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Diary of John Caskey Hall
Sergeant, Company C
September 10, 1861 through April 8, 1864
Web Author's Notes:
Website contributor H. Arlan Heiser has provided images of the Civil War diary kept by his great grandfather Sgt. John Caskey Hall, Co. C. Along with many other contributions from Mr. Heiser, this website is extremely grateful to him for sharing his ancestor's diary, giving us another glimpse into the activities of the 16th Ohio and the people and times of the Civil War.
Sgt. John Caskey Hall

Sgt. John Caskey Hall

Page From Date To Date Events
cover Diary inside front cover
1 September 10, 1861 November 27, 1861 First day of military service at Camp Tiffin, Wooster, Ohio; describes Regimental officers, camp.
2 November 27, 1861 December 18, 1861 Camp Tiffen to Camp Dennison (Cincinnati); training and preparation for deployment; weapons issued; to Lexington, Kentucky.
3 December 18, 1861 January 16, 1862 First march; to Nicholasville, Lancaster, Kentucky.
4 January 16, 1862 January 19, 1862 Marching to Halls Gap, Waynesburg; heavy rain; march to Sommerset, Kentucky; can hear battle of Mill Spring in distance.
5 January 19, 1862 February 2, 1862 March to London, Kentucky; "taste of soldiering".
6 February 2, 1862 February 5, 1862 March to Sublimity Springs on Rock Castle River; trapped by flood waters.
7 This page is a list of food items.
8 February 6, 1862 February 12, 1862 March to London, Kentucky; march resumes in snow; arrive at Cumberland River.
9 February 12, 1862 March 10, 1862 Camp surrounded by flood waters for three days; march to Cumberland Ford and camp for 30 days.
10 March 11, 1862 March 28, 1862 Reconnaissance missions to Cumberland Gap; skirmishing with Rebels occupying The Gap; move camp to ridge three miles from Cumberland Ford.
11 March 28, 1862 April 29, 1862 Additional regiments arrive; small pox in camp; reconnaissance to Cumberland Gap, skirmishing, man wounded.
12 April 29, 1862 June 7, 1862 Soldier dies of wound to forehead; 7th Division formed; move camp to Moss House; entire force begins move to take Cumberland Gap.
13 June 7, 1862 June 17, 1862 Crossing into Tennessee; roads blockaded by Rebels; cross Rogers Gap and camp in Powell's Valley; the Cumberland Gap Campaign.
14 June 17, 1862 June 27, 1862 Union occupies Cumberland Gap finding Confederates had evacuated; exploring Cumberland Gap; establish Camp Virginia.
15 June 27, 1862 August 6, 1862 Foraging expeditions into Tennessee interior; skirmishing with Rebels at Sycamore Springs; Battle of Tazewell, Tennessee, begins.
16 August 6, 1862 August 6, 1862 Battle of Tazewell description; Capt. Edgar killed.
17 August 6, 1862 September 10, 1862 Prisoners taken by Rebels at Tazewell; return to Cumberland Gap; move camp to top of mountains; DeCourcey's brigade (including 16th OVI) begins march to Manchester, Kentucky.
18 September 10, 1862 September 21, 1862 March to Manchester, Kentucky, continues; Balance of Cumberland Gap force joins DeCourcey at Manchester having evacuated The Gap; participate in execution of 3rd Kentucky soldier.
19 September 21, 1862 September 25, 1862 Gen. George Morgan's forces begin march back to Ohio; Proctor, Kentucky.
20 September 25, 1862 September 27, 1862 March past Compton and Hazel Green, Kentucky; rear guard attacked by Confederate guerillas; more skirmishing with pursuing Rebels; West Liberty, Kentucky.
21 September 27, 1862 October 1, 1862 March north continues; troops lighten their loads; road blockaded by Rebels.
22 October 1, 1862 October 2, 1862 March to Grayson and Old Town, Kentucky; Rebels abandon pursuit.
23 October 3, 1862 October 4, 1862 March to Greenupsburg, Ohio, and safety; move to Wheelersburg, Ohio; receive fine dinner from townspeople.
24 October 4, 1862 October 5, 1862 To Sciotosville; retrospect of the retreat from Cumberland Gap; board trains to Camp Dennison (Cincinnati).
25 October 5, 1862 October 22, 1862 Move to Camp Dennison cancelled; camp in Portland, Ohio; visits from friends and relatives; new march begins.
26 October 22, 1862 October 29, 1862 March east into (West) Virginia along Kanawha River toward Charleston.
27 October 29, 1862 November 16, 1862 Arrive at Charleston, (West) Virginia; return to Ohio River; steamboats to Convington (Cincinnati), Ohio.
28 November 16, 1862 November 27, 1862 Steamboats on Ohio River to Mississippi River; land at Memphis, Tennessee.
29 November 27, 1862 December 26, 1862 Camp at Memphis; Grand review by Gen. William T. Sherman; embark on steamers south toward to Vicksburg, Mississippi; disembarked and skirmished with Rebels.
30 December 27, 1862 December 28, 1862 Approached Chickasaw Bayou, skirmished; full attack on Rebel positions north of Vicksburg at Chickasaw Bayou.
31 December 28, 1862 December 29, 1862 Details on attacks on Rebels fortifications on December 28; another charge ordered on December 29.
32 December 29, 1862 December 29, 1862 Battle of Chickasaw Bayou described.
33 December 29, 1862 December 30, 1862 Conclusion of Battle of Chickasaw Bayou.
34 December 30, 1862 January 2, 1863 Flag of truce; evacuation of Chickasaw Bayou; Council of War.
35 January 2, 1863 January 11, 1863 North on steamships to Battle of Arkansas Post.
36 January 11, 1863 January 17, 1863 Returned on steamboats to Young's Point, Louisiana, near Vicksburg; went into camp; much sickness.
37 January 17, 1863 April 17, 1863 Union gunboats run past Vicksburg batteries; camp moves to Milliken's Bend; march to Richmond, Louisiana, Smith's Plantation; Vicksburg campaign resumes.
38 April 17, 1863 April 30, 1863 To Perkins Plantation; troops cross Mississippi River.
39 April 30, 1863 May 14, 1863 Battle of Thompson's Hill; march into interior of Mississippi.
40 May 15, 1863 May 16, 1863 Raymond to Bolton Station to Edward's Station; skirmishes; Battle of Champion Hill.
41 List of food items and miscellaneous notes.
42 May 16, 1863 May 18, 1863 Pursuing Rebels west toward Vicksburg; Battle of Big Black River Bridge;
43 May 18, 1863 July 4, 1863 March west to Vicksburg, Mississippi; First Assault on Vicksburg; march back to Big Black River Bridge; Confederates surrender Vicksburg.
44 July 4, 1863 September 6, 1863 Move to Jackson, Mississippi; back to Vicksburg and camp; steamboats down river and into camp at Carrollton, Louisiana (near New Orleans).; Grand Review by Gen. Ulysses Grant.
45 September 6, 1863 October 9, 1863 Railroad to Brashear City, Louisiana; march to camp at Berwick Bay; Camp Brisland; march along Bayou Teche; Franklin, Louisiana; the Bayou Teche campaign.
46 October 9, 1863 November 8, 1863 March to Iberia, St. Martinsville, to camp at Vermillion Bayou; regiment held State of Ohio election; march back to Carrion Crow; garrison Iberia, Louisiana; march toward Franklin.
47 November 8, 1863 November 30, 1863 Steamboats back to Berwick, Brashear City; railroad back to Algiers, Louisiana; prisoners taken at Chickasaw Bayou rejoin regiment; steamship on Gulf of Mexico to Pass Cavallo, Texas; the Texas Coast Expedition.
48 November 30, 1863 March 13, 1864 Fort Esperanza; camp at Decrows Point (Texas coast); to Indianola then Matagorda Island, Texas.
49 April 3, 1864 April 8, 1864 Provost guard duty at headquarters on Matagorda Island.
50 Miscellaneous notes and calculations. End of diary.
Note: The diary ends on April 8, 1864. It appears the book used ran out of pages and it is not known if Sgt. Hall kept additional diary entries on another book. Union troops with the 16th Ohio evacuated coastal Texas on April 18, 1864. The regiment went back to New Orleans, briefly, and was sent to assist Gen. Nathaniel Banks on his Red River campaign around Alexandria, Louisiana. Banks retreated from that effort and the 16th Ohio spent the remainder of its service in and around Morganza Bend, Louisiana, on the Mississippi River south of Vicksburg, performing occupation duty and participating in a number of skirmishes with Rebel forces. The regiment left for home on October 6, arriving in Columbus, Ohio, on October 14 and mustering out of military service on October 31, 1864.
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