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The Camp & Field Articles
by Theodore Wolbach
Cpl. Theodore Wolbach

Cpl. Theodore D. Wolbach

Web Author's Notes:

The following image is taken from a book titled "Mortality and Statistics of the Census of 1850" in which it is believed retired Captain Rezin H. Vorhes, Company H, pasted over the pages a series of articles written by Cpl. Theodore D. Wolbach, Company E, titled "Camp and Field" and published, by chapter, in the Holmes County (Ohio) Republican newspaper from February 24, 1881 to August 17, 1882. The articles tell the story, in great detail and color, of the 16th OVI, from the inception of the 3-year regiment in October, 1861, through all its camps, battles and marches until it was disbanded on October 31, 1864. The articles pasted in the Vorhes book cover the first 35 chapters, published through October 20, 1881. All the remaining chapters were recently found in a Holmes County library by researcher Rob Garber who obtained copies, performed the transcriptions and provided to this website and which are also presented here, thus providing the complete work by Theodore Wolbach.

Throughout these articles click on the underlined white text for additional details.

The webauthor thanks 16th Ohio descendant Rob Garber for his excellent research on the Camp And Field articles and for performing the tedious digital transcription of those articles found on each page. The transcriptions were made to reflect the original articles verbatim, misspellings and all. Rob is the 3rd great nephew of Capt. William Buchanan, Company F, 16th Ohio, who served in the 90-day regiment as a private, re-enlisting in the three year regiment, and eventually making the rank of Captain of Company F. Thanks Rob!

Page 8 - Chapter 5 - January, 1862

Camp and Field

tramp on through Stanford into Garrand county, and encamp at Hall's Gap. Here the Pike ends and the foot-hills of the Cumberland Mountains commence. Old John, as the boys were pleased to call our Colonel, began to realize trouble with his men. In strict violation of orders, as soon as the regiment went into camp there was a stampede for the nearest rails, boards, straw, etc. What could the Colonel do but scold and threaten? As he was a good hand at that business he never allowed an opportunity to slip without exercising that faculty. Officers and men suffered a like fate when his wrath was unbolted, as he made no discrimination on account of rank. Here at the Hall's Gap camp the boys went to tearing a stack of straw to pieces and lugging it off for beds, and among the trespassers was an elderly Lieutenant of Co. A. The movement was well inaugurated before Old John discovered it, when he stepped to a position where he could survey the scene. The distorted countenance, that was only a mild indication of the anger that was seething and fuming within, would have been a study for a limner. Seeing the Lieutenant bearing away a load he became furious, and commanded the Lieutenant, in a sharp voice, to drop the straw. The Lieutenant being a polite man stammered out an explanation, and kept moving off with the straw. Old John rallied his vital energies, concentrated them on his vocal organs, and broke out again with, Lieutenant Blessing, lay down that straw! The Lieutenant didn't need any further orders, but dropped the straw without delay, and slipped off to his tent.

Twenty-eight miles from Hall's Gap to Somerset. Cheerfully the boys broke camp and resumed the march, toiling up the muddy road that led through Hall's Gap. The enthusiasm of the morning decreased proportionately as the weariness, mud and rain increased. One by one the road side became strewed with fellows whose endurance could hold out no longer without a rest, and the rear guard found it a task to urge the poor fellows on. Never a crowd of men collected but what had their

wit that could wring a laugh from the most fatigued creature within ear shot. So the 16th had its quota of humorists, whose witty remarks oftentimes sounded strangely original, and elicited from surrounding comrades a storm of laughter that was soothing to the foot-sore and jaded. Still onward we marched on our wearisome way until the wretched little town of Waynesburg appeared in sight. If old Mad Anthony could rise from his grave and be informed that this miserable collection of tumble-down shanties born his name, the air would be vocal with profanity. Waynesburg was our encampment for this night; no tents came up, so in the mud and rain the boys crept into any shelter that offered itself. One squad, headed by Lieut. DeSilva, wandered around awhile, looking in vain for a dry place to creep into, feeling no doubt like the persecuted Nazarene when he said, The birds of the air have their nests, and the foxes have their holes, but the son of man hath not where to lay his head. Perseverance has its reward, for finally the Lieutenant and his men found some pigs comfortably snoozing under a shed, and without hesitating or discussion routed the indignant porkers and appropriated their warm nest. The boys afterward declared that no downy bed of royalty could ever be more comfortable than this. Here and there small groups of men, unfortunate in not finding a dry place to stow themselves into, stood or sat gloomily around a fire that struggled for an existence against the falling moisture. The scarcely perceptible tread of some sentinel, the relief guards going their rounds, and the suppressed tones of conversation, furnished about the only audible sounds as the night wore on, until the gray light of advancing day drove the somber shades of night westward, when the wild, rolling revellie (sic] called the boys forth to prepare for another day's march through the mud.

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