Soldiers Letter Index 16th OVI Home Page
Letter from Sergeant Charles H. Roney, Co. D, 16th OVI,
to his parents, Peter and Elizabeth Roney, in Dresden, Ohio
Camp Hardscrabble, near Somerset, Kentucky - January 21, 1862
Web Author's Notes:
This letter was written from Camp Hardscrabble, located near Somerset, Kentucky. The 16th Ohio, upon leaving Ohio for the war, was first sent to this area to assist Gen. George H. Thomas who was defending Kentucky against invading Confederate Gen. George B. Crittenden. Thomas arrived near Somerset on January 17. The resulting Battle of Mill Springs had been heard on January 19 by the 16th Ohio, en route, but, being seven miles away, they did not arrive at the battlefield in time to participate. The 16th Ohio troops were disappointed they had missed their eagerly awaited baptism of fire. Gen. Thomas was victorious over Crittenden's force and in the battle, Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer was killed, reportedly by Col. Fry of the 10th Kentucky. Sgt. Roney mentions the battle and death of Zollicoffer in his letter, below.

Roney states the name of their camp, near Somerset, Kentucky, as Camp Hardscrabble. Cpl. Theodore Wolbach, in his Camp and Field articles about the history of the 16th Ohio, remembers the name as Camp Pone but implies he isn't sure.

Images of this letter and envelope were obtained from an Internet sales site.

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Roney letter page 1
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Roney letter page 2

Camp Hardscrabble 4 miles from Summerset Ky.

January 21st 1862

Dear Father & Mother

your letter writing on the 12th came to hand yesterday the 20th and I was glad to here that you was all well. you say that you have not heard since the letter I wrote on the first. Dont know how it is for I have wrote you 2 letters since then one of them was a big sheet of Paper like this and 2 smaller sheets and the other was writing in a Dam big hurray to let you know that we was going to leave Camp Clay. We left Camp Clay on Monday 13th of January 1862 and was 7 Days on the road. we marched 64 miles through mud rain and rivers and Carriad a Dam full Knapsack haversack Canteen a cartridge box with 40 rounds of ball catridge. the first Day we marched 12 miles. the 2nd & the 3rd 16. the 4 Day we layed over to rest and the 5 Day 15 miles. the 6th Day 13 and the 7 Day 18 miles. we got here on

Sunday night at 6 oclock. when we got here our men and old Zollicoffer was fighting like Hell about 5 miles from Here but the old Col said the we was to tired to go so we pitched tents and are her yet. But I Dont Know how long we will stay. our forces have whiped old Zollicoffer and have taken his Entrenchments and Every thing he had and Killed the Damd old Son of a bitch. the 16th Regt would have a been in the fight had it not been that we laid over the 4 Day. that is the way always one Day to late. there is some dissatisfaction amongst the Field officers because we Did not get there in time for the fight. I wished we had a been there. there was 65 of our men Killed and about 3 times that number of the rebles. I heard the Major say that we would go to Knoxville Tenessee but I expect we will stay here for the next 4 weeks to come.

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Roney letter page 3
Roney letter envelope
This is the original envelope which contained the letter sent by Sgt. Charles Roney to his parents in Dresden, Ohio

we may get orders to march in a Day or 2. (When) we leave here I will let you Know. all the forces that was in the fight are Coming back to Summerset. there is 3 or 4 Ohio Regt 2 Tenessee & some Indiana Regt.

I got Every thing you sent me by Hugh McMurry and the Boots Come very good. when I write again I will let you Know Every thing about the Battle.

No More
write soon

Direct your letters to Summerset Ky

Comp D 16th Regt Ovusa

Care Capt Mills

your son Charles

5 Sarget Comp D

my love to all

I am well

I thank you for the stamps

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