|July, 1863||Linn Diary Index||16th OVI Home Page||September, 1863|
Paid for two months today, $26.00
Sunday, Aug. 2, 1863
Wrote letters to Lizzie, Becky Powers and Billy Fleming. A foundery burned, reported four negroes burned to death.
letter from T.B.L. to L.S.
Vicksburg, Miss., Aug. 2, 1863
Another of your letters has reached me and found me still alive and well notwithstanding the unfounded report of Gen. Osterhaus having be killed. The old dutchman has not been hurt since the battle of Black River Bridge.
I wrote you as soon as we returned to Vicksburg telling about our trip to, and the taking of Jackson. That letter will relieve your anxiety for I know you will be anxious to get it. That appears the hardest when our friends know we have been engaged in battle with the enemy and can't hear from us - don't know but what we are dead or probably lying in some crowded hospital suffering acutest agonies from ugly wounds -- and yet those are the very times when all commun-ications are closed and no word can be got to those dear anxious hearts either confirming their worst fears of carrying the joyful tidings that all is still well. But that our present work is done, the Mississippi River is again opened and our transports can run its whole length from the Crescent city of the sunny South to St. Paul amid the snow and ice of Minnesota's northern clime, and I am still safe.
When I say I am a soldier for the war even if it does last ten years longer, I do not mean I intend to carry a rifle or beat a drum that long, neither will I permit that to interfere with our arrangements. I can serve my country and be a soldier without shouldering my musket - yet if necessary I can and will do even that again. But I am going home when my year is out and will then talk about how I will come back. We receive very encouraging news from the war in Ohio -- latest reports say Morgan and all his staff are prisoners in our hands: - hope it is true. I suppose Uncle Caleb's boys went in Capt. Carland's company - did they have a sight of the old gent while out? I would like to be sent to Ohio to put down copperhead traitors and have a hand in helping put Morgan out of trouble. I am so glad Morgan did not go through by way of College Corner as I was afraid he would. I don't want you ever to see more of war than you already have seen which is the bright side of the picture only. May you ever be preserved from seeing the dark side. Tell Zillah I must compliment her on the bravery of her threat and glad she has had no chance to put them in execution.
Our army is camped along the bank of the river and for miles above and below the landing. We came here day before yesterday from down the river a mile or more. Our army is being furloughed - three out of a company go at once. I don't know how soon my turn will come -- the officers will not tell us anything about it. Only those who have always done their duty get furloughs. There are twenty-five of our company on the roll of merit. My name is there I know - I saw the list, so if the furloughs do not play out before we all get them I am good for one.
Monday Aug. 3, 1863
Hot-hotter-hottest - today-. The thermometer stands at 103 in the shade.
Tuesday, Aug 4, 1863
Wrote two letters for Mr. Gore to his wife and brother. Received letters from Mother, John and Lizzie Shera.
Wednesday, Aug. 5, 1863
Hot and dusty.
Thursday, Aug. 6, 1863
Had dress parade of the 16th Ohio and 22nd Kentucky together and a short battalion drill after which Col. Monroe of 22nd invited our Drum Corps to his quarters and treated us.
Friday, Aug. 7, 1863
Received a letter from Brownhill, a Republican and three United Presbyterians from Father.
Saturday, Aug. 8, 1863
Great review and inspection of arms ordered for today -- regiment stacked arms and left them out all day -- no inspector came. Wrote a letter for Mr. Gore to his wife.
Sunday, Aug. 9, 1863
Robertson and I went up town to a negro church - white man preached. On the road up saw a fight between a Soldier and a Mexican. Saw a negro couple married in the church by a white minister -- the first wedding I ever witnessed. Wrote letters to Mother and Cicero.
Vicksburg, Miss., Aug. 9, 1863
I must write you a few lines in answer to yours of July 22nd which I received a couple of days ago. Your fear lest I be an officer in a negro regiment may now be silenced -- I am still a private in the Old Sixteenth and likely to remain such. I had no opportunity after I wrote you of going into one. The danger I studied over before I concluded to go and was willing to run the risk. Our Government will force old Jeff to treat negro officers as only prisoners of war although the first lot taken will likely be put to death. If I were in a tight place and a negro officer, I would never give up but would sell my life as dearly as possible. I knew there would be but very little honor in it, but did not think it would be in any wise degrading. I now think differently. We are camped near a negro regiment and our officers will not have anything to do with theirs, so you see I am glad I did not go. I was going for the money. I wish Uncle Frey would answer my letter - I long to hear from him. None of you want me to take an office because you think if I don't when my time is out I will stay at home -- there you mistake me -- if I have an opportunity of getting a commission after my three years are up I do not think I would throw it over my shoulder. This rebellion must be put down -- I have as much at stake as any other and as good a right to fight it out.
Is Jonathan in partnership with Uncle Frey? I see by the paper that Frey & Co. are to suspend business on Thanksgiving day.
I received a letter from Brownhill yesterday, the most satisfactory letter he has written me for a long time. I did not get his letter you speak of and I have written him one if not two he did not get. I think from what he says he has an excellent place to work. I am glad of it. What do you think of his going to learn the Cooper trade?
Abe Weatherwax has come back to the regiment again -- he was at Memphis in the hospital. He is no better, can't speak a word.
I get nearly all my papers, sometimes I miss one. I did not get mine of July 9 till yesterday -- Billy Roberts obituary is in it. I wrote it. I send you the obituary and wish you to keep it for me. That was all a mistake about Gen. Osterhaus being killed at Jackson. They did not get our old "dutchman" if they did shoot close. Dinner is waiting and I must close.
Monday, Aug. 10, 1863
Brigade inspected by Captains Foster and Mulligan. Captains McClure, Cunningham and Lieut. Boling start home on furlough today.
Tuesday, Aug. 11, 1863
Feaster of Co. A. drowned in Mississippi river this morning. Beat the drum at his funeral this afternoon. Sam Gray, George Smith and I go up town tonight.
Wednesday, Aug. 12, 1863
Beat the drum at two funerals today. One a member of Co. G, the other a Lieutenant in the 22nd Kentucky. Received letters from Dave Williams, Tom Bird and Lizzie. Marching orders this evening.
Thursday, Aug. 13, 1863
Preparing to go aboard the boat today. Go aboard this afternoon, and start down the river between 8 and 9 o'clock tonight. Our regiment and the 22nd KY. on board the John Raine.
Friday, Aug. 14, 1863
Stopped at Natchez this morning. Had my drum stolen last night. Officer of the Day sent men to search the boat. Barge with all our wagons on board floundered in wind and rain storm and many wagons lost. Found my drum -- it was lost not stolen.
Saturday, Aug. 15, 1863
Pass Port Hudson and Baton Rouge today and stop at Carrollton six miles above New Orleans about 8 o'clock this evening.
Sunday, Aug. 16, 1863
Boys all off the boat this morning and up town. Regiments leave the boat in the afternoon and march to the rear of the town. Camp.
Monday, Aug. 17, 1863
Wrote letters to Lizzie, Brownhill and Lizzie Shera.
Carrollton, La., Aug. 17, 1863
You will see by the heading of this letter we have been moving again and that too further from home and loved ones.
Carrollton is a pleasant little town on the outskirts of New Orleans, in fact we might say it is a suburb of the Crescent City as it is but six miles to the heart of the city and we can go there and back for twenty cents on the cars which leave here at every hour. We arrived at the landing night before last but did not come ashore till yesterday evening and have just finished putting our tents on a nice but low sod and now I am writing to you, always my first duty when we change our location, and listening to the rain as it patters down on the tent. We were fortunate in getting our tent up before it commenced.
I received your letter of July 10 the morning we left Vicksburg. This is the one that tells of your fourth of July in Liberty. I would like to have been there with you. How much more pleasant it would have been to me than preparing for a hard march as I was. I never saw a sham battle but would much rather witness one than a real battle where there is more than the noise and show to torment one. You have a pretty good idea of what a fight is and how a wounded man looks, now in your mind enlarge the picture, imagine the ground over which the combattants are about to tred to be full of hills and gullies (such generally are battle grounds. I will explain why when I see you) one party has a long row of rifle pits and works thrown up to protect cannoneers (these works can be put up in a few hours and a battle is never fought but one party or the other has had choice of ground and a few hours to throw up works) then a long line of men marching up to these with bayonets fixed, their ranks full at the start but gradually thinned by here a man falling dead, there one wounded and a couple more leaving to help him to the rear while yonder goes one suddenly struck with bullet fever and running for dear life to hide his cowardly pate behind some friendly stump or rut while yonder comes a couple of brave fellows with stretchers searching for some poor fellow who has been struck with one of the enemy's destructive missiles -- listen now to the roar of the cannon and sharper, shriller crack of the more destructive rifle, to the whirr-whirr-whirr of the dangerous shell and the quicker whizz of the little bullet and you have a correct idea of a real battle. I hope you may never see one nor I another.
There is a great deal of sickness in our regiment but I am glad to tell you I am well. I am the only well one in our tent now, but there are only four of us - one gone home on furlough, another on sick leave, make the six, the number we had when we came to Vicksburg. I did not know Col. Bennett of the 68th O.V. but that is nothing strange as we never think of inquiring who a Colonel is even of our own Corps and he belongs to McPherson's Corps. I then belonged to McClernands Corps. McPherson fought on our right and the 68th was a mile or more from us. Maj. Gen. Ord is our Corps commander now and ours (Osterhaus) and Carr's divisions are thrown together and commanded by Maj. Gen. Washburne. I have no idea whether we will be here any time or not, or where we are bound for, but hope long enough to receive an answer to this.
Carrollton, La., August 17, 1863
I received your letter a few days before we left Vicksburg for this place and would have answered had we not been on the move. We left Vicksburg last Thursday on board the steamer John Raine for down the river. Saturday night found us at Carrollton six miles above the great Crescent City in sight of its Majestic spires and with railroad trains plying between here and there every hour and for the small sum of one dime you or any other man can be placed in the heart of the great city of New Orleans. We came off the boat yesterday evening and out here to a beautiful green, but low sod as nice a place as one could wish for a summer camp if we had shade trees. This, the great distance to bring water and wood which will all have to be hauled are the drawbacks. There is not a shade tree in sight. The health of the boys is not as good as it might be. Ike McCullough is sick, John Stimmel is not well, Jon't Williams still complains, Newt Gorsuch has gone home on furlough and Robertson on sick leave, so you see I am the only well one left in the mess. There are but four of us in our tent and if the rest were only well we would have the gayest kind of times. We will not always all be sick I hope. I am well enough.
I like to hear you are so well pleased with your place and give me such a glowing account of your employer and his family. I did not know the Martin family I believe. You say you live near Mr. Robertson's are you on the road from Anderson's schoolhouse to Fredricksburg? I guess the cooper trade is a good one but is very hard work, straining on the back and shoulders as you are always working in hard wood. Can you stand it -- think? I would not like to advise you for I don't know. The apprentice you speak of did as well as one could wish; what are your cooper's wages? What does Mr. Martin's brother-in-law offer you for this winter? Weigh both chances well.
I received and answered the letter you wrote me about the first of April containing the eight postage stamps, but the perpetual diary you started never came through. I hear Jehial Killgore was dead, that he died while in Jackson prison and was surprised to hear he was at home. Give him my best wishes. Give my best respects to Mr. Killgore and his family and to all inquiring friends, ladies especially, Love to Uncle Sheiley's and tell them I have not heard from any of them for a long time nor have I had letters from Virg., Homer or Maria since we went into Mississippi although I have written to them all and twice to Ria since I heard from them. Tell Tid to remind them that no cannon ball has knocked my head off yet and a letter from him would not be thrown away without reading.
Tuesday, Aug. 18, 1863
Went down town today for ice and lemons for Lieut. Corn and missed guard mounting.
Wednesday, Aug. 19, 1863
Went down to New Orleans this afternoon to see the city.
Thursday, Aug. 20, 1863
Mail in -- received letters Lizzie and Uncle Frey and a Gazette. Answered Lizzie's letter and commenced on the Uncle Frey.
Friday, Aug. 21, 1863
Downtown - Carrollton.
Carrollton, La., Aug. 21, 1863
A boat with a mail aboard come down the rive at last and I was not a little rejoiced to find another dear little epistle from the "Girl I left behind me." I will answer right away and maybe I will have a chance to start an answer on its way to cheer up your drooping spirits before many days. I know you are uneasy as it has been some time since you have had a letter from me. I wrote you a few lines as soon as we came here but there is still no way of sending letters so I will tear open the envelope and put this in with it and try again hoping I will succeed better this time. I think I can imagine how lonesome it must be for you when our correspondance is inter- rupted and you do not get any letters from me for several weeks. I am entirely lost when in camp and the highly prized letter does not come, not a minute passes but I keep wondering when we will get a mail and if the little love token from my Dearest Friend -- my betrothed -- will be forthcoming. And then the eagerness with which I watch the pile of letters as the Sergeant reads off the names of the lucky ones until I see the familiar writing on the back of one of the little white envelopes. You may bet I am not long in reaching out for it nor in breaking open the envelope and pulling from its hiding place the precious sheet.
But when they do not come -- my spirits which but a moment ago were all aglow and alive with expectations, as I see the pile of letters decrease and the happy fellows carrying off their prizes and my name not yet called, begin to droop and as the last letter is handed to the owner, my ardor is completely cooled down to zero and I moodily turn away to console myself as best I may till the next time comes hoping for more success.
You are right in supposing I have not been well and yet I am not nor have I been very sick. Our doctor says there is not a man in this whole army that is well. I guess I am about as near it as any of my acquaintences. I am suffering now from a very severe cold which affects my head making it ache dreadfully. It has rained every day since we landed until today -- everything we have has been wet and we had to sleep on the wet grass. Our tents are worn and rotted out, affording but indifferent shelter when it rains hard. We are promised new ones shortly. No wonder we all have colds.
You must not get it into my head that hard marching will kill me, for I have an idea we are not through yet. We have orders to be ready to move at any time - don't know where we are going but think we are preparing to make a descent on Mobile. Well we have an excellent start now and I hope our Generals will push ahead and allow no time for the enemy to recover himself. If Gen. Meade had only made a clean sweep in the East as Gen. Grant did in the West the rebel's prospects would have been dark indeed. Gen. Gilmore is approaching the rebel works at Charleston in the same manner Grant did at Vicksburg and Banks at Port Hudson, and cannot fail to succeed. Glorious news still comes from North Carolina and I hope that our long troops will be sent to their relief.
A large number of sick men were left at Vicksburg to be sent home on sick furlough when we came away from there. Three or four from our Company - one from my mess. Lieut. Boling, our Second Lieutenant and the man who commanded our Company all through our Mississippi Campaign, went home on sick leave a few days before we left Vicksburg. He was a very sick man. I believe him to be the most unfortunate man of our Company. He as been sick over half of his time in the army, lost two brothers and one sister by death, was home on sick leave about a year ago, got better, married a young lady and is now going home again a widower. I fear he will not get home alive. His wife died last spring. Lieut. Corn, our First Lieut., is also very sick. Company B has no commissioned officer now. New Gorsuch has also gone home on a 30 day's furlough. He lives between two and three miles from Fathers. I was acquainted with him before we came to the Army but not intimately. He is a noble fellow. I think a good deal like you, that it is harder to part the second time than the first and sometimes think I would almost rather not have a furlough at all than for so short a time. Thirty days from New Orleans hardly gives a person time to say "how do you do" and "goodbye" to one in Ohio. The song and music of "Dear Voices of Home" were done up in a roll and sealed down with the cover leaf. I am sorry you did not get it for I think it is real good. You may get it yet, I hope so at least. No - Mother has never asked any thing more about my correspondent. I suppose my answers were quite satisfactory.
Carrollton, La., August 21, 1863
Your letter of the 31st July after a long journey came safely to hand today. The pen came through safely and I find it all I could wish. I would not have been better pleased with it if I had been there and chosen it myself from a thousand. It could not suit me better.
Yes, Mother in her last informed me of your sad bereavement. Last spring while I mourned the loss of a dearly loved Sister and brother and while my heart, torn and lacerated by that sudden and severe stroke of providence, was still bleeding for those loved one, you wrote me a letter full of sympathy and consolation poured oil on my bleeding wounds and pointed me by faith to the heavenly land above when they now are dressed in the gorgeous apparel of the blest and ever singing the praises of Him the dispenser of all providence, or on some glorious mission of love to us poor mortals, leading us in the path they trod and ever guarding us with the watchful care of guardian angels. Now you have met with a like misfortune in the loss of dear little babe. Much as I feel for and sympathize with you in your bereavement I can do no more than to refer you to your own words counsel to me in like bereavement and point you to Him who bled and died on the cross.
You will see by the heading of this letter we are no longer in Vicksburg, but have been aboard the mighty steamboat again and steamed down the Father of Waters passing Natchez both "on" and "under the hill" with all their fine springs of water; nice, cool looking groves and numerous watermelons (the chief attraction to us soldiers); leaving Port Hudson, the scene of many a bloody charge and disastrious repulse far in the rear; glancing at Baton Rouge, the capitol of all Louisiana and then swiftly gliding by, we find ourselves at last quietly lying by the wharf at this place. Carrollton is a pleasant little village on the river six miles above New Orleans and connected with that city by railroad, with trains running down every hour. Thus for the small sum of ten cents a person here can be placed within the boundaries of the Crescent City and for one dollar and a half an hour he can be driven all round through this stone paved city. For the same price - ten cents - he can go from here to Lake Ponchitrain where he can indulge in the luxuries of a salt water bath. I have not been to the lake yet - if we stay here much longer I want to go out and view the sights. I was down to the City one afternoon but did not have time to see as much as I wanted to. I want to go again when I have more time. I wish to go to the St. Charles Hotel, visit the Jackson square and see the beautiful stature of the old General and read with my own eyes his immortal words engraved on the stature -- "The Union must and shall be preserved." I understand the rebels while here, tried to deface this sentence of our noble Jackson. I saw any amount of small sail craft and two sloops of war -- the first I had ever seen.
Monday, 24th - Day before yesterday we had a real old Eastern Army review by Maj. Gen. Banks himself. It was a grand affair. We all marched down the railway about two miles to a large open field where we formed in column of Divisions. All of our Corps were out. Gen. Wasburn has command while Gen. Ord is gone and Col. Lindsey has command of our division. We are first division and in first line. Gen. Herron's division formed the second line, the third division, the third line and the artillery the rear line. We had not been in position long until the boom of the cannon announced the arrival of the big little man. He rode along the whole line both in front and rear and I think he reviewed a little better army than he ever did before or will again till he sees the same men another time. He then took position and we marched by in review and all was over.
The Eastern men and our troops can't hit it at all - they have a collison nearly every day -- have had a couple of pretty severe little spats with each other. One of the 22nd Iowa privates thrashed a New York officer the other day completely. We are under marching orders -- some say to Mobile -- others say Galveston, Texas. I think we will likely go to Mobile. We have orders to be ready to march but may not go for a week or more and then we may go in a day or two.
I have had no news from home for a long time except through letters written to others. Jon't Williams got a letter stating John and Mary Fleming were dead and that Billy and his Mother were not expected to live -- are they dead too, or are they getting better? I was greatly surprised to hear such news. I am uneasy about our folks at home, tell them to write soon.
Saturday, Aug. 22, 1863
Grand review of our Corps by Gen. Banks this afternoon. The Corps formed in Columns by divisions.
Sunday, Aug. 23, 1863
Down town all day.
Monday, Aug. 24, 1863
Wrote a letter for J.R. Gore to his wife and for Ike McCollugh to his wife. Finished my long letter to Uncle Frey. Enlisted two years ago today.
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 1863
Received letters from Cy Martin and John F. Linn and two Republicans.
Thursday, Aug 27, 1863
Wrote two letters for Mr. Gore. Sent my pants to be washed.
Friday, Aug. 28, 1863
Lay around until pants dry. Have dress parade.
Saturday, Aug. 29, 1863
Had another grand review by Gen. Banks. Wrote to Lizzie.
Carrollton, La., August 29, 1863
I must write a few words about things present. We have, indeed, got into the army of reviews. We had another grand review of our Corps, the 13th, today. We had one a week ago today. I tell you it is a nice sight to see some 20,000 or 25,000 men dressed in full uniform and with glittering bayonets standing in a large level field for review. We were reviewed by Gen. Banks both today and last Saturday. We were drawn up in Column of divisions. Gen. Wash- burne's division (ours) formed the first line. Gen. Herron placed his division in line some twenty yards behind us. The third and fourth divisions were formed in like manner behind Gen. Herron's division and the artillery formed a line in rear of the fourth division. We did not have long to wait before the boom of a cannon announced the arrival of Gen. Banks. The band struck up and soon the Hero of Port Hudson came sweeping down the line, followed by Gen. Washbourne and a host of other officers, doffing his hat and shaking his little head as he passes the colors of the various regiments and receives their salutes.
After riding up and down each of the lines he took his position off to one side and then commenced the great review march, the entire force marching by him in Column of Companies the music of each regiment filing out of line as they came opposite the General and then falling in behind the regiment when it passed and marching off to camp.
I send you a couple of clippings - a staunch War Article and the "Way Soldiers see it" - both true as preaching.
Sunday, Aug. 30, 1863
Went out to Lake Ponchatrain on 12:30 P.M. train. Had a salt water bath in the lake and came back to camp on the 7 P.M. train.
Monday, Aug. 31, 1863
Had an inspection and mustered for pay at four o'clock P.M. Helped Lieut. Corn to make out pay rolls all day.
|July, 1863||Linn Diary Index||16th OVI Home Page||September, 1863|