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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 38C - Chapter 22 - September, 1862

Camp and Field

punishment to his subordinates when they were detected transgressing, but toward this lone widow he perpetrated this act with perfect impunity.

Some new shoes were here issued to us. More could have been used if the supply had not been so meager.

Some time after the middle of the day we marched through the little town of Proctor, to the music of our martial band. Fording the river we ascended the high ridge beyond for another twenty-five mile tramp. We were told before starting that this route was almost destitute of drinking water. This was verified to an uncomfortable degree before we had gone many miles. It was a notable fact with all regiments that no matter how hard the marching might be there were some men who would leave the line to forage. Many of our fellows became experts in finding something to eat after night. Poultry, milk, butter, corn-bread, &c., were now and then found and snatched up with surprising skill. On these night marches every thing along the road with semblance of a human habitation was hurriedly visited by some one. In this sparsely settled region the peculiar shuffling sound of thousands of tramping feet woke the people who would come to their doors to investigate the strange visitation, and perhaps the moment they poked their heads out were confronted by a soldier with a demand for food. For a few moments, the phantomlike figures of the passing host, scarcely discernible in the shadows of night, were imperfectly seen as they glided out of sight. After getting well on our way and making good time, the boys were anxious to learn how far it yet was to Kempton, our next objective point. Every civilian we passed was plied with the same question about the distance. The replies were never considered reliable, and never seemed to be correct. Dun no, never was thar in all my life, or right smart walk yet seemed to be a sample of the answers. But one rather bright looking fellows leaning against a new rail fence seemed to promise an authentic report. Lieutenant Vorhes took the witness and put the question: Mister how far to Kempton? The citizen cheerfully replied, Well, I

dun no, but I reckon it's a mighty way. It was a fact we had already learned that the inhabitants commonly knew little about distances between points in this country. Hungry, tired and sleepy, we tramped on. The command to halt for rest was always given in low tones during the night marches. Before we had accomplished many miles from Proctor the shadows of night had settled on our pathway. Night marching has its accompanying inconveniences; stones, uneven surfaces and other obstacles not readily seen in the darkness, cause many an aggravating stumble and not unfrequently [sic] an awkward fall. Many of the men whose rest had been broken recently by being kept on the qui vive, slept as they moved along, and if those in their immediate front halted suddenly, they run chuck up against them. Almost as suddenly as each halt was announced many of the men lay down in their tracks and slept. The artillery and wagons with a heavy escort of infantry were moving along another and longer route, but better supplied with water. Our front flank and rear was closely watched by the enemy's mounted men who energetically, and to our great annoyance blockaded the roads by cutting trees into them, and burning bridges. The latter was generally the least provoking of the two as the streams at this period were generally low, some not having sufficient water to make a current, and the Pioneer corps speedily graded down the banks so that we passed with little trouble.

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