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Letter of Robert W. Muse, Captain, Company A, 16th OVI
To Gen. C. P. Buckingham, Asst. Adj. General for Ohio
February 15, 1862
Web Author's Notes:
The following is a letter written by Captain Robert W. Muse, Company A, 16th O.V.I., to General Catharinus P. Buckingham, then assistant adjutant-general of Ohio. Muse appears to be concerned that, due to some adjustment of seniority dates for officers in the regiment, he may lose his Captain's rank. He is asking Gen. Buckingham for consideration of the validity and propriety of his rank.

Thanks to Betsy Sternau for her contribution of the letter and image of Capt. Muse. The handwriting of Capt. Muse is somewhat difficult to interpret and transcription was done to the best extent possible.

Capt. Robert W. P. Muse Brig. Gen. Catharinus Putnam Buckingham Brig. Gen. Samuel P. Carter

Capt. Robert W. P. Muse (post war)
Company A, 16th OVI
image courtesy of Betsy Sternau

Brig. Gen. Catharinus Putnam Buckingham
United States Volunteers - General Staff

Brig. Gen. Samuel P. Carter, Asst. Adjutant Gen. of Ohio
U. S. Volunteers, General Staff
image courtesy Wikipedia - Public Domain

Letter of Robert Muse

Camp Cumberland
February 15th, 1862.

Genl. C. P. Buckingham
Columbus Ohio,

Dear Sir,

After my respects permit me to drop you a few lines. We have seen some pretty hard times since we left Camp Clay near Lexington Ky on the 13th of January last. The march to this place, a distance of about 165 miles, made as it was in the dead of winter, and over roads that would in a Christian (?) Community be considered impassible I will always remember. Sometimes we had to unload our waggons and carry their loads up the mountains and then put on from 6 to 12 mules to pull up the empty waggons. Yet we have succeeded in us reaching this point and I am glad to say that the health of the Regt is good and may be considered extra. when compared with any other in our Brigade. We are in Camp on the north bank of the Cumberland River 3 1/2 miles from the Ford and about 16 or 17 miles from the Gap. We have various reports as to the strength of the Rebels at the Gap, but from the most reliable I would place the strength of all kinds at from 1500 to 2000 with some 12 or 13 Cannons.

Letter of Robert Muse

It is said that they have one or more large field pieces but of course this is rumor.

Their pickets are said to be within 3 miles of the Ford and some 16 of them came over on day before yesterday. Of course I do not know what to anticipate or time set for our advance. If I did I do not know whether it would be prudent to place it in writing and put in the mail so near the Rebel Camp. I will however say this - that we all have the greatest respect for, and confidence in our Genl. S. P. Carter and his commands will be most willingly obeyed by us all.

This is a wild, baron country and if all of Dixie Land was the same it would scarcely be worth fighting for. We rarely get any (?) or letters, when we do we get them by the bushel and none of them less than from a week to a month old. But I find that I am digressing from the object of this letter. I am informed that an effort is being made to change the date of the Commissions in this Regt. so as to cast some favorites on to or in the right and left flank. If this is done, of course, there will be some reason for it. For one however, I ask as a matter of simple justice that you see a reason before it is done. The first Commissions sent gave satisfaction to most of our officers.

Letter of Robert Muse

They were dated from the date of (?) to organize Companies. These for some cause were changed and a new batch sent on, dated from the time our officers rec'd their appointments. On these Commissions all of the officers were sworn in save one -- Now sir (?) if another change is made I respectfully ask you to see justice done in all. My Company was full some 10 or 15 days before you gave me my apt as a Capt. which was on the 20th of Sept. It may be improper for me to thus address you; but from your (?) (?) (?) to me (?) all occasions, and my knowledge that you will see justice done to all alike, I trust you will pardon any seeming impropriety. I am satisfied that an effort was made to do me injustice and have heard it rumored that the effort was still being made. If such is the case you will readily see that I have cause to display some feeling in the (?). All I ask is for even handed justice and a fair showing as I know I had the first organized Company in the Regt and am the Senior Capt. This (?) (?) to (?).

With respect I have the
honor to subscribe myself
Your Obt Servt,
R.W.P. Muse
Capt Co. "A" 16th Regt O. V.

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