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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 36 - Chapter 20, 21 - September, 1862

Camp and Field

disposed of by the boys with keen appetites.

On the final evacuation of the Gap, a large number of the sick and some wounded were left to fall into the hands of the enemy. Before abandoning them every possible arrangement was made to render them comfortable. Such necessaries and comforts as the commissary and surgeons department could provide were placed at their disposal in competent hands. Among their supplies was a quantity of coffee. Knowing the rebel soldiers' love for the article, it was feared that the sick would not get much benefit of it when the hostile army gained possession, but the ingenuity of Mrs. Brashear settled the matter so far as the members of the 16th were concerned. The good lady, I her motherly thoughtfulness, made a number of small sacks, filled them with the aromatic treasure and distributed among the sick, thus preventing its discovery in large bulk. So the inmates of the hospital tents received their daily cup of hot coffee, while the ever-curious enemy wondered from whence the supply came. In the course of a month many of the sick could walk and were paroled and sent north to the Union lines. Twenty-six less fortunate were taken via Morristown to Richmond, Va. They left Cumberland Gap on the 25th day of October, 1862. Traveling in wagons, they progressed slowly. Many of the men being in a very critical condition, the jolting on the rough roads caused them great suffering. The first evening they reached Tazewell, nine miles from the Gap, encamping within a few rods of the place where two of the party, James Morrison and another, were wounded about three months before.

Published in Holmes County Republican
July 14, 1881


Dr. Conant, a Federal surgeon, that had been detailed to attend our captured sick, done everything in his power to render the unfortunate individuals of his charge comfortable. During the night twelve inches of snow fell. So early in the season and in this latitude it was without precedent in the recollection of the oldest inhabitant. Next day 26th they made but three miles to Col. Jones'. The sick were allowed to sleep in the Negro quarters. Jones was very angry at DeCourcey because a shell from his artillery had struck in the yard near the house. A rebel battery had sent a shot through his residence, and strangely enough Jones did not complain of this. On the 27th they reached Morristown, on the railroad, having travelled sixteen miles in three days. One of the sick, a Tennessean, was carried past his home. He begged of the rebel officer in charge to permit him to stop with his people, but all appeals were useless. He was taken on and died a few days afterward in Richmond. The night of the 27th was a cheerless one for this suffering crowd. A rapid thaw had made the ground soft and the air was damp and chilly. No suitable comforts had been provided and they passed the night in the wagons or wherever they could find a dry place to crawl into. Morrison and several others were permitted to sleep in a blacksmith shop and the next morning the rebel officer allowed them to go to a hotel for their breakfast, which cost one dollar in Confederate money, the prisoners paying the bill. Setting out for Richmond on the 29th, they changed cars here. A transfer of a half mile from one road to an other made it very tedious, as some were unable to walk and had to be carried. The young surgeon rendered excellent service here again, helping to carry the weaker ones. Richmond was reached late in the evening and after another painful journey through the streets they arrived at Libby Prison, which was then already full of Union prisoner. Lice were so abundant that they

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