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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 26 - Chapter 16 - August, 1862

Camp and Field

Published in Holmes County Republican
June 9, 1881


Surrounded--Death of Capt Edgar---Retreat.

Early on the 6th we were up and astir, preparing a cup of hot coffee, the soldiers' favorite beverage. Moving out into the road, we passed on through town, ascended the ridge, and relieved the troops stationed there. Some of these men, as they passed t the rear, told us we would have hot work before night, as the Greybacks were plenty just ahead of us.

At the top of the ridge a by-road diverges from the main road to the right, following a spur from which most of the timber had been cut years before. Out on this, about one-fourth of a mile from the forks of the road, the two Holmes county companies, E and B, were sent. One ten-pounder Parrott gun, of the 1st Wisconsin Battery, accompanied them. The balance of the 16th was stationed in detachments on the main road, and to the right and left of it in the rear. The advanced companies, soon after arriving at their post, caught sight of small squads of the enemy, evidently skirmishers. The sharp crack of the rifle and the whistling bullet soon made things warlike. The cannon, from a commanding knoll, at long intervals sent a few shells far over the tree-tops in the valley to-

ward Sycamore Spring, where an exposed point in the road revealed troops advancing. The writer, being a member of Co. E, and with the advance, can vividly recollect the increasing fire of the enemy, as their forces became more numerous in front, and how, under the gallant Taneyhill and Edgar, we sent our answering shots back from behind trees and stumps and fences. Presently a crash of musketry, accompanied by sharp yelling, is heard in the rear and in the vicinity of the main body of the Regiment. We don't understand the meaning of it. A mounted orderly came to us on a furious gallop and orders the artillery into camp on double-quick. There is something wrong. We have no orders, but soon our sergeant-major, Bates Smith, reaches us almost out of breath, and orders us to fall back and join the Regiment as quick as possible. The two companies form with the rebel bullets zipping about their ears, and move off by the flank. As they retire their pace increases into a run. When the head of the detachment reaches the forks of the road, no waiting comrades are there to receive them, but a perfect horde of rebel soldiers suddenly appear beyond a fence a few rods to the left. They are there to intercept us. In a moment nothing is distinguisable [sic] in the tumultuous uproar. A shot is fired, followed by a volley. Yank and Reb blaze away at each other at short range. We are one against twenty, but their massed condition gives us the advantage. Some of the grey-clad men sink to the earth perforated with caliber 70 bullets. There is temporary confusion in their ranks, which is soon checked by the industrious efforts of a large, fleshy, mounted officer, wearing a broad brimmed hat. This man, we were afterward told, was Gen. Stevenson.

The troops opposed to us are the 41st and 42d Georgia Infantry. As their fire grew hotter we crouched to the earth and let the hail storm of death sweep over us. Every rail of that fence, for many rods, seemed pierced and splintered with balls.

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