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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 22 - Chapter 13, 14 - July, 1862

Camp and Field

from a spring in a rocky gorge away up in the mountain side, flowed on the west side of camp. Sinks and cesspools were established and the rules that were to regulate them strictly enforced. Rations of a fair quality were issued in sufficient quantity. Berries in abundance were found in the neighborhood. With thee blessings and a clean camp in our favor, we should certainly enjoy good health and if my recollection is not in error we did enjoy it.

Col. DeCourcey shut down on us with the iron hand of a martinet, and subjected us to the strict discipline that we already had experience of but had been somewhat relaxed during our active campaigning. The Colonel was now in command of a Brigade and a particular friend and counselor of Gen. Geo. W. Morgan, our popular division commander. Though sociable and friendly with his superior he was mainly cold and severe towards the common soldier, who never allowed an opportunity to escape to play a joke in return.

Published in Holmes County Republican
May 26, 1881


At Cumberland Gap--Corn Hobbies--First Expedition to Tazewell

A little occurrence, that was popular with the boys for a time, occurred here. Among the people who came into our lines to sell Kentucky corn hobbies, was a long, lank, grizzly-looking man, a little past middle age. This individual, through numerous visits, had become acquainted with some of the soldiers, and after he had sold the contents of his sack, would indulge in a little visit and chat with the boys. On one of these occasions he stayed a little too late in the day, and when he reached the picket lines on his way home, was told that he must procure a written pass from the commanding officer of the post. While in search of the requisite official, he stated his situation to some fellows, and asked them to show him where the Gineral's tent was. Quietly bent on a little mischief, they directed him to DeCourcey's headquarters. The citizen made a beeline for the place, and the boys watched and waited for the result. He gained access to the tent and the fol-

following dialogue took place:

CITIZEN--Gineral, I want a pass to git out of your lines. The soldiers won't let me through without one.

DECOURCEY (a little angered)--I have no authority to issue a pass to a citizen, sir.

CIT.--But, Gineral, how will I git home?

DEC.--That is nothing to me, sir.

CIT.--Now, Gin--

DEC. (wrathy)--Leave my tent at once, or I will have you arrested.

The citizen leaves in haste, greatly excited. The boys, some distance away, hail him and inquire of his success. With the perspiration oozing from his face he hastily relates it to them again. The boys advise him to try it again, insisting that the officers commonly acted that way, and if he was plucky and stood his ground he would succeed in getting his pass, and as a last resort, if he felt so disposed, he might offer him a little money. That might succeed when every other plea had failed.

The man then returned with renewed courage and assurance and soon stood again in the presence of Cool. DeCourcey, who now reddened with rage, arose from his chair and fiercely exclaimed:

What in h--l brought you back?

The citizen tried to stammer out a reply, but the utterance made no impression on the injured dignitary before him. Rallying his confused faculties, he made a last and final effort, and in imploring tones said:

Gineral, I'll give you a dime for a pass!

DeCourcey undoubtedly suspecting that some trick was being played, fairly shrieked in the heat of his passion:

Get out of this, or I'll buck and gag you!

The citizen, now thoroughly demoralized, fled with long, hasty strides from the dangerous presence.

It is hoped that the unfortunate man found the proper headquarters and procured the coveted pass.

Far away from our base of supplies, in this lonely mountain fastness, many rumors reached us of the probable duration of the war. These rumors were interesting themes of conversation among the boys in their idle hours. The newspapers that reached

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