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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 25 - Chapter 15 - August, 1862

Camp and Field

vanced a few hundred yards, stacked arms and awaited further orders. Some of the boys vigorously devoted themselves to plundering the buildings within our lines. Teamsters and ambulance drivers took an active part in this. Much portable property, utterly useless to the soldier, was brought out into the fields and left there when we moved on. We indulged in a little infantry and artillery firing with no other perceptible effect than perhaps to inform the enemy of our location.

After a two hours halt here, our regiment, with a small train of empty wagons, struck out on a road that led westward. The position at Sycamore Springs was left with a part of the 42d Ohio, under Lieut.-Col. Don A. Pardee. The two pieces of the 1st Wisconsin Battery were also left there. The roads were dry and hard and we marched rapidly for about three miles, where companies E and B left the main road, and accompanied by some wagons, followed a rough road down a creek valley about a mile, to where a rich secession sympathizer lived, on one of the best farms in East Tennessee. He had an abundance of good dry corn of the previous year and some stacks of well-cured hay. Wagons wee loaded and the Quartermaster's official, who superintended, went into the house to see the old folks, who looked vexed and blue. An estimate was made of the quantity of forage taken; a voucher was drawn up for the amount; the officer told the old gentleman to take it, and present it to the nearest U.S. Post Quartermaster, prove his loyalty to the Federal Government, and get his money. The citizen refused the paper, but his wife said she would take it. Putting on her spectacles, she glanced over it, handed it to a pale-looking young man, who they represented to us as an invalid son of theirs, (and might have said a Confederate soldier home on sick furlough,) who gazed at it with a look of despair, and, without remark, handed it back to the old lady, who placed it in a bureau drawer, asserting that she didn't think it was good for anything but reckon thar is no harm in keepin' it. While the wagons were being load-

ed the two companies divided into detachments, were posted in various directions on the look-out. Some of the boys were ransacking the premises in search of any edible forage they could lay hands on. Poultry, smoked meat, honey and cheese were among the good things found. Cackling of the excited chickens and the general tumult of the foraging party thoroughly bewildered the occupants of the house, who, no doubt, painfully realized before the last of our men disappeared around the bend in the road, that our visitation was like the breath of destruction.

While we were following up the object of our mission, the sharp report of artillery firing was borne to our ears fro the direction of Sycamore Springs. Pardee's force was beginning to be pressed and the situation was getting warm. So taking another road we made a rapid march, reaching Tazewell late at night. Weary and sleepy we went into bivouac in the cemetery north of town.

The next day, August 5th, we rested. Firing at irregular intervals through the day, told us that the rebels were feeling for our forces under Pardee on the southern slope of Walden's Ridge. Early in the forenoon, a lively spattering fusillade on the Knoxville road, south-west of town, told of interesting work in that direction. In a short time a report of the affair was brought to us. A squad of Confederate cavalry had dashed into some pickets of the 22d Kentucky infantry, wounding one severely and capturing one; in return, leaving one of their men dead in the road and another one desperately wounded, but clinging to his horse until he was carried out of range, where, it was afterward learned, he died and was buried by the roadside.

The dead rebel was brought up to our regiment, and we took a good look at him. He was young; looked to be less than twenty years of age; finely formed; stature about five feet ten inches; teeth good; complexion bronzed by exposure; hair cut short. The bullet had gone clear through him, from side to side, passing through his lungs and heart, producing instant death. Poor boy! He was brave in an unworthy cause. In the front, in the wild charge, he died with the unfinished battle shout on his lips.

Before sunset it was learned that the enemy in force was drawing closer to us, though with what particular design was not developed. Our orders at dark was to be ready to move at a moment's warning.

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