops and two companies of cavalry, accompanied by four gunboats. We
were under the command of Colonel W. T. Spicely.

We went twenty-five miles to Hog’s Point, where the cavalry and
colored troops got off and marched down Old river. We went on down
one mile and turned into the mouth of Old river. We went up twenty
miles, near to the place where our cavalry was scouring the country.
We landed and sent large details on shore to confiscate and burn all
of the property in that vicinity.

At four o’clock our entire force got off and marched six miles out
through the country, in the direction of the Cutoff. We set fire to
all of the buildings and captured several horses, mules, and cattle.
Here we went into camp and foraging parties were sent out in all
directions. This was a very rich country and was settled mostly by
the French. The boats were soon loaded to the guard with horses,
hogs, cattle, sugar, molasses, and poultry of every description. We
were learning them a lesson for their sneaking guerrilla warfare.
Taking the life of one of our captains had cost them thousands of

On the morning of the 16th a detail was sent to guard the boats and
the remainder of the force marched through by land to Morganza Bend.
After we had marched fifteen miles, at nine o’clock we got to the
camp. At ten the boats got to the bend and landed.

We almost got into a scrap over the private forage. Colonel Spicely
and the provost marshall had some hard words over the boys’ chickens,
pork, and other private forage which they were bringing to camp.
General, the provost marshall, and his colored guards, marched down
to take possession of our well-supplied boats. While Spicely and the
General were parleying, the boys were getting their forage off of the
boats by the means of skiffs, and several barrels of molasses were
rolled down through the wheel house. Our boys were getting a little
stirred up over the colored provost guards, and we all expected
trouble, but we were mistaken.

We had regimental inspection on the 18th. On the 19th of December the
Twenty-fourth and Sixty-seventh Indiana were consolidated and formed
a battalion. On the 21st several officers of the Sixty-seventh were
mustered out of service and sent home.


December 24th, 1864, we received marching orders. We got on board a
boat and started for Baton Rouge. We arrived there at two o’clock. On
the morning of the 25th we got off of the boat and went into camp on
our old camp ground. We relieved two regiments from guard duty, whose
time had expired, and they started home at two p. m. We had grand
review that day. That was a dry Christmas for us, but we kept up a
little fun just the same.

On the evening of the 29th we received marching orders, struck tents,
and marched on board the “Laurel Hill.” We landed at New Orleans
on the morning of the 30th and reported to General Hulbert. We got
orders to run up to Carrollton. Here we disembarked, marched out one
mile on the Shell Road and pitched our camp.

January 5th, 1865, we drew four months’ pay and one installment of
our bounty. On the 11th we were reviewed by Lieutenant Colonel Smith
at two p. m. We received orders and marched to Kennerville on the
19th. We went into camp and had such bad rainy weather that we had to
wade around camp in mud that was knee deep.

On the 24th we received marching orders. Every one rejoiced because
we were all tired of that mud hole. At four p. m. we marched on board
the steamship “Corinthian,” which was bound for Pensacola, Florida.
On the morning of the 25th we ran to the gulf, the distance being one
hundred miles. As we pulled out of the mouth of the river the waves
were rolling a great deal, and several of our boys got very sick and
almost threw up their socks. After we had sailed an hour, the water
became smooth and we glided along very nicely.

We ran in sight of our gunboat fleet which was anchored at the mouth
of Mobile Bay. At ten p. m. we cast anchor in Pensacola Bay, near
Fort Pickens, Florida.

The morning of the 26th brought to view some grand sights in that
mild tropical climate that were new to us. There stood two large
forts. Fort Pickens and Fort Barancas with their monstrous guns
pointing out through many embrasures. There also stood the lighthouse
towering up two hundred eighty-four feet above sea level.

We hoisted anchor and ran over to the wharf. We got off of the
vessel, marched out eight miles, and went into camp near Fort
Redoubt, which is below the city of Pensacola, Florida. This was a
beautiful, sandy shore beach covered with a pine forest.

At eight o’clock the left wing of our battalion came in on the ship
“St. Mary.” On the morning of the 27th the balance of our brigade,
commanded by General Andrews, came in, and we all moved out one mile
and went into camp.

All of the regiments were lined up in camp, making a fine show of
camp life. Each company went to work and ornamented their quarters
with evergreen and white and yellow sand, writing numbers and names
in the white sand with the yellow sand. This was the most magnificent
camp that I ever saw. There were pictures of animals, birds, and all
kinds of flowers in front of our tents.

We lay here until February 11, 1865, with nothing to do except to
have battalion drill four hours each day. The remainder of the time
we put in by wading out in the bay and carrying out shoulder loads of
oysters. We were having a good time then, but we did not know when
the storm would come, although we did know that come it would.

We had protracted meeting and several marched down in the bay and
were baptized.

On the 12th we had grand review by General Granger. We had no more
drill after the 16th. One day a salute of eleven shots was fired over
the arrival of General Asboth.

On the 17th and 18th we had target shooting, and in the evening
Generals Asboth and Andrews came over to see the Twenty-fourth
Indiana perform on dress parade. On the 29th a brigade came in and we
sent our baggage and camp equipage over to Fort Pickens. This fort
mounted two hundred eighty heavy pivot guns. This is the place where
Major Brown held against General Bragg’s army at the commencement of
the war. I was in the lookout, two hundred eighty feet above the sea
level. One can see for miles over that vast blue water. Two ships
came in with a battery on each vessel.

March 8th we received marching orders, but lay here until the morning
of the 11th. At six o’clock we marched out through the peninsula, and
after traveling twelve miles came to the town of Pensacola. This had
the appearance of a nice city, but fire had consumed the most of the

At four o’clock we moved out near Jackson’s old fortifications and
went into camp. This is the place from where General Jackson marched
his troops to New Orleans and whipped General Packenham, in the year

On the 15th we had our camp in good shape again, and we had dress
parade in the evening. Fifty rebel cavalrymen made a dash on our
cavalry outpost and drove them back. General Andrews happened to be
out in the advance and they made him cut dirt to get back to our main

On the fifth we drew five days’ rations and began marching at six
o’clock. On the morning of the 20th five thousand cavalrymen came
from Barancas. They passed us and took the advance. We marched in the
direction of Pollard on the Mobile and Atlanta railroad. The country
was low and swampy, covered with a pine forest. We had a time getting
our train and batteries through. Many of them mired down and had to
be pulled out by hand.

After a march of twelve miles, tired and worn out, we went into camp.
That night we could hear the roar of the cannon at Fort Spanish, near
Mobile. A heavy rain poured down all night, and it was still raining
the next morning. We marched out five miles and went into camp, as
all of our wagon trains and batteries had been left in the rear mired
down. Some of them were almost out of sight in the mud. A heavy
detail was sent back to build corduroy roads and bring them up.

Our pioneer corps was at work in front, constructing a bridge across
a bayou. Several of the boys in different regiments were killed by
falling trees while they were cutting trees with which to build the
roads. In some places the logs laid three tiers deep to hold our
batteries out of the mire.

At two p. m. on the 22d the rain ceased falling, and the weather
became clear. Here two regiments of cavalry and two brigades of
colored troops passed us on their way to the front.

We began marching at ten o’clock on the morning of the 23d. After a
distance of twelve miles had been marched, we went into camp. Here
our cavalry had run into a small force of rebels. They had quite a
skirmish, but drove the rebs back. We lay in camp on the 24th waiting
for a bridge to be built so that we could cross Piney Barren. At six
o’clock we crossed over, moved out two miles and went into camp.

On the morning of the 25th at seven o’clock we began our march.
After a march of two hours we ran into a rebel force of about four
thousand, commanded by General Clayton. Our cavalry and mounted
infantry charged them, and after forty minutes’ hard fighting, the
rebel force fell back. They were all mounted troops. We followed
them, and our advance kept up a continual skirmish until three
o’clock. The rebels then formed in line of battle and made a stand.
Our cavalry made a grand charge. We came up as a support. The rebels,
seeing that we meant business, fell back and were soon on full
retreat, across the Escanby river. They set the bridge on fire and
tried to make a stand, but Nims’ battery made it too hot for them and
they soon fell back. Some in our cavalry were drowned in trying to
cross the river after them.

We captured one hundred, forty-two prisoners. Their loss in killed
and wounded was twenty, ours fifteen. Their general was wounded in
the first charge.

At four thirty p. m. we went into camp on the advance line. We were
all very tired, as we had driven the rebels eighteen miles that day.
On the 25th our brigade crossed the railroad bridge. We had to march
single file and it took some time to cross, but after two hours had
elapsed we were all across and standing on Alabama soil.

We began marching at eight o’clock, and in a few hours we came to the
little town of Pollard. A few straggling rebels were in town, but
they did not stay to see what we wanted. A great deal of tobacco was
captured at this place, and the depot and several warehouses were set
on fire, making quite an excitement.

The women in this place came out by scores to see the yankee army.
They were surprised, and some of them said, “Youalls is the best
lookin’ set of men that weuns ever seen. Mr. Davis told weuns that
youalls wore little red coats and had horns like cattle.”

This was the most ignorant set of girls that we had met in the
southern Confederacy. All of them chewed and smoked tobacco. Each one
had a reticule, filled with tobacco, hanging on her arm. They were
dressed in home-spun dresses and were barefooted. Our boys had more
than a little fun out of them. Quite a number of grown girls started
to follow us off, and our major had to drive them back. Enlightened
America, where was the ignorance of these good people hedged in at,
at this late date of our civilized government?

After the depot had been burned and a mile of railroad track torn up
and burned we moved out two miles and went into camp. We were all
tired after our march of fourteen miles.

On the 27th a detachment of cavalry, which had gone by the way of
Evergreen Station, came into camp and reported. They had captured one
hundred forty prisoners and two trains loaded with tobacco. This they
burned. We began marching at twelve o’clock, our regiment detailed as
train guard. After a fourteen mile march in the direction of Mobile
we went into camp.

At one o’clock on the morning of the 28th heavy details were sent out
to build corduroy roads. We were out of rations and had to move on.
We went into camp, nine miles farther on. The cavalry and colored
troops passed us on the way to the front. The Ninety-seventh Illinois
lost one man by a tree falling on him.

We began marching at six o’clock. Our regiment was building roads. It
began raining, making the roads terrible. We marched only nine miles
and went into camp at six p. m. We were tired and very hungry, as we
were out of rations. On the morning of the 30th we began marching at
seven o’clock. We reached better roads after a half day’s march. We
went into camp at seven o’clock. One company of cavalry was sent out
to the Alabama river. They captured twelve prisoners and returned.

On the morning of the 31st, at six o’clock, we marched out over a
very rough, broken country. At half past five we crossed the Tennsas
river and went into camp. We were very tired, as we had marched
almost twenty miles with but little to eat.

April 1st, 1865, we marched at eleven a. m. We traveled six miles and
halted. We tore up the railroad track quite a distance. We could hear
heavy cannonading in front. We completed our work and marched on. We
went into camp at seven p. m. Our cavalry captured eighty prisoners
and a stand of colors belonging to the Forty-sixth Mississippi. Here
we drew quarter rations.


On the morning of April 2d, 1865, we heard heavy cannonading in
front. We began marching at eleven o’clock, and when we had gone six
miles we came in range of the enemy’s heavy batteries and ironclad
gunboats, which lay at Tennsas Bay. We advanced at two p. m., under
a heavy rain of shot and shell. We moved up and formed in line of
battle with a loss of one man in Company E killed.

We now formed our lines around Fort Blakely, one of the strong
defenses of Mobile. Our troops were stationed under a heavy artillery
fire from forts and gunboats, on the lines as follows: Our colored
division was placed on the right (several of them were going to the
rear with bloody heads) next to the bay; our division commanded by C.
C. Andrews, came in next on the line; and Osterhos, Carr, and Veach
were to our left.

We were furnished with shovels and soon went down into the earth like
moles. The laziest man that lives will work under circumstances like
these. The rebel forts mounted some very large Brooks rifles, which
threw thirty-two to one hundred eighty-four pound shots. They also
had three ironclad gunboats.

Our force, which was commanded by General Granger, was at Fort
Spanish, seven miles to our left. There had been fighting there for
several days. We could hear our fleet bombarding at night. The jar
from the heavy guns almost shook the ground. But we also had plenty
here to draw our attention.

April 3d, 1865, we strengthened our earthworks all along the line.
Our artillery was not in position yet, but our sharpshooters kept up
a lively racket. A continual roar was still kept up by our gunboats
and heavy guns at Fort Spanish. Colonel Spicely and three out of our
regiment were wounded that day. This was the first time since we had
left Pensacola that we drew full rations.

On the 4th we heard heavy fighting at Fort Spanish. Our land forces
were making it hot for them and charging was going on. We could hear
them cheering all around their lines.

On the 5th there was sharp fighting all along our lines. Two men
were killed and one wounded in our regiment. We tried to advance our
rifle pits. At night our company moved forward one hundred yards to
establish a new line.

On the morning of the 6th our batteries being in position, opened on
the rebels. They did not reply for some time, but when they did let
loose it was a sight. The air was full of iron and one could see the
dirt and limbs of trees flying in all directions. There was a solid
crash and roar from the big guns on the rebel forts.

On the 7th, at four a. m., our company took position in the advance
pits. We were advancing our works well. I was one of the three
vedettes who were stationed in the extreme advance, two hundred yards
from the fort and eighty yards from the rebel sharpshooters. During
the day five bullets cut the sod above the loop hole through which
we were shooting, but we escaped their deadly message. After dark we
crawled out and advanced fifty yards and established other pits. But
we discovered just now that we were running into a nest of torpedoes,
and they were dangerous things to dig around.

We were relieved at nine p. m. At twelve our artillery opened all
along the line, and the rebels soon replied. The two artilleries had
quite a duel.

On the morning of the 8th there was a general engagement all around
the line. Some heavy shells which were thrown by the rebels’ gunboat
fell in the rear of our rifle pits. They went ten feet into the
ground and exploded, throwing up a cloud of dust and leaving quite
a hole in the ground. We had a simple recruit in our company by the
name of Murray. He jumped out of our pit and stepped up to the edge
of the hole.

Captain Taylor called out, “Murray, get down from there! You will get
your fool head blowed off.”

He answered. “Guess not. Captain; they can’t hit that hole again.”

But several more shots were put in too close to feel comfortable.

Four of our thirty-two pound Parrot guns, manned by the Twenty-first
Indiana, had an hour’s engagement with two rebel gunboats. One of
the boats was disabled and drew off down the bay. The other one took
warning and did not stay long. Our regiment began digging quarters
pits and received marching orders to go to Fort Spanish, but they
were countered. We then lay in the pits all night and supported the

An assault was made on Fort Spanish at six o’clock in the
evening. A desperate struggle, which lasted four hours, followed.
General Granger’s brave boys then charged over the rebels’ strong
fortifications and captured seven hundred prisoners and one hundred
heavy guns. This put a damper on the rebel army at Blakely.

April 9th, 1865, everything was quiet in the fort. Some rumors were
going that the rebels were evacuating the fort. At three o’clock all
of us fell in line and moved into our advance rifle pit. The colored
troops made a charge on our right, and the rebels opened concentrated
fire on them. They were repulsed with heavy slaughter. They fell
back to a deep hollow and were not able to make a second attack.

Our skirmish line was ordered to charge all along our lines at five
o’clock. We had to go two hundred fifty yards, through three picket
fences and over hundreds of torpedoes, to gain their main forts.
I was on the skirmish line, and looking back, I saw our entire
force coming, everyone trying to get across that field of death and

At first many brave comrades planted their colors on the rebel
fortifications, to pitch over into the rifle pits, with a bullet
crashing through their heads. Scores were blown out of existence by
torpedoes. The air was full of cannister and minnie balls, but the
work was short and decisive. As soon as the rebels found out that
nothing would stop our determined assault they hoisted up white flags
all along the line. But it was not before they were covered with the
blood of brave boys who were shot and had fallen over into the pits
on them.

This charge had lasted about fifty minutes. The rebel troops in front
of the colored troops surrendered to our division, for they knew that
the negroes would not show them any quarters, as they came up with
the shout of “Fort Pillow,” and they continued to shoot at the rebels
even after they raised the white flags.

The loss in our division was four hundred killed and wounded. The
loss in our regiment was fifteen. Captain Merchant of Company G fell
dead on the field. Colonel Spicely’s horse was blown up by a torpedo.

We captured four thousand prisoners and one hundred heavy Brooks’
cannon. Three thousand of the rebel troops had made their escape
on trees felled across the swamp to the Sand Battery. It was about
sunset when we got into the fort.

Three rebel ironclads were lying out in the bay, awaiting a barge
load of marines who had been in the rifle pits. George Williamson,
of our company, wheeled a little brass gun into position and fired a
shell over the marines. It bursted forty feet too high, but it had
the effect all the same. They came back to shore faster than they had
gone out, with white flags fluttering in the air. The gunboats moved
on down the bay towards the sand batteries.

Our regiment moved down and took charge of the commissaries, which
were well supplied. Two old messmates, Clark and Tolliver and I saw
the upper room lighted up. We went upstairs, and it proved to be the
officers’ dining room. A colonel, for supper.

The table was the best supplied one that we had seen for months.
There was chicken and other good things too numerous to mention.

Clark called out, “Hello, rebs! Thanks for your good supper. We are
in need of something of that sort after a hard day’s work. Get out of

They pleaded for more time but had to be contented to go with a
piece in hand. Two of our soldiers came in and wanted the honor of
capturing some officers. We turned the officers over to them and took
our places at the table. We enjoyed as good a meal as we had eaten
for months.

As I passed out and downstairs, I picked up a caddy of old Virginia
tobacco to divide up with the boys at a dollar a plug.

The Sixteenth corps charged on our left. Their loss was not as heavy
as ours. Several of them were blown up by torpedoes at night. On the
morning of the 10th we marched out to where our quarters were on the
line. We passed over that ragged battle field, and a rebel major and
a squad of prisoners were raising torpedoes. They were as thick as
pumpkins on new ground. They exploded several by means of a battery.
There were long rows of them which were fastened together by wires.

Heavy bombarding was going at the sand batteries, which is about half
way between Forts Blakely and Spanish. On the 11th we had general
inspection. Heavy clouds of smoke were seen in the direction of
Mobile. Much was going on at that place. The rebels evacuated the
sand batteries and Mobile at eleven a. m., leaving all of their heavy
guns and monitors of war in our possession.

We received marching orders at five p. m. and marched all night.
After traveling a distance of thirteen miles we reached the landing
below Fort Spanish. All was quiet now, except the cheering that went
on over our great victories. Our recruiting officers returned and
we got the news that Richmond had fallen into our possession April
2d, 1865, and the Stars and Stripes now waved over the southern

We lay here until the 14th of April, when we marched back to Blakely.
On our way back we met some prisoners whom we had taken at Blakely.
We went into camp inside the fort at two o’clock. On the evening
of the 15th we had general inspection. Heavy details were at work,
getting up all of the artillery and small arms which we had captured.

Sunday, the 16th, church was held throughout our entire army, and
many prayers went up to God for his kindness in saving so many of our
lives through the past butchery and hell.

On the 17th a national salute was fired over the success of our
armies in the surrender of Forts Spanish, Blakely, Tracy, and Huger,
which placed Mobile in our possession. We had also received the
news of General Lee’s surrender. He surrendered to General Grant,
April 9th, 1865 (the same time at which we captured Fort Blakely) at
Appomattox Court House, in Virginia.

On the 19th one of our boys in Company G stepped on a torpedo, just
outside of camp, and was blown up in the air fifteen feet. One leg
was blown off, his ribs mashed in, and one arm shattered to the

On the morning of the 20th we marched on board a boat and ran six
miles down the bay to Mobile. We saw several torpedoes explode in the
bay, throwing the water fifty feet high. We had several torpedo rakes
at work knocking them off. The “St. Mary” had been blown up at the
mouth of the pass which is known as Grant’s Pass. These monsters of
destruction were planted all over the bay.

Our department was commanded by General E. S. Canby. The surrender of
the defenses around Mobile were the last hard battles of the great
Civil war.

On the evening of the 21st we went up above the city and anchored in
the mouth of the Mobile river. At this place we first heard the news
of the assassination of our beloved president, Abraham Lincoln. His
life was taken by John Wilkes Booth, at Ford’s theater, on the night
of April 14th, 1865. This sad news put a damper over our army. Our
flags were all dropped to half-mast, and many of the boys shed tears
and were mourning. These same boys had shouted themselves hoarse a
few days before over our great victories, which aided in putting down
the rebellion, for we well knew that peace was near at hand. The
chief cornerstone of our American government had now been stilled for
all time by the hands of a wicked assassin.

Two of our gunboats and thirteen transports, loaded with troops,
had gathered at this place. On the morning of the 22d we pulled up
the river to the mouth of the Tombigbee river, to await the arrival
of the remainder of our fleet. Here we found one of our gunboats,
lying on guard duty. During the day several flat boats loaded with
citizens passed us on the way back to Mobile.

On the morning of the 23d we hoisted anchor and ran on up the Alabama
river to Chocktaw Bluffs, which was sixty miles away. The rebels had
had this place fortified, but had gone, leaving two heavy guns on the

On the morning of the 24th we started on up the river and landed at
Clayburn, sixty miles distant, at four p. m. We found some of our
cavalry here, who had been left as safeguards. Three heavy guns had
been planted at this place. We landed and the boys soon brought in
plenty of pork and chickens for supper.

On the morning of the 25th we moved on up the river at six a. m.
After we had gone seventy miles we anchored at nine o’clock. This
is a beautiful country and has very large plantations. The colored
troops got off of the boats here and marched through by land.

On the 26th we ran along by the side of the “Mustang” and drew
rations, as this was a commissary boat. We passed Mattee’s landing at
nine o’clock and Prairie Bluff at ten. We captured a flat boat, which
was loaded with rebel supplies, and was trying to get away from our
cavalry. Our advance boat was fired into by a squad of guerrillas and
one man was killed. We landed, got off of the boats and found where
their horses had just been fed, but now they were fleeing for safer
quarters. We burned all of the buildings on several plantations.

We got on the boats and moved on up the river. Many dead rebel
soldiers and horses floated past us during the day. They had been
drowned at the time of Wilson’s raid. We landed at ten o’clock at

On the morning of the 27th we passed Cahawba, where we took three
of our men from the rebels, who they had made prisoners. Some of
the citizens of this place cheered our brave boys while they played
national airs. We landed at Selma at two o’clock. We went into camp
on the river bank opposite the town. This is a beautiful little town,
situated on the bank of the Alabama river. The surrounding country is
also very beautiful.

The boys went out and soon returned with plenty of good things to
eat. We lay here until the morning of the 28th. We then broke camp,
crossed the river and marched through the town. We went into camp
near the rebel fortifications, which General Wilson’s cavalry had
charged and captured a few days before. They had blown up the arsenal
and burned many stores. They then continued on their raid, and went
in the direction of Montgomery, the capital of the state. This was
called Wilson’s Raid.

There had been strong fortifications around this arsenal, as we could
see. Many heavy guns and hundreds of pounds of ammunition had been
turned out of this arsenal. Many of the citizens were now coming in
and taking the oath of allegiance to our government.

April 29th we sent a force out on a scout to look for rebels. They
found several paroled prisoners whom Wilson had captured. April
30th we were mustered for eight months’ pay. In the evening a small
force of rebels came in bearing a flag of truce. They were bringing
provisions to their sick and wounded in the hospitals here. We were
busy all day cleaning and straightening up our quarters.

May 3d, 1865, a general order was read at dress parade. It was as
follows: “There will be a cessation of hostilities until further
orders, by order of General E. S. Canby, commander of the Department
of the Gulf, and there will be forty-eight hours’ notice given before
going into hostilities again.”

On the 5th of May an official report said: “There will be no more
fighting done east of the Mississippi.” That day cheering and music
were kept up throughout our camps.

Dick Taylor had surrendered the last armed force east of the
Mississippi to General E. S. Canby at Demopolis on the Tombigbee
river. On the morning of the 6th a train of cars came in from
Demopolis. This was the first train that we had seen for a long time.
After this two trains ran each day.

On the morning of the 7th the prisoners who had been captured at
Blakely came into camp and we gave them a good, square meal. They
started on their way home, rejoicing. They claimed that we treated
them better than the old southern planters, in dividing rations.

General Kirby Smith, with his command, skipped out for Mexico to join
the French army, which was at war with Mexico. May 8th we had grand
review by General C. C. Armstrong, the commander of our division.


On the morning of May 11th, 1865, we received marching orders and
at seven a. m. we marched down to the river. We boarded the “Joab
Lawrence” and started down the river. On the morning of the 12th we
met several transports going after the remainder of our brigade.

On the morning of the 13th we landed at the city of Mobile. We
marched out three miles, near the Mobile and Atlanta railroad. On the
15th we drew six months’ pay and one installment of bounty. May 18th
we received an official report of the capture of Jeff Davis.

On the 25th one of the greatest explosions of the war took place in
Mobile. One hundred tons of loose powder and all of the fixed shell
and ammunition that had been turned over to the government was stored
in the warehouses at the wharf. The colored troops were there on
guard duty, but no one was left to tell how it was set off.

The explosion shook the ground for several miles. The loss was
terrible. One thousand, two hundred people were killed and wounded.
The most of them were colored troops and citizens. Several large
boats, loaded with ammunition, went up with the explosion, or were
set on fire and went down.

The buildings in eight blocks were leveled to the ground, and windows
were jarred out for several blocks back in the city. The loss was
estimated at five million dollars’ damage. Many of the dead and
wounded were covered up in the ruins and burned. The fire lasted
for three days, burning the wreck. It could not be extinguished on
account of the bursting shells. They made a sound like the raging of
a continuous battle. Several were killed with pieces of the shells
while trying to put out the fire.

On the morning of the 27th we marched into the edge of town. We went
into camp and relieved the Third brigade. They were mustered out of
service and sent home. June 3d we were reviewed by Chief Justice
Chase. On the 4th we marched on grand parade down to the city park.
We went through the manual of arms and got the praise of making a
splendid show-off. Our battalion was small and well drilled.

Our camp duty was cut down to two hours and dress parade at six p. m.
each day.

On the evening of the 18th, while we were on dress parade, a thunder
storm came up and just as we reached our quarters lightning struck
one of the pine trees in our camp. William Edwards, of our company,
was instantly killed. Some of the other boys were badly shocked.
There were also some boys in an Iowa regiment who were killed. They
were a mile from where we were in camp.

On the 22d the leader of our band, Alec Owens, returned to the
regiment with a new set of silver instruments which he had purchased
for the sum of seven hundred dollars. Company A had donated five
hundred dollars on them, and we never regretted our gift. We were
well paid with the music of those sweet-toned instruments.

On the 25th we received marching orders, struck tents, and moved
down to the landing. The boys had some fun out of the citizens just
as we marched out of camp. There was quite an explosion from a small
cannon, which our boys had loaded and covered with old clothes. A
fuse was left burning. Several of the citizens had gathered in and
were picking out the best of the goods, when the pile was thrown high
in the air. They did not stop to find out the cause, but it had its
effect, and every one called out, “More torpedoes.”

We got on board the “Alice Vivian.” We ran down near Fort Gaines and
ran alongside of the steamship “Hudson” and boarded it. We ran out
between Forts Morgan and Gaines into the Gulf. On the evening of the
27th we passed in sight of the light house at Ship Shoals. On the
morning of the 28th the wind blew a gale and the sea became very
rough. Several of us were thinking about Jonah and the whale.

On the morning of the 29th we came up with our fleet and anchored
near Galveston Bay. The sea continued to be rough and we could not
land on account of the sand bars between the Gulf and the Bay. On the
evening of the 30th, the water being smooth, three companies of our
regiment got on a small schooner and ran into the bay. We landed at
the wharf and got off and lay here all night. It seemed as though we
were in motion all the time. The remainder of our regiment came in
July 1st and we all marched through the city of Galveston, Texas. We
went into camp on a beautiful sandy beach.

On the 2nd we had inspection of arms and dress parade at six p. m.
On the morning of the 4th we marched through the city and all of
the troops at this place met at the public square, where a national
salute was fired. Speeches were made and prayers offered for the
glory of our nation. We marched to camp by moonlight, our band
playing the solemn tune, “Loved Ones at Home.”

On the 9th of July, our left wing, the old 67th Indiana, was mustered
out of service and started home. Colonel Spicely, who had been
temporarily commanding our brigade, went with them. He had well
earned his star but he failed to get it. On the night of the 20th
the officers all got on a big booze. We escorted Colonel Spicely and
the 67th through town, put them on the ship, and started them home on
the 21st of July, 1865.

Our battalion was now small. Almost half of them were on permanent
guard duty and the remainder were doing patrol duty. On the 27th we
moved our camp a short distance to clean up, as our family was now
small. We were the only troops left to keep order and patrol the town.

Our battalion was now commanded by Captain Pollard of Company K.
Nothing of importance now happened except guard mounting guard and
dress parade. On the 28th we moved our quarters up to the east end
of town, near the college and Catholic nunnery. Some of the boys had
a good time trysting with the nuns at the fence. Others of the boys
made good money by digging down fortifications and opening up the
streets. We got all of the water that we used at the nunnery well.

October 1st we received a large amount of mail. There were many
greetings and promises in those letters. We also received general
orders to be mustered out of service, on the 27th of October, 1865.

November the 1st, our officers were all busy making out our pay rolls
and discharge papers. The 48th Ohio relieved us from guard duty on
the 4th and we turned over all of our camp equipage on the 14th.

The boys who wished to remain at that place were mustered out of
service and started for New Orleans to get their pay and settle up
with Uncle Sam. They left on the 15th. Several of them had gotten
into trouble with the Golden Circle or Butternut organization, while
at home on their furloughs and they did not wish to go back to

On the 16th of November, 1865, the remainder of our battalion was
mustered out of the U. S. service.


On the 17th, we marched down to the wharf, embarked on the Steamship
“J. W. Everman,” to start down the home stretch. We took on six
hundred barrels of coal and at one p. m. we ran out of the bay. While
getting on board, one of our boys fell overboard. A Dutch teamster,
by the name of Oose Yager, pitched a rope to him, and he was lucky
enough to get hold of the end of it and Oose hauled away at it, in
the meantime bawling out, “Hold to the wope! Hold to the wope!” This
afterwards became a by-word. The poor fellow who fell overboard was
saved from the sharks, as many of them were swimming around the ship.

The water was as smooth as glass and as blue as the sky, not a
riffle was to be seen. Many huge sharks were keeping pace with the
vessel. The sea gulls would light on the masts and flap their wings
and chirp. All of the boys were filled with joy at the prospect of
getting to see the loved ones at home once more. Some of them were
feeling good from turning up their canteens too often. The sailors
laughed and said, “You will change your tune before going to bed, for
the darkest hours of life they say, come just before the brightest

At six p. m. we saw a small black cloud which looked as if it were on
top of the water. It soon seemed like mountains of snow were rolling
toward us. The waves rolled fifty feet high. When they struck the
vessel, the rudder came unshipped and we logged along, once more at
the mercy of God.

The sailors went up to clear the deck, but some of our drinking boys,
who were on deck drove them down and swore that they were running
that craft and were going home. One could hear them yell, “Hold to
the wope.” But it was a different scene down in the hull. Some were
trying to pray and others were too sick to do anything but roll from
one side of the vessel to the other and vomit.

That horrible night will never be forgotten by some of the boys of
the old 24th Indiana. The morning of the 18th came and found our
little wrecked vessel still wallowing in the foamy billows of that
stormy deep. The storm had abated just a little. We knew not how far
we had been carried from our course by the storm and the compass
was out of order. The captain of the vessel had to do something, so
he set the reef sails, got up steam, and pulled out to find land

On the 19th the sea was calmer, but no land was to be seen. The
morning of the 20th found us anchored in sight of Powder Horn, at the
mouth of Matagorda Bay. This was not many miles from Indianola, one
hundred ten miles from Galveston, after we had been tossed about by
the storm, five or six hundred miles.

At seven a. m. the steamer “Clinton,” on her way to Indianola, came
in sight. We fired several shots from a cannon and hoisted a flag of
distress. She came back in the evening, took our ship in tow, and
pulled us back to Galveston Bay. On the morning of the 21st we were
cut loose from the “Clinton” and towed in to the wharf by the tug
“Eliza Hancox.”

We felt somewhat calmed down after being tossed about for five days
on one day’s rations. We drew rations and on the morning of the 22nd,
we were towed out into the gulf by the “Eliza Hancox.” At two p. m.
the “Clinton” hitched on and we started for New Orleans again.

On the 23rd we ran in sight of Sabine Pass. At four o’clock on the
morning of the 24th, we ran into the mouth of the South-west Pass.
Here the “Clinton” lashed on to the side of our boat and we pulled
on up the river. A little accident occurred which drew the attention
of many of our boys. Some one in the regiment was taking a little
Mexican dog home. The poor little fellow fell overboard, and trying
to rescue him caused quite an excitement. A monstrous alligator,
sixteen feet long, appeared on the scene. The dog gave one yelp, made
one bite, and disappeared. Several shots were fired at the alligator
but none took effect. The boys were left to mourn the loss of their
little dog. We had only two pets in the regiment, a bear and a dog.

We ran past Fort Jackson at ten p. m. On the morning of the 25th, we
landed at Greenville Station, above New Orleans. We got off of the
good ship which had carried us safely across so many miles of stormy

On the 26th we got on board the “Elnora Carol” and started up
the river. We ran past Morganza Bend and on the 28th we landed
at Vicksburg. On the morning of the 30th, we ran past Helena and
past Memphis some time in the night. We landed at Cairo, Illinois,
December 2, 1865. We had traveled one thousand six hundred and two
miles in ten days, after the time when we had been reported lost.
Many of our friends at home never expected to meet us again.

We got off of the boat and marched out through the town to the
Soldiers’ Home. Here we were served with a splendid supper of coffee,
beans and bacon, and were given good quarters to sleep in.

On the morning of the 3rd, we marched to the depot, boarded the
train and ran to Mattoon, Illinois. At ten o’clock, we changed cars
and went on the Big Four to Terre Haute, Indiana. We arrived at
Indianapolis at seven p. m., December 4, 1865. We got off and marched
to the Soldiers’ Home.

On the 5th we signed up the pay rolls. On the 6th of December, 1865,
we were payed off in full and disbanded. The rain poured down all
evening. Each comrade hunted for the nearest road and quickest route
that would take him home to the loved ones that he had not seen for
many long weary days.

The 24th Indiana traveled through eleven states and made a distance
of thirteen thousand six hundred and seven miles in four years, four
months and twenty-seven days. The average was eight and a half miles
per day.

There were many of us who never met again, but we will ever stand in
Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty, at Home, Sweet Home.

Names of states the 24th Indiana traveled through: Indiana, Illinois,
Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana,
Florida, Alabama and Texas.

                 [Illustration: (Publisher colophon)]


  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  For consistency, several instances of A. M. and P. M. have been
  changed to a. m. and p. m.

  Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text,
  and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained.

  Frontmatter: ‘BATTLE OF SHILO’ replaced by ‘BATTLE OF SHILOH’.
  Frontmatter: two instances of ‘Vicksburgh, Miss.’ replaced by
               ‘Vicksburg, Miss.’.
  Pg 16: ‘Endfield rifles’ replaced by ‘Enfield rifles’.
  Pg 17: ‘back aver the’ replaced by ‘back over the’.
  Pg 20: ‘which Colenel’ replaced by ‘which Colonel’.
  Pg 21: ‘to the carrall’ replaced by ‘to the corral’.
  Pg 32: ‘On the moning’ replaced by ‘On the morning’.
  Pg 35: ‘Still we splunged’ replaced by ‘Still we plunged’.
  Pg 36: ‘Bureguard had been’ replaced by ‘Beauregard had been’.
  Pg 37: ‘Buregard and Johnson’ replaced by ‘Beauregard and Johnson’.
  Pg 38: ‘while our bunboats’ replaced by ‘while our gunboats’.
  Pg 38: ‘the Tennessee anl’ replaced by ‘the Tennessee and’.
  Pg 40: ‘great victroy’ replaced by ‘great victory’.
  Pg 41: ‘Th birds warbled’ replaced by ‘The birds warbled’.
  Pg 42: ‘Bureguard and Bragg’ replaced by ‘Beauregard and Bragg’.
  Pg 49: ‘a thimblefull of’ replaced by ‘a thimbleful of’.
  Pg 49: ‘enough wiskey to’ replaced by ‘enough whiskey to’.
  Pg 53: ‘our seige guns’ replaced by ‘our siege guns’.
  Pg 55: ‘A 8’ replaced by ‘At 8’.
  Pg 61: ‘Sheman had taken’ replaced by ‘Sherman had taken’.
  Pg 90: ‘at the ctiy’ replaced by ‘at the city’.
  Pg 90: ‘The hebs fell’ replaced by ‘The rebs fell’.
  Pg 94: ‘XIII’ replaced by ‘CHAPTER XIII’.
  Pg 94: ‘rebels surrundered’ replaced by ‘rebels surrendered’.
  Pg 99: ‘several cupfulls’ replaced by ‘several cupfuls’.
  Pg 100: ‘squad of gorillas’ replaced by ‘squad of guerrillas’.
  Pg 106: ‘their gorilla warfare’ replaced by ‘their guerrilla warfare’.
  Pg 109: ‘killed by gorillas’ replaced by ‘killed by guerrillas’.
  Pg 110: ‘sneaking gorilla’ replaced by ‘sneaking guerrilla’.
  Pg 116: ‘had a ridicule’ replaced by ‘had a reticule’.
  Pg 118: ‘right next (several’ replaced by ‘right (several’.
  Pg 121: ‘they hosited up’ replaced by ‘they hoisted up’.
  Pg 124: ‘Tomgigby river,’ replaced by ‘Tombigbee river,’.
  Pg 125: ‘of gorillas and’ replaced by ‘of guerrillas and’.
  Pg 127: ‘Tombigby river.’ replaced by ‘Tombigbee river.’.
  Pg 129: ‘of our land’ replaced by ‘of our band’.
  Pg 133: ‘Matagordia Bay’ replaced by ‘Matagorda Bay’.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of the Trial and Hardships of the Twenty-Fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry" ***

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