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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 44 - Chapter 27, 28 - October, 1862

Camp and Field

negro wench, as black as tar, kept jumping up and down, shouting her happy feelings to the soldiers, who responded with laughter and cheers. Up the river, east of town about a mile, on a broad strip of green meadow land, our brigade pitched tents for the night. There was considerable hooting and yelling about camp as night set in. Up further in the 22d Kentucky's camp the noise swelled into a tumult. The men there were yelling furlough and could not be quieted. In the retreat through their state many of them had marched past their homes without permission to step and see their people. In thinking over it, they became revengeful, and this night they had an outburst of feeling that was annoying to their officers. The 42d Ohio took up the cry because they were in good trim for yelling. The 16th chimed in, and at one time it seemed every man was contributing to the uproar. DeCourcey could stand it no longer. He had the first sergeant's call beat in our regiment, and orders were sent to each of the company commanders to form their men, without arms, and march them up to the Colonel's headquarters, where they were formed in column of companies, close order. DeCourcey mounted a barrel and delivered a hot speech. Part of it in substance was that he had stuck to us and been as a father to us:--had felt that he had one of the best regiments in the service; --but now we were acting like a set of dom'd Ojibeways, and if another man said furlough, he would buck and gag him. He then ordered the men to break ranks and return quietly to their quarters. The ranks were no sooner broken than a fellow within twenty feet of the irrascible [sic] colonel defiently [sic] bellowed furlough. No attention was paid to it, and it proved to be the only violation of our orders, for the boys soon settled down in the regular way and were quiet.

Published in Holmes County Republican
September 1, 1881


The clamorous soldiery, refreshed after a night's sleep in the cool, foggy air of the Ohio Valley, went about their camp duties as promptly as if nothing unmilitary had happened the night before among them.

To-day, the 23d, we crossed the river at Point Pleasant, and moved

slowly up the Kanawha Valley as a support to Gen. Cox, who was engaged with his troops in driving the rebel Gen. Jenkins' forces back.

The first night up the Kanawha, the 24th, we encamped at a cluster of houses called Buffalo. On the 25th, as we were marching along, we came to where the road formerly crossed a little gully on a trestle-work. The planks were torn off, which made it unsafe to cross. The troops were turned to the left and marched around the place. Some of the boys thought it would be just as well if they crossed the defective trestle, and at some risk walked over. DeCourcey saw it and ordered them back. The boys didn't like it but obeyed the superior orders. This evening we unfolded or tents at a place called Red House. There was no town, only a large, red, frame building, used as a tavern. Here an important road from the east intersects the valley road.

On the 26th it snowed heavily, but soon cleared up. Occupying ourselves with camp duties and picket guard, and getting stirred up once with the long roll, we passed the time until the 29th, when we again folded our tents and resumed the march, reaching Charleston that day. For miles before reaching the town, the scars of military occupation was strongly and painfully visible. Besides the common ruin that is left in the wake of armies, there was hastily built fortifications, where the small detachment had entrenched against the superior force--sometimes Federal, sometimes Confederate--weakened by an excessive draft of their their numbers to reinforce the armies in some other locality, were compelled to stand at bay and fight at a ruinous disadvantage, or retreat and abandon great districts to the enemy. We passed a fortified knob called Tyler Hill. It was told us that here Col. Tyler, with his 7th O.V.I., had made a fierce stand against an army that greatly outnumbered his forces. Within cannon-shot of Charleston, commanding peaks were crowned with fresh-looking breastworks. At the town, Elk river empties into the Kanawha. The former stream was

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