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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 12 - Chapters 7, 8 - February, 1862

Camp and Field

Sergeant Playford, Corporal Congo and Private Bazet lead off and were the heroes of the occasion. About 11 o'clock it was announced that the corn was soft enough, being sufficiently salted. Some one announced that pepper would make it better. A response came from Corporal Congo that he had the article, and, producing a quarter-pound package, held it over the steaming kettle. In endeavoring to shake out a little, the entire contents of the paper slipped into the hominy and it was spoiled. The hungriest of the squad dipped some of the hominy, cleaned off the excess of pepper and had their midnight repast while the rest turned in for a sleep.

On the west side of the river, at a crumbling hotel, the base of the cliff having crumbled away, leaves about two hundred feet of the rock above projecting, bearing a partial resemblance to the back part of a man's head, with amativeness and philoprogenitiveness largely developed. This is known as the Great Bee Rock, from the fact that swarms of honey bees for years had taken up their abode in the cavities in the face of the rock. Before the war some men proposed a plan to get at the store of honey that they supposed was deposited there. A man volunteered to be let down in a dry-goods box attached to stout ropes from the top. As the box was lowered its occupant became alarmed at the peril of the situation and signaled to be drawn up; after he had related his blood-freezing experience no person could be induced to make the venture again, so the busy bee remained in undisturbed possession of their mammoth hive.

The labor of ferrying artillery and mule teams across was immense. Floating logs and other drift that darted by, made the situation of the boatmen serious; to cross in a canoe was dangerous, and required skill to reach the opposite shore without a mishap; in consequence of the delay many more straggled ahead, and when the regiment reached the east bank of the river some of the boys were twelve miles beyond toward London, waiting for the command to come up. As

the Colonel, accompanied by Major Kershner, preceded the main body, he found these isolated squads in detail; deeply angered at this breach of discipline he done some loud scolding in a not very choice language. The most advanced of the stragglers, a party of three, had taken up their quarters in an old log school-house; these fellows had been lucky enough to kill a hog on the 6th, and not having it all cooked that day, they went the next morning to a house that they had passed on the main road about half a mile back; while on the way they met the Colonel, halted and got their lecture for being absent without their companies without leave, and strange to say, the wrathy old fellow said nothing about the fresh meat the boys were carrying; they got it cooked when the regiment came up, and distributed the meat most liberally among their companions.

The regiment reached London that day, 7th, and encamped on a hill slope half a mile west of town. Gen. Carter, with three regiments of infantry, the 1st and 2d Tenn. And 49th Ind., was here waiting for us to join him and become a part of his brigade. Now, a new epoch of our history opened from this forth; we no longer operated independently. Gen. Carter, our first Brigade Commander was a Tennessean. In stature a little above the medium; eyes, hair and whiskers dark; in mien retired, or the word quiet might express it better, but quick to decide and resolute. He made a decision in our behalf that the boys ever afterward gratefully remembered. He ordered the carrying of knapsacks on camp-guard continued. From that time forth the men of the 16th looked upon General Carter as a benefactor.

Published in Holmes County Republican
April 14, 1881


Leaving London, February 10, we turn our steps southward over a hilly country. The boys now thoroughly broken in to marching done less straggling but pressed steadily forward with that long swinging step that soldiers in active service so readily adopt. Early in the evening our train being up we pitched tents in a

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