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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 34 - Chapter 19, 20 - September, 1862

Camp and Field

Though a little hard, would do passably well with hungry men for roasting ears. A row of peach trees, laden with a tempting array of ripe fruit, bordered the corn-field. DeCourcey put a cordon of guards around this, with positive and severe instructions, and during the day many and ingenious attempts were made by the boys to get into the field. Sometimes they succeeded in passing the guards but were promptly driven out again. On one of these little raids, Sergeant Hickey, of Co. D, one of the guards, fired, the ball passing through the corn tops pretty close to the boy's heads.

At night we resume the march. The telegraph wire had been torn down by rebel raiders and its presence, lying along the roadside, was the means of some fellows getting ugly falls. One man was caught under the chin and had the skin badly raked. The few lightless human habitations along the road are passed in silence. The little hamlet of Flat Lick is seen for a few minutes indistinctly out-lined in the darkness but is soon Left behind us like a dream

The night of September 9th brought us to where the roads forked, the right hand one leading to Manchester. We were permitted to rest until daylight. In a few minutes the majority of the men were asleep. Our halting place was a tolerable level spot but rendered rough by numerous surface stones. Strung along the road, in the edge of a field and in the roads near by, shapeless and curious looking humps, scarcely distinguishable from the dark gray rocks in the gloom, revealed where the soldiers had laid down and sunk into oblivious slumber. With the stir at daylight, while many were yet sleeping, a rail was unintentionally thrown from a fence, striking a man of Co. K on the head, inflicting quite a severe bruise. One fellow that had secured a rooster along the line of march lay on his back with his feet far apart, his chin elevated and mouth open, the left hand held the end of a short cord that secured his fowl that had worked as far as possible from its captor and was sprawled

out exhausted. Many of the boys enjoyed the novel spectacle before the subject woke.

Published in Holmes County Republican
July 7, 1881


Some of the boys in dodging around in search of food found a barrel of whiskey, which was taken charge of by Major Kershner and destroyed. Some time in the after part of the day we moved off toward Manchester, stripping every corn lot and potato patch along the road. Raw pumpkins were considered a good article of diet. Cut into strips and toasted on sticks, it didn't seem bad, even without salt. The corn-graters, that became so popular with the boys in the weeks that followed, began to come into general use. The graters were made by punching the tin plates full of holes. Some canteens were unsoldered and the halves punched. These made better graters than the plates as the tin was thicker. This night, the 10th of September, we went into bivouac in a rich, narrow valley, near the residence of the owner of the land. A large orchard near the house was well stocked with good apples. DeCourcey promptly placed a strong guard over this. Nevertheless, some of the hungry boys made successful raids through the lines. The next day we passed the salt works near the brick residence of Col. Garrett, of the 7th Kentucky infantry. Several long low sheds, with bins, contained a large quantity of nice white salt. Many of the soldiers supplied themselves with the precious article as we marched by. East of the town of Manchester we pitched our tentless camp on the banks of Goose Creek. Though reduced to stagnant pools at this time, the creek swells to a roaring torrent in the rainy season.

Much of the land around Manchester is sufficiently level and fertile for profitable farming, and is more thickly settled than the country we had just passed through. The soil of the newly cleared land is rich, but the same abominable practice is noticeable here that prevails through these mountain valleys, fields are cropped year after year, without manure, until the productive qualities of the soil

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